Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Gonzo's Gone, Who's Next?

By Kelly Jean Cogswell

So Alberto Gonzales finally stepped down as U.S. Attorney General, declaring himself smarmily thankful for his "remarkable journey" and popping the champagne cork of the pity party by evoking his immigrant roots.

"I have lived the American dream," he said. "Even my worst days as attorney general were better than my father's best days."

I bet not. Alberto's been in the hot seat for Bush & Co. wire-tapping schemes, and for firing uncooperative U.S. attorneys. For an all too brief moment years and years ago he was wanly criticized for calling the Geneva Conventions, "quaint" in a post-9/11 world.

It was at his urging, the Department of Justice drafted a memo redefining the word "torture" to allow interrogators to do almost everything short of killing.

He defended Bush's secret prisons, stymied voting rights cases, reports of racial profiling, and according to the New York Times, undercut the federal case against Big Tobacco.

What heights for the son of an immigrant. He's even come a long way since he was Bush's Secretary of State in Texas where he and W. combined to kill more prisoners there than ever--fifty-six. What's a couple of humans more or less? What's a life if it's not yours?

His father must be rolling in his grave at a son who considers that a day spent rolling in the sewers of consecutive Bush administrations is better than any of his father's best. As if poor people can't have good days, too, moments of transcendence. A ragpicker is better than Gonzales. The prisoners he shat on sleep better than him.

The only funny thing about his resignation is that Gonzales tried to resign on the phone, but Bush wouldn't let him. He had to go all the way to Crawford, Texas, hat in hand, and do it over lunch. I'm not sure if it was a sign of Bush's misplaced loyalty, a desire to look his old pal in the eye and make sure things between them were square, or if it was just to make up the numbers at the Sunday family barbecue.

Bush's Texas entourage has been dwindling lately what with Rummy long gone, and Ken Rove, was it? The French President Nicolas Sarkozy came running for hamburgers an hour late, but his wife Cecilia backed out with a cold, a terrible, terrible cold that lasted about as long as the picnic.

Mrs. Gonzales, though, was polite enough to come for the last meal. I wonder what was on the menu. Hotdogs? Crow? Did Alberto get a request like prisoners spending their last night on death row? Maybe a nice rice pudding with extra cinnamon? That's calming, if nothing else.

At the press conference, Gonzales didn't give any reasons for resigning, and after making a brief statement literally fled the room before anybody could ask questions, or slap on cuffs.

"Better late than never," said Senator John Edwards when he heard about the resignation.

You could say that about the Democrats, too. They were impotent and fearful under a Republican majority, and barely show signs of life even now, when the tables are turned. What about all of them that gave the White House a free pass recently on a new spying bill? Are they gonna step down, too?

I wish all these people would get what they deserve like in those old Victorian novels where the bad old rich people would lose all their money and have to go begging to their former (now incredibly wealthy) victims for help.

What about the kind of justice you sometimes get in New York housing court where a judge will on occasion condemn landlords to live in their own crumbling rat- and roach-infested buildings until they do the repairs? There's a secret cell in a secret prison labeled Fredo, another for Bush.

Impeachment's not good enough. What is that really, but a chance for some other president to give a pardon? Congress will never throw anybody in the clink. I bet they don't even start proceedings against Bush. For that you need to get a blow job in the Oral Office.

With Bush, it's the American people that got screwed, and Iraqis, and Afghanis, and all the women globally who suffered when he banned health funds to programs offering family planning. Then there are the people living on islands and coasts as the sea levels rise... queers...

Our own Senator Schumer, who has been calling for Mr. Gonzales' departure weighed in with his own two cents, or being a politician, a good half dollar. "It has been a long and difficult struggle, but at last the attorney general has done the right thing and stepped down. For the previous six months, the Justice Department has been virtually nonfunctional, and desperately needs new leadership."

Don't we all?

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