We know the least of what the President knew and the latest he could have known it.
While we have yet to fully discover who conceived the plan to fire the U.S. Attorneys, who nurtured the plan, and who finalized the list, there is no question as to who executed it: George W. Bush.
In this, Bush's defenders are absolutely right - U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President. Not the Attorney General, not the President's Counsel, not his political advisor. The buck stops at the big desk in the Oval Office.
The absolute least Bush could have known is that he was firing the U.S. Attorneys and the latest he could have known it is when he signed off on the list.
So why has he been getting a pass? I suspect it's because liberals and progressives have invested too deeply in the Myth of Stupid George.
The myth suggests that Rove is "Bush's Brain;" that Cheney is really running the country.
It's time to retire that myth. As Al Gore discovered, to underestimate George is to fall victim to him.
Without question, Bush is willfully ignorant, incurious about the world, and astonishingly ready to disregard evidence, scientific, military, and other.
He is close-minded and simplistic, verbally maladroit.
He sounds stupid, but that doesn't make him so.
We should consider the possibility that he's smart enough to wear the "stupid" label as canny political armor. No one, after all, ever questioned Nixon's ability to perform his political misdeeds.
Do we really think Bush is so dumb he didn't know what he was doing when he decided he was no longer pleased with his very effective U.S. Attorneys?
Take the man at his word: he's the decider. That may be poor English, undemocratic, and incalculably vain. But in this case, it is absolutely true.
Bush made the decision to fire the attorneys.
Bush is responsible.