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August 14, 2007


From your summary, Novak's lament reads like a crime-family melodrama. The ruthless but faithful retainer, who built his life around the protection and advancement of the Dimmer Son, finds himself suddenly shut out.

Didn't the Bushes just have a little meeting up in Kennebunkport?

If you can't immerse yourself in the perverse world of organized crime, it's impossible to sympathize with any of the characters. Novak doesn't seem to have that problem, but perhaps he should have saved his sad story for other insiders. Any playwright can tell you that if the characters are all evil, what befalls them can't be tragic.

As a document that was deeply influenced by the Enlightenment and forged in a time of European colonial expansion, our constitution has had a difficult pasasage through the narrows of the national security state.
Although the framers had no knowledge of relativity or mutually assured destruction, they were more than familiar with the human traits of hubris, greed and autocracy. The Bush Roving Sons of Watergate are not a mutually exclusive phenomenon. Karl Rove is just the latest rendition of timeless charlatans who measure their sucess by obfuscation and duplicity. Primary among their tools is the intellectual ability to analysis a system to it's detriment and not promote its potential.
Truth be that the rovian rules of governanace are basically at opposition with our established political institutions.
In comparative analysis with the National Socialist's subversion of the Weimar Constitution, it is the strength of established political institutions that makes the difference.
As the history of Europe displays the transition from monarchy to democracy has been a bumpy road.
One of the glaring mistakes of the neocons in the invasion of Iraq was to ignore the consequences of absent political institutions and the historical signifigance of foreign invasion to the 'fertile cresent'.
And maybe Rove is more of a trotskyite that a stalinist. That would certainly explain his alliance with the neocons.

For those of us who are unable to spend as much time as you and others do minimizing the space between ear and ground, can you give us a clue as to whom the unnamed evil (in Novakula's eyes) Republican is?

Sorry about the graammar. Sentence structure changed in process and I hit "Post" before correcting it.

I've always wondered why anyone gave Novak a forum. He's been disgraced and discredited. But in this case, it sure looks like they're letting Novak write because he's bitter and resentful and as such, he's going to reveal things that this secretive administration won't. Immense egos are the strength of this party, and immense egos will be the thing that destroys them.

I'm amazed at this Novak article. There are so many Easter eggs in it! Woe is Rove, the Republican party now sees him as more of a liability than an asset. As if this should be a surprise?

Who is the terrible, horrible, no good "leading Republican" who is offering up Rove's hide to the voracious democrats investigating in Congress? Could it be the wily, non-trustworthy Specter? That's just a guess -- I really don't know and there are a lot of choices.

It's interesting that Novak mentions Armitage too. Just last week, Armitage appeared in the movie "No End in Sight." While watching it, I thought it was very curious that he was in that movie. I found his behavior to be a little strange too, in contrast to others who were interviewed in depth. It's telling. The movie was limited in scope and by no means meant to reveal everything. But it did strongly implicate those most responsible for the Iraq debacle.

Who else is Novak so angry at? How does he feel about Baker, for instance? Anyway, this is almost equivalent to the temper tantrum Novak threw, on camera, when he appeared on CNN with Carville. While I usually cringe at his words, or worse yet, his appearances, now I say, "Let the man talk!"

"Rove is unique, a rare political mechanic with a comprehensive knowledge of American political history. As an obscure young campaign consultant in Austin 20 years ago, he embraced George W. Bush -- who had failed in both politics and business -- and gave him a plan to guide him into the White House."

So it's Rove we can thank for guiding the proven failure "in both politics and business" to the White House. Terrific. Thanks KKKarl.

Karl is moving on to head up the out sourced GOP smear campaign of the Democratic front runner, and operate the wealthy persons favored special interest group in conjunction with his best client until January 2009.


Ach, perhaps I missed the obvious "leading Republican" here. Cheney. I'm not sure why, but I was thinking of someone on the Judiciary committee.


There is a strong anti-Capitol Hill bent here, too. I do wonder, though, whether it's someone like Tom Davis: who has his fingers in the investigation of politicization, who wants to run for state-wide office, and who Novak has quoted in hte past on related issues. Specter would work, too, though if Specter had his choice, he'd get rid of Gonzales.

