Good Bye Mr Ashcroft
Attorney General John Ashcroft has given his resignation. (Read about it here.) With the controversy surrounding this Bush cabinet member, leaving is probably a good thing. That may depend on his replacement.
Many of Ashcroft's critics think of him as a religious zealot who would willing run roughshod across the Constitution. From his handling of terror suspects to the covering of seminude statues in the Department of Justice, Ashcroft has come across as a bit of a nut.
For those who don't remember, before becoming Attorney General, Ashcroft lost an election to a dead guy in his home state of Missouri. That sort of sums things up nicely.
The resignation letter was dated 2 November, Election Day. This suggests that the plan was to be rid of the attorney general but to keep him through the election itself. Why would that be important? That's simple.
First, it was important for the Bush administration to show stability. Since their whole point was that they were reliable but Kerry was in a constant state of flux, any change in Bush's people would defeat the argument. It won't surprise me to see the Bush crew get all sorts of shuffled.
Secondly, Ashcroft is a favorite among conservative Christians. That's a large part of the far right support in the Republican Party. If Ashcroft left before the election, there is no telling what that would have done to the support of those people. Keeping him on assured those voters that he would continue pushing their agenda.
In this time when we need rational people in charge, I hope Mr. Ashcroft's replacement will be a person who has more important priorities than covering naked statues. The best way to secure our freedoms is not by stomping on them. We need an attorney general who will understand the difference between good guys and bad guys.