Apr 152007
Authors: Nick Hemenway

This just in: It is now unlawful to be a Republican. As absurd as that sounds, it may become more fact than fiction if Democrats have their way.

As everyone has heard, Alberto Gonzales, along with anyone with a scarlet “R” on their chest, has come under fire for the dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys. Democrats argue that Gonzales, and in turn President Bush, unethically fired these attorneys for political reasons, which probably leads to global warming.

First we should consider who these people are. These eight individuals, just like every other U.S. Attorney are really employees of the Bush administration. They are not elected officials, and they certainly are not given life terms like Supreme Court Justices. They serve at the pleasure of the president.

This being said, Alberto Gonzales, with the President’s agenda in mind, has every right to fire these people for any reason at all. Gonzales could fire them simply because they think “Peace of Mind” was Boston’s best song, when everyone knows it was “More Than a Feeling”.

My point is elections have consequences. When there is a Republican president in office, everyone should expect a Republican agenda. The next time a Democrat is in office, policies and objectives will inevitably change. This is just the reality of the democratic process.

Historically, most presidents will let all of the attorneys go immediately when they get into office. The honorable Bill Clinton fired all 93 of them, and he had every right to do it. When Bush came into office in 2001, he decided in the spirit of bipartisanship to allow a good number of them to stick around. How dare he do such a thing!?

Another attack is that Gonzales fired these people because they were “involved in public corruption cases,” as said by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Fox News Sunday. That is just about the vaguest allegation I have ever heard. It is, however, an interesting point to bring up, considering two of those attorneys Clinton fired were directly investigating Clinton himself on corruption charges dealing with his campaign (nationalreview.com).

So you might be wondering, politically motivated or not, why were these people fired? The short answer would be they were not pursuing cases in line with the administration’s priorities.

Let’s take for example U.S. Attorney Carol Lam (one of the fired attorneys) who worked out of the San Diego U.S. Attorney’s Office. For years, congressmen and senators from both sides of the aisle have complained about her poor performance. Even the aforementioned Senator Feinstein voiced her concern over Lam’s performance. In June 2006, Feinstein wrote a letter to Alberto Gonzales himself. She said, “It has come to my attention that despite high apprehension rates by Border Patrol agents along California’s border with Mexico, prosecutions by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of California appear to lag behind” (San Diego Union-Tribune).

The truth of the matter is that these attorneys were fired because they did not perform to the Justice Department’s standards. They weren’t pursuing the cases they should have, and just like any other kind of job, when you fail to perform, you get fired. What is so surprising or unethical about that?

Both Republicans and Democrats agree nothing illegal happened; this has turned into a positioning battle. Knowing they have no legal ground to stand on, the Democrats have resorted to doing what they do best – putting on a show! They have called for investigations, hearings, committees, probes, explorations, inquiries and any other synonyms they can think of.

Regardless of what these meetings are named, the administration should not have their political agenda put on trial. Being a Republican is not a crime. I say enough with the masquerade, we have more important things to do.

Nick Hemenway is a senior mechanical engineering major. His column appears every Tuesday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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