Blawgletter’s telephone hasn’t exactly rung off the wall since we offered our pro bono publico help to prepare Alberto Gonzales for his Senate testimony on April 17.  Possibly his handlers absorbed our 10 talking points and need our personal assistance not.  Blawgletter so hopes.

But the augurs for our Attorney General look more and more like daggers.  Stuart Taylor, Jr., for example, lately wrote an item describing Mr. Gonzales’s knowledge of the law as "superficial", his legal analysis as "shallow", and his evasions in confirmation testimony as "pathetic".  Ouch.

Alexis de Tocqueville devoted a chapter, in his Democracy in America (1835), to the usefulness of co-opting of lawyers by placing them in government.  His words strike Blawgletter as timely: 

I am therefore convinced that the prince who, in presence of an encroaching democracy, should endeavor to impair the judicial authority in his dominions, and to diminish the political influence of lawyers, would commit a great mistake:  he would let slip the substance of authority to grasp the shadow.  He would act more wisely in introducing lawyers into the government; and if he entrusted despotism to them under the form of violence, perhaps he would find it again in their hands under the external features of justice and law.

We don’t mean to imply that Mr. Gonzales believes that he supports despotism.  Not at all.  But one must wonder why a superficial, shallow, and pathetic lawyer has received such high position in government.  Perhaps we’ll learn the answer April 17.

Barry Barnett

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