WaPo offers nuanced coverage of Rove departure
And by nuanced, I mean full of
shit the usual lazy, obfuscatory narratives. Let the kabuki commence!
Well-paid WaPo stenographers Peter Baker and Michael A. Fletcher opine:
During the last 17 months of his presidency, Bush's domestic front will consist of trying to preserve programs enacted in his first term, finding opportunities for discreet victories, and engaging in veto battles with Democrats over spending and taxes. Much of the focus will center on foreign policy, where the stakes remain greater and the outcome more uncertain, particularly regarding Iraq.
Really? I would have thought that getting lawyered up and avoiding criminal indictment would have been job one, but, then again, with the Beltway Dems as stone-free as they have been, perhaps I'm over-optimistic. And the second priority would be infesting "civil service" jobs, and the boards and the regulatory agencies, with as many loyal Bushie crime family friends, Christianist sleeper cells, Republican stay-behind agents, Conservative operatives, and owned-via-surveillance-blackmail moles as possible. (DHS--hat tip, Joe Lieberman--should be an especially rich target of opportunity for them, thanks to union protections being gutted.) Third, of course, will be preserving the unitary executive, but that's only the theoretical expression of the first two goals.
The quote from Karen Hughes is especially rich:
But colleagues heaped praise on Rove yesterday and dismissed what they called the public caricature. "There's this notion that there's this devious puppet-master in the back room pulling all the strings," said Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes, a former White House colleague and Texas compatriot. "It's just absurd to all of us who have worked with Karl closely."
Most straw men are absurd, Karen. It wasn't one devious puppet master, it was a whole committee of them; to take one example,the White House Iraq Group, of which you, Karen, along with Scooter Libby and Unka Karl, were members, and which planted over 50 stories in the press in the run up to the Iraq invasion. (It is, by the way, indicative of the pus... pusillanimity of Harry and Nancy's leadership that the Dems have held no hearings on the W.H.I.G. at all, even though it had a central role in catapulting the propaganda for the war. (Did I say "even though"? I meant "because." Sorry.))
Eugene Robinson is a little more muscular:
to quote one of the great country song titles -- "How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away?" -- I don't believe for a minute that Rove really intends to withdraw from public life. I predict he'll be writing op-eds, giving interviews to friendly news outlets and calling Republican presidential candidates to warn them not to abandon Bush, no matter how low his approval ratings slide. Rove's new job will be to put lipstick on Bush's hideous legacy -- and, in the process, freshen up his own.
And, of course, to keep his mouth shut about what Bush knew and when he knew it. No doubt whatever tit Rove gets put on will compensate him amply for his silence. Which Robinson doesn't say because that would, well, not show Civility.
Novak is Novak:
No wonder that a leading Republican has been asking around whether ferocious Democratic partisans in Congress might ease up if Rove were no longer there to kick around. That provides melancholy exit music for one of the most effective and most powerful of all presidential aides.
"Ferocious," my sweet Aunt Fanny. "Ferocious" would be exercising Congress's inherent contempt power and pricking the swelling