Last week, Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) called on the Senate to hold a no-confidence vote on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
The White House and its conservative allies quickly derided the vote, calling it “nothing more than a meaningless political act.” This morning on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called it a “gotcha game.”
But on CBS’s Face the Nation, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) underlined the importance and seriousness of the vote, calling it a “rare” and “very forceful, historical statement.” He predicted that “before the vote is taken that Attorney General Gonzales may step down.” Watch it:
At least six Senate Republicans have now called on Gonzales to resign. Specter said he believes support for the no confidence vote is “very substantial,” and that if Gonzales “sees that coming, that he would prefer to avoid that kind of an historical black mark.”
SCHIEFFER: Do you, in fact, think Republicans, a sizable number, will join with Democrats on that? And what do you think the impact is going to be on the Attorney General?
SPECTER: Well, I think so. You already have six Republicans calling for his resignation. I have a sense, Bob, that before the vote is taken that Attorney General Gonzales may step down.
SPECTER: Well, it is a very forceful, historical statement. Votes of no confidence are very rare. More than a century ago one was leveled against a sitting president. I think historically that is something which Attorney General Gonzales would like to avoid. The most important thing, though, is the inability of the department now to function. I was about to say that U.S. Attorneys met in San Antonio this past week and there was a lot of criticism and a lot of dissension. That department is very, very important, functioning for the welfare of our country. [...]
SCHIEFFER: What leads you, senator, to the conclusion that he will probably step down before such a vote is taken?
SPECTER: Because of the likelihood, a very substantial vote of no confidence. I think that if and when he sees that coming, that he would prefer to avoid that kind of an historical black mark.