According to a Republican with close ties to the White House, Bush and Gonzales are in denial about getting a new Attorney General. “They’re the only two people on the planet Earth who don’t see it.”
And yet, there’s a small problem: Gonzales is still there. Slate recently created a “Gonzo-meter” to gauge the likelihood of the AG’s ouster. Late last week, after Gonzales’ ridiculous performance in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the “Gonzo-meter” hit 95%. Monday, after the president publicly praised the AG, it slipped to 85%. Yesterday, it slipped again, to 75%, in light of the White House's ongoing support.
Congress isn’t in a position to fire Gonzales, no matter how much bipartisan support there is to replace him. Like the U.S. Attorneys Bush purged, Gonzales serves at the pleasure of the president. And with the president saying, “Screw you,” what can anyone do about it? As it turns out, congressional Dems may have come up with a “screw you” of their own. Roll Call reports:
With Attorney General Alberto Gonzales vowing to remain in his job and President Bush standing by him, Senate Democratic leaders are seriously considering bringing a resolution to the floor expressing no confidence in Gonzales, according to a senior leadership source.
“I don’t think [Gonzales] can survive, no matter what the president says,” said the source. The vote would be nonbinding and have no substantive impact, but it would force all Republican Senators into the politically uncomfortable position of saying publicly whether they continue to support Gonzales in the wake of the scandal surrounding the firings of eight U.S. attorneys. Democratic leaders have not yet set an exact time frame for when they would bring such a resolution to the floor.
This is exactly the kind of vote the Republicans used to schedule all the time before they lost their majority — the kind the minority doesn’t want to see.