Adam Putnam On Alberto Gonzales
Adam Putnam is the latest Republican who refuses to give Alberto Gonzale a vote of confidence.
GOP House Conference Chairman Adam Putnam is one of many who believes that Alberto Gonzales is "rapidly reaching the point where he can't serve the President or leffectively lead the Justice Department." The young conservative Florida member also explains that there is a hangover owing to how Secretary Rumsfeld's resignation was handled that is not helping the AG. "Clearly some of the reluctance on the part of congressional Republicans to go to the mat for [AG] Gonzales is a consequence of having their fingers burned once in the Rumsfeld debacle."
Republicans are getting tired of the White House bullying them to stay on message and politically having their heads handed to them. Many GOPer blame Rumsfeld for losing the midterm elections. That glosses over their own failures. I will grant them that Rummy certainly didn't help their cause.
Congressional Republican don't have the stomach to battle over Gonzales. They have their sites set on 2008. They know Gonzo is someone Democrats can beat them over the heads with.
Bush could care less. He is more concerned with keeping his consigliere. In his mind he his a martyr fighting forces of evil. The problem is the people he is combative with is Americans in both political parties.
Republican aides told Roll Call they are letting the White House fight their own battles.
For instance, before this week’s talk of subpoenas and resignations, Republican Senators were basking in their victory last week to prevent Democrats from winning a simple majority of support on their proposal to withdraw troops from Iraq.
“We are not throwing ourselves on the grenade for them anymore,” said the leadership staffer. “There’s now an attitude of ‘you created this mess, you’ve got to get yourself out of it.’”
One case in point, Republicans said, was Tuesday’s overwhelming Senate vote to limit the attorney general’s authority to appoint interim U.S. attorneys without Senate confirmation. The 94-2 vote underscored GOP dissatisfaction not only with the issue itself, but the way in which the White House has tried to manage what’s become a public relations nightmare, several GOP aides said.
“That vote was proof positive that ‘we’re carrying no more of your water,’” said yet another Senate Republican aide, adding: “We just hope they leave without doing any more damage.”
National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg has had enough of Gonzales.