Saturday, November 13, 2004

As "Jesusland" Rises, Its Leading Symbol Departs

Jonah Goldberg made this refreshingly accurate assessment of John Aschroft's attorney-generalship:

"By conventional standards, Ashcroft was among the best attorneys general in American history. Violent crime dropped 27% on his watch, reaching a 30-year low. Federal gun crime prosecutions rose 75%, and gun crimes dropped — something that should please liberals. By unconventional standards his service was heroic. There hasn't been a single terrorist attack since 9/11, despite all predictions by experts and efforts by terrorists to the contrary. Ashcroft was willing to take gross abuse to do what was necessary. Indeed, even the 9/11 commission certified that the Patriot Act was absolutely necessary to fix many of the problems that led to that awful day."

All his predecessor, Janet Reno, did was cover up for Bill Clinton's countless scandals. And kidnap Elian Gonzalez on behalf of Fidel Castro. Yet to this day her A-G tenure is hailed as a comprehensive success. One has to invoke golden calf analogies to picture what the so-called "elites" would have said if the Fred MacMurray lookalike had posted the record Mr. Ashcroft achieved.

Heck, most previous Republican attorneys-general would have been given some props.

But not Mr. Aschroft. Because he, you see, is an evangelical Christian. So to his enemies, that made him a "Nazi" before he even set foot at Justice.

And to think that if he had displayed just the slightest bit less Christ-like graciousness in his 2000 Senate re-election bid by either continuing to campaign after his opponent dropped dead, or contesting the extra-legal chicanery that effectively replaced Mel Carnahan on the ballot with his witless widow, not only would the Dems have never had to confront Ashcroft as A-G, but Jim Jeffords would never have had the setting to jump and flip the Senate over to Dem control six months later.

"Vengeance," it would seem, is indeed the LORD's...[Romans 12:19]

And given Alberto Gonzales' harder line on GWOT civil liberties, it may not be over, either.