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Gut Check on the New AG

With Alberto saying Adios as Attorney General, the rumor mill is churning about possible replacements. The consensus seems to be that DHS Director Michael Chertoff is indeed on the short list. And while some may say he isn't that bad of a choice given his background in criminal justice and as a deputy AG, we would all to well to remember that this is same guy who botched the federal response to Hurricane Katrina (serendipitous that his nomination should be floated on the eve of the second anniversary of that debacle, no?) and is also the guy whose assessment of terrorism is base on little more than a grumbling gut.

Of course none of this really matters since we all know what truly matters to President Bush first and foremost is loyalty to him. In fact that seems to be the only qualifications the guy who might replace Chertoff at DHS has.

Then there is also the political angle to take into account, as must always been done whenever addressing anything this administration does. A Chertoff nomination could be used as a much needed cudgel to beat down an already cowed opposition. I can already see the speeches and statements staying along the lines of "Democrats are endangering national security" because they balk at confirming Chertoff with insufficient swiftness.

Also consider that with Chertoff ensconced at Justice, the fight over the reauthorization of the FISA fix will be that much more difficult since Chertoff will no doubt use his stature to argue the absolute necessity of making the law permanent.

(Filed at State of the Day)

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