Captain's Quarters: "It seems to me that Bush did little for himself politically with this selection. Perhaps Rudy Giuliani and Larry Thompson made it known that they were not interested, but in the short time frame that the decision was made, it simply appears that Gonzalez was the pick all along. Either Giuliani or Thompson would have had a much easier time going through the confirmation process. Giuliani's star quality would have made him a highly effective proponent for the Patriot Act renewal, and his track record would have lent more trust to its implementation. Thompson would have been a smooth transition, professional and low-key, whose conservative bent would have kept Bush's base happy.
While I believe Gonzalez to be qualified to do the job, I don't think he was the most effective pick. Look for more challenges and partisan sniping from both the confirmation process and the Patriot Act renewal campaign in the upcoming session."
I think the captain has it wrong. First, let's look at plain old voting blocks. Picking Gonzales is saying to Hispanics who voted for him, thanks for your supports. Second, while it won't mollify the left, it will reassure the middle that hears all the left wing hysterics about the new theocracy. Gonzales is clearly not that guy. On the other hand, he is a loyal friend. Contrary to what you hear from the left, where the real extremism in this country is located, Roe v. Wade does not stand in the way of banning partial birth abortion. Roe v. Wade explicitly allows the government to regulate the treatment accorded to VIABLE fetuses. Partial birth abortions are only performed on viable fetuses. When they are not viable there is no need to kill them. (Which is part of the legal definition of partial birth abortion). Gonzales, I hope, will be the guy who can explain this to the worried middle. Contrary to what many pundits claim, abortion is an issue with a compromise position, made possible by the left's extremism. To protect viable fetuses is now characterized by the leadership of the Democratic party as an extreme right wing position. It is also one which some 70 percent of the American people agree with.