I was sorry to hear of John Ashcroft’s resignation as Attorney General. He’s been the Left’s favorite whipping boy for much of the last four years and it has been disgraceful. The text of his resignation letter to the president is here.
Since I have known General Ashcroft personally for years and supported him in his campaigns through the years in the State of Missouri, I was particularly aware of the magnitude of unfairness and contempt to which he has been subjected. The hateful things his critics said about him simply were not true.
Ashcroft was not a person who ever tried to shove his religion down other people’s throats — in fact, he often said that his faith precluded such a course of action. He is a very decent and earnest person. And I think it is partly because of his strong faith that he has come under such attack. The secular Left bristles at people in public service who unapologetically proclaim their faith. When he conducted a voluntary Bible study in his offices they came unglued.
He has also been a scapegoat for the Left on security and liberty issues. They depicted him as a man who wanted to steal away our liberties through the Patriot Act, when his mission was to shore up our national security, coordinate our intelligence agencies and improve their intercommunication, and make life more difficult for terrorists, all the while preserving our individual liberties. Ashcroft is and has been through his public life, a champion of individual liberties. The fact that he believes that liberty is grounded in moral and religious principles and that he has been a champion of life at both ends of the chronological spectrum does not mean that he wants to deprive anyone of his liberties. Yet he has been unmercifully demonized for the last four years, and called every epithet from “racist” to “Nazi.”
I agree with Michelle Malkin’s assessment that Ashcroft:
was the most under-appreciated, most maligned, most ridiculed, and most demonized member of the Bush cabinet. He endured a brutal, vicious nomination process. After 9/11, he was damned for doing his job too aggressively, and damned for not doing his job aggressively enough. He withstood the secular Left’s assaults on his deeply-held faith, and devoted himself to his tasks to the point of exhaustion.
Nobody puts things better than Michelle, and she also has a few other observations about this matter, but it would be cheating for me to paste them all here when you can just as easily check out the above link to her blog.
But I echo Michelle’s closing statement: “God bless Mr. Ashcroft. And God help his replacement.”
And I hope John gets some much-needed and even more deserved rest and relief from the stress he’s had to endure. Those of us on the outside observing and commenting on the Left’s hatred and despicable tactics can be genuinely outraged at what we see others having to endure. But can you imagine being directly in their line of fire? Can you imagine these people trying to destroy you with lies and distortions, merely because you are trying to do the best you can to make ogres like them safe and free to verbally annihilate people? Ashcroft has earned our everlasting respect and prayers. Godspeed.