When did the Alberto Gonzales resignation vigil commence? As tiring as we find it, it is hard to imagine how he drags himself to work and back each day. But yesterday's pummeling at the Gonzales hearing pleased President Bush. And Gonzales still has the "confidence" of the president — one of my all-time favorite Washington-scandal expressions. I am beginning to think this means Bush was glad Gonzales was blasted and that he is "confident" Gonzales will see the writing he has thus far failed to notice on the wall.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), not considered even remotely to be a reflexive Bushie, had stuck by Gonzales but had had enough. Before Gonzales testified, Specter said the attorney general's characterization of his participation has been "significantly, if not totally, at variance with the facts." After Gonzales spent five hours trying to explain all the discrepancies and still could not remember important things like a conversation with President Bush, Specter said, "I think we have gone about as far as we can go ... we have not gotten really answers."

Bush has always hung on in loyalty as associates get battered around, perhaps even to stick it in the eye of the political cognoscenti he so scorns, and I admire that. Word is he doesn't want to fire his old friend Gonzales, he wants the guy to do it himself. But Gonzales is clearly stuck in a stupor of denial. Bush should put him out of his misery.