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July 12, 2005

For The Record...

Count me among the list of conservative bloggers who say Karl Rove must go.

Dr. Rusty doesn't want the distraction of a scandal.

The Maximum Leader wants to see the administration maintian a higher standard.

i'm in agreement with many of the points made by the above two esteemed gentlemen. It is not clear that Rove violated any laws. As i understand it, the statute in question has an intent element, and as any former 1st year law student will tell you, proving intent is the tough part.

But to me, the main issue is this: President Bush said that any administration official found to have been involved in leaking the name of an undercover C.I.A. officer would be fired.

The fact that Valerie Plame was not really undercover seems irrelevant now, and that is as it should be, in my opinion. We are in the middle of a Global War on Terror, and we should not be playing semantics when it comes to perhaps the most important weapon in that war: our intelligence services. There should be a bright line standard that protects all members of the C.I.A. They need to have the confidence that they can do their job without risk that the Administration might rat them out for political reasons. i'm not saying that was what was done here, but that's the perception, like it or not.

So, Bush promised to fire anyone involved and now we find out that at least one of the persons who leaked the info was "the architect" himself. Maybe it was stupid for the President to say he'd fire anyone, but he said it. It was also stupid for the President to back off on the yellow cake assertion too, when the British were sticking by the report. What the hell, this administration has never been one that places a high value on articulatication, unfortunately.

But i didn't vote for Bush twice because i thought he was articulate. i voted for him because i trust him on key issues. Not all issues mind you, but key issues like whether i'm going to get blowed up sometime in the future or not. i need to trust him on certain things. i need to know that his commitment to this Nation is greater than his commitment to his friends. Even to friends like Karl Rove, a man to whom the President, this country, and by extension myself, owe a great deal.

Yes, i am incredibly grateful to Karl Rove for everything he did to prevent the unbelievable disaster that a Gore presidency would have been for this country, in this time. And for preventing a Kerry presidency, which would have also been disastrous, though less so than Gore, who i believe is mentally unstable. But all gratitude aside, Karl Rove is expendable. Especially so, now that Bush has been elected to his final term.

On January 26, 1998, President Clinton looked me (and all Americans) in the eye and said, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."* It was that statement, which wasn't even under oath, that bothered me more than anything else he did. It bothered me even more than his lying to the Grand Jury. When a president speaks to the American people like that, in those kind of absolute terms, he is calling on an automatic reservoir of trust we give to our leaders. Maybe it's foolish to grant any politician that kind of trust, but i think most rational Americans do. So when it turned out that Clinton looked me in the eye and lied, well, i couldn't forgive him for that.

Now, Bush didn't look into any cameras when he promised to fire anyone who leaked the Plame info, or if he did it's not something i've seen. But that doesn't matter. Bush made a promise in absolute terms about something very simple. i want him to keep that promise.

* This is the full Clinton quote, in all its infamous glory:

"Now, I have to go back to work on my State of the Union speech. And I worked on it until pretty late last night. But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time – never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people."

Posted by annika, Jul. 12, 2005 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: annikapunditry


The fact that Valerie Plame was not really undercover seems irrelevant now, and that is as it should be, in my opinion.

I disagree, that's of supreme relevance. If she isn't covert, then talking about her is not (and cannot be) a crime--or even unethical (it'd be like talking about a secretary at the CIA).

Yes, CIA people need confidence that they won't be "outed" for political reasons--but if there was no "outing", then there's no scandal.

Unless challenging the credibility of one who writes politically motivated falsehoods in the NYT (as Wilson did in his infamous op-ed), is somehow out of bounds for an administration to respond to.

So yes, Bush said he'd fire anyone involved in the alleged "outing" of Plame. Whether she was "outed" remains to be seen, as does the question of whether Rove was involved in it. (Cooper's Rove email just doesn't rise to the level of objectionability yet)

Posted by: Christopher Cross on Jul. 12, 2005

May I speculate that you think the Brits were not being ungrateful churls in dumping Churchill after the war?

