What's the buzz on ... Alberto Gonzales' resignation?

Each week, CNN.com takes a look at trends in the blogosphere by tracking one topic across gender and generation with the help of analysis tools from Umbria Inc. This week, we focus on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' announcement that he plans to step down September 17. Gonzales has been in the center of a controversy surrounding the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. The Senate Judiciary Committee has questioned him on numerous occasions about the circumstances of the terminations, and Gonzales has at times replied that he "could not recall" or "did not know" the answers. Several Democratic and Republican politicians have called for his resignation due to the frequent pleas of ignorance. Gonzales sent a letter to President Bush announcing his resignation, said by some to lack specific reasons as to why Gonzales was resigning, Bush said in a public statement that Gonzales' "good name has been dragged through the mud for political reasons."

Overall opinion (August 14-21, 2007)


So what does this mean?
Most bloggers expressed negative opinions about Gonzales, with two-thirds of the examined bloggers giving the thumbs down. Just 6 percent overall spoke positively. The remaining 28 percent remained neutral, a categorization often used because the blogger chose to report information rather than make a judgment. One frequently expressed sentiment was that Alberto Gonzales' resignation is the latest item on an ever-growing list of troubles within the Bush administration, which they say serve as proof of ongoing wrongdoings. Nearly 80 percent of liberal bloggers had negative things to say, and just 20 percent of conservative bloggers had positive opinions. On the other hand, 39 percent of the conservative bloggers wrote negatively and 41 percent remained neutral.

Positive opinions centered around the idea that Gonzales was never officially found guilty of wrongdoings. Instead, he was a good man who fell victim to a Democratic "witch hunt" aimed at removing all of the members of the Bush administration. Some said Gonzales deserves respect for being a trailblazer for Latinos. On the negative side, some bloggers expressed delight in the resignation. Others said he was "jumping ship" to avoid being fired after having been an "incompetent" attorney general. Parallels were drawn to Karl Rove's resignation, including references to John Edwards' "good riddance" comment. Bloggers mocked Gonzales for having sudden "bouts of amnesia" when questioned by the Senate, and some even hoped Vice President Dick Cheney would be the next to resign. Nicknames came up, including "Abu Gonzales," "Gonzo" and "Gone-zales." Liberals criticized Gonzales more strongly than conservatives, and some said he repeatedly lied under oath. Liberals were also more likely to speculate about other members of the Bush administration who might be next to go than their conservative counterparts.

In their own words
pastordan on Street Prophets
What we need is an AG who doesn't think of himself as the President's personal lawyer. The Senate should settle for nothing less than a fully independent, fully competent leader at the Department of Justice. The last thing anybody needs is another hack to enable this out of control administration. That's particularly the case with any number of investigations into Gonzales' - and Rove's - shenanigans at DOJ. Those investigations should continue, regardless of the resignation.

Mr. Grey Ghost on Politik Ditto
I was shocked and disappointed by the news of Alberto Gonzales' resignation this morning. Gonzales wasn't the best Attorney General, but he did nothing wrong regarding the overblown, liberal witchhunt that was the US Attorney firings scandal and he was a much better AG than say Janet Reno, who got innocent people killed while on the job.

mark in a comment thread on Betsy's page
Gonzales is guilty of more than incompetence. I'd guess at least 90% of his "I don't recalls" during testimony were lies. Unproveable, but lies nevertheless, and we all know it. Just like with Rumsfeld, Bush tried to hold on way too long. He should have cut his losses long ago.

Patricia Shannon in a comment thread on Economist's view
...Bush is going to nominate Gonzales' successor, which doesn't give me much reassurance we will get a person of integrity and competence to replace him.

HOW DOES THIS WORK?
CNN works with Umbria, a company that collects and analyzes millions of online opinions and review postings every day.

More about Umbria's analysis

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