Dick Cheney–not the guy I would want to be giving me a character reference, given his in-the-teens favorability ratings–came out on CBS news giving his vote of confidence to “Al” Gonzales today. According to CBS news correspondent Mark Knoller, Cheney tells us “I think Al has done a good job under difficult circumstances.” And then adds, as everyone who works for the White House seems compelled to when talking about ol “Al:” “The key,” he said, is whether Gonzales has “the confidence of the president, and he clearly does.”

To which I cry “Bullshit.” Gonzales is the Attorney General of the United States, and the head of the United States Department of Justice. He took an oath to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States of America, and he serves us, the people of the United States. He has lied, committed perjury, and done any number of things that protect Bush, the Bush Administration, and his own precious ass. He is not doing his job, which is overseeing the Department of Justice. Rather, he is protecting George W. Bush.

Cheney is wrong, Bush is wrong, the Bush Administration is wrong, their pathetic mouthpiece Tony Snow is wrong: The key is not that Gonzales has “the confidence of the President.” The key is whether Gonzales has the confidence of the American people whom he serves, and he clearly does not. If the government was not run by a gang of–let’s face it–criminals who think that everything they do is above the law, Gonzales would have resigned months ago, after his first disastrous appearance before Congress. But because Bush and his cronies know that if Gonzales were to resign, their rampant law-breaking would come to light before they could leave office, they are hanging on to him like grim death, even though to do so means they are doing severe damage to the Department of Justice, and to Americans’ confidence in the justice system. Quite simply, they don’t care. So long as they can leave office without being impeached or sent to jail, they simply don’t care.

So in response to Dick Cheney I say: on this issue, like on so many others (e.g., the WMDs in Iraq, the insurgency being in its “last throes,” etc.), you are dead wrong. But of course, like on so many other issues, you will never admit it.

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