I just received this from a former very high-ranking official of the Justice Department (under Clinton) (and TalkLeft reader), whose opinion I hold in especially high regard:
The apparent nomination of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General is a mixed blessing for progressives. It is fair to say that Gonzales is not nearly as bad as we might have expected. He is by no means a hard core ideologue, and he would not be likely to aggressively pursue a far right agenda. on his own By temperament he is a moderate, even if his views are far more conservative than we would wish. His record as a judge, while conservative, was not outrageous; indeed, it's commonly believed that he may not have been acceptable to the far right as a Supreme Court nominee. And what little leaks out of this Administration suggests that Gonzales was not a moving force behind most of the Administration's most outrageous legal positions.