"After months of unfair treatment that has created a harmful distraction at the Justice Department, Judge Gonzales decided to resign his position, and I accept his decision. It's sad that we live in a time when a talented and honorable person like Alberto Gonzales is impeded from doing important work because his good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons."This was clearly meant to be a jab at those who consider the Attorney General to be a servant of the public and the Constitution, and not just of the President. The "unfair treatment" referred to months of congressional testimony given by Gonzales where at different times, he inconsistently claimed innocence, ignorance, or executive privelege regarding the U.S. attorney firings and the Terrorist Surveilance Program. His perjurous testimony did indeed create, among other things, a "harmful distraction at the Justice Department", especially when considering the trouble he got former aides Kyle Sampson and Monica Goodling into, among others.
Bush calls Gonzales "talented and honorable" and claims that he has a "good name". He even called him "Judge Gonzales" to make him sound more unbiased and dignified, even though Gonzales was obviously no longer serving on the Texas Supreme Court. Bush paints a picture of a noble and just hero who tragically fell victim to unfounded accusations from corrupt politicians looking to score political points. But when so many members of both the House and the Senate, including both Democrats to Republicans, from liberal members like Russ Feingold to conservative members like my state's junior senator Tom Coburn, come together in such a bipartisan manner to express dissatisfaction with the actions of one individual, well, your hero cred goes way down. Just another example of "reframing the debate", a tactic expertly and frequently employed by George W. Bush.
As an aside, I agree that the original scandal of the executive branch firing U.S. attorneys, government employees who work at the discretion of the President, was a little bit of political mud-dragging. After all, it may be a black eye to fire someone not for performance reasons but rather for political affiliations, but it's still legal for the President to do. It's really the manner in which the scandal was handled that I have objection to, first with the refusal to meet with members of Congress on the record, then to the refusal of congressional subpoenas, and then with the outright absurd claim of executive privelege, and finally to the lies and contradictions in testimony. Really, if there was nothing to hide, why try to hide it so much?