Then again, we all know that Cheney, Mr. Fourth Branch, actually is part of Capitol Hill, too.

"Joseph Wilson did not know the identity of my source when he talked about "frog-marching" Rove into jail, setting a mindless pattern soon followed by bloggers and politicians alike. A talkative juror, after convicting Scooter Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice, expressed sorrow that it was not Karl Rove."

EW, I know you won't stand for being called mindless. Do you think Novak reads or is it all word of mouth? Have you sent him a copy of your book?

Now that's funny, that a leading Republican would think we could be fobbed off with carcass of a beached white whale. As if. They truly have NO idea what they have done to this country, and no idea what a genuine offering of whale carcass really looks like. I take it they have never heard of a harpoon...

Makes that teary scene between the BFF's yesterday so much more suspect; were tears part of what they perceived as an obligatory offering, some sort of ablution that was supposed wash away their criminality? Good gravy, how history will view this.

BFF = Best Friend Forever

I don't get the sense that it's Cheney. Though it's very in vogue to blame everything on Cheney, "leading Republican" would be a strange way to describe him. And while "Cheney made me do it!" is becoming a popular excuse, it doesn't look like Novak is sticking to the talking points anymore.

"Leading Republican," it seems to me, would better describe either someone running (or thinking of running) for office, someone who is strong in the RNC or the party in general, a thought leader in one of the think tanks, or a ranking member in one of the Congressional committees. I suppose it could also be one of the minority leaders in the House or the Senate, but neither of them seems particularly strong right now. We'll have to watch to see who speaks out the most in the coming weeks and who seems to be wielding a lot of influence. In a party that's crumbling, power and leadership might be coming from an unusual suspect.

I first suspected Specter because of his strange behavior in committee hearings. While he doesn't seem to be one of the "in crowd" or a thought leader in the party, he's on the judiciary committee, and that's really important right now. Judging by his behavior, I could easily believe that he's been going around trying to broker deals. In his own mind, he is a giant, and at this particular moment in history, he might have some Republicans convinced that he's got an advantage that others in the party don't have.


It coudl be either Mitch McConnell or, even more likely except that he shares paleocon ideology with Novak, Trent Lott. They're pretty smart at getting what they want.

A lot of what Novak says is true. However in all these kinds of momentous events there are a lot of pluses and minuses on either side of a decision.

The net result I believe is that Rove will benefit, Bush will benefit, the Republicans will benefit, the Democrats will not benefit.

--> benefit - as used here is a sum of pluses and minuses. Indeed more than that. It is a resultant vector.

Jodi - I'see you are still bitter. The political landscape is shifting (though not in the way that Rove said when he predicted decades of Republican domination). Get used to it.

Neil at 9:56

That's a talking point to set-up Rove's book. Novak is pre-viewing Rove's POV on the Plame Affair.

This is one of the down-stream problems that's going to keep climbing out of the coffin in the future because Rove wasn't indicted with Libby - an indictment would have spiked any of this kneepad stenography revisionist history that paints "Rove as the Victim."

As most of us at TNH and FDL know, Rove and Libby were tag-teaming the Press to plaster the town with the scandalous news about Joe Wilson's boondoggle, arranged by his CIA wife - a smear campaign under Cheney's direction, authorized by Bush.

Certainly, Novak knows that Rove was 'as involved' as Libby in the compiling together of his hit-piece - Novak made sure of his bullets by routing a pre-publish copy to Rove via Hohlt. Rove and Novak were in it up to their necks together.

But no, Novak says that Wilson didn't know who Novak's sources were when he accused Rove, and Rove wasn't indicted, so instead, Rove was persecuted by bloggers and politicians alike with the false meme of a witch hunt.

"He's a good guy," says Robert Novak, the columnist best known for 'outing' national security asset, Covert CIA Operative and WMD Proliferation Manager Valerie Plame Wilson as part of a political smear to neutralize Joe Wilson, a legitimate critic of Bush's Rush to War in Iraq.

