Monday, August 27, 2007
Raw Politics: One fewer target for Dems
When it comes to winning over American voters, the Republicans have made some big mistakes. They know it. The Democrats know it. Virtually every political analyst in the country knows it.

And right now, Democrats are practically dancing in the streets, hurling "I told you so's" at every passing GOPer. With Alberto Gonzales out and the Katrina aniversary upon us, a feeding frenzy is underway that will likely last all week long. The Democrats are delighted to see the White House reeling, President Bush increasingly alone, and Republican candidates struggling to define their messages about the war in Iraq.

But consider this question: Which party will really benefit from the Gonzales departure in the long run?

Karl Rove and Gonzales were the Dems' favorite, highly-visible targets, and now they are gone. Gone with them? The easy headlines. The late-night riffs about them from comedians. The heat that was driving the investigations into their conduct.

The Bush White House is still under a lot of pressure, and certainly Republicans don't like having to throw their own overboard. But cranking it up just got a little tougher for the Democrats.

The Raw Politics Read: Watch for the Republicans to take their licks this week, but by the weekend, Republicans could mount a counterattack, with two fewer weak spots in their armor.

-- By Tom Foreman, CNN Correspondent
Posted By CNN: 6:05 PM ET
  24 Comments
As far as I'm concerned, no amount of "polish" can remove the tarnish that the Bush Administration has left on the Republican party and this country.
Posted By Fay, Vacaville, CA : 6:36 PM ET
All I can say is, it's about time.

Now, if only Bush and Cheney would follow suit.
Posted By Ashley, Louisville KY : 6:37 PM ET
The Republicans will as you said take their licks this week but then they will enjoy having two less weak spots in their armor unless Bush appoints another loser to the post. However, in the end I'm not sure it will really help them significantly - there is still the war, the failure of the current administration during Katrina, taxes and shrinking incomes, and a whole host of other issues that the Democrats are addressing in their campaigns but the Republicans seem to have a hard time with.

In the end I think it will come down in the voting booth to just how bad you think the last 8 years have been - if you think its been the train wreck some claim it to have been then the Democrats have nothing to worry about.
Posted By Annie Kate, Birmingham AL : 6:38 PM ET
And this Alberto Gonzales controversy is different from the rest of Washington.. how exactly?
Posted By Tom S., Houston, Tx. : 6:54 PM ET
Aw, come on, Tom. We all know how you get a good job in the Bush administration. Be a lifetime friend of the prez, donate a heap of money to the republican party, graduate from some small right-wing evangelical Christian university. You don't really think someone comeptent is going to succeed Gonzales? Don't worry, there will still be plenty of fodder for late night comedians. Gee, if they're desperate, there's always "invading Baghdad is a bad idea in 1994" Cheney to kick around.

This administration stands on its own (lack of) merit. People and policies to criticize are in abundance.
Posted By Barbara, Culver City, CA : 6:58 PM ET
Hi Tom, I think they should launch a counterattack with hand puppets -
just a suggestion.
Posted By Carol B., Frederick, MD : 6:59 PM ET
Some may call it cronyism, but I think a President should appoint an Attorney General who actually supports his agenda rather than an unknown person who might support his agenda. Why appoint someone who might be apprehensive about prosecuting terrorists if Bush wants to crack down on terrorism?
Posted By Pat McD., Fountain Hills, Az. : 7:02 PM ET
Dems say that they'll be different, that a "wind of change" will blow, but you know if Democrats assume the position in Washington, they'll make appointments that all lean to their way of thinking. So it'll all come around full circle.
Posted By cary, lowell, in. : 7:06 PM ET
No, Tom we wouldn't be so lucky that Congress will slow down their endless "investigations" and hearings and just do what we pay them for, because there's still plenty of the President's men to go after.
Posted By Bobbie, Grand Junction, CO. : 7:16 PM ET
Here's what I want to know. Why aren't any of those 96 attorneys fired by Clinton ever interviewed on the news shows? That might give us a little perspective.
Posted By Terry L.- Monterey CA. : 7:28 PM ET
I do not know if I have read this correctly, but are you saying that the outing of Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales was a Republican attempt to save themselves for the presidential primaries? I guess so. Those two men, specially Rove, have done so many underhanded things that if they are exposed for what they really have done, that would destroy the Rublican stronghold for years to come.

