Once again the Washington scandal machine is in full frenzy. This time the hapless Justice Department is baring the brunt. It’s over the administration’s firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year. Who’s responsible for this atrocity? The aide at Justice in charge of the firings has been run out of town. Yesterday’s Washington Post front-page headline read “firings had genesis in White House.” The Democrats vow congressional hearings to determine if (if you can imagine this) politics were involved. Even Senator Chuck Schumer of New York was able to be coaxed into saying a few words. “Just when we thought our faith could not be shaken any further” he said.
The only problem is: There was nothing wrong with firing eight U.S. attorneys. Of course the Department of Justice was inept in the way they did it, trying to conceal things that didn’t need to be concealed but the U.S. attorneys, like innumerable other public officials serve at the pleasure of the president. He fired eight of his own appointees apparently because they we not aggressive enough in pursuing voting fraud cases. In 1993 Attorney General Janet Reno rode into town and fired every U.S. attorney in the country but one-all Republican appointees.
Amidst all this foolishness there is a serious question here. Considering the times we live in, do we really want to continue to try to chip away at the traditional powers of the president? Regardless of who wins the White House, don’t we need a strong president?
Fred Thompson has been a lawyer, actor and United States Senator. He writes exclusive analysis and commentary for Townhall Magazine.