Posted by: The Owner's Manual on Jul. 12, 2005

In the abstract, Christopher, that all makes sense. It is, however, beside the point. The President has a job to do, and owes it to everyone not to deprive himself of the ability to carry it out by being mired in scandal. Among the innumerable reasons Bill Clinton was (to be generous) lax with our national security was that he was simply too busy with constant political damange control. Hemming and hawing, splitting hairs and parsing statutes will simply magnify that damage, so Rove has to go. If he's as great a political operator as he's made out to be, he knows this himself. Yet an excessive sense of personal loyalty may be this president's greatest weakness, so I can't say I'm optimisitic about it actually happening.

Posted by: Dave J on Jul. 12, 2005

Dave is right. It's good to remember that presidents are just like the rest of us, they have only 24 hours a day to do everything. imagine if you had to devote half your time at work on some stupid damage control project. How much would you be able to concentrate on lurking problems that don't seem like a high priority at the time. Which is a perfect description of the al Qaeda presence back in the nineties. Turned out it was a bigger problem than it seemed, but Clinton was fighting just to stay president. It's inexcusable, but also understandable that his administration didn't pay enough attention to the threat. (i know, there's also the philosophical problem of law enforcement vs. military approach too, which was just as much to blame as the Lewinsky/Starr distraction.)

Amazing how much i've become a Clinton apologist lately. i don't mean to be. i'll go spank myself now as punishment.

Posted by: annika on Jul. 12, 2005

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

C'mon Annie, what are you learning in law school?

How about the presumption of innocence? Anybody remember that, or do Republicans not deserve it from the liberals because of something like original sin?

Let's at least wait for all the facts and his position before we lynch the guy.

According to what I am hearing right now, Time was ready to go with a story that Cheney sent Wilson to find out about the yellowcake stuff in Niger, and it backfired. Wilson was pushing a lie.

Wilson has no credentials whatsoever to know about this stuff; turns out it is his wife that has the expertise on yellowcake and that is what she does, but not covertly overseas; she's an internal staffer.

It is not illegal to mention the name of a CIA employee. Porter Goss, for instance. It has to be a covert operative, and you need to intend to blow his/her cover. Rove apparently didn't know her and had no idea about covert (she wasn't).

Listen, all those spooks are the same. I was in the Department of Justice as a young lawyer in Washington in the 60's.

Hanging out on M Street in the bars, a short conversation with a cute girl would go like this:

Horny Guy: "So, what do you do here?

Cute Girl: "I work in Virginia".

HG: "Just where in Virgina?"

CG: "Near Langley"

HG: "OK, so you are CIA"

CG: "I didn't say that"

HG: "Yes you did; want to go somewhere and talk?"

Everyone knew that they were just staffers, but they always maintained the attempt at mistique; then and now.

Valerie Plame was part of the decison making process in the CIA that asked her husband to go to Niger and spy for the Company, and he was trying to pass it off as Cheney driven.

Rove was correcting the story; didn't know her, didn't mention her name, just said Wilson was not sent by Cheney and was apparently send by the CIA at his wife's behest. He also said it specifically on the condition that it not be used, but only to provide background to keep a wrong story from being printed and perpetuating a lie being told by Wilson.

Re-think this one, Annie, and at least go neutral until the facts all come out. If the story is as I just heard, Rove is not going anywhere except to the next State Dinner.

Wilson is a liar and a cheat, having been a big donor to Kerry and an advisor as well. For him, it was all about the election.

Rove is an American Hero, and Wilson can go to Gitmo.

Posted by: shelly on Jul. 12, 2005

Sheesh, just when I was getting ready to nominate you for Chief Justice. It's that time of the month isn't it.

Posted by: Casca on Jul. 12, 2005

annie - wilson is an lying idiot working for the chocolate makers, this is totally a manufactured "scandal" - the lefties don't care that Valerie Plame is famous and the centerfold of every porn magazine. You definitely must re-spank yourself in public.

Posted by: d-rod on Jul. 12, 2005


By the way, the law enforcement v. military threat issue to which you refer was a product primarily of one Jamie Gorelick, you know, the 9/11 Commissioner who was on the commission with Lannie Davis to do nothing but defend Bill.

