Bush Digs In

Gonzales is too close to the president to be sacrificed, it appears. The risk is that this will only prolong the investigation, and expose more of the seamy underside of the politicization of the justice system. The benefit is that Bush seems less a victim of events and more - temporarily at least - in control of them. Besides, losing Gonzales would have been a big personal blow, and my guess is that Rove and Cheney both wanted to dig in. I should add that the actual, substantive position of the president is not that unreasonable. Gonzales will testify under oath; they're releasing mounds of evidence; others on Bush's staff will willingly cooperate. The attempt to protect executive privilege is a defensible one. But the attempt by Bush to portray himself as somehow above partisanship on this is a little rich. It was the triumph of partisanship over good government that brought this scandal to the surface in the first place. And partisan politics is surely playing a key role in the push-back. The specter of Karl Rove under the "klieglights" would have been political poison to Bush - and to the GOP. So he's digging in. And the hole could get a lot deeper.

(Favorite line: 'The serve at our pleasure." He really is getting monarchical, isn't he?)