Gonzales lives to see another week.

Down and on the way out.
April 23 2007 11:57 AM


Al lives to see another week.

Today's chance of a Gonzales departure: 85 percent

(Previously: 95 percent)

The Gonzo-Meter

Despite his unprepossessing performance before the Senate last week, Alberto "I don't recall" Gonzales lives to see another Monday. He even showed his face at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner over the weekend (we would have been under the blanket with a box of Kleenex and soup). We give the attorney general and the White House points for chutzpah and take the Gonzo-Meter down to 85.

We wonder, though, if his continued presence hasn't become an exercise in humiliation for Republicans in Congress. How many Republican senators and House members have to say they've lost confidence in the attorney general before the White House gives them the time of day? Talking Points Memo counted six senators and four representatives dissing Gonzales by Friday. It's not a list of mavericks, but rather includes administration stalwarts like Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla. There's also this addition to the list: Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Fla., chair of the House Republican conference and No. 3 in the party's leadership. Sunday on Fox, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., went so far as to say that Gonzales' continuing presence "is bad for the Department of Justice." And on ABC's This Week, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich criticized Bush for letting loyalty cloud his view of Gonzales.

Before Gonzales testified, President Bush and White House spokespeople said that it was up to him to prove himself to Congress. Now that he has clearly "lost the Hill," as Newsweek put it, Bush has this to say today: "The attorney general went up and gave a very candid assessment, and answered every question he could possibly answer, honestly answer, in a way that increased my confidence in his ability to do the job." Increased no less.

Why the stubbornly alternative version of reality? We like Newsweek's explanation that Bush thinks "a Gonzales resignation would embolden the Dems to go after other targets—like Karl Rove." So now the choice for Bush is this: Find a way to let your ruined man say his goodbyes or let him stand as a monument to the irrelevance of the opinions of Republican members of Congress.

Emily Bazelon was a Slate senior editor from 2005 to 2014. She is the author of Sticks and Stones.

John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. Read his series on the presidency and on risk.

Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate. Follow her on Twitter.


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.