Sunday, March 18, 2007

U.S. Attorney Firing Scandal

The Rude Pundit is angry (what's new) about the whole U.S. Attorneys firing scandal. Now, I'm not ready yet to comment on the the whole mess -- I'd like to see more facts shake out first -- but he seems particularly incensed about the dismissal of Paul Charlton, apparently because of policy differences regarding application of the death penalty. According to one report, "his insistence on determining whether to push for capital punishment on a case-by-case basis clashed on at least two instances with a Justice Department effort to centralize decisions nationally and to seek the death penalty in a uniform way."

Um, I hate to stand up for Al Gonzoles and the Bush administration, but this doesn't strike me as being a wholly unreasonable position. Any President -- Democrat or Republican -- can reasonably want to have a uniform policy with respect to application of the death penalty. In some cases, this will mean that U.S. Attorneys who would be inclined to be less aggressive in seeking the death penalty will be forced to seek it when they would not. In others, more aggressive prosecutors will be reigned in. In any case, it makes sense that the policy be uniform.


Society Girl said...

I can't believe that this "scandal" still has legs. Maybe you can clarify what all the posturing is about. I thought that U.S. Attorneys are political appointees in the Executive Branch, and thus serve at the pleasure of the President. Am I wrong about this? President Bush has an absolute right to fire them, doesn't he, and need not seek Senate approval?

According to a report released last May by the Dems on the House Committee on Government Reform, called "The Growth of Political Appointees in the Bush Administration," there are about 2,800 political appointees. And Bush has fired, what, a few dozen, at most, over the last 6 years? Believe me, no private company in America fires fewer employees during a 6 year period. Let's assume the Prez fired 100 political appointees, that is a firing rate of just 3.6%!!

IMHO, just like his veto power, the President probably has used his power to fire political appointees far less than he should!!

In fact, I could give him a list ...

BTW, Ann Coulter is a clue in today's Yahoo daily crossword, 52 across.

cheerful iconoclast said...

And I could give him a list of bils he should have vetoed -- starting with the Farm Welfare Queen bill!