Saturday, April 07, 2007

Much Ado About Nothing

I've been meaning to weigh in on the non-scandal of the year: the firing of the eight U.S. attorneys. Here goes.

Is this really a scandal? I mean, really? The scandal here is the pathetically weak job the Bush administration has done of defending itself against this meaningless charge.

I'm sure you know this already, but let me get it down in pixels. The President can fire as many of his U.S attorneys as he wants. Bill Clinton fired all 93 in March of 1993. He was the more astute politician. He sacrificed 92 U.S. attorneys to get the one that was breathing down his neck over Whitewater in Little Rock.

Of course, you have to do a Google search to find that out since Joe Klein and Time magazine and The New York Times aren't going to tell you that. They aren't going to tell you that one of the attorneys, Carol Lam, of the Southern District of southern California was prosecuting fewer alien smugglers pro rata than her predecessors. (Oh. Did I mention that the Southern District of southern California is basically San Diego and includes the San Ysidro border crossing?)

At times like this, the President needs to adopt the Clear and Present Danger defense. In the book, and the movie starring Harrison Ford, the fictitious President defuses criticism over a scandal involving a college friend by giving the media nowhere to go. Ford's Jack Ryan advises the President that when asked by a reporter if he and the man in question were friends to say, "No. We are close friends." If asked if they are close friends, say, "No. We are lifelong friends." President Bush should adopt a similar strategy and just own up to the firings. He has nothing to apologize for.

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