"Time to go"

The National Review says Alberto Gonzales should resign.

Published March 28, 2007 6:40PM (EDT)

It's one thing when the New York Times calls for the ouster of Alberto Gonzales. It's quite another when the National Review does.

In an editorial posted earlier today, the National Review's editors say that while the story of the prosecutor purge has been "relentlessly overhyped," the attorney general should resign anyway. "While we defended him from some of the outlandish charges made during his confirmation hearings," the editors say, "we have never seen evidence that he has a fine legal mind, good judgment, or managerial ability. Nor has his conduct at any stage of this controversy gained our confidence."

Just two weeks ago, the National Review's editors declared that Gonzales' "fumbles" hadn't yet risen "to the level of a firing offense." But intervening developments -- including the release of documents that show Gonzales dissembled about his own role in the purge -- seem to have caused a change of heart.

"What little credibility Gonzales had is gone," the editors say today. "All that now keeps him in office, save the friendship of the president, is the conviction of many Republicans that removing him would embolden the Democrats. It is an overblown fear. The Democrats will pursue scandals, real or invented, whether or not Gonzales stays. But they have an especially inviting target in Gonzales. He cannot defend the administration and its policies even when they deserve defense. Alberto Gonzales should resign. The Justice Department needs a fresh start."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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