CRAWFORD, Texas - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned, ending a months-long standoff with Republican and Democratic critics who called for his ouster over the Justice Department's botched handling of FBI terror investigations and the firing of U.S. attorneys, officials said Monday.
Finally. This should have happened long ago. This is a positive developement, but it shouldn't do a thing to change the way the Democrats pursue the Administration. Unfortunately I think it will satisfy many enough to let up pressure, which would be a mistake. The issues they are investigating are far bigger than Gonzales himself.
Early reports point to Bush nominating the Swedish Chef as the new A.G.
UPDATE: I just watched Gonzo's "announcement press conference" live on CNN, and it was so brief I almost thought I missed something. No reason for leaving, he simply lied about how much he respected the people at Justice, and walked away without taking a question. Not the he would have honestly answered any...
I think the White House correctly did the calculus that Gonzales being raked over the coals as sitting AG hurt them, and it had become impossible to defend him through their minions in the media—he was that bad. But now, if he is up there stammering before Leahy's Committee, the FOX News, Rush etc. can play the "the guy resigned already, what do the Democrats want?" card and start to swing him over to sympathetic character.
As opposed to just merely pathetic.
For maximum grave-dancing* pleasure head over to WaPo's Andrew Cohen who has a great "Good Riddance" post, and check out his four-part expose on Gonzales, Rough Justice.
* Or, if dancing isn't your thing...a diffent kind of relief
UPDATE 2: My early money on a replacement is Orrin Hatch. Just about the only guy who remained unashamed to defend Gonzales and the Administration through all of this. He's been auditioning for the role all year. Hatch would cruise to confirmation because he's in the club—collegiality will trump Constitution—even though he will be just as obstructionist as Gonzales was. Bush may still nominate somebody offensive (or at least un-confirmable) first to pick a fight and score points first, then offer up Hatch as a compromise.