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Stand By Your Man

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The way I'm reading the tea leaves — and I suck at reading tea leaves, for your information; I prefer hubcaps, heated tortoise shells, and books — Bush is going to make a big show of sticking with his goombah and longtime lackey, Alberto "the Geneva Convention is quaint" Gonzales, despite the mounting complaints from Senators of both parties.

To which I say:  Excellent!  Stand by your man, Georgie!  Show those pesky Democratic and Republican Senators who's boss!  You're the Decider, baby — none of that "checks and balances" crap for you!

Here's the deal:  Bush thinks that he can ride out this storm if he just sits tight.  Yes, he's that arrogant — the dude is still fourteen years old mentally and still determined to act like a little punk.  (Why else is he so determined to crap on his dad and his dad's buddies when they're busting their humps to save the sixty-year-old lad's ass?)  And as Grover Norquist says, the base — what's left of it now that everyone sane has turned Democrat, gone Indie, or renounced politics altogether — backs Bush to the hilt no matter what he says or does, so they're not about to pull his foot off the gas pedal as the car they're in heads straight for the bridge abutment.

The Republicans in Congress know better:  They want him to start putting some sort of distance, no matter how illusory, between himself and his gunsel of long standing.  They want him to cut off the loose thread that is Alberto Gonzales before he can be tugged on hard enough to take down all the people to whom he connected, especially Karl Rove and George W. Bush.  This is not out of any particular love of or loyalty to Bush, mind you:  They just want to get the scandal excised before it metastasizes into something that taints not only the Boy-King, but the rest of the Republican Party as well, as the all-important 2008 elections loom. (Besides, it's not as if Bush is going to be appointing Laurence Tribe or the ghost of Louis Brandeis to replace him:  It'll be "meet the new AG, same as the old AG", except without the deserved public perception of corruption.)  Therefore, they want Gonzo gone to save their own skins next year.

And believe me, the Republicans have good reason to be worried about next year:  With their favorite rainmakers Tom DeLay and Duke Cunningham gone due to the law's finally catching up to them, and John Doolittle and Rick Renzi soon to join them as ex-Congressmen, they're not only getting a few extra layers of corrosion added to their verdigrised image, but they also have a lot less cash to play with now that DeLay's K Street Project defunct and the Democrats are in the majority.  (By the way:  Somebody tell Tom DeLay that the latest set of GOP talking points states that Don Imus is a liberal and therefore deserved to be zapped, 'kay?)

But just as Bush refuses to face reality in Iraq, he's not facing reality with Gonzo.  And thus he is providing the mechanism that will force the Republicans into the wilderness until they clean up their acts. 

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