During the Clinton administration, she was the Deputy Attorney General at DOJ who issued the famous 1995 "Wall of Separation" memo which forbade the sharing critical information between the criminal enforcement and anti-terrorist parts of the FBI.

It could have been said (and was by many) that if there was one document that led to the FBI screwups on 9/11 more than any other, it was her "Wall of Separation" memo.

So, yet another Clinton problem that was interally created. (I pointedly refrain from adding "by a woman")

In Clinton's defense (if you care to do it) I doubt seriously if he ever hit on either Jamie or her boss, Janet Reno.

On the other hand, they were probably Hillary's picks. Hmmmm...

Posted by: shelly on Jul. 13, 2005

ANN you are correct. I am on record here and on other blogs as saying. Rove is a political hack and not worth anyone falling on their sword for.
He outed Plame, no two ways about it. Sure he didnt say her name, but do we want to be like Clinton and defend ourselves with semantics?(depends on what the definition of is, is) Or be like Al Gore and justify our behavior on a legal technicality?(no controling legal authority)
He will be a tremendous obstacle to getting any business done as long as he stays.
By-by Karl.

Posted by: Kyle on Jul. 13, 2005

One correction, Annika. Bush didn't say he'd fire anyone who outed the CIA agent. He said if anyone BROKE THE LAW, he would be taken care of. Don't get sucked in by Harry the Demagogue Reid's misquotes. Carl Rove didn't break the law. Valerie Plame was a desk rider, not a covert agent.

Posted by: Larry on Jul. 13, 2005

You must realize that the Wilsons are a well-known gad-about couple especially in Democrat and media social circles. They have been in the society pages since 1998. Everyone knew that Plame was Wilson’s wife, and almost everyone knew she worked at the CIA.

How do you out celebrities?

Wilson outed his wife by publishing that editorial lying about the results of his secret mission to Niger. A few days later a reporter called Rove and asked him about the story. Rove said that Wilson was lying which was true. He then said a well known fact-Wilson's wife also works at the CIA without mentioning any names.

There is much blame to spread around in this affair. Rove is the most blameless one involved.

Posted by: Jake on Jul. 13, 2005

I figured I'd jump into the comment thread here since it is getting a little nasty here.

First off, I'd like to address the earlier comment by "The Owners Manual" about the Brits dumping Churchill during WW2. I consider Winston Churchill one of my great personal heros, and I've researched and read a lot about him. Unfortunately he was dumped at the end of the war not by an ungrateful people, but because the Tories didn't run any sort of election. Atlee ran on a platform of socialized medicine and nationalized industry that promised jobs and care for everyone. Churchill responded to this by calling that vision of a socialist Britain one ruled by "some sort of Gestapo." Winston was a great man (I believe the greatest of the 20th Century in fact) but he had a habit throughout his life of saying inflamatory things at the wrong time. When Britons were just getting over WW2 and Nazis and death camps it is a bad idea to insinuate that your opposition is going to establish a secret police to enforce their political will on the people. It had nothing to do with gratitude.

As for Rove. I thought I was clear in saying that I do not believe that any law was broken by Rove. I do not believe that Rove will, or should, go to jail. But I also think that the President has made it clear that he will hold his Administration to a higher standard than his predecessor. If the leak was not involving a "national security" issue my opinion would be that Rove should stay. But as it stands it is more important that the President be able to be a strong war leader and show that he takes security issues very seriously. Equivocation will not help him. I'm also not insinuating that Wilson and Plame are blameless in this matter. There is plenty of blame to go around. But Rove got caught up in a sticky wicket and now must do what is right for the President's sake.

Posted by: The Maximum Leader on Jul. 13, 2005

When did restating a well-known fact (allbeit within certain political circles) become acceptable grounds for a lynching. Democrats are panicking and grabbing whatever looks like a sure thing PR-wise.

Posted by: koond0g on Jul. 13, 2005

I wouldn't be upset at Rove leaving, but I would be upset at the notion that democrats would be emboldened to pull this same stunt again.

We still don't know if Rove named Plame or not, we just know that he told Newsweek's Cooper that Wilson's wife sent him, and that the story that Wilson was peddling was false (which it was.) We don't know that Rove talked to the reporter that actually leaked her name, Bob Novak (although I would bet money that he did,) but more importantly, we don't know if Rove gave Novak her name or specifically outed her.