No Republican in Congress is powerful enough to push Rove out. And nobody could push him out if he wanted or was able to stay. He's Gonzo times a million in terms of Bush's loyalty to him. The only explanation that makes sense for his abrupt departure is that some big hammer is about to fall on KKKarl and he was forced out to protect the remaining bunker-ettes in the White House.

Maybe one of the reason Rove left is that had he continued his activities within the government he would be violating the law and could be in deep shit. I think he will continue to focus on manipulating the 2008 elections, if nothing else for saving his and Bush's skin. But I think that he is overrated.

Hmmm...just realized that when Libby asked Judy Miller to source him as "ex Hill staff", he was missing the Fourth Branch argument. If Fouth Branch is part of Legislative as well as Executive, why couldn't he just ask Miller to call him "Hill staff"?

Or would that claim have been too far out even for Miller to accept?

Novak isn't into truth. At least not the reality based kind of truth. There is ample evidence that Alberto Gonzalez is incompetent and corrupt. There is bi-partisan clamor for his resignation, yet he is still there. So, why would Bush react because the Dems (and a lone GOPper) are after Karl?

Novak's spin is absurd. Bush/Cheney have never responded to political pressure. Hell, Karl Rove was what made them immune to political pressure. Karl knew how to twist and turn every arm, how to promise support or threaten demise for any Congresscritter who didn't vote the Bush/Cheney way. He turned the entire government into a means to those ends. And now he is stepping away because of political pressure? No way.

Rove may be "canney" and "successful" but he is also one mean spirited vengeful dude. And he isn't timid about using a shill like Novak to deliver a threat. Somebody better watch his back.

First guess is Specter, but Davis is an interesting possibility. Specter is relentlessly going after Abu in his own weird way, and it's hard to tell how he feels about Rove, who is clearly the source. Specter sees Leahy gaining strength and power (and attention) from speaking the truth, and he has to twist into a knot for his own reactions. But Davis has to sit next to Waxman, and he hasn't turned the corner onto Criticism St. yet.

In all of the coverage of Rove and the timing, etc., I can't help but think about (and fear) how his whole plan would have worked all too well if it weren't for Cheney and Rumsfeld and Iraq. It's a big if, of course, but it seems like Rove's politicization policy and construction of the PRM (permanent republican majority) was on a nice Stalinist track and could have set itself up nicely if, say, Colin Powell had been put in charge of the response to 9/11. Rumsfeld would have been confined to Afghanistan and Cheney would have been, well, a vice-president. Since this more logical (but very scary for the domestic future) scenario was preempted by grandiose neocon fantasies made real and tragic, it's hard not to see Rove's departure as the final lightening of the load to allow the 4th branch unencumbered access to the driver's seat for the last 500 days. Rove had run out of relevance, and was staying one step ahead of the rule of law, and he has a lot of work to do spinning out a twisted version of "history" for Bushco. And Cheney can do so much more damage in the endgame and is just the greater of two evils, that's all.

Bingo. Nonbody could have pushed Rove out. This is just a not too subtle hint to the Repubs in the Congressional committees to take the heat off.

Possibly another reason for Kkkarl to step down? Talking Points Memo has linked to a Matt Apuzzo AP story that says:

"Five journalists must identify the government officials who leaked them details about a scientist under scrutiny in the 2001 anthrax attacks, a federal judge said Monday.

"U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton ordered the reporters to cooperate with Steven J. Hatfill, who accused the Justice Department and FBI of violating the federal Privacy Act by giving the media information about the FBI's investigation of him.

"The reporters named in the opinion are Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman of Newsweek, Allan Lengel of The Washington Post, Toni Locy, formerly of USA Today, and James Stewart, formerly of CBS News."

Hmmm. Isikoff? I dunno, but where Mikey has been, Karl's never far away, right?

Maybe Judge Walton is partly responsible for Rove's stepdown? (Not, of course, that there is any lack of possible reasons...)

Thanks, emptywheel, for your continuing analysis and insight.

