You can now count Republican Senator Arlen Specter among those who think that Alberto Gonzalesâ€™ days are numbered as attorney general. “I have a sense that when we finish our investigation, we may have the conclusion of the tenure of the attorney general. I think when our investigation is concluded, it’ll be clear even to the attorney general and the president that we’re looking at a dysfunctional department which is vital to the national welfare,” Specter said. Specter still has yet to call for Gonzalesâ€™ resignation, but five other Republicans have. Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), Sen. Chuck Hegel (R-NE), Sen. John Sununu (R-NH), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
Democratic senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) are leading the charge to seek a no-confidence vote in the Senate for Gonzales. “It seems the only person who has confidence in the attorney general is President Bush. The president long ago should have asked the attorney general to step down,” Schumer said. The White House dismissed the threat of a no confidence vote. “A ‘no confidence’ vote is nothing more than a meaningless political act, not that that’s stopped them before,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. The problem is that Gonzales has alienated the bulk of the Senate. He has to work with the Senate. We all know that the White House sees this standoff as an issue of executive power. They wonâ€™t be told what to do by Congress, but at some point reality has to set in.
Gonzales isnâ€™t very good at his job, and is political poison for the GOP. It should not surprise anyone that four of the five senators calling for Gonzalesâ€™ resignation are up for reelection in 2008. (The fifth is John McCain, who happens to be running for president). There are even rumblings that senators like Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Specter might vote no confidence too. There is a strong possibility that a no confidence vote would pass. It is not healthy for our system of government for any president to have an attorney general that the Senate and the American people donâ€™t believe it. I think that the president is failing to uphold his oath to the American people by keeping Gonzales around. It is long past the time for the cronyism to stop.
Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com. Â His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.411mania.com/politicsÂ
Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverseÂ Â Â Â