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May 03, 2007

John McKay - A Decent Republican

John McKay makes me believe that it is possible to be decent and to be a Republican.  I watched him on KCTS Connects this evening and he is a decent human being who believes in the rule of law, in the Constitution, in checks and balances and in doing what's right.  He also makes it clear to people that you do what's right, not what's expedient or will get you money or fame.  He is one of those old-fashioned, straight-arrow Republicans. 

I haven't seen someone who identifies as a Republican say much of anything with integrity in heaven knows how long.  I heard it this evening.  From what I understood from what he was saying, he decided to go public with the way in which he had been fired by the Department of Justice because we cannot afford to have the American public lose their confidence in the system of law in this country, and specifically in the Department of Justice.  He knows his former colleagues are carrying the burden of distrust - the sense that the American people cannot be certain that the government is doing what is right when they are investigating potential lawbreakers. 

Like James Comey, earlier today in the Senate Hearings, he is willing to say that politics entered into the considerations of what Albert Gonzales and others said and did.  And one has the feeling that McKay is not going to allow that to stand.  He is too loyal to the other folks who continue to do the work he did before he was fired.

When asked by Enrico Cerna, the host of KCTS Connects, if he had supported Gonzales for Attorney General, McKay said that he had known and liked him since Gonzales was a Supreme Court Judge in Texas. He had supported him to become the Attorney General. 

But McKay does not like what happened next.  He agreed with Cerna when Cerna asked if Gonzales was just covering for the President now.  He was distressed that Gonzales had said he didn't recall over 70 times in front of Congress.  He said he thought that Gonzales never understood that the public needs to have confidence that the folks in the Department of Justice will do their jobs fairly without concern for who is in the White House.

Wow!  This seems like the wrong guy to mess with.   

Posted by Lynn Allen on May 3, 2007 at 11:05 PM in National and International Politics | Permalink


From my limited experience of McKay, I would have to agree with you on his level of integrity and professionalism. When I challenged him on his support of the Patriot Act, at a forum a few years ago, he remained calm, didn't interrupt me or snidely dimiss my concerns, like so many other conservatives have done. Later on, I felt a little bit badly because I was pretty hard on him, but he let me have my say and then responded in an honest, professional manner. I didn't agree with him about the Patriot Act, but I can't deny that he seemed the right person for the job of U.S. attorney.

I'm intrigued by the slight reference that was made about McKay and the Tom Wales case during the Comey hearings yesterday. I would like to know more about what is being implied there. It's hard for me to think about Tom Wales without feeling extremely sad. He was a great guy (a fellow Queen Anne-er) and a real advocate for gun control. It's such a tragedy that he was a victim of gun violence. I sincerely hope the FBI finds his killer soon.

Posted by: shoephone | May 4, 2007 12:52:38 AM

Ashcroft didn't even have the decency to attend Wales' funeral. And Gonzalez didn't have to decency to attend the five-year anniversary of his death. Instead he sent Elston.


Posted by: shoephone | May 4, 2007 1:10:55 AM

shoephone, I ran across this yesterday about Wales at TPM:


It refers to an AP article on this issue:


You've probably seen these, but just in case...

Normally, this is one of those things I'd just dismiss as post-hoc reasoning, like the Vince Foster case. With this Justice Dept., though, it doesn't sound quite so implausible.

Posted by: Cujo359 | May 4, 2007 11:39:23 AM

It was a real wake up call to see the contrast between testimony of Commey and Sampson/Gonzales.

Comey knew the lawyers, he knew the cases, and he knew their effectiveness. He actively travelled and was clear doing a great management job, as well as being very well respected by his peers.

Interestingly enough, even though Comey preceeded Sampson, Comey seems to remember everything that happened on his watch.

Comey also went into some detail on how he and his office communicated thoroughly with Attorneys he fired, so that the remaining staff would know how to proceed. Contrast this with Kyle Sampson, who had Attorneys fired with no communication, except for the firing notice.

I was really saddened to see how Bush cronyism has degraded the DOJ. DOJ employees must really hate what the Republican Party has done to their organization. When you get hurt that bad, you don't forget about it.

Posted by: CoolAqua | May 4, 2007 2:09:16 PM

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