Sometimes I really wonder what goes on inside reporters’ heads–particularly if they cover national politics for the New York Times.
In what passes for “news analysis,” Sheryl Gay Stolberg informs us that Gonzales’ resignation could be good news for the President. Along with Karl Rove’s departure, it gives him a chance for a “fresh start” because
he can go into the next battle with Congress over the Iraq war — as well as another looming fight over legislation authorizing his domestic wiretapping program — free of the baggage both men carried. If the resignations remove some of the partisan tension between the White House and Capitol Hill, and get Mr. Rove and Mr. Gonzales off the front pages, they could help get Mr. Bush off the defensive as he struggles to salvage something of his second term.
You see? The good king was weighed down by his wicked courtiers.
One day, historians will be puzzled by the extraordinary inability of the national press to see the President for what he is. But let me clarify something very slowly for them.
George W. Bush is the President of the United States. That means he appoints people like Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales. They were there, and did what they did, because George W. Bush let them do so, and in fact wanted them to do so. There was “partisan tension” between the White House and Congress because George W. Bush wanted it that way. And he wanted it that way because he quite literally has contempt for Congress–both in partisan terms and as an institution.
Put another way, the “baggage” that both men carried was George W. Bush. And that piece of baggage is still very much in the nation’s capital.