Thursday, April 19, 2007

Alberto Gonzales Resignation - Bodog.com Political Proposition Wager


Ah, the political propositon bet.

These may be the most unpredictable of all bets. Who can predict the winds of political change?

But for those who need a little "action" to spice up their politics, Bodog has you covered. You would think the stakes are high enough for all of us anyway, but I guess some people could care less who controls the reins of powers. They're backing the Republicans because there's fifty bucks on the line.

The maximum bet on this one is $50.

If Alberto Gonzales resigns, quits, is removed or fired, then the "no" side of the proposition wins. If Gonzales remains head of the Department of Justice on the Fourth of July, the "yes" bets win. I guess it's a no bet if Alberto Gonzales happens to die in the next couple of months. He's young, so that's not likely to happen.

Will U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales still be Attorney General on July 4th, 2007?

+135 * Yes
-175 * No

Currently, Alberto Gonzales is at the heart of what's being called Attorneygate. The Bush Administration fired 8 U.S. attorneys, which has caused a political firestorm. The Democrats point to an alleged cover up by Gonzales, and call for him to resign. Gonzales has given no indication of doing so, terming the controversy an "overblown personnel matter". Plop your money down to get your stake in this scandal.

THE REPUBLICAN ARGUMENT

This debate largely breaks down along party lines, so I will identify the pros and cons by party.

The Bush Administration argues that the president has the power to fire any U.S. attorney at any time without the need for a reason. Defenders of President Bush and Attorney General Gonzales point to the Clinton Administration's handling of U.S. attorneys.

When President Clinton became president, he fired all 93 U.S. attorneys. The Republican argue that firing eight attorneys is small hash in comparison. And since the Republicans had been in (presidential) power for 12 years when Clinton entered the picture, he was firing mostly conservative judges. They would argue that the Clinton firings were a political act.

The Republicans go on to charge that this is a Democratic witch hunt, that they are abusing their new-won Congressional power to wrongly attack the president and his attorney general. The Bush Administration charge that the congressional Democrats are wrongly interfering in a presidential perview.

THE DEMOCRATIC ARGUMENT

The Democrats argue that Clinton did not cherry pick attorneys to fire, and therefore his firings were not political. Critics of Gonzales site the fact that the Clinton firings were at the beginning of an administration, when the Clinton group wanted a clean slate. The Bush firings came five years into Bush's administration, which brings to question why these eight attorneys were singled out.

Two of these attorneys were investigating ethics charges against Republican politicians. The Democrats argue that President Bush's firings of these two attorneys essentially shut down these investigations and were therefore a political act. Because the president is constitutionally required to "faithfully execute the laws under the constitution", firing attorneys to block investigations of his political allies is arguably unconstitutional.

The Democrats point to inconsistencies in the testimony of Alberto Gonzales as a sign the Republicans knew they had done wrong and were covering it up. Because Gonzales is the one tied to the inconsistent statements, and because he was the supervisor of the U.S. attorneys in question, the Democrats have called for him to resign in disgrace.

SUMMARY

What a mess.

Pretty much, if you think the Bush Administration are the good guys, you will think the Democrats are over-reaching and politicizing an otherwise innocuous procedure. If you think the Bush Administration are the bad guys, you will think this is another example of arrogance and abuse from the office of the president.

But if you could care less either way, you might lay fifty bucks on the line at Bodog to "make things interesting".

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Alberto Gonzales Resignation - Bodog.com Political Proposition Wager