Originally Posted by Botnst
I understand why you feel that way but I guess I'm just a lot more cynical than you (and probably 99% of the people on planet Earth).
I cannot imagine any politician with discretionary power to hire & fire NOT making political decisions that would be legal and hurt his opponents. Usually they're not as graceless as this apparent attempt (I say "apparent" because I think there's a whole centipede's worth of shoes yet to drop).
Just for the sake of context, Ever since the formation of this country Presidents have hired and fired people that occupy important positions of trust -- ambassadors, cabinet members down to career civil servants (ask Andy Jackson and Abe Lincoln about that one).
To get all panty-wadded about this political skullduggery is to reveal an ignorance of law and history.
The bottom line is this: Is it legal? If it is illegal I have no doubt that zealous members of the completely objective and non-partisan Senate Judiciary will hold very sober hearings and withhold judgment until all of the evidence is in. Believe that and I have some oil additives I'd like to sell you that will never have to change and will improve your gas mileage.
If it is legal and folks think it should be illegal I can hardly wait to see how that bit of political waltzing plays-out.
PS Do I care whether it is THIS president? No. I don't give a damn. If Congress wants to enact laws to change it, don't let the gavel slow on its way down.
Just to be clear (not nitpicking your response), it is perfectly legal to dispose of U.S. Attorneys at will; that's really not at issue. What is
at issue is 1) Whether or not these guys were let go for reasons other than personal or professional conduct & performance, and 2) Whether or not they're willing to say so under oath in front of Congress.
Legal or otherwise, I don't think America would take kindly to the notion that the administration (with or without Bush's knowledge) endeavored to alter the outcome of the 2006 elections by suddenly "finding religion" with regard to who they should whack, and for what reasons, just before election day.
Finally, I don't think anyone would take issue with the President hiring & firing whomever he wished in the cabinet, or at ambassadorial posts, or even U.S. Attorneys. What people should
take issue with (at least until all the facts are known) is the as-yet undisputed allegation that this particular bit of hiring & firing was an orchestrated effort to keep from losing the Congressional majority.
We (conservatives in general, and Republicans specifically) are supposed to be above all of this. If we fear that we're going to lose badly in an election, the remedy is to refine the message and the platform - not call into the Whitehouse for an air strike to sabotage the campaigns of our opponents. Legal or not, that amounts to opportunism at best and cheating at worst.
Bush is probably more upset that this was handled clumsily than that the Attorneys in question were let go. They'd have done better to clean all of them out and start over if that was what they felt needed to happen. The last thing Bush needs is people leaving the reservation and acting foolishly.