Gonzales has jumped from Bush’s ship, swimming after Karl Rove. So will Bush appoint anyone better? What’s the drawing power of Bush these days to attract quality people?
The US Senate is the last line of defense against another unqualified candidate. Also the press must do its job by giving its investigative people freedom to scrutinize Bush’s nominee.
The New York Times mentions the names of 3 possible replacements:
“Among those being mentioned as a possible successor were Michael Chertoff, the secretary of homeland security who is a former federal prosecutor, assistant attorney general and federal judge; Christopher Cox, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission; and Larry D. Thompson, a former deputy attorney general who is now senior vice president and general counsel of PepsiCo Inc. “
Michael Chertoff according to RightWeb
“is secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A Harvard-trained lawyer who is also a member of the rightist Federalist Society, he served as special council to the Clinton-era Whitewater Commission and as assistant to former Attorney General John Ashcroft (see Chertoff’s DHS biography and “Mike Chertoff’s Dirty Little Secrets,” LA Weekly, January 12, 2005). As head of DHS and council to the Justice Department in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, Chertoff has been heavily criticized for his role in helping craft the Patriot Act, the Bush administration’s response to Katrina, and the administration’s controversial immigration reform agenda, including the effort to use more law enforcement elements to detain undocumented migrants. Chertoff has also been a vocal proponent of the “war on terror.”
Christopher Cox according to RightWeb was:
“a member of the House of Representatives for 17 years (R-CA), was confirmed as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 29, 2005. During his tenure in Congress, Cox was a vociferous proponent of hardline security policies. He pushed for intervention in the Middle East, supported missile defense programs, and hyped intelligence threats to the United States. “
Larry D. Thompson according to BevNet joined:
“PepsiCo from the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., where he is a Senior Fellow. He is also a member of the board of directors for Delta Airlines. His government career includes serving in the U.S. Department of Justice, where his role as Deputy Attorney General included supervision of overall operations. In 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft named Mr. Thompson to lead the National Security Coordination Council. Also in 2002, President Bush named Thompson to head the Corporate Fraud Task Force. He led the Justice Department’s ongoing Enron investigation, and was responsible for corporate fraud investigations. ”
We all know just what a banner job Bush and the Justice Department did of going after Enron.
Both Chertoff and Thompson are members of the right wing Federalist Society which has been behind the Bush Administrations program of appointing right wing judicial activists to fill judicial appointments as well as other government appointments.
Chertoff is an unlikely nominee, considering his “role” in the Katrina botched response by the Bush Team.
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has additional names and comments to the three already mentioned. They are Paul Clement, Jim Comey, Judge Lawrence Silberman, Patrick Fitzgerald, Michael Mukasey, Ted Olsen and Michael Luttig.
Patrick Fitzgerald is an intriguing possibility. He is the US Attorney from Northern Illinois appointed by Bush who became the Special Counsel in the Plame/CIA leak case that resulted in the conviction of I Lewis Libby Jr. Sounds just like what the Department of Justice needs right now- someone willing to pursue justice whatever the outcome.
True Majority is asking people to send letters to their Senators, asking them to do their job and scrutinize carefully whoever it is that Bush ultimately nominates to take over Gonzales’ old job. Most names mentioned so far are not any different from any of the other people Bush has appointed in the past – ones beholden to corporate America and right wing ideology above all else.