As much as I hate to, I'll echo John Edwards: Better late than never. Alberto Gonzales was in over his head from day one as AG. Say what you will about John Ashcroft, but at least he was qualified for the job. Gonzales' list of qualification was strictly limited to two factors:
- He was Hispanic
- He was a Bush loyalist
Like so many Bush Administration scandals, this one was totally unnecessary. The (non-)event that precipitated his fall from grace was the firing of the U.S. Attorneys. Had Gonzales merely responded to early criticisms with "I fired them because I felt like it," he'd still have his job. Instead, we were treated to an array of shifting and mutually contradictory reasons and excuses. He was trapped in lies of his own making.
Still, I'm glad to see him go. Incompetence aside, he was probably the worst Attorney General of my lifetime, and I lived through Janet Reno. Gonzales' tenure at Justice saw zealous prosecution of pornography during a time when terrorists were (are) actively trying to blow us up, as well as the wanton denial of Second Amendment rights for law-abiding citizens simply on Gonzales' say-so.
But isn't the whole thing just totally emblematic how Bush handles things? He stood by the guy for months on end, taking black eyes, bloody noses, and even broken limbs. Then, once all the damage has been done, irreversibly, then he decides to fire the guy? Christ, what is it with this guy? Even when he does the right thing, he does it so late in the game that it often comes to naught. The troop surge in Iraq is great and all, but can you imagine what might have been achieved had he done it three years ago when it might have actually made a difference? Grrrrr....