Gonzales’ replacement – there won’t be any nominee.

The tubes of the internets are abuzz with today’s breaking news – the resignation of the worst attorney general our country has ever experienced. Of course, the president blamed Democratic politicians for dragging a good man through the mud, one who had done nothing wrong. Gonzales added to the carnival atmosphere by claiming that his worst day “serving the public” was better than his father’s best day.

The next hottest issue is who will replace Gonzo. My guess is none of the above.

Let’s take a look at today’s reality. Our congress, as compliant, spineless and corruptable as ever, is so afraid of taking a real stance, that it is highly unlikely that even a Chertoff, an Addington, or even a Libby or Fielding would be oppsed by them. The longer that the Democratic-led congress remains clueless and impotent, the more breathing room the president has. The odds are good, given past behavior, that the Senate would eventually cave in to the president’s wishes, even if Jack the Ripper, RIchard Speck, or Mr. Bean was nominated.

But, I suspect that the White House is content to do nothing. Especially now. You never push against an enemy that is busy self-destructing, and the Democratic leadership sure seems to be doing that. Of course, the White House meltdown continues unabated as well. Rove, Libby, and many others are gone, and Gonzales is following in their wake. Still, the White House is in power, and that power remains significant, what with unfettered, uncontrolled domestic spying approved by the congress, and personally controlled by the top man at the DOJ. As I said, a LOT of power.

Bush knows that a truly useful candidate would never pass through the senate, not even if he selected a senator like Hatch. Why pick a fight that might cause the democrats to organize and stand up for a change, instead of slinking away like a slimy snake, fearful, scared, clueless?

Besides, there is no need to make a choice. The status quo suits Bush perfectly. Not only do the Democrats scurry around, worrying who he might pick, but they will waste energy making demands of Bush to play fair and be nice. The louder those claims are, the more foolish and weak the Dems look.

The secret behind the resignation’s timing is simple – Bush did not want to go through a messy nomination hearing. And given his promise not to inject an appointment while congress is not in session, some think that he is boxed in. They would be wrong.

When Gonzales was still #1, his top deputy resigned. That left Paul Clement as the next highest ranking DOJ employee. Now that Gonzo is leaving, while those top spots remain open, he takes charge.

What Bush and Rove managed to do is to “set up” congress yet again. Not only will there never be a confirmation hearing for a new DOJ head, there won’t even be a nominee. Why would Bush need one? His dream candidate is already in place.

Let’s look at Clement’s dirty laundry: He clerked for two of the biggest neocon judges, Laurence H. Silberman (DC Circ) and Justice Antonin Scalia. He worked for Kirkland and Ellis, the GOP dream firm. In fact, he was hired to work for Ken Starr. He worked for then Senator John Ashcroft, before he was hired to write the supreme court briefs in support of the GOP in Bush v. Gore.

No matter how you slice it, Clement is a clone of the worst aspects of both Ashcroft and Gonzales, except that by all accounts, he is also brilliant and extremely ideological. And on top of all that, he is friendly, personable, and has a nice smile, with no smirk to be found.

Clement is Bush’s wet dream candidate – he could not have picked a better nominee – except he doesn’t even have to officially pick him now. Clement remains in place and in charge as long as no other nominee is selected by Bush.

Why would Bush risk energizing the left and the center with a worse nominee? Why would Bush remove a dream candidate who will pursue White House political and legal strategies for the next 18 months without the slightest hint of remorse? Why spend the time and energy vetting, questioning and searching, when from Bush’s point of view Clement is the perfect man for the job. Committed, loyal, political, smart, neoconservative, and ideologically tested and found to be true.

For these reasons, Bush make play at a new nominee, just to keep the critics guessing and confused. He may even dangle a few names, in an effort to split the Dems and keep the GOP in line. He might even promise things in exchange for “support for my new choice”, while all the time, he won’t have to lift a finger, in fact, he won’t lift a finger to pick anyone. Clement’s already there.


  1. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Godamn [BLANKING] Right Seal!!! Support Cindy Sheehan to knock off Nancette Pelosi off her perch!!!

    Whatever the Hell Skelatons or PMS virus is in her friggin closet that’s preventing her from De-Frocking

    AND ROB KEZELIS for president!!!

    First thing Nancette did even before she became the
    House Majority Speaker is take IMPEACHMENT off the table.

    The situation in the Swampland of the Potomac is that it is RIECHSTAG-II: THE MOTION [CENSORED] PICTURE!!!

    The Democratic house is nothing more then a bunch of self-emasculated weenies (and ovaries) and Bush is riding over them like Hitler rode over Germany after the Reichstag fire, convincing President Hindenburg to
    enact an emergency measure, suspending the parliment until new rigged elections could be set to consolidate the Nazi party majority by doing away with the opposing parties, doing away with habeas corpus, and implementing the enabling act which gave Hitler power by decree.

