Also, Aaron Burr got a bad rap

I'm sure the following anecdote must have been big news around the time of his confirmation hearings, and I am a convert to the semi-contrarian "Gonzales is worse" school of thought, but I recently encountered the following John Ashcroft story, related in Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation, and just thought it was worth passing on, though the lesson appears to be that the areas on which Ashcroft was bad were more superficial than substantive. I'm going to use the version from a Molly Ivins column, but it's exactly the same as the version in Vowell's book except that she keeps us in suspense about who is being quoted for a little while.
Ashcroft was interviewed two years ago by Southern Partisan magazine, which the New Republic calls "a leading journal of the neo-Confederacy movement" and "a gumbo of racist apologias."

Ashcroft praised the magazine, saying that it "helps set the record straight. You've got a heritage of doing that, of defending Southern patriots like Lee, Jackson and (Jefferson) Davis. Traditionalists must do more. I've got to do more. We've all got to stand up and speak in that respect or else we'll be taught that these people were giving their lives, subscribing their sacred fortunes and their honor to some perverted agenda."