Friday, November 12, 2004

AG apparent Albert Gonzales - now what?

Does the lingering departure of John Ashcroft signal a new beginning for either sentencing reform or drug policy? I think not with Albert Gonzales as heir-apparent to the post. I haven't learned enough about the guy to decide if this is the best we can do with our 49% of the electoral muscle but like everyone else, I'm rather disturbed by his writing the now famous legal memo (that ultimately led to Abu Ghraib) for Bush, advising him that he could legally get away with torture.

To be fair, I did read one right-wing piece today that pointed out it shouldn't be a concern because it was an advisory memo, not a legal brief and even good lawyers sometimes write bad memos to please their client but I find it a pretty weak excuse. Knowing that the guy is willing to compromise his principles to accommodate his client's needs, does not comfort me.

No information on his positions of interest to reformers has emerged in the blogosphere but Grits for Breakfast has a charming ode posted for the departing John Ashcroft and a welcome rhyme for Albert Gonzales. Drug WarRant weighs in with the expected sensible and astute analysis on what we might expect and Talk Left offers many links to his detractors but expresses no firm opinion yet herself on the appointment.

So far, I'm sitting on the fence with Jeralyn until we see if this isn't some elaborate bait & switch to get someone even more ideologically aligned with Bush into the slot.


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