Monday, March 26, 2007

Giving Karl Rove the benefit of the doubt

Susan Estrich thinks it's all Alberto's fault:
But I’m willing to give Karl Rove and Harriet Miers the benefit of the doubt. After all, Karl is an old friend of mine, and I was ready to see Harriet confirmed to be on the Supreme Court. And truth be told, whatever they said or did here, I don’t think they’re the ones whose judgment is really at issue.

A President’s top political adviser is allowed to see things politically. He’s allowed to push for his people to get political appointments, including as prosecutors, provided they’re qualified, which his deputy, who was ultimately appointed as interim U.S. attorney in Little Rock, plainly was.

The White House counsel, which is what Harriet Miers was, has only one client, the president; she’s allowed to view things through the narrow set of blinders shaped by her client’s interest in having loyalists serve him.

It’s the Justice Department that is supposed to serve as the buffer, to act as a limit on political pressure, to represent the interests of We, the People as well as Him, the President. Alberto Gonzales’ loyalty to the President may be the reason he still has his job, but it is also the reason his job is in trouble.
If Rove and Miers were involved in ousting prosecutors for reasons such as the prosecutors refusing to indict Democratic political opponents (the Iglesias, MacKay firings) or to discontinue an ongoing corruption investigation (the Lam firing)...then Estrich is way off here. They're not entitled to use their political positions to accomplish such ends which interfere in the impartial administration of justice. Estrich giving them a pass? Very strange.