I don't ordinarily use this space to air thoughts on politics, but something in this morning's paper got me thinking. In an article about the firing of U.S. Attorneys, an aide to AG Gonzales indicated that for a U.S. Attorney to adhere to the policies of the President was a legitimate standard for evaluating performance. I had to take a moment to consider whether or not this was, in my view, a valid argument.
On the one hand, the "guy in charge" has a right to have priorities and seek to have them pursued. On the other hand, that same guy in charge was elected by the people to uphold and defend the constitution that was crafted on behalf of all of its citizens, and not the priorities of one individual. This is not a CEO, but an elected official, and the constitution of the United States is not a partisan document but a foundation for governing that is intended to serve a country made up of a diverse people with differing views and priorities.
Our laws are in place to order our common life, protect our rights and liberties, and serve justice, which we claim in this country as being blind to the usual forces of discrimination. Persons who work to uphold the law ought to have as their first allegiance the law, not the priorities of an individual.
I guess I've concluded that the argument isn't sufficiently valid after all, but I'm open to hearing other opinions.