Support of Gonzales affirms power play

Boston Globe news analysis: “Since so much depends on favorable rulings from Justice, the administration can’t possibly look forward to having to justify its actions to a new team of lawyers. But that’s almost certain to happen if Gonzales is replaced by someone outside Bush’s inner circle. Bush would be very hard-pressed to get an inner-circle appointee confirmed by Democratic-controlled Senate. He or she would have had to withstand days of public grilling by Democratic senators, who would try to raise the curtain on any of the administration’s secret programs.

More likely, Bush would be obliged to choose an attorney general with a reputation for independence, such as a former Republican senator with credibility on Capitol Hill. But such a figure would almost certainly be more skeptical of the administration’s assertions of executive power than Gonzales, a close Bush associate from the president’s Texas days.”