Bush's Pick Of Non-Polarizing Attorney General Angers, Polarizes Many
On Wednesday, President Bush nominated White House legal counsel and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Alberto Gonzales to replace John Ashcroft, who submitted his resignation earlier, as the United States Attorney General.
The selection of Gonzales, who will replace Ashcroft as long as the Senate confirms his nomination, angered many Democrats who felt that Ashcroft was too "polarizing" a figure to be a satisfactory Attorney General.
"John Ashcroft, with his seemingly insatiable appetite for revoking civil liberties and suppression of minorities, was one of the most polarizing figures of the Bush administration and a vital key to our constant complaining and bickering with the Republicans," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York. "Now here comes Alberto Gonzales with his moderate voting record and reputation for being a fair-minded individual, and all of a sudden the whole thing goes down the toilet."
"What the hell are we going to complain about now?" he added in a tone of desperation. "Fair rulings?"
Other Democrats glumly pointed out that Gonzales himself is a minority, throwing another monkey wrench into their previous strategy of appealing to minority groups oppressed under Ashcroft.
"We're going to try as hard as we can to prove that Gonzales actually is a Caucasian male who painted himself up to look more Hispanic, but nobody's going to buy that," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont. "His name is Gonzales, for Christ's sake! How do we explain that?"
Leahy added that given Gonzales reputation for being more of a moderate individual than Ashcroft was, it is unlikely that he will contribute to future iterations of the Patriot Act, which had heavy input from Ashcroft.
"The Patriot Act was one of our main points that we could fall reliably back on," he explained. "I mean, yeah, most of us voted to pass it through, but I'm talking about later on, when Howard Dean made us all realize that we were supposed to be angry about it. The point is, we were really looking forward to Ashcroft making some sequels to it, and maybe expanding it to include government cameras in people's ceiling fans, but there's no chance of that now with this Gonzales joker in there."
"Johnny," Leahy cried after a few moments of uncomfortable silence, breaking down into sobs. "Come back to us, Johnny."
But it isn't just the Democrats who are upset about Bush's pick; many Republicans, such as Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, questioned Gonzales on a memo written in 2002 that cautioned President Bush and his administration officials that they could be held accountable for "war crimes" if they did not oppose the decision of Justice Department attorneys to strip Guantanamo Bay detainees of their rights under the Geneva Conventions.
"Does this guy hate America, or what?" Frist asked rhetorically. "Because that's sure as hell what it sounds like when he's recommending that people who might have possibly been involved with some kind of terrorism get basic human rights. Do I even have to say what John Ashcroft would do? That's right: he'd be down there in Guantanamo himself, personally kicking the ass of every single terrorist in that place."
"Johnny," Frist cried after a few moments of uncomfortable silence, breaking down into sobs. "Come back to us, Johnny."
President Bush did appear swayed by the comments of both Democrats and Republicans alike, causing some to speculate that he may reconsider his pick of Gonzales in the future.
"I didn't realize what a...what a moderate he is!" Bush said, his face twisting into a mixture of fear and disgust. "They just told me to pick a Hispaniard [sic] or an Afro-American, and he was the first one I grabbed!"