Reading through other sites, CHS and Digby in particular, and pondering Rove saying "I'm Moby Dick." Digby lays out the big dots that might be connected between Watergate opponent surveillance and today's warrantless wiretapping/TSP/domestic surveillance, and she suggests that the slow bleed of Hatch Act violations might act as cover for larger egregious political activity. So does this fit ew's exhaustive research into the TSP and the investigation of its illegality from 01-05? Again, I feel like Fred Fielding is the key man, orchestrating the game of bluff and dodge, and he should have the best sense of how long they can hold out.

I don't know, this has the feel of a sea change.

Bush and Cheney can't smother the truth of the Hospital Visit, the Abramoff Corruption Case, the CIA Leak investigation, the USAs, the RNC e-mails, the Tillman Investigation, Torture, Domestic Spying, the DC Madam's Client List, and more - it's too late. The Dem Leadership has the "truth telling cards" that would big-foot any 'parlimentary obstructing pretence' by Fielding and utterly destroy Bush and any hope for his legacy.

The good guys are holding at least one Ace, if not more.

BushCo is melting. Rove and the women and children, are fleeing. Now, only the Kookiest of the Kool-Aid drinkers would commit political sepuku by continuing to support Bush and Cheney's failed policies.

Our National Nightmare may have turned the corner back towards the Rule of Law.

Let's see if they throw Gonzo off the Bus next...

Surprisingly, I think Jodi (wasn't her nickname wormtounge?) may actually be right.

bush* benefits because the dirty tricks and strings Rove is going to start pulling won't be directly tracable to the white house. He'll still have 24/7 access to his turdblossom.

Rove benefits because he's going to try to get back behind the curtains again. His goal was not to be famous but to create a permanent republic majority. He's ready to start work on stealing 2008.

See Rove and bush* above to see how republics may benefit.

While Rove may have to deal with legal problems that are going to start hitting much closer to home, he's demonstrated an uncanny ability to multi-task in such situations and when/if the impeachment ball really starts rolling he'll have his blanket pardon in his back pocket before the house even gets to vote.

Don't take your eyes off of Rove. If you believe he's really going to spend time with his family, think again.

I am convinced that Rove did not resign but was FIRED. Hence, the blade fell in one swoop and all the weeping and dismay was unavoidable. It also explains the "time with my family" excuse. What else was there to come up with?

I speculate that Poppy Bush told baby Bush that if he didn't fire Rove, and now, baby Bush was going to end up as dead meat.

Despite his ambitions, I don't think Davis is important enough to be Novak's "prominent Republican." Plus, he's had a front-row seat to a number of investigations with no particular connection to Rove, so I find it hard to believe he'd expect them to go away if the Dems don't have Rove to kick around any more.

I think it has to be someone at least Senate level of prominence or higher. It's probably someone on the Hill, but another possibility is Ed Gillespie, who was yanked back from Virginia to try to rescue the lame duck White House from irrelevance.

"The desire to get Rove has outlived the Plame case, with Democratic lawmakers trying to make him the target in the firings of U.S. attorneys."

But Mr. Novak, the Plame case has only just begun! And of course the folks most concerned about the firings of the U.S. attorneys are of the U.S. attorneys themselves....

I speculate that Poppy Bush told baby Bush that if he didn't fire Rove, and now, baby Bush was going to end up as dead meat.

Huh, since when did W give two hoots about what Poppy said?

Wild ass guess, James Baker III, Dad, and a lot of GOP Senators gave Bush an ultimatum, either you "change course" in Iraq, so we can take back the Senate, or you fire Rove.

Wild ass guess, James Baker III, Dad, and a lot of GOP Senators gave Bush an ultimatum, either you "change course" in Iraq, so we can take back the Senate, or you fire Rove.

This makes no sense either. Baker and Poppy are irrelevant.

Republicans gain nothing by Rove's firing. The kind of hypothetical you raise is meaningless.

This "feels" like a surrender. But none of us knows what caused the "surrender". "it was time". "didn't expect it". "had to go now".

