It’s always amusing reading media coverage of — and Democratic grandstanding on — the firing of the eight U.S. Attorneys. It’s almost as if they have forgotten that federal prosecutors serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States. And whether they like it or not, George W. Bush is President until January 20, 2009. But, maybe that’s the problem they just can’t accept the results of the 2004 election.* Or they’re just doing their utmost to undermine them.
Latest case in point. In an AP article reporting that congressional committees “are issuing subpoenas for testimony” from former White House officials on the firings, reporter Laurie Kellman writes, “Democrats probing whether the White House improperly dictated which prosecutors the Justice Department should fire” (emphasis added). Unless the White House officials are not doing the bidding of the president, it would not be “improper” for them to tell Justice Department officials to fire political appointees, including federal prosecutors.
In the concluding line, we learn that “E-mails made public have shown that [White House officials] Miers, Taylor and Rove were looped into the decision-making process and attended meetings on the firings.” So? It isn’t seem improper for the president’s top legal and political aides to attend meetings about the firing (or hiring) of presidential appointees.
A further sign of the reporter’s bias is that while she does report that “that U.S. attorneys serve at the president’s pleasure and can be fired for any reason, or none at all,” she does so in a sentence which begins “Republicans point out.” As if it’s a partisan point, rather than a long-established practice. And constitutional prerogative.
No, there is no scandal here. Had the White House and Justice Department done a better job of explaining the firings, Democrats might not be trying to find a scandal when there’s merely a discrepancy between how Attorney General Alberto Gonzales explained the firings — and what actually took place. But, maybe even if he had pointed out that White House officials participated in the decision-making process (as was entirely proper), the Democrats would still be looking for scandal. After all, if George W. Bush does something, even if he does something which his predecessors have done, including his immediate predecessor, it must be scandalous because Bush — or his “minions” — did it.
It’s time for the Democratic majority in Congress to stop looking for scandals where there are none and to stop promising votes merely to appease their liberal base. They seem more interesting in appeasing that base — and embarrassing the president — than in governing the country. And that’s what they were elected to do.
*While Democrats may have won control of Congess in 2006, the Constitution invests executive power in the president. And that power includes the firing of certain federal officials.