Monday, August 13, 2007



The Ames straw poll didn't generate much news: one of the pygmies™ drops out (T. Thompson), the Mormons manage to buy enough votes to win a pyrrhic victory, Huckabee thinks he's a front runner now, and, most important of all, virtually no one shows up (no voters, no activists, no front-runners). And then Karl Rove faces reality and goes back to Texas to prepare for the endless court cases that his life with devolve into until Bush gives him a blanket pardon.

Late last night, between news cycles, the White House leaked it out. Rove's leaving. Maybe they hoped no one would notice? I don't think so. If the vast majority of Americans think Bush is the worst president in history, what do they think of his chief advisor. Joshua Green has a feature in the new Atlantic Monthly called The Rove Presidency. The subtle-- "Karl Rove had the plan, the power, and the historic chance to remake American politics. What went wrong?"-- gives you a clue how history will judge The Architect. The first sentence: "With more than a year left in the fading Bush presidency, Karl Rove’s worst days in the White House may still lie ahead of him."

And many of those days will be spent dealing with subpoenas from Congress trying to get to the bottom of why Rove leaked Valerie Plame's name to Bob Novak, why Rove decided to fire a dozen U.S. Attorneys, what Rove's-- and the White House's-- relationship was with Republican rainmaker Jack Abramoff, what Rove's role was in the perversion of the American electoral system... and half a dozen other things. Maha has a good take on the story.
The story of why an ambitious Republican president working with a Republican Congress failed to achieve most of what he set out to do finds Rove at center stage. A big paradox of Bush’s presidency is that Rove, who had maybe the best purely political mind in a generation and almost limitless opportunities to apply it from the very outset, managed to steer the administration toward disaster.

Paul Gigot, at the Wall Street Journal, who broke the story while we were all asleep, called his thought piece The Mark of Rove, from a Rove ironic self-description-- though not "The Mark of the Beast." It's important to Gigot (and Rove) that he is perceived to be leaving on his own terms, not in handcuffs, although-- despite Gigot's nonsensical supposition that "he has survived a probe by a remorseless special counsel," he has barely, rather than thoroughly, been investigated-- yet. But even a water carrying lackey and Republican bootlick like Gigot can't miss the fact that Rove is in trouble. Gigot calls him the Democrats' "great white whale;" historians may see him as the Bush Regime's virtual Himmler.
"I'm a myth. There's the Mark of Rove," he says, with a bemused air. "I read about some of the things I'm supposed to have done, and I have to try not to laugh." He says the real target is Mr. Bush, whom many Democrats have never accepted as a legitimate president and "never will."

Rove may have failed in his long term goals but he succeeded in the short terms and no one can claim he's stupid or ignorant (unlike his boss, who is clearly both-- as well as illegitimate).

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At 10:24 AM, Blogger Dr Housing Bubble said...

Not much left for Rove to do at the office. I imagine it is time to let a young one trying to make a mark in the GOP come in and try to do something. Not exactly the best platform to get your career started with the current administration.

At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rove leaving before indictment remains my first guess, but another, which triggers my paranoiac-bone, is that President Cheney's got a super evil action plan not far off ranging from an air attack on Iran to any number of martial law plans for the US.

A staged terror attack would also fit the latter scenario. My tin pie plate is vibrating like a mofo.

At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's not Himmler, he's the Republican's Goebbels. And the Dems ARE Not Ahab, they are more likely, Ishmaels . Or the other sailor with all the tattoos. At the very least the Dems are Moby Dick, hunted for ever by Ahab, and eventually turning on the ship chasing him, killing Ahab, and then dying. Rove is in no way any sort of hero in this sad sordid tale of the last 6 1/2 years.



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