A non-scandal

Quietly, almost as if it had never even happened, one of the more egregious efforts by Democrats to smear the Bush presidency has been exposed as baseless.

It was just a few years ago — in 2007 — that The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and the network nightly newscasts were hyperventilating about the Bush White House getting rid of a handful of U.S. attorneys.

Congressional Democrats dragged administration officials up to Capitol Hill to do their penance — although the White House refused to let Karl Rove and others testify. The primary accusation seemed to be that the administration had sacked eight Justice Department lawyers because they were looking into matters that the Bush White House preferred be kept quiet.

But last week, in a story that barely made headlines, the special prosecutor charged with investigating the matter opened her empty bag. There may have been political issues involved with the firings, she found, but no criminal conduct.

Politics in the Justice Department? How many millions did we need to spend to come up with that bulletin?

Every administration has its own priorities. Every administration feels comfortable with its own appointees. That’s why even Bill Clinton cleaned house as it concerns U.S. attorneys when he took office in 1992.

The allegations that the White House went forward with the firings in order to cover up legitimate wrongdoing were tenuous, at best. In fact the real politics involved here had nothing to do with the Bush administration’s actions and everything to do with the manic Bush haters on the left remobilizing on another front in their war to overturn the 2000 election.

“I feel angry that I had to go through this,” said former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who eventually resigned over the controversy. “That my family had to suffer through and what for?”

Mr. Gonzales went on to add, “I made the decision based upon what I thought was best for the department and for the American people. All these investigations have now confirmed that this was not to influence improperly any ongoing investigation or to punish anyone for political reasons.”

Mr. Gonzalez can now sympathize with former Reagan Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan, who — upon being exonerated after a Democratic witch hunt against his department — asked, “Where do I go to get my reputation back?”

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