THEY DON’T HAVE TO GO HOME, BUT THEY CAN’T STAY THERE…. As we learned in quite a bit of detail a couple of years ago, U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president, and leave their posts when the White House changes hands.

But Scott Horton reports that there are two controversial prosecutors, known for being loyal Bushies, who are aware of the process, but don’t want to leave.

Two U.S. attorneys appointed by Dubya are refusing to leave the Justice Department when Obama takes office. Their explanation: they’ve got too many corrupt Democrats to prosecute!

An internal report issued this week by the Justice Department brought attention to the Bush Administration’s efforts to “burrow” partisan ideologues deep in career civil service positions at the department. But even a few of Bush’s political appointees at Justice are giving the new Obama administration trouble. Though their lease may technically run out on January 20, U.S. Attorneys Mary Beth Buchanan of Pittsburgh and Alice Martin of Birmingham are resolved to stay in their posts. The Daily Beast has learned that both are arguing to the Obama transition team that their efforts to convict Democrats should guarantee them an extended stay into the Obama presidency. […]

Buchanan and Martin seem to be bucking for a fight. Do they want to be fired? So far, it looks like they’re daring Obama to fire them. The fireworks may last beyond Inauguration Day.

I’m certainly aware of Obama’s willingness to cooperate and engage with Republicans, but these two really have to go. Mary Beth Buchanan has been accused, repeatedly, of being one of the more blatantly partisan prosecutors in the country, and using her post to launch politically-motivated investigations. As Faiz noted about a month ago, Buchanan not only brought dubious charges against Democrats while overlooking Republican wrongdoing, she also hired Monica Goodling and spoke with Kyle Sampson about some of the prosecutors who were ultimately fired in the 2006 purge scandal.

As for Alice Martin, she was not only responsible for the Don Siegelman prosecution, but has also “been the subject of repeated investigations by Congress and the Justice Department’s ethics office, several of which are still pending. In the course of the last year, Martin has undertaken sweeping investigations targeting a large part of the state’s Democratic legislators and the Democratic mayor and city administration in Birmingham. She manages these cases in close collaboration with friendly Republican oriented media, which usually feature detailed accounts of her investigations and her proposed proof as the investigations conclude and arrests are undertaken.”

Horton noted that Buchanan and Martin “appear girded to make a last stand like Japanese soldiers who never got word that the war was over.” That just won’t do. They don’t have to go home, but they can’t stay there.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.