Wednesday, June 30, 2004

DEPT. OF EXEGESIS In a piece on Attorney General John Ashcroft that ran in Wednesday editions of The New York Times, reporters David Johnston and Richard W. Stevenson deliver the following bit of wisdom:
Among well-connected Republicans in Washington, there is some private grumbling that Mr. Ashcroft too often pursues his own agenda rather than that of President Bush. Some Republicans are wondering whether Mr. Ashcroft would be asked to return for a second Bush term if the president is re-elected in November, or whether he would choose not to serve again, perhaps to pursue his own run for the presidency in 2008. (Emphasis added.)

I'm not sure which is more far-fetched--the idea that Ashcroft is actually contemplating a run for the presidency, or that "well-connected Republicans in Washington" truly believe Ashcroft's aspirations are to blame for the Justice Department's disarray.

Have these connected GOP elites forgotten Ashcroft's last campaign--the one where he lost to a dead man?

It's hard to know the agenda of the article's sources without knowing who they are. My bet, for what it's worth, is that they're trying to distance President Bush from the despicable record of his Department of Justice. And my guess is that we'll see more of this distancing in the months to come.

But whatever the case, it seems pretty clear that Johnston and Stevenson--at best--got spun.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.