Weekly BlogScan: Karl Rove
Depending on your point of view, Karl Rove is either a sinister kingmaker-puppeteer behind every policy move President Bush makes, or he is simply a brilliant consultant, one of many in George W. Bush's coterie of advisors. Both views concede that this man is a power in the White House.
Either way, I think you would be hard-pressed to find another modern "consultant" to a President with the quite the amount of press coverage Rove has garnered. Who filled Rove's position in the Clinton White House? Who was LBJ's advisor? Nixon's? Kennedy's? Even in the administration of George W. Bush's father, there is no figure with a comparable prominence in the public eye.
Avowed Republicans are not immune to accusations of being swayed by the ophidian eye of Rove. RadioBlogger captured this Beltway Boys discussion of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, in which Hugh Hewitt announced:
Yesterday, Karl Rove made the argument to me that she has sat for three years in the judicial selection committee, vetting judges with [President Bush], with the vice president, with the then-White House Counsel, Alberto Gonzales, with John Ashcroft, making comments, making arguments, helping select, or you know, thumbs-up or thumbs-down. And it is impossible not to know someone's judicial philosophy after three years of such a process. I find that very persuasive.(Following this, on his own blog Hugh Hewitt noted that "an anonymous tipster to Ed Whelan asserts that I have been misled by Karl Rove" on the issue of Harriet Miers.)
And The Rude Pundit, "proudly lowering the level of political discourse," states that Rove's persuasive powers were also enlisted to quiet James Dobson's opposition to Miers.
...it's quite something else to assure people that a nominee's Jesus-lovin' will absolutely have an impact on his or her decision-making. But that's exactly what Karl Rove did for James "Behold My Stereotypically Creepily Effeminate Voice" Dobson, head of Focus on the Family and, apparently, someone who has so much access to the White House that he must be hand-jobbed into complacency by a much-distracted Rove.
At fishbowlDC, meanwhile, they're keeping a light shining on the supposed involvement of Rove in the Plame outing. Floating in the bowl is this reference to Karl Rove Neocondoms: "If you passed by DC Superior Court yesterday and thought you saw three seven-foot-tall condoms, you didn't imagine it." The costumed condoms were there to confront Karl Rove, returning to testify before Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s Grand Jury inquiry into the Plame affair. Unfortunately, the blogger notes, "Rove entered the courthouse through a side entrance" and never saw the demonstrators.
Not to be outdone, No More Mister Nice Guy links the Miers nomination with the Plame grand jury, asserting that Miers was only named because Rove is on the outs with his boss.
I just talked to a source who told me that Karl Rove has been missing from a number of recent White House presidential events—events that he has ALWAYS attended in the past. For example, Rove was absent from [the] presidential press conference to promote Harriet Miers.... My source tells me that the scuttlebutt around town is that the White House knows something bad is coming, in terms of Karl getting indicted, and they're already trying to distance him from the president.
At his eponymous blog, David Corn turned the Plame/Miers speculation around, wondering if Miers' insider information about Rove and Plame might be a factor in her confirmation.
I did think that it would be interesting to see Miers questioned at her confirmation hearings by senators regarding the leak case. Was she a party to any discussions in the White House about the leak, about the White House's reaction to the leak (in which it issued false denials that Rove was not involved in it), about what legal strategy the White House, Bush, Rove and/or others should adopt?
And according to Keith Olbermann, MSNBC's Bloggermann, Rove's troubles with the Plame investigation are also the cause of bomb threats in New York City.
I referred to the latest terror threat—the reported bomb plot against the New York City subway system—in terms of its timing. President Bush’s speech about the war on terror had come earlier the same day, as had the breaking news of the possible indictment of Karl Rove in the CIA leak investigation. I suggested that in the last three years there had been about 13 similar coincidences—a political downturn for the administration, followed by a "terror event"—a change in alert status, an arrest, a warning.
These are recent events—but Rove has been a lightning-rod for commenters from the left and right much longer than that. On LibertyPost.org last February, it was noted that Dan Rather's embarrassment at reporting forged Texas Air National Guard documents damaging to the President had been blamed on Rove.
Spokespersons for CBS News, which aired a report based on the phony documents, and the White House could not be reached for comment on [Democrat Congressman Maurice] Hinchey's theory, which he gave during a forum on Social Security in Ithaca... Hinchey blamed Karl Rove, President Bush's top political adviser, for concocting the plan to release phony documents to the media... "They've had a very, very direct, aggressive attack on the, on the media and the way it's handled. Probably the most flagrant example of that is the way they set up Dan Rather... They set up those false papers," Hinchey said.
Oh, sure, responds Right Wing News, it's all Rove.
It was all part of Karl Rove's eeeevvviiillll plan! ... Did you know that Rove sabotaged the engines of Paul Wellstone's plane, founded the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and got Jayson Blair hired at the New York Times? It was all Rove! When it rains on the day of a peace march? It's Rove using his secret CIA weather machine! When a Democrat misplaces his car keys? That's because Rove's magical leprechauns move them around! Ever lost a sock in the dryer? Somehow, someway, it's Rove's fault, Rove, Rove, ROVE!!!
Even further back, Thomas M. Spencer predicted on History News Network (HNN) in November 2003 that "If White House political guru Karl Rove gets his way, ...the 2004 election will turn not on Iraq or the dubious glories of the Bush economy but on liberal judges, partial-birth abortion, and gay marriage."
IMAO ("Unfair Unbalanced Unmedicated") addresses the accusation that "Republican Talking Points" come by FAX from Karl Rove. (Apparently, because he "likes to personally sign the main copies as a sort of verification." The sample memo is signed "Satan.") In this revealing post, blogger Frank J. tells us he will:
receive a fax at 6AM every day (including weekends) of the Republican Talking Points. I don’t share it with the other IMAO bloggers, and instead just browbeat them into saying what I want... I get ones specifically tailored for bloggers. I assume politicians, pundits, radio talk show hosts, and FOX News get different talking points... You'll notice how IMAudiO [podcast] has less political content than the blog due to the lack of talking points. I am hopeful there will be talking points for podcasts soon...
So there we have it. Karl Rove may be the anti-Christ (he was born on Christmas Day in 1950), or simply the strongest cog in the engine of the Bush White House. Either way, he's a power to reckon with—as P.J. Comix puts it in the DUmmie FUnnies, he's a Perfect Rovian Storm.
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