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Alberto Gonzales

You're actually a constituent, Ivan, and a part of Bush's mandate, so I'd be curious what you think of the new appointee. I suspect (based on this) you think he's an improvement over Ashcroft.

My perspective: Ashcroft is more of a religious fundamentalist and traditional conservative and Gonzales will probably be more interesting, thoughtful, and sometimes more in line with my own opinions. However, since I think his association with the popular Bush Administration means Ashcroft can probably win a higher office than Attorney General (Senator, I think, but there are other options), this is a good thing only WRT the AG office -- Ashcroft's Moral Values will continue to blight our newspages in the future. The thing I don't like about Gonzales is not ideological, but personal. His work experience includes a lot of legal advice to the President (like: don't call your POWs "POWs" or else you'll have to account for them and make sure they're not tortured). I think he's being promoted to a position where he can do a lot more to ensure the President doesn't get in trouble with the law, and I think that's Bad. This obviously isn't partisan... even though some people think the likelyhood of President Bush being criminal in his affairs is likely and some think it's unlikely, none would say it's impossible. For this reason, I think it's fair to say lawyer cronies are bad appointees.

On a side note, I greatly appreciate the President's consistent approach of appointing nonwhites to important offices and how cynical he makes Democrats look in this regard -- the Dems richly deserve that particular trouble.


At 2:57 PM, Blogger joŇ°ko said...

His biggest red-flag is the infamous memo saying the Geneva-convention was "quaint" and "outdated." It's often been eroneously attributed to him, but his fault is really having _recieved_ the memo, and passing it along without protest.

Meanwhile, word is that the "religious right" are worried Gonzales is not concertative enough, which is a good sign. Other than that, we'll wait and see how he is. Can't be worse than Ashcroft, my least favorite cabinate member of Bush 2: Term One.

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

I like the appointee, but know little about him. I think it is an improvement both because Ashcroft was annoyingly prudish in some of his views.

I wouldn't count the POW situation like that though, because it completely ignores both the writ of law and the new nature of this war. There is a reason why POWs are accounted the way they are, talking about army regulars, and whatnot. People not uniformed and not acting for a government are basically vigalanties, and not really in the spirit of the Geneva conventions. So not only is it a correct legal assessment that they can be treated differently, but it reflects the idea that these prisoners are not what the authors had in mind.

Note that I said 'treated differently' and not 'interned without trial'. I think that there should be a serious discussion on how the unique threat of extra-national super-empowered individuals should be treated. Thinking that they should be granted a lawyer and a trial in civilian courts, without taking account the consequences, is not the proper recourse.

But the main thing I should say about Gonzales is that his initial actions will determin what I really think about him.


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