Look, Plame and Wilson were specifically telling lies in an attempt to embarass a sitting president at a time of war. If Rove did leak the names he should be fired, but Wilson and Plame should be facing charges, not acting like the left's media darling's.

I understand everyone's point that Rove is a distraction right now. You're right. But if he does get fired, and given the way the left has been acting, don't you think it will give them all the justification they need to act worse?

Posted by: Trevor on Jul. 13, 2005

Maximum Leader.

"he will hold his Administration to a higher standard than his predecessor. "

You are allowing the MSM and the Democrats to decide what that standard is no matter how ridiculous. MSM and the Democrats are the last people America should listen to when talking about ethics.

If the administration followed the demands of the that mob for resignations, we would have no:

Administration advisors
Republican leaders
Military officers above a major.
Sane judges

Posted by: Jake on Jul. 13, 2005

You've hit the nail on the head, Annika. If Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about fooling around, then Karl Rove show be facing 20 years. Some people here don't understand Valerie's various roles at the agency, some of which have been reported to involve covert operations. All of her contacts in those countries she operated in are now at jeopardy, and any US personnel involved would likely have been extracted shortly after the news broke.

This kind of interference in intelligence affairs is beyond excusable, even if Rove felt it was 'good strategy'.

Posted by: will on Jul. 13, 2005

Here's a link to the "fire" statements.

i did follow the links, since i have caught media matters distorting facts in the past. The links are solid. i guess the rest is up to your individual interpretation. The closest bush got to using the word "fire" was when he adopted that reporter's leading question:

"Q: And, and, do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?

BUSH: Yes. And that's up to the U.S. attorney to find the facts."

Kind of a tricky question, but Bush could have dodged the question. Makes you think maybe that he didn't know about Rove, or there was someone else involved besides Rove. i have a hard time believing that Bush knew about Rove's conversation with Cooper, and thought he could keep it a secret. In this day and age, nothing stays secret, especially when members of the press are in the loop already.

Posted by: annika on Jul. 13, 2005

Holy Crap - I love how the Right can always bend backward over its own heels and not even wince. Bush spoke about giving anyone caught the ax because it was already decided that what had happened with Plame was wrong. That was given. If it wasn't a big deal to name her then that would have come out, say, at the begining. No reporters would be in court asked to reveal sources - the president wouldn't have to answer questions about what he might do - there would have been No Issue.
We've been looking into it for all this time precisely because Something Wrong Was Done. Don't be so silly as to believe it when, more than a year later, this administration tries to tell you that it was never a big deal.


Posted by: ~A on Jul. 13, 2005

And I find it obsurd at how willing the left is to forsake its own self professed ideals when it senses that it might be able to "get" someone from the otherside. I don't know who you are A, but clearly you are not paying much attention.

This whole chain was started by a member of the right who believes Rove should resign. Did you somehow miss that fact? Have you failed to notice the debate underway in rightwing circles about what Rove and the Whitehouse should do?

I find it very odd, because no such debate ocurred when Sandy Burger was crotching national security documents as if he was pilfering kielbasa from a convenience store. I also remember no calls for Dick Durbin's resignation when he publicly outed the existence of a secret U.S. espionage satelite system last year. None-the-less you feel compelled to come here and spout your hysterical, yet oddly uniformed outrage. Did Al Franken go to commercial?

The fact is that there is a lot that is not known at this time. Given the facts that have been made public, it is entirely possible that Rove should go to jail, although I doubt it. It is also quite possible that the leaker was not Rove, but nutty Joe Wilson himself. I ask you, would it not be best to wait for the facts, or should we just start throwing all of your political opponents in jail?

Do let us know, because it is important for us to figure out if you're against the principles of innocent until proven guilty, or just an idiot with a keyboard and an internet connection.

Posted by: Pursuit on Jul. 13, 2005

Bush's "fire" statement is being mischaracterized. It should fairly be read this way:

1) I will fire anyone who intentionally compromised the CIA for political purposes.
2) I will fire anyone who has broken the law.

