1. Gonzales is all that stands between the White House and special prosecutors. As dicey as things are for Bush right now, his advisers know that they could get much worse. In private, Democrats say that if Gonzales did step down, his replacement would be required to agree to an independent investigation of Gonzales' tenure in order to be confirmed by the Senate...
2 ... Over the past six months, more than half a dozen top political appointees have left the department amid scandal. The unprecedented coziness that once existed between the Justice Department and the White House now remains solely in the person of Gonzales.
3. If Gonzales goes, the White House fears that other losses will follow. Top Bush advisers argue that Democrats are after scalps and would not stop at Gonzales. Congressional judiciary committees have already subpoenaed Harriet Miers and Karl Rove in the firings of U.S. Attorneys last year. Republicans are loath to hand Democrats some high-profile casualties to use in the 2008 campaign. Stonewalling, they believe, is their best way to avoid another election focused on corruption issues.
4. Nobody at the White House wants the legal bills and headaches that come with being a target of investigations. In backing Gonzales, Bush is influenced by advisers whose future depends on the survival of their political bodyguard. Gonzales remains the last line of defense protecting Bush, Rove and other top White House officials from the personal consequences of litigation. A high-profile probe would hobble the White House politically, and could mean sky-high legal bills and turmoil for Bush's closest aides.
Alberto Gonzales as human shield for all the other criminals in the Bush administration. Wonder how he likes being that?
But that's not the real question I care about. Nor do I give a damn for the political hay to be made by the Democrats in the Senate and the House and the ones who are running for president in 2008.
The real mystery to me here is: how high a price could a person command for that depth of fealty? How many plum consulting positions, how many corporate board appointments, how much for a tell-all memoir that wasn't, really?
How many millions of dollars is loyalty like that worth?