Who is young Bush surrendering to. His father? Cheney? Spector? The truth??

Next week on the world turns...


I was thinking about Poppy too, mostly because Poppy's the only person who's ever fired Rove.

I don't think anyone forced Rove out. Bush is all about loyalty and all about stubborness and all about being Right (Glenn Greenwald's "Tragic Legacy" gives a good account of the Bush state of mind).

Remember what happened when the Iraq Study Group advised things like diplomacy and withdrawal? Bush responded by ESCALATION--just to prove he is Right.

There's no way any body could have forced Bush to abandon Turd Blossom.

Quite frankly, I find it hard for Rove (a total control freak) to give up his position of central influence. I mean, sure, Bush's Presidency is irretrievable, but any move out of the White House is a step down.

This resignation has a scent of desperation. I get the feeling something big is coming down the pike.

Oh, and without Rove to help coordinate the Republican message, all those marginally competent employees they've filled the party and administration with are going to flounder. I think the Titanic is listing.

I tend to agree w/ joanneleon. It is Specter. Tom Davis doesn't have the stature to do these kinds of polls.
Besides, Specter has been talking a lot w/ the WH counsel Fielding. Fielding probably put up Specter for this. Why did Fielding do this? W spent a few days with papa and momma last wk and Papa was never a fan of Rove's. (He actually fired him one time when Rove leaked something to Novak.) My theory: Papa convinced Dubya he needs to get rid of Rove and Fielding wanted to find out if this would stop the Dems. Leahy gave his answer to Specter publicly: No way, Jose.

Well, maybe Rove took a hit when Bolten replaced Card, and maybe Card stepped back at the urging of Baker and Poppy (his lifelong patrons).... Looked at this way, we'd have to suppose that Rove has been on death row since Nov. 2006, or shortly thereafter--without necessarily knowing it. Or maybe he knew it all along, but the Chimp just couldn't let go....

This is only to argue that Baker and Poppy are never really irrelevant. But how?

What makes it so hard to read is the Chimp's demented obsession with, and pursuit in the practice of the Appearance of Being Presidential, floridly evident at all times, and something that Poppy and Baker probably regard with a great deal of worry--as when talking to a madman with a loaded gun in his hands and a wild look in his eyes.

Shorter Novak: "Bush, Rove made you, you little shit. And this is the thanks you give him?" - EW

"he embraced George W. Bush -- who had failed in both politics and business -- and gave him a plan to guide him into the White House." - Novak

I have never agreed with Novak but completely agree on this point.

alabama - I think Bush/Rove plan right after 04 election was to make Rove chief of staff after Card left. That's why Rove became Card's deputy for some on the job training. But with Plame case heating up and Fitz hot on Rove's trail, that plan was dropped. Then Bolton came on and Bush put Rove on 06 elections. (Bush even put him in charge of Katrina, but Rove did not want to do a real job.) After 06 debacle, Rove was a marked man. All the scandals since then just added up. I still think there was one triggering event, which we will know soon.
It could be: Anthrax scandal, Alabama governor prosecution, Larry Flynt, Hatch act or something entirely new.

Susie Madrak found an interesting tidbit...


(Sorry, my linking skills suck swampwater.) Anyhoo, Larry Johnson says that Abramoff has perhaps ratted out Karl, and Abramoff's belief is that Karl is "going down."

From his lips...

As the Grasper at Reality is fond of saying, the cossacks work for the czar. If this is a poll, I'm on the record with the HW crowd slowly dismantling Junior's crew since JAB, a cossack who has seemed to know his place over the years, returned to the scene with the ISG. For them, this is The Long War.

Remember how Rumsfeld wasn't leaving? I don't care how many boyz he has in subordinate places, Cheese can't finish without someone in that top spot at DOD, which is why he's been so visible, for him, since then. I'm not sure if Cheese can get Brush to finish anything without Rove, either. It will be interesting to see whether Brush has any remaining use even as a front man now.

Meanwhile, Rove probably should take Lower Manhattanite's advice over at The Group Blog: Don't sit in front of James Baker on a plane.

