...but being the gracious guy he is, Andrew Cohen helpfully offers a way for the White House to escape Washington's favorite three-ring circus: televised congressional hearings.
Silly me, I thought network legal analysts weren't paid for political strategy but for cogent analysis of, well, legal developments.
Cohen writes at the "Couric & Co." blog:
First, Congress should relent and allow these sessions to take place in private. Sure, I would love to see Rove grilled in public— who wouldn’t? I mean, watching Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, question Rove could be a pay-per-view event in many parts of the country. A long, savory public hearing would be good for my career, I suspect, and sure would beat talking more about the paternity hearing for Anna Nicole Smith’s baby. But I am willing to get behind private sessions if it gives the President a measure of comfort about releasing his subordinates to talk candidly about who did what to whom and why when it came to firing those eight federal prosecutors. So, Point One of my Plan is: Private Hearings.
There are four other points to Cohen's plan. Suffice it to say they do entail a drawn-out investigation by Congress, just one that's not a public spectacle.
For all his hard work finding a "compromise" for Democrats and the Bush White House, nowhere in his blog entry does Cohen question if there are ulterior motives behind liberal Democrats who have been pushing for Rove testimony or for Gonzales to step down. In fact, Cohen himself throws in his lot with Democrats and some Republicans who have called for the attorney general's head to roll:
And, finally, the Attorney General and his chief deputy, Paul McNulty, have to resign. Now. Today. If Alberto Gonzales is as loyal to President Bush as he has shown himself to be over many years, he needs to fall upon his sword one more time and just leave....
There you go. Easy as pie. A compromise that works, saves time and energy and a potential constitutional showdown, and gives us all some concrete results. No need to thank me, Mr. President and Sen. Leahy, just get to work on making it happen.
In a four-part "special report" at the Washington Post's "Bench Conference" blog, Cohen laid out his case against Alberto Gonzales, even suggesting he may well be the worst Attorney General in U.S. history.