To read Bush's statement any other way is to either be mistaken, or to be willfully mischaracterizing.

Therefore, based on what we know to this point, Rove should stay. It would be an injustice for him to go.

Also, I DO NOT THINK the Repubs should back down to the Media bully and give Rove the boot. Truth is on the Republican side. They should punch the Media bully squarely in the nose, and as hard as they can, and they should make every attempt to hang on to their lunch money. The truth will out.

Posted by: gcotharn on Jul. 13, 2005

"The Right" was wrong (too general) and I was too quick to post my comment.

I didn't call for anyone's outing here. I didn't What I did was state that the president does not generally offer his position on a subject when there is no issue. This president, in fact, doesn't seem to feel compelled to offer much even when much of the country wishes he would. However, on this topic he did speak plainly and he obviously felt the matter was serious enough to take a position.

I'm not trying to rush anything along or "get" anyone; I was merely trying to point out that, although Christopher Cross suggested that there might not be any issue after all and Larry seems convinced that he's already got it all figured out, the President did speak on this issue, Scott McClellan did speak on this issue and now Rove seems to have doubled back on himself. I haven't attacked anyone but merely made an observation.

It's true that I was wrong to begin with "the Right" - I don't even associate myself with "the Left" per se. Frankly, "your team vs. my team" makes me ill. It seems the very thing that set you off was, in fact, the very thing that might have set me off but, please, reread what I wrote and see that, really, I didn't go as far as you want to make out. (hysterical? outrage? I'll give you "uppity", maybe.)

Now, I've only visited this page several times before and don't know how many here are regulars. I'm not trying to hijack the thread, site or whatever sense of family individuals here have for one another. I'm really not invested in "winning" anything here. I have respect for the page, the author of this page and her views. A couple of the comments here just really suprised me.
...really, I only popped in because annika referenced the comments at another site we both frequent.

(and re Franken: I haven't paid attention to him since SNL days. If you're upset that I generalised, "the Right", you might want to meditate on how easy it was for you to attack me as some member of "the Left".)

Posted by: ~A on Jul. 13, 2005

The presumption of guilt at the beginning doesn't fly Annie. The left yelled "fire" and everyone assumed from the beginning that something horrible happened. Fact is, Plame's employment was public information at the time (regardless of her past exploits) and for one to be "outed" one must be "in" to begin with. The law is very clear on that point and gives the exact number of days since the last covert action before it is efective. Plame's glory days in the agency were well behind her.

Bush's biggest mistake was biting on the hook that the left dangled out there in the first place - that a crime had actually been committed. A man of integrity, as I believe he is, has the option to say "I was wrong about the whole thing in the first place - no law was broken and no one's safety was jeopardized." No harm no foul.

Posted by: koond0g on Jul. 13, 2005

Annika, thanks so much for your thoughtful post on the whole thing. You know I generally try to stay away from politics on my own site, even though I frequent a lot of other sites with pretty active poliblogging components - both those I generally agree with, and those I do not. I was especially curious about this particular issue because of many of the things you posted. Although I disagree with Bush on many, many subjects, I believe him to be a man who is not afraid to take a strong stand (even when I disagree with all my heart and soul), and I believe him to be a man who generally keeps his word - and I'd like to see that here, too.

Posted by: Lorie on Jul. 13, 2005

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think Bush is losing much sleep over the Rove issue.

Oh, the PRESS is, to be sure. And it's making Scott McClellan into more of a milquetoast than he usually is.

But does anyone think that with two SCOTUS seats opening up, suicide bombings in london, and an ongoing war in Iraq, that this "scandal" will last beyond next week absent some bombshell revelation?


Posted by: Christopher Cross on Jul. 13, 2005

great post annie keep the discourse moving :)

Posted by: eric on Jul. 13, 2005

I love it when people confuse the law and politics. No serious person is suggesting that Rove committed a crime. I don't think he even came close.

But he did the one thng that every political operative knows that he or she CANNOT do, he made himself the issue. I both like and admire Karl Rove, but as long as he remains in the White House he - and not the president's agenda - will be the issue. This is NOT an issue of "innocent until proven guilty", it's an issue of cleaning up a colossal political fuck up, pure and simple.

