Of course once it came out that the Republican US Attorneys were being fired because they weren't "loyal Bushies" enough, it tainted the rest of the US Attorneys everywhere as being little more than political appointees doing the bidding of the Bush White House - and that was the problem. And then he lied about it to Congress.
When Congress questioned the firing of several U.S. attorneys, Gonzales needed to say only one thing: "They served at the pleasure of the president. Under the Constitution neither the president nor his attorney general owes Congress an explanation."
Instead, Gonzales dug a hole defending a thing that required no defense.
The P-G takes a different tack - they include some of (the now disgraced and soon-to-be former) AG "Fredo" Gonzales dubious accomplishments:
His fingerprints had been all over some of the worst excesses of the administration -- the expanding of presidential powers, the eavesdropping, the justifications for harsh treatment bordering on torture and the dubious rules for prosecuting detainees in the war on terror. He came under fire, justifiably, in March when it was revealed that the FBI had improperly used the Patriot Act to obtain information about people and businesses -- which was all of a piece with his earlier record.Though I would, of course, quibble with the phrase "harsh treatment bordering on torture." When the International Red Cross says it's "tantamount" to torture, it is torture - not bordering on torture.
Both editorials, however, lay some of the blame at dubya's feet. The Trib:
We cannot leave this without assessing the performance of the president who promoted Gonzales largely because he was a friend.And the P-G:
Mr. Gonzales was not chosen attorney general because of his legal scholarship but because he was an old friend from Texas who didn't know how to say no to Mr. Bush.Heckova job, dubya. Heckova job.