Typically, when someone messes up on the job, they are fired. Unless that person works for President Bush and has been loyal to him since he was governor of Texas.
The most recent example of this is Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. In December, eight federal prosecutors were fired for “poor job performance.”
Soon after the dismissals, most people capable of basic math put two and two together and figured out that the dismissals were possibly more politically
It turns out that a lot of people in Congress are capable of basic math, as more and more people are testifying about the dismissals in back-to-back hearings in the Senate and House.Many federal prosecutors claimed in front of Congress on March 6 that they felt pressured to attack Democrats more aggressively. David Iglesias, a former federal prosecutor from New Mexico, cited an instance when two Republican U.S. representatives called him from New Mexico to ask about an investigation involving a Democrat.
Iglesias said during his testimony that he felt “leaned on” and “sickened.”
Federal prosecutors are appointed by the president and serve four-year terms. They fall under the blanket of the Department of Justice, of which the attorney general is the head. Thus, when the department is not operating properly, the attorney general should resign.
However, Gonzales has opted to apologize and admit mistakes rather than resign. Bush also admitted to the mistakes, but defended Gonzales.
Hypothetically, let’s say I was the manager of a store. Under my watch, employees were stealing from the store. The district manager finds out and confronts me about it. Can I say that I’m sorry and that I’ve learned my lesson? Sure. But I’m still getting fired.
It shouldn’t seem like the standards
of employee ethics and accountability
are higher at a place like CVS rather than The White House.
Most appointed officials serve ‘at the pleasure of the president,’ a phrase used by officials meaning the president hires and fires them. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was a fan of reminding people that he served at the pleasure of the president.
In this instance, the president likes to surround himself with people who are known for loyalty. Gonzales began working with Bush in 1994 as a senior adviser to the then governor of Texas. He was appointed to the position of Texas’ secretary of state in 1997 and eventually became a justice of the Texas Supreme Court. In 2001, he left Texas to join President Bush in Washington as White House Counsel.
That’s 13 years of loyal service, so what’s a few botched dismissals between old friends?
We’re all glad Gonzales admits that mistakes were made and that he’s sorry. But Gonzales is the main law enforcement
officer in the United States. When a person responsible for the legal matters of an entire country messes up, sorry isn’t good enough. Gonzales has to go.
Carolyn Steeves can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.