RUSH: All right. Here’s a headline I didn’t think I would see. It’s not a news story. It’s a headline I didn’t think I would see: ‘Bush Gives Gonzales Support, Mounts Counterattack.’ Now, what the story is is this. ‘President George W. Bush offered embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales ‘strong backing,’ the White House said today as the administration mounted a counterattack aimed at quelling the controversy over the firing of eight federal prosecutors. Bush made an early phone call to Gonzales to express his support, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said. ‘The president reaffirmed his strong backing of the attorney general’ and there is no truth to reports the administration is looking for a replacement for Gonzales, she said. The president urged Gonzales to fight efforts to force him out, said a Justice Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity.’
Now, what this is about is this story from the Politico that was posted at about 6:30 last night by Mike Allen, ‘White House Sounds Out Gonzales Replacements — Republican officials, operating at the behest of the White House, have begun seeking a possible successor to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whose support among GOP lawmakers has collapsed, according to party sources familiar with the discussions. Among the names floated by administration officials are Michael Chertoff of homeland security and the anti-terrorism coordinator in the White House Frances Townsend.’ She’s a babe, but I don’t know if she’s qualified for this. ‘Former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson is a White House prospect as well. So is former Solicitor General Ted Olson, but sources were unsure whether he would want the job.’
So the White House has mounted this comeback. ‘No, no, no, we’re not asking anybody to go out and find replacements. If we wanted to we’d do it ourselves anyway. Why would we ask Republicans to find replacements out there?’ Bush has now mounted a counterattack on all of this. Bruce Bartlett has a column at Human Events.com, saying this is much ado about nothing, and he cites some of the efforts of Harry Truman and FDR to influence justice department activity and so on. Of course the Democrats would simply say, ‘Well, that’s so long ago.’ Besides, the Drive-Bys are going to ignore that because it’s Democrats. Democrats are allowed to do this. Democrat presidents can fire all 93 US attorneys — with cause, without cause, in the middle of investigations — in the middle of corruption investigations! They can do that all day long and nobody is going to complain. The Drive-By Media’s big guns will circle the wagons. The Democrats are not going to criticize themselves. But you go back and you look at FDR and Harry Truman, it’s so long ago, to cite the fact Democrats have done it, too, which just means that the recitation of the Clinton firings is not sticking out there, apparently.
However, our old buddy Clarice Feldman at American Thinker, one of our favorite blogs, has a piece just posted called: ‘Selective Amnesia on Firing US Attorneys.’ She writes thus: ‘A common media trick to get editorial opinion into apparent news stories is the use of outside ‘scholars’ to argue the writer’s point for him. So, I was not astonished to read this about the Gonzales kerfuffle in the St Louis Post- Dispatch: ‘ Several former U.S. attorneys and legal scholars say the timing of the Bush administration’s replacement of top federal prosecutors is not only atypical, but also a threat to the impartial exercise of justice. ‘The sanctity of that position, in terms of that position being immune from any kind of pressure from the administration or Congress, has been the hallmark of the U.S. attorney process. It’s been the hallmark of the federal system of justice,’ said W. Charles Grace, a former U.S. attorney for Illinois’ southern district.’ The article doesn’t say which administration Mr. Grace served in .This is not surprising . When using this trick to squeeze opinion in a news story by using an outside ‘expert’, the writer rarely discloses the expert’s bias, usually Democratic.’
Her point is the author, the writer, is already a big lib, but to cover his own liberalism and to get his own opinion in, he will go out and find an expert who will echo his own sentiments, which is not hard to do. There are a lot of liberals out there. Of course when a writer does not disclose the expert’s bias, you can bet that it’s usually Democrat or liberal. So Clarice Feldman Googled the name W. Charles Grace, and she found that ‘he was a U.S. attorney in 1998 which suggests to me that President Clinton appointed him, and he appointed a lot of them, having fired every single US Attorney when he took office, and 30 more subsequently during his eight year term in office.’ Did you know that, folks? In addition to the ’93 bloodletting of 93 US attorneys, he fired 30 more in the course of his two years. Did you know that? Nobody made a big stink about it.
Now, ‘while the number he replaced was astounding, his immediate Democratic predecessor, Jimmy Carter, replaced at least one during the middle of his term of office. ‘As Republicans rubbed their hands in glee, the Carter Administration last week found itself trying to explain away a skein of presidential lies. In a letter to Justice Department investigators looking into the firing two weeks ago of Philadelphia’s Republican U.S. Attorney, David Marston, Carter last week corrected a misstatement he had made during a nationally televised press conference on Jan. 12. Republican congressmen saw an opportunity to duplicate last summer’s damaging controversy over Bert Lance’s financial peccadilloes, and to lay siege again to what was once the President’s pride: his credibility.’ It was Carter’s own fault. During his campaign he rashly declared, ‘All federal judges and prosecutors should be appointed strictly on the basis of merit without any consideration of political aspects or influence.’ … Carter’s problem was that he didn’t tell the truth – several times – about his role in removing Marston. And it came out that he had been asked to fire Marston by one of the targets of an investigation, Rep. Joshua Eilberg of Pennsylvania. Nevertheless Carter went ahead and fired Marston. It got worse. Marston had notified a Justice Department official that Eilberg was a target.’
So Jimmy Carter also replaced a US attorney in the middle of his term — not Carter’s term, but the US attorney’s term. Now, one of the things they’re saying about Bush, ‘Well, you gotta let these guys terms expire,’ and the guy in Arkansas’, by the way, did, Bud Cummins. ‘You gotta let these terms expire.’ So Jimmy Carter did it. Some hell was raised, but not much, of course. Jimmy Carter was a good Democrat. The Drive-By Media has always been liberal-Democrat. So we have much ado about nothing here when you get right down to it. Actually, there may be something cooking here but it would be, once again, renegades in the Department of Justice trying to sabotage the administration either for their own personal gain, advancement or what have you, or just general politics. But Bloomberg News is reporting that Bush called Gonzales, ‘You hang in there, buddy! Don’t cave into this. We’re going to mount a counterattack, and we’re not looking for your replacements.’