The veteran senator, a former prosecutor, spoke in very serious and somber tones when asked by Host Chris Wallace who he thinks President George "WMD" Bush should nominate to fill the seat of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
"I think he ought to select a real professional," answered the senator. "Somebody who understands the difference between being the president’s lawyer and being the chief law enforcement officer of the United States."
That's the key, isn't it? The Constitution makes us free and the Constitution is what each and every attorney general must put before the personal and political interests of the president.
"I think the President has made some very significant mistakes on legal issues," the senator said, "as far as he’s gone on signing statements, on his refusal to recognize the bold, clear-cut constitutional authority for habeas corpus... But there’s no doubt that the current Attorney General has only told the President what he wants to hear."
I should point out that the senator I'm quoting is not Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, but rather Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, Judiciary Committee co-chair, who was also a guest on Fox News Sunday avec Chairman Leahy.
The sad fact is the Justice Department is a mess.
Who would St. Patrick like to see Mr. Bush nominate to replace Alberto?
"I’d like to see the President be a uniter and not a divider in his choice," replied Leahy. "He’s only got a little over year left in his term. We have a Department of Justice that’s in shambles. The morale is the lowest I’ve ever seen it, under either Republican or Democratic administrations. We have have some superb people there that we’d like to keep...
"I think if we were to do that you would hear a huge sign of relief from both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate," said St. Patrick, "and such a person would have the kind of support that was not there for Mr. Gonzales because he had angered so many Republicans and Democrats."
The tide is turning, eh?