I think tha the Republicans have done a lot of damage to themselves. I think that the fervent pleas to the American public for patience with the troops staying in Iraq and the moral rightness of Republican policy over Democratic policy isn't enough to sway people from the real problems that are facing Americans and to the future security of our country.

It is important for Democrats to pace themselves, watch what they say, and provide true alternatives that are going to make the American quality of life better, make outr lands more secure, and bring jobs back to middle class people in this country.

Democrats need to pose plausible solutions to the problems at hand. If they do this, the Republicans would not pose a counterattack they would just be put on the defensive.

Madeliene
Posted By Madeliene; Atlanta, Georgia : 7:32 PM ET
Which party will really benefit from Gonzales' resignation? The Republican party because people in general have an attention span so short that by next week the headlines will change.
Posted By Robin- Boulder CO. : 7:37 PM ET
You're right though; with Alberto Gonzales leaving now, and on his own terms, it leaves little or no fodder for the cannon, and Bush-haters will eventually have to *ahem* move on.
Posted By Steve - Peoria, IL. : 7:41 PM ET
This whole thing is so boring and predictable. The Democratic Congress will never approve the appointment the President makes. That you can put money on. We're in for more wasting of taxpayers' time and money.
Posted By Coro- Fontana, Ca. : 7:46 PM ET
Alberto Gonzales has been convicted of no crime! This really smacks of witch hunt to me. Tom, what's your "gut feeling?"
Posted By Rory Thompson, Massachusetts : 7:48 PM ET
Im glad he's gone, he went after mostly Republicans, not DNC corruptors. Personally, I thought Agents Ramos and Campeon were not in the wrong, so maybe the DOJ will now reverse that decision.
Posted By Afton Miller, Harlingen, Tx. : 7:52 PM ET
Dear Tom Forman,

I never was into politics until I start unwillingly start focusing on it because of Katrina

I am curious on how this transition between democrats and republicans will go.
Posted By Ratna, New York, NY : 7:53 PM ET
Gonzales' problem is that he is a non-Democrat Hispanic,and the Dems can't allow a minority to be successful unless they are owned by the Democratic party.
Posted By Shawn Cape Girardeau, Mo. : 8:06 PM ET
Since the Democratic Congress has taken hold, things have really gotten smarmy. Please tell me one single law that AG Gonzales has broken. Please be specific.
Posted By CJ, Long Island, NY : 8:13 PM ET
Alberto Gonzales' only crime was NOT looking Democrats in the face and saying "we fired the attorneys because we have a right to do so."
Posted By Lane Lachlan, Bend, Or. : 8:18 PM ET
Wake up, people ! The DOJ is probably the most political department in our government and has been for quite some time.
Posted By K Lo, Denver, CO. : 8:23 PM ET
Seems that all republicans think democrats are illegal, criminal and corrupt and the democrats think all republicans are also illegal, criminal and corrupt, but you gotta admit the current crop of people in washington are all pretty much the same: power hungry, corruptible and ambivalent to the average person .
Posted By didier janeault-capper, baltimore md. : 8:30 PM ET
Hi Tom,
I just wish we'd stop taking sides and realize we are all American, period..No Democrat or Republican benefits from gotcha's. No pride can be gleaned from the, I'm superior to you mindset.
Who can make one America? I think only the citizens from coast to coast can. That's if we decide once and for all to throw the loathing and bitterness away. Take Care
Posted By Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 9:51 PM ET
A reluctant resignation from Gonzales is the sign of Americans’ strong voice of their disapproval towards the Bush administration. It is no surprise to anyone that our president and his administration have stirred and cause scandals within White House and hid truth from the American public. Similar to the dealings with the war in Iraq, this administration has been feeding lies to the public. Now the war has proven to be a failure and is causing more violence, terror and poverty in this world. According to the Borgen Project, it only takes $19 billion dollars annually to eradicate world hunger and poverty. However, our government has already spent more than $450 billion dollars over this fruitless war in Iraq. It is time for the Bush Administration to take a real interest in the lives of the American people as well as people who are in desperate needs around the world.
Posted By Mstessyrue : 11:42 AM ET
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