The longer Rove stays, the more he hurts. You think the White House will be able to confirm upwards of three Supreme Court nominees AND defend Rove at the same time? Therefore, the question conservatives need to ask themselves is, "What do you want more, Rove or the Court?"

And I can only imagine what everyone currently pissing on Annika's parade would say if the exact same set of circumstances happen during 1993-2001. An even slightly honest conservative would tell you that there would be unholy hell to be paid.

Posted by: skippystalin on Jul. 13, 2005

Re: "Skippy 'The Condescending' Stalin":

Based on currently known facts, Rove did not make himself the issue. Rove warned the Time reporter, Matthew Cooper, against printing an incorrect story. Rove was performing a good deed for Matthew Cooper and Time Magazine.

This is why I do not believe the Bush Administration should back down in the face of media speculation and hysteria. The hysteria is not based on anything Rove did wrong, but is based on the fact that Karl Rove continues to breathe air and advise President Bush. You do not fire someone for simply existing. God forbid Rove should help an old lady across the street. If he tried to save a woman in distress, as the California football player did last month, the press would call for Rove to be executed.

Posted by: gcotharn on Jul. 13, 2005

I love when people confuse their opinions with bad advice. Turn your statement around skippy. Do you really think the Dems will be able to fire away at Rove, Iraq and "upwards of three Supreme Court" nominees? No way, scandal fatigue will kill the public's interest. Clinton proved this over and over, by letting his enemies focus on the scandals while he focused on his agenda.

So, by your own admission Rove hasn't done anything wrong other than become the issue, a point I'm not ready to agree with, yet you'd through him to the wolves. This would do nothing but give the opposition momentum, and the opportunity to focus this momentum on their next victims.

This needs to play out. If Rove is guilty, he is on his own. If not, sacrificing him early in the game is not wise.

Posted by: Pursuit on Jul. 13, 2005

Sacrificing Rove now would deflate the current scandal immediately. The dems would be forced to find a new one, or go back to demanding their resignation du jour: Rice's Rumsfeld's etc. Scandal fatigue would still set in, if it hasn't already.

Listen, i wouldn't be favoring Rove's ouster if Bush hadn't made that promise. We already had eight years of Clinton's weaselly presidential behavior. i just don't want to see Bush vulnerable to that kind of criticism. Rove won't go to jail, he didn't commit a crime. But he's not needed anymore, and it would be so easy to pull the rug out from under this summer's scandal if he would just leave gracefully.

The supreme court fight is too important to have any distractions. And listen, the idea that if we give in on this one, it will only embolden the democrats and media to try this tactic again. That's crazy. What makes you think they need emboldening? This is what they do. Scandal mongering is their only mode of operation, since they have no actual positive ideas or agenda. Giving in on the Rove thing wont encourage them any more than they already are. And fighting on the Rove thing will do nothing to dissuade them from using the scandal tactic every chance they get.

Posted by: annika on Jul. 13, 2005

Since when has Rove NOT been part of the issue (at least within the fever swamp) or the key to every scandal pimped by the left against Bush?

Sacrificing Rove would do nothing to improve Bush's political chances re: SCOTUS. It'd only embolden Dems that they can defeat Bush at home. But if that's crazy because "this is what they do"--on what basis is canning Rove justified then?

But by referencing "scandal fatigue" you prove my point, there simply isn't enough to this story to give it legs beyond a week of breathless press conferences.


Posted by: Christopher Cross on Jul. 13, 2005


I didn't say canning Rove would embolden them. I said it would allow them to sharpen their focus, and provide them with momentum in the sense that they would now have credibility with the large part of the public that doesn't pay attention.

Your point is well taken, and it is the conventional wisdom in this sort of situation. I'm suggesting that we allow them to feed on Rove while we execute our agenda. If Chris Cross is correct and this dies down, we can always distract them with a Bolton recess appointment.

Posted by: Pursuit on Jul. 13, 2005

As long as Rove is the topic du jour, it's sucking up Democrat outrage that will be needed by them to use against the SCOTUS candidates.

