Hobson’s choice for those of weak character

I’d be referring to the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to the post of the nation’s 80th attorney general, succeeding the thankfully inimitable John Ashcroft. Gonzales is “expected to receive criticism” of his memoranda suggesting, if not “legally” justifying, unlimited dictatorial presidential power (which includes the power to usurp the Congress and judiciary and lock up who the President pleases, forever, without charge or trial).
But Democrats, knowing that the President picked up around 9% more of the Latino vote in 2004 than in 2000 must be very, very wary of seeming to come down too hard on the first Latino ever nominated to attorney general (and the highest ranking cabinet post to which a Latino has ever been nominated), lest
the “Miguel Estrada” effect be repeated, where Democrats were perceived as
somehow biased against Latinos (just because they are conservative Latinos).
Interesting conundrum. As a human being, of course, IMHO, Mr. Gonzales’ legal memoranda should disqualify him from remaining in civilized society, if even at large. And yet, in 2004, he will (barring his death, a disclosed homosexual affair, or a coup d’etat) likely secure a cabinet post. It’s interesting: Democrats, having long ago sold out all semblance of principle, must now yield on torture, lest they use up the political capital that will later be needed to hold together to block judges who oppose abortion on demand (btw, Gonzales’ record on that is pretty good, by Bush-appointee standards).
And so we see my beloved (LOL) senator Chuck Schumer say that “standards are more lenient” for cabinet appointments than for “life appointments”, meaning the federal judiciary (of which Mr. Gonzales will become Chief Justice as soon as Rehnquist decides to hang up his HMS Pinafore uniform/robe).
Amazing what our politics has come down to. As digby so poignantly notes, its not even like we have a consensus on the inappropriateness of torture. Now, we have a government proposing that, like its tax cuts, to gulags permanent, and no one on either side of the aisle seems to be saying boo.
Well, my state’s Democratic senators are Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton; I know better than to try to get anywhere with those two grandstanding sell-outs. Maybe some of you have Democratic senators who might be willing to draw the line on this torture bullshit once and for all, starting with Alberto Gonzales. A talking dog can dream…