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July 14, 2005


What a superb description of the likely reactions of the two main actors in this drama. Just finished Kitty Kelley's book--and Bush's fear rings true.

So, my question is, will the Bush Administration continue to play the Nixon (Watergate) game of denying denying denying until it's no longer possible to deny, followed by cutting loose some big players? Or will they play the Reagan (Iran-contra) game of denying denying denying (until Eugene Hasenfus was downed), followed by Oliver North's arrogant (and mostly effective) appearance at Senate-House hearings? So far, the Republican talking points indicate that it could go either way.

just for fun, i've been asking myself, do the handful of remaining adult republicans impose a caretaker to replace rove if he really does end up going?

and if so, would that caretaker possibly be named james baker?

DHinMI: excellent post and great analysis of the situation. Watching Rove twist slowly in the wind is proof to me that there is justice in the universe eventually.

I'm coming more and more to see the relevance of an analysis made 70-odd years ago by Josef Goebbels:

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic, and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

I really do wonder what is going on with Bush right now. I'm not convinced that he knows what is going on, because who is going to tell him? He doesn't read he papers; if he watches any news it's surely Fox. I would guess that his perception of events is more or less what Rove is telling him.

It's notable, though, that he's made no strong verbal statement of support for Rove. On the other hand, he was photo-opped walking with Rove, which CNN at least was spinning as a non-verbal show of support. This approach actually makes sense, in that the less Bush actually says at this point, the less risk of it coming back to haunt him. But who is making that call?

Meteor Blades - Ollie North's Senate appearance was a bit of a special case. He appeared in full Marine dress uniform, and looked the jut-jawed part. Compare Clarence Thomas's similarly-effective "high-tech lynching" jive.

But Karl Rove is a pudgy white guy who looks like Elmer Fudd. It's totally irrelevant to his character, good or bad, but he is not a natural for dramatic television.

-- Rick Robinson

I really don't have any idea how this will play out. With a President with at least a modicum of confidence--Clinton, say--even a longtime friend/aide would be jettisoned rather than sully the entire administration. But I'm not sure we've had anyone, not even including Harry Hopkins in FDR's administration, who in so many ways is the administration.

A couple years ago somebody--maybe it was Josh Marshall--characterized this administration as first European-like administration, with a head of government (Cheney) and a head of state (Bush). That's an overstatement, but in large part because of Rove. He's the only forceful person in this administration not directly involved in foreign policy or working for Cheney, and he's the guy who "handles" the wingers. I honestly don't know how Cheney wouldn't end up controling everything without Bush around, and I suspect Bush doesn't either.

I wonder if Poppy is on the phone to Jim Baker yet...

Gee, I can't catch a break on this thread. First Hunter and I use the same headline, and then Howard steals my thunder on the Jim Baker crack. ;-)

TC--the big lie obviously didn't work indefinitely for the Nazis, as reality intruded (in the form of the Red Army, the Arsenal of Democracy, and a late assist from Patton and the 3rd Army). I think reality is starting to intrude on Bush. But I also thought that when Abu Ghraib broke, so who knows.

Rick: The AP and Reuters articles I linked both make a point to talk about Bush's supposed "silent show of support." I think it's the only way they could show Bush not tossing Rove under the train without, as you correctly point out, leaving something out there that could be quoted against Bush in the future.

And I do think Bush will feel isolated.

Here's what I really wonder: What's Laura think about all this, and what's her influence going to be if Turd Blossom is gone? Reports are she's pro-choice, among other things. And she also seems like the only sensible person in that whole damn bizarro family.

Who cares what Laura thinks. I'm more interested in what Bush's other wife, Condi thinks.

No, seriously. In the background of all this is that Condi is having more success than the squabbling boys of the last term ever had (which, granted, is not saying much). I suspect people are beginning to notice, which is one of the reasons Bolton's star is falling fast. I'm not positive, but I think Condi may end up being the winner in all of this.

Yeah, Condi may win on this, but politically that won't due much for Bush. Rove is invaluable to this administration. If he's gone, what do they do domestically? Can anyone tell us who would shape the domestic agenda?

Nice post. Do you realize that this is the first time in (my) memory that the Democrats launched attacks on multiple fronts? Does this mean that the Democrats are beginning to act wisely and aggressively? I hate to think so, it would be too good to be rue.

Can we come up with better spin than dirty tricks to describe Rove? What about lies and deception, or lies and manipulation, or lies, deception, manipulation, and smear? Dirty tricks sounds like something a fifth grader does. Rove is much worse than that. Dirty tricks doesn’t sound criminal enough for what Rove does.