Let him linger. I don't see it hurting, MSM fury notwithstanding. And I for one am in no mood to feed the wolves anything. Time will still tell what, if anything, Rove did, and whether he really should leave the scene.

Posted by: Desert Cat on Jul. 13, 2005

But, dammit-- where, in the midst of all this strife, is Superman?


Posted by: Kevin Kim on Jul. 14, 2005

I'll give you just three examples of how this works.

Example 1: Bert Lance, President Carter's first budget director was accused of a conflict of interest regarding his holdings in a Georgia bank. No charges were filed and no one was convicted of anything.

Example 2: John Sunnunu, the first President Bush's first Chief of Staff was accused of misusing government property (specifically military planes and helicopters.) No charges were filed and no one was convicted of anything.

Example 3: Dick Morris, President Clinton's senior political strategist in 1996 was accused by a tabloid of consorting with a prostitute. No charges were filed and no one was convicted of anything.

What do these three have in common? Their conduct, criminal or otherwise, had so distracted from the agenda of the presidents that they served that, sooner or later, all three were forced out. If said staffer went early (as Morris did), the political damage was minimal. In the cases of Lance and Sunnunu, they stuck around until the bitter end with harsh consequences for their presidents.

Rove knows how this works better than anyone. At a bare minimum he should take a leave of absence so as to take himself out of the spotlight because I assure you that the Democrats won't let this go so long as he remains in the White House. There's almost no chance that he'll be there six months from now. The only question is whether he leaves on his own or if he's forced out.

It is very telling just how quiet the senate Republicans are being on this matter. They're afraid of what this story can do.

This is a famously loyal president. But loyalty works both ways. Before this scandal impacts the president's agenda further, Rove should make a dignified exit now.

Posted by: skippystalin on Jul. 14, 2005

To Skippy Cocksure:

Lance, Sununu, Morris: Straw Men, every one. Not to mention that they actually DID TAKE IMMORAL/UNETHICAL/UNBECOMING ACTIONS WHILE SERVING THEIR PRESIDENTS. This is where the comparisons with Rove end. Rove's action was moral, ethical, and quite becoming. The more I type, the cuter and cuddlier Rove becomes!

This reminds of the guy who said "I never knew I wanted an AK-47 till my government told me I couldn't have one." For me, I never knew Rove was so cute and cuddly till I started defending him against misrepresentations and lies. At this point, he's practically a Care Bear.

Posted by: gcotharn on Jul. 14, 2005

gcotharn (If that is your REAL name...)

Firstly, thanks for the "cocksure" part, it makes me feel so much sexier than your earlier "condesending" sobriquet.

I LIKE Karl Rove. I always have and I always will. But this argument seems to have expanded from whether or not he did anything illegal to whether he did anything "IMMORAL/UNETHICAL/UNBECOMING." This is a shift that I'm sure that the Democrats will welcome hearing about. Once that happens, Rove is done.

The fact of the matter is that the media and Democrats aren't going to let this go. They smell blood in the water, and can you name me the LAST unelected official who survived a shitstorm like this? Just one would do.

I'm not saying that this is right or even fair. It is however, the way things are. Furthermore, think if this happened in the Clinton White House, your position would be very different. I give you the Travel Office scandal as just one example. And the White House Counsel took it in the neck for that.

Far from taking any pleasure in this, I wish that the President and McClellen didn't say half the things that they did. Now they're forced to twist themselves into Clinton-esque linguistic pretzels that not only make Bush look bad, but make Clinton look good because he was at least entertaining doing it.

I remain lovingly cocksure,

Posted by: skippystalin on Jul. 14, 2005


We probably ought to continue our now 2 person conversation off of Annika's bandwidth. I have reasoned and level-headed replies to your challenges ready and waiting, but cannot see how to contact you. If you will send your email address, maybe we can work this out amongst ourselves. You can reach me at:


Posted by: gcotharn on Jul. 14, 2005


I'm actually adressing this at my place. However, I tend to get generally vulgar there. I discuss things other than politics (although that consumes most of my time.) But I do opine on boobies and the pleasures of lesbianism and such.

Why? Because I'm versitile.

Posted by: skippystalin on Jul. 14, 2005