My only wish is that, as with John Ashcroft, the replacement isn't worse.
I'll update this thread today with new developments (speculation, some rich creamy schadenfreude, and so on).
"So paste a tail upon my nose and point me toward the grass. I'm going back to Texas to be one more horse's ass." -- Shel Siverstein
When an army withdraws from a battlefield, it doesn't just turn and run. It slips away one or two units at a time, leaving other units in place to cover the exit. It's called strategic withdrawal.
Like Rove's, Gonzales' departure from Washington should be seen as part of the greater Bush administration strategic withdrawal from Washington. He is, in Shel Siverstein's words, "Going back to Texas to be one more horse's ass."
Better a strategic withdrawal now than a wholesale retreat in January of 2009. A trickle of departures, followed by presidential pardons on the way out of town, will be smoother and more historically graceful somehow.
(For pure symmetry, it would be fun to see the Bushies conclude the whole sorry show with one last James Baker and Theodore Olson appearance in front of the Supreme Court. Then Baker could leave D.C. for Texas aboard the Enron plane the Bush's lawyers took from Texas to Florida in November of 2000.)
For an administration known for its cronyism, and alas for an alarmingly incompetent group of cronies, Gonzales was the granddaddy of them all. He lacked the integrity, the intellect and the independence to perform his duties in a manner befitting the job for which he was chosen. And when he and his colleagues got caught in the act, his rationales and explanations for the purge of the U.S. Attorneys were so empty and shallow and incoherent that even the staunchest Republicans could not turn them into steeled spin. Devoid of any credibility, Gonzales in the end was a sad joke when he came to Capitol Hill.
And the last lie (we all hope) was told to his own spokesperson:
As late as Sunday afternoon, Mr. Gonzales himself was denying through his spokesman that he was quitting. The spokesman, Brian Rohrekasse, said Sunday that he telephoned the attorney general about the reports of his imminent resignation “and he said it wasn’t true — so I don’t know what more I can say.”
Update (8/28): The powerful dishonesty of Alberto Gonzales includes this Top Six list of his most brazen lies. And from Nora Ephron:
I hope (Gonzales is) not worried about his legacy, because he will have one, and it will be not unlike what awaits almost all the members of this administration: they will be fodder for art. Yes, art. Dick Cheney said a couple of months ago that history would be his judge, but I beg to differ: history will be nothing compared to the plays. This administration will be the subject of hundreds of plays; the playwrights will be drawn again and again to the astonishing, amazing panoply of evil and complicity the Bush Administration has provided. Gonzales will be a hilarious comic foil in most of these productions -- a jack-in-the-box who will pop out, say he has no recollection whatsoever of anything, and pop back in. Short actors will kill to play him.
By the way, I have a pet theory about Alberto Gonzales: I've always believed that the reason the President called Gonzales Fredo was that when they first met, Bush incorrectly believed that Gonzales' first name was Alfredo, and Gonzales was too much of a toady to correct him.
I meant to download that theory before it was too late, and the good news is, where this administration is concerned, it's never going to be too late.
I'd like to add a personal admonition to the once and future Houstonian: you may now remove the American flag lapel pin. You goddamned traitor.