Bush reminds me of the picture of him during the first campaign, wasn't it, when Cheney had a heart attack or heart problem, and Bush had to cotemplate having to "govern" alone?
Deer in the headlights?

Rove is tactics, Cheney is policy. If Emptywheel is right and they are feuding over whose fault that is, this must be for Bush like his parents fighting. I think fear encapsulates what he must be feeling. Is it that he has realized that Rove lied to him? Or just that he may lose Rove? Or is he involved and afraid Rove will roll over on him to save his own skin?

Speaking of indictments, I have been going back to the sealed affadavit that Fitzgerald filed to justify going after the reporters. Per Hogan's opinion, Fitzgerald said that his focus had "shifted as it has acquired additional information during the course of the investigation," and he "now needs to pursue different avenues" in order to complete the investigation. Is it jsut perjury/obnstruction or something else? Who testified aroudn the tie that Fitzgerald decided to pursue the reporters?

Mimikatz: good question, and interesting timing, because I'm watching Isakoff on The Daily Show and he's saying that he thinks Fitzgerald better have some serious charges if it was worth putting reporters in jail for.

I wonder if the WH is "concerned" about the phrase "unindicted co-conspirator" returning to everyday parlance. That would make me feel young again, in more than one way. John Dean, way back in 2003, had an interesting article about the possible application of the Federal conspiracy statute to the Plame case. When re-reading that article, I noted that the conspirators need not all be members of the administration, if you catch my drift.

And, a few minutes after posting this, I read Dean's latest and saw he had the same thought about who could be a conspirator with Rove.

So, with the latest from London, what do you think the odds are of drawing Judge Hogan for the extradition proceedings?

i, too, believe that fitzgerald is after conspiracy, and have ever since the 3-judge panel's ruling, with the word "crimes" in it.

that said, DH, it strikes me as quite remarkable (not knowing the precise context from your remarks) that Isikoff would say what he said. After all, we know at least one thing that Cooper knew that Fitzgerald wanted to get on the record: the notion that Rove didn't do anything until after the Novak story appeared is no longer operative.

when you combine the opinion of the judges, that "crimes" may well have been committed, with the single sliver that we know from cooper, that rove's public timeline has been a lie all along, and you can certainly speculate quite a bit.

In short, it's not just a theoretical question of what fitzgerald might want from the reporters he's threatened with jail: we actually do know at least one thing he did want, and it was big.

I hope that there are news reports about Rove's history of dirty tricks. A steady stream of them would give Democrats the opportunity to dismiss some future attacks as "Rovian tricks" or "coming from a Rove disciple."

And kudos to Rep. Holt for making this a much larger issue of a breach of national security. That needs to be hammered home over and over again. Not only is that the truth, but politically, it should help Democrats gain ground in the "fighting terrorism" questions in polls. I guess this could be another fear of Rove, Bush and the GOP. This could harm their greatest advantage in politics today. The ability to use terrorism as a way of winning over enough independents, while throwing red meat to the base for all the other issues that some of those independents strongly disagree with. In a way, I think terrorism has allowed the GOP to be far more partisan and be more politically free to play to their base.

I saw the Wilson segment on The Today Show at Crooks & Liars. Wilson handled himself very well.

Thanks, Blue, for pointing us to Dean's latest article - well worth the read . A tease:

There is no solid information that Rove, or anyone else, violated [the Intelligence Identities And Protection Act ]. There is, however, evidence suggesting that other laws were violated. In particular, I have in mind the laws invoked by the Bush Justice Department in the relatively minor leak case that it vigorously prosecuted, though it involved information that was not nearly as sensitive as that which Rove provided Matt Cooper (and possibly others).
(emp. mine)

The tacit Bush family motto (and also that of many others in their 'crowd') is pretty disgusting in its immorality: 'If you can't be good, be careful'. As often happens with parents and children, the child learns lessons from the parents a little too well, or rather, takes some lessons too literally; Poppy had his sleazeball, Atwater, on hand for when he needed him - to help win an election. Notwithstanding some other ethical lapses though, Poppy didn't have all that much use for guys like Atwater once he was in office; once you win, it's time to shift to the business of governing. Dubya, on the other hand, built his whole career, his actual governance, his policies and ruling coalition, around his sleazeball, Rove. It's going to be icky for him if Rove goes, and they'll probably have to drag Karl out of the WH by his shiny little piglet hooves.
IOW, for Rove to go, he will probably have to actually be indicted, or maybe even convicted. Here's hoping.

WRT who spoke to the GJ just before the reporters got involved--that would be Rove. He spoke with them, according to Murray Waas, last October. That was the last bit of Fitz "wrapping up this investigation" except for the journalists.

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