Monica Goodling brings the Gonzo-Meter grief.

Down and on the way out.
May 24 2007 3:30 PM

Gonzo-Meter

Goodling brings only grief.

Today's chance of a Gonzales departure: 40 percent
(Previously: 57 percent)

The Gonzo-Meter

Whatever Monica Goodling's House judiciary committee testimony may have obscured or confused yesterday, she did clarify a few very important points regarding her former boss, Al Gonzales: He was, for instance, present at meetings and briefings about the U.S. attorney purge (i.e., he lied), he was involved in vetting the names on Kyle Sampson's list (i.e., he lied), and—bombshell—he did apparently attempt to square his recollection of the firings with hers, long after this scandal had broken (i.e., he lied again).

So, whatever else he may be—incompetent, clueless, in love with the president, suffering from crippling levels of memory impairment—the AG is pretty clearly now revealed to be a big, honkin' liar.

Advertisement

The old Gonzo-Meter might have responded to these revelations, and the resultant cries that Gonzales resign, and the president's ridiculous assurance that the probe should stop so he can take care of the problems himself, with a sharp upward spike. But, as we can now agree, the more we find out about what's gone wrong at the Justice Department, the more likely it seems that Gonzales will stay. The question isn't what we have already found out. It's how much more the Bush administration fears what we will find in the future.

So, we are dropping the meter to 40 today, with a sigh—but a bit of an admiring one. If we didn't live in Bizarro World, the front-page headlines blaring yet again that the attorney general lied would mean he was out. In Bush World, however, that calculus is reversed. Like a mountain goat on a heap of broken cans and old tires, Gonzales' footing looks, somehow, more sure than ever.

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and 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.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

The World’s Politest Protesters

The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

The Feds Have Declared War on New Privacy Measures From Apple and Google

These “Dark” Lego Masterpieces Are Delightful and Evocative

Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Europe’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celebrity Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 6:39 PM Spoiler Special: Transparent
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?