Monday, August 27, 2007

I believe this post is about Alberto Gonzales (but I can't quite recall)

So this is the obligatory post about the resignation of Alberto Gonzales.

Those of you that read this blog enough will not be surprised that I am not fond of Mr. Gonzales. There are, of course, certain ideological and practical reasons for this. I think, however, that the nub of my critique of the man runs a bit deeper than that.

When I was a Young Idealistic Drunk Bureaucrat, I used to believe that there were reasonably capable and competent people at the top of most organizational structures. While I may have disagreed with their political persuasions, I could be assured that they knew which Tab A fit into Slot B, metaphorically speaking. To use a sports analogy: though my mechanic rooted for the Cleveland Browns, he still knew how to fix my blown gaskets.

Indeed, I still believe that the highest complement that you can pay a Bureaucrat is that he or she is competent.

As I got older and more grizzled, I came to understand that those in power are not necessarily more competent than me (as indicated in the highly cynical Rule #16 over yonder), but I clung to the notion that at least at the highest levels of Federal Government, this competency was possible.

Gonzo proved me wrong.

Very wrong.

It's not so much that he was a crony (he was) or that he was a shyster (he was), but that he seemed totally and utterly overwhelmed by his job, a job that, according to the U.S. Senate at the time, he was supposed to be qualified for. He always seemed confused by principles intrinsic to U.S. laws that are reviewed in the first few days of the first year of Law School: little things like Habeus Corpus or "The Rule of Law." Something tells me that you could've pulled any law school drop out from Starbucks and you could have had an equally competent Attorney General.

Or worse: you could have gone to Greyhound station and the guy masturbating in the corner and it would have been an improvement.

If nothing else though, Gonzo did one thing that no one ever thought possible: he made John Ashcroft look good.

Good riddance.

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