Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Sorting Out The Purge
Kevin Drum took a moment to look at the Fed. prosecutor firings and found some patterns:
But there was something else I noticed as I read the document that Paul highlighted: there was a noticable difference in the quality of the stated reasons for firing the eight prosecutors. Some reasons seemed pretty strong, some pretty weak, and a couple in between. Here's how they looked to me:

Strong: Chiara, Ryan, Cummins. The first two appear to have had serious morale/management issues that had previously required on-site visits to address. Cummins was planning to resign anyway.

Middling: Charlton, McKay. In both cases, EOUSA managers appeared to be unhappy about "insubordination" and working "outside of proper channels." It's not clear what the problems were, but these are at least colorable stories.

Weak: Bogden, Iglesias, Lam. In the first two cases, virtually no reasons are given at all. "Lack of energy" and "Underperforming generally" is the best they could come up with. In Lam's case, they complained about "time management" and then tossed in some items about illegal immigration and gun prosecutions that were pretty plainly bogus.

Notice anything unusual about this list? I didn't at first, but it turns out that the five firings with the weakest official explanations are the same five prosecutors who have been suspected of being either too tough on Republican corruption cases or too weak on Democratic ones. You can't very well put that on your summary sheet, though, which probably explains why the DOJies had trouble coming up with good reasons for firing them. The dots are practically begging to be connected here.
Trust me, all dots lead to Rover.

In other news, it's looking like the Dems will not be accepting the White House "offer" to have Miers and Rover meet Congresspersons. Subpoenas look likely. If so, onward to the Supreme Court!

Update: On Bush's newsconference. He sounds like and old worn out version of Richard Nixon. His petulance is in full bloom and he's ready for a fight. No surprise frankly. Most White House strategies these days center on running out the clock.

Update: In thinking about this looming constitutional confrontation, I think it plays out well for Democrats. What's more, I think Republicans know that. But Bush is not going to be a Republican party player. He does not face reelection and his narcissism will trump any practical political considerations. If the corruption stories just continue to drone on through the courts, Republicans who do face election (particularly the Presidential type) are going to be increasingly under pressure and swimming upstream. All the negative press will decimate Republican changes in 2008 and I wouldn't be surprised to see a solidly Democratic Congress and a Democratic president.

Given my speculation, I'm going to be carefully watching Republicans and what they do. The only thing that can really save their necks, or at least change the bleeding from an arterial bleed to a veinous bleed is to assist Democrats in confronting Bush. Whether they will or not is going to be great theatre.