All Roads Still Lead to Rove
By Mary Lyon
The political work week got quite a kick-start with the news that George W. Bush's wrong-hand man (sometimes also referred to as "Bush's brain") is resigning as chief White House political advisor. That move has understandably launched a thousand spins, and has sent analysts, reporters, and political observers into a doozy of a new guessing game. Many of us are suspicious about motive and justifiably so, wondering what Karl's up to now. Guaranteed, he's up to something. You don't just voluntarily step down from that ego-massaging loftiest of lofty heights unless there's something else going on. Besides, WHEN have we EVER seen any moves by anyone in this regime that are simply what they are, at face value? There's always an angle, an ulterior motive, another unseen agenda in play. These people's moves are NEVER straightforward. No chance of it when you're that crooked.
So let's consider some motivations:
1) "...More time with my family." Yeah. Baloney. I believe that like I'd believe Ted Haggard, Bill Frist, George Allen, Rick Santorum or Jeb Bush, for that matter.
2) To escape Congressional heat. I wouldn't bet everything on that one, although it's probably a factor. Rove knows it takes more than mere geography to get completely out of range. He will ALWAYS enjoy Bush's protection as long as Bush has ANY protection to offer - ie: as long as he remains a squatter in the Oval Office. Seen any suffering from Harriet Miers yet? Besides, Rove is probably going to be on the phone or video conferencing with the White House 57-hundred times a day. Same thing with the Joseph Wilson/Valerie Plame business. If Bush is still around, he'll cover Karl on that one to his last gasp.
3) To work on somebody else's campaign - SOMEWHAT out of the limelight for now. Possibly. Fred Thompson's, maybe? Didn't the Thompson people already flirt with onetime Rove prote'ge' Tim Griffin? The way is now clear for there to be only one Thompson in the GOP race, since the unfortunate Tommy Thompson took what was left of his ball from the GOP's Iowa straw polls and went home. It's already muddied the luster Mitt Romney gained from Iowa, since it's knocked his win there off the front pages and out of the lead stories. Karl Rove's announcement has sucked all the air out of everyone's rooms.
4) To get some distance from the press - maybe that's part of it. Out of sight, out of mind, especially when there's a new campaign and a whole new list of "usual suspects" to nosh upon, and this particular White House Press Corpse already suffers from extreme attention deficit disorder and memory lapses. The press, such as it is, is predominantly in Washington and New York (at least the press with which Rove's always been concerned) and it's not likely somebody's going to assign some reporter to a 24/7 "Rove watch" way out in the hinterlands away from the "action." EXACTLY what Karl would prefer, I'd suspect.
5) Illness? That, it seems to me, would be the only truth behind any flabby excuses about going home to spend more time with the family. Perhaps he's been diagnosed with something. When's the last time anybody heard about him going to the doctor?
6) To strategize from a safe distance about somehow salvaging his dream of that "permanent republi-CON majority" that is now pretty much on life support. After all, a lot can happen between now and next November, there are still more presidential (and other) elections to be stolen, and he's got his own legacy to protect.
7) To be perceived as going out "a winner" - Yes, there was November 2006, but with the conduct of the new Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, turns out that wasn't such a horrible setback after all. Like the Dems have really done a whole lot to reverse things since then. Yes, Karl stumbled on "THE math." But not by a lot. And if it's indeed true that at least three million votes were already fixed, he stopped the hemmorhaging that would have been far greater if more Dems had been elected without any tampering. He just didn't anticipate the level of anger and frustration among highly-motivated Democrats, fueling much-greater-than-expected avalanches of voters descending on the polling places last fall. If he had, it would have been SIX million votes scammed. The fix WAS in last time. It just wasn't enough of one. And if anybody learns from mistakes, it's Rove.
8) There is also the point being made by some of the pros that Rove has thus left "on his terms" rather than being dragged out, under arrest, by the Capitol Hill Police or some such, if Waxman or Conyers or Leahy or SOMEBODY finally gets up the cojones to make one of their subpoenas stick. That's rather doubtful, of course, but one can always hope, 'eh? Strategically and practically speaking, it's much easier to send the law down the street to the White House than to have to dispatch some posse all the way out to Texas. That might be a discouraging factor to some of the weenies in Congress who really would rather not mix it up to that degree.
9) Rove will always have a lot of friends at Pox Noise. I'll bet they're already dangling a diamond-studded carrot in front of his nose, to get his kind of marquee-value name and face on their airwaves as a senior political analyst or some such thing. That would be a tasty bone to throw to the gullible saps who still worship Junior - and still resolutely gulp down the Kool-aid. They're still around in sufficiently large numbers, and they still can be counted on to go to the polls as though those polls were churches.
You've always got to remember, with these people, that NOTHING is ever as it seems. NOTHING should be taken at face value. There's ALWAYS an angle, ALWAYS an ulterior motive, ALWAYS something else going on below ground or beyond view. These folks are like so many icebergs, and we're only seeing the tiniest tip above the water line. There's ALWAYS something fishy here. Nothing is EVER above board or straightforward with this bunch.
ALL roads will STILL lead to Rove. This is just a diversion of some sort.
And if you're suspicious, GOOD. You're correct to be suspicious. We ALL should be. And we need to keep an eye on Karl, WHEREVER he is. I read a story recently about a man being bitten by a poisonous snake even after he'd chopped its head off. The fangs were still full of venom, and there was enough left-over nerve activity to keep them moving - lethally enough.
Then go DO something about it.