"This makes no sense either. Baker and Poppy are irrelevant."


"Republicans gain nothing by Rove's firing."

Do you know who Trent Lott is? Please google on Lott and Rove.
Do you know how pissed off the GOP, especially George Allen's campaign was, that Bush waited until AFTER the election to fire Rummy?

You know all those US Attorneys that Rove fired, and threatened to fire (eg Biskupic from WI), they were ALL Republicans.

Women Republicans, gay Republicans, African American Republicans, Latino Republicans, trial attorney Republicans, are all very happy that Rove is gone.

In today's America, with all communication potentially eavesdroppable, I am left wondering how Rove is going to stay in touch with Bush Jr without our NSA and corporate telecoms copying the transmissions.

Maybe Rove will resort to sending hand written messages via anonymous messengers on horseback...

"The combination of party and policy was epitomized by the distribution in the White House of Republican National Committee e-mail accounts, with presidential aides given party BlackBerrys."

Sounds as if Novak is claiming that Rove's RNC email account was the reason for his demise. Rove clearly violated federal laws (duh) according to a handbook given to all EOP personnel to read and comply with that "requires the preservation of electronic communications sent or received by White House staff." It's not easy to feign ignorance the second time round after he was caught using his RNC email account during the Plame debacle that was supposed to be "blocked from the EOP network to help staff members ensure compliance and to prevent the circumvention of the records management requirements." In an effort to avoid making any effort, I wouldn't be surprised if the Dems agreed; should Rove resign his office they wouldn't prosecute him for violating federal laws that requires the preservation of presidential records --- as if this was his only crime.

Lespool - The "Democrats" have neither the jurisdiction, authority, nor discretion to make that deal; they have no power whatsoever in relation to prosecution of violations of federal laws, i.e. crimes.

ecoast, if we remove Baker and Poppy from the equation, then we're left with the following questions: did Rove jump, was he pushed by the Chimp, or is something brewing that would force them both to run for cover (Bush, by getting out of Rove, and Rove, by getting out of Bush)?

Since the line that Rove jumped is official I'll just have to discount it. Since the Chimp is helpless without Rove (and has never found a way to accept helplessness of any kind), I'll just have to discount that one as well. So we're left with the third hypothesis, which in fact is the one that most of us seem to favor.

My problem with this is the following: Bush, Rove and Cheney have no cause to be afraid of their fellow Republicans (they all retire in less than 18 months). They have nothing to fear from Justice--something they've handled nicely. And, of course, their contempt for Congress is their signature....So whom could they possibly fear? But there's one person in town who has shown that he knows how to hurt them, and this is Patrick Fitzgerald, who has yet to finish his job..... So I ask myself the following: did Fitzgerald force Rove to divulge a thing or two that would have made his continued association with Bush a political impossibility? And if so, what could that possibility possibly be?

Since this all looks rather far-fetched, I'll drop the subject for now....

I say the prominent republican is Fred Fielding. Fielding knew Rove was leaving, because Bush told him. So, Fielding was just tying to get something for it.

bmaz, A mere technicality! As a laywoman (married to an attorney), I tend to ignore all those little legal realities that according to my husband makes our ability to communicate so difficult.

I'm with massaccio -- Fielding's the most likely candidate for Rethug mouthpiece; he's spent the past year 'negotiating' with Congress and wants the heat turned down, no doubt. Most likely he's called in cards from Lott, Specter, Poppy, Baker III, the Allen campaign, and plenty of related (panicked and p*ssed-off) Republicans. I suspect that more than one Republican is raising a toast to the unsung DC warlord who put the final straw on Rove's back. Abramoff probably started singing enough to give the FBI some leverage with Taylor; perhaps she couldn't wiggle out of a few nuanced questions, and a small leak in the firewall started leaking like a sieve. (Damn, I'd have loved to be a fly on that wall!)

Rove's almost certainly trying to keep one step ahead of the law. But he shouldn't be allowed to board a plant to Panama unless James Baker III is seated directly behind him.

