Friday, May 18, 2007

No Confidence II

Blog reader priscianus jr. points us to a post at FireDogLake on the importance of a no-confidence vote on Abu Gonzales. I encourage you to give it a read.

I'm not sure I completely agree with the post. Yes, a vote will be a "dry run" for on-the-record support for confronting the President. It certainly gives some kind of indication of the ability of the Senate to get rid of Abu. To the degree that it forces everyone to go on the record, perhaps it has some use. But the vote is non-binding on any real action and to think it will influence Bush to dump Abu is naive. If anything, it would simply make Bush support Abu even more. I predict Abu only goes if forced out through legal action by Congress, i.e impeaching him and convicting him. Abu is too important to protect the Bush family right now.

Where I disagree with the FireDogLake post is that a no-confidence vote is a dry-run at impeaching the President. Going after a disgraced attorney-general is one thing. Going after a the President is another. I suspect that many Republicans willing to vote to have no confidence in Abu certainly would not vote to impeach/convict the President. It's apples and oranges.

Finally, I frankly don't think anything significant (barring a dramatic change in Iraq either way) is going to change on the political landscape until fall at the earliest. At that time, Republicans who face re-election will feel genuine urgency to take a look at their prospects given the polls, the war, and the Preznit's approval. I'm not convinced that Republicans (and conservative Democrats for that matter) still won't be willing to go over the cliff with the Bush administration. But until then, the tribal loyalties are too strong, the investment in protecting a losing position too strong, to see any real change in the landscape.

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