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After Gonzales

September 16, 2007

Re "A good reason for the GOP to pick a fight," and "A senator's checklist," Opinion, Sept. 12

I was amused at the comparison between the two articles on rationales for choosing a successor to Alberto R. Gonzales. Conservative author Richard A. Viguerie shows that although he is a true conservative who distances himself from selected Bush policies, he still wants to use the appointment of a new attorney general to make a purely political statement.

In contrast, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) asks that the attorney general be someone who is independent and of sound enough judgment to apply the law without regard to partisan politics. Viguerie's views indicate that at least some conservatives haven't learned a thing from the Gonzales fiasco and are prepared to dig the hole into which they are disappearing even deeper. All this at the expense of continuing to compromise one of the most important offices in government.

William D. Campbell

Los Angeles

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Confirmation of the next attorney general should indeed involve an "ideological fight," but not about hot-button non-issues ("toughness on law enforcement"; nomination of judges who will "faithfully follow the law").

What matters now is whether Bush's nominee will drink the "unitary executive" Kool-Aid and rubber-stamp dark-of-night assaults on the Constitution, or whether the nominee can be counted on to force the administration to submit its radical notions to scrutiny in Congress and the courts, including the court of public opinion.

Vincent J. Canzoneri

Newton, Mass.

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Viguerie has it all wrong. The Democrats never said they had a problem with Bush appointing a law-and-order attorney general. Their problem was with Bush appointing a scofflaw attorney general.

Walter Richmond

La Crescenta

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