Whoops, meant Ralson. Although Taylor may also be talking.
But I sincerely hope Abramoff let a cat or two out of the bag that gave the FBI more leverage with Ralston, and the other ethically-challenged authoritarians who work(ed) for Rove.
Let's just hope that Rove doesn't have remoting access to GWB's computer.

Final comment -- this sample of Novak's writing is superb in so many ways -- he values campaign strategy over governance, and people have value only commensurate with their perceived nearness to political power. Best sample of NovakAsSuckup to date.

Heh heh; lespool you could, however, have quite a nice conversation with my wife...

"Bush, Rove made you, you * little shit. And this is the thanks you give him?"


(*you left out "stupid")

Karl Rove

is as usual ahead of the curve. What he is up to remains to be seen. But bear in mind that he is a giant strategist.

Yes, there are those who take every opportunity to try to tarnish him, but they ignore reality.

1. Iraq was not Rove's thing. He was just a loyal soldier to Bush and Cheney.
2. Likewise all the other detestable initatives of Bush and Cheney like Social Security were only marching orders for Rove.

Yes you can claim that just because he was following orders doesn't absolve him of being a part of those stupid initiatives, but don't think for one moment that they reflect on his intellect.

Some like to claim that 2006 repudiates Rove, but that is not so. If not for Rove, the Repulicans would have fared much worse.

Rove is a giant, and he will be back. In fact truthfully, he will never go away. He has just strategically relocated

"Karl Rove is as usual ahead of the curve."

He certainly was in November 2006 when he waited until AFTER the midterms to fire Rumsfeld. That enabled Webb to beat Allen and gave the Democrats control of the Senate.

Jodi - except that Rove was claiming till after the 2006 elections were over that the Republicans would win. That is no giant.

Rove predicted decades of Republican domination. That is no giant strategist.

There is really no way to know how Repubs would have fared in the absence of Rove.

Boo Radley - Had Poppy or Baker been relevant, W wouldn't have ignored the Baker commission.

I know who Trent Lott is and what the history is there, but that is just one Senator. And Lott is not the kind of person who would say - change course in Iraq or fire Rove. That kind of tradeoff makes no sense, nor can Lott demand it.

Are the Republicans really happy that Rove is gone? I don't think so.

Pete, you appear to have backed off this:

"This makes no sense either. Baker and Poppy are irrelevant.

Republicans gain nothing by Rove's firing. The kind of hypothetical you raise is meaningless."

"Boo Radley - Had Poppy or Baker been relevant, W wouldn't have ignored the Baker commission."

Poppy and Baker are very relevant. All the Vichy Dems lined by behind the Baker Hamilton Commission.

"I know who Trent Lott is and what the history is there, but that is just one Senator."

IIRC, there are 22 GOP Senators up for re-election in 2008. They are all looking to follow the Vichy Dems behind the Baker Hamilton Commission.

"And Lott is not the kind of person who would say - change course in Iraq or fire Rove. That kind of tradeoff makes no sense, nor can Lott demand it."

FWIW, I agree Lott, Poppy, and Baker all would have preferred it if Bush would have caved to Baker Hamilton, rather than caving on Rove. Ultimately, however, it doesn't matter. The bipartisan pressure to shove Baker Hamilton down W's throat will not abate, because he fired Rove.

"Are the Republicans really happy that Rove is gone? I don't think so."

It's a mistake to think that all Republicans are one homogeneous group. Here's Bush's SEC, a lot of conservative Republicans, Barney Frank and John Conyers taking on Bush and his Solicitor General Congressmen Weigh in on Securities Fraud Case Before Supreme Court

The GOP goal is to win back the Senate in 2008. Poppy and Baker are irrelevant to low information Democrats. They are no more irrelevant to the nation's political future than Clinton and Carter.

I asked above for a link. If you want to maintain that Poppy and Baker are irrelevant, please link to someone who agrees with your assertion.

I am not backtracking. I may have worded it badly, but Poppy and Baker are irrelevant to what W will do. W talks to Father (in heaven), not to his father.

And a link means nothing. I doubt if there will be a link disproving it either.

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