In an otherwise fine column, George Will gets carried away when he criticizes the resignation speech of Alberto Gonzales. In response to Gonzales’s statement that he has “lived the American dream,” Will sniffs that Gonzales “evidently thinks [that dream] is epitomized by his success in attaching himself to a politician not known for demanding quality in assistants.”
We don’t need to debate whether the American dream is limited to going as far as your merits take you, or also can include getting lucky and going farther. Before George W. Bush appointed Gonzales to any position, Gonzales had graduated from Harvard law school and become a partner at one of the nation’s leading law firms. For many, that alone would fulfill the “career” side of the American dream, and it’s unfair to suggest that Gonzales satisfied that dream only by “attaching himself” to Bush.
Will is also disgusted that Gonzales would say “even my worst days as attorney general have been better than my father’s best days.” Will responds:
His father married and had eight children