Gonzales round-up

Time to call your Senator.

1. Keeping Gonzales from becoming Attorney General is a worthy goal, and not beyond the reach of possibility.

2. Even if he is in the end confirmed, better for the Democrats to line up solidly against him. A party needs to stand for something, and standing against torture and arbitrary executive power isn’t a bad place to stand. In war and politics, take the high ground.

3. If Gonzales won’t provide the documents requested, his nomination should be filibustered. The President is entitled to claim attorney-client privilege, and the Senate is entitled not to vote on his nominees until he waives it.

4. Progress Report has ten excellent questions Gonzales might be asked.

5. Jeffrey Dubner at Tapped makes a good argument for pushing the issue of Gonzales’s responsibilty for the Kerik fiasco. Again, there are lots of documetns that might be asked for, in this case without touching the attorney-client privilege at all, since Gonzales, in vetting potential appointees, wasn’t providing legal advice. (Like Digby, I’m personally less offended by Gonzales’s giving Giuliani’s friend a pass than I am by his authorizing torture in our name and claiming monarchical powers for the President, but, also like Digby, I’m persuaded by Dubner that Kerik may be a more potent issue with potential swing votes, in the Senate and elsewhere.)

6. So far, I haven’t seen lists of Democratic senators who are and aren’t committed against Gonzales, perhaps because to date none are. So if you live in a state with a Democratic senator, take five minutes for a call to Washington. Do it tomorrow.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

2 thoughts on “Gonzales round-up”

  1. General Gonzo

    Link: Mark A. R. Kleiman. I've been hoping to find the time to post something thoughtful about the coming battle over the appointment to Attorney General of Mr. — Geneva Conventions are quaint, detained enemy combatants are not prisoners of

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