Wednesday, March 28, 2007

One Tone Deaf Administration

The Bush Administration has unnecessarily embroiled itself in a new scandal: that of the firing of the 8 United States District Attorneys by declaring that the were fired for performance reasons and then denying the possibility that the firings were political and possibly influenced by the White House.

Who gave the administration such asinine advice? The administration should have done what most employers do in similar circumstances: merely verify past employment and that the attorneys involved were no longer employed. To do otherwise in today’s hyper-partisan and hostile media environment was I=simply inane, and has created a scandal -- including the possibility of a Senior Justice Official taking the Fifth Amendment when questioned by Congress -- where one did not exist.. If necessary and when pressed the Administration could and should have simply announced that:

The United States District Attorney serve at will, at the will and pleasure of the Office of the President, and it was determined that they were no longer going to be retained for reasons which will not be discussed. The President appreciates their service and wishes them well.

That is all that should have been said and it would likely have headed off the entire brouhaha over performance issues, politics and what role if any the White house had in the decision.

Then when asked if politics had anything to do with it they, instead of heatedly denying it, should have responded: These are political appointments, so of course there are political considerations, once again we will not discuss the reasons for their removal but note that they serve at will, and the Presidnet thanks them for their service.

In doing so the administration would have likely headed off this current faux scandal, and also prevented casting these attorneys in a bad light due to claims they were fired for performance issues. In contrast, their current tone-deaf approach of blithely declaring the situation was purely due to performance issues, and without political considerations, has opened them to this attack by the Media and Democrats when it is almost unquestionable that politics did have some role in their firings.

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