    Some familiar rings in this, is there not?

    Hitler would be proud of the Chimp & the Dick


  2. keith

    This is a brilliant piece, and I believe Robert is absolutely correct in his prediction. There won’t BE any nominee.

    Along with the fact that the only audiences our esteemed President now dares to speak in front of are veterans or soldiers, this is yet more proof as to just how low President Bush and his cronies will stoop to save their sorry rearward facing anatomies from real accountability.

  3. Sandra Price

    I agree Keith, this is one of the best of Rob’s commentaries; not degrading the others for a minute. I am so embarrassed at Bush’s appointees that when one resigns I panic wondering who else is next?

    I’m going to stop feeling disenfranchised from the GOP and simply walk away from anything political from now on. Bush won! He has destroyed the heart and soul of the GOP and most of America. I had hoped for a strong Democratic Congress but can see now why they did not win much in the last years.

    In 2008, the Democrats will continue winning and America will lose. I think we should put Robert Kezelis’s name on the ballot. I’m used to writing in candidates and am tired of P.J. O’Roarke.

  4. Steve Horn

    How about Alfred E. Neuman (what, me worry?) ???

    The problem, as I see it, is apathy on the part of Americans. Sure, it’s fine to blame those who get elected into office or appointed by elected officials, but none of those folks got to where they are without the help of American apathy.

    If the citizens of this nation would rise up and use their votes to demonstrate that they’re not going to accept anything less than transparent, ethical behavior on the part of their elected officials then this downward sprial would end.

    I keep recalling the scene in the movie “Animal House” when they’re sitting around the frat house, they’re kicked off campus, and Bluto stands up and inspires the rest of the frat to action.

    What this nation needs right now is a Bluto – a larger than life, straight talking honest leader who’s not in it for the money or prestige, but because he or she wants to lead this nation back to greatness and who will tollerate nothing but excellence in his supporting cast.

    I don’t see that candidate in the “front runners” for either major party – in fact both major parties have become so alike it’s hard to distinguish between the two (unless you ask about abortion).

    Where’s that firebrand orator who can inspire a nation to do great things – where’s that flawed individual who can lead people to hell and back, never asking them to do any more than he or she would do themselves?

    Find me that person and I’ll show you who can save this great Republic.

    We, as a nation, have a ways to go before we once more are deserving of a leader like that – but if we don’t get off our asses soon and start participating in OUR government (“of the people, by the people” – daggumit WE are “the people!) then the inevitable decline into a dictatorship will come about.

    Only WE can save this nation from the politicians –



  5. Rob Kezelis

    I received a criticism that the FEDERAL VACANCIES REFORM ACT would prevent this from happening. In 1998, Congress passed legislation that limited how long an office could remain empty. If an exec position was empty, and a first assistant was in office at least 90 days prior to the vacancy, that 1st assistant would automatically take over.

    The GAO reported: These provisions permit an acting officer to serve for a
    210-day period prior to the submission of a nomination. Once a nomination is submitted, the acting official may continue to serve until the Senate takes action on the nomination or the nomination is withdrawn. If the first nomination is rejected or returned by the Senate, or withdrawn by the President, a new 210-day period of service begins. Once a second
    nomination is submitted, an acting officer again may continue to serve as long as the nomination is pending in the Senate. If the second nomination also is rejected, returned, or withdrawn, then a final 210-day period begins to run.

    In 2003, the GAO found that the Bush administration failed to comply with many parts of the FVRA. Even if they pretended to comply, at a minimum, Clement could serve for 630 days, or longer than Bush has left in office.

  6. SEAL

    The excuse the democrats use that there are too many republican senators to win an impeachent trial of Bush and Cheney is just that > an excuse. Consider that:

    First: the trial would be a public spectacle, everyone in the nation would watch.

    Second: no one can refuse a subpoena. Bush, Cheney, and all those loyalist would be forced to testify.

    Third: Can you visualize what a top flight experienced criminal trial lawyer could do to to these people, especially Bush, on the witness stand? Even with John Roberts presiding there is only so much he could do to protect them without giving himself away enough to jeapodize himself.

    Forth: all the facts would be presented. Much, perhaps most, of which the general public is virtually unaware due to absense of media reporting, cover up, and prior general apathy. Government records, testimony by government officials, and Bush’s own public admission to violating the law about the wiretapping would be laid out in the open. There could be no spin.

    Fifth: It is impossible to imagine any republican senator voting not to impeach after the voters hear the truth. That would be political suicide.

    Therefore, there is another reason Pelosi and the powers that be in the demoractic congress do not want to impeach. That is what we need to find out.

    SUPPORT CINDY SHEHAN! She will need good advisors and lawyers. You know damn well the REPUBLICANS are going to go after her.

  7. SEAL

    Bush can’t noninate an honest independent man for attorney general. If he did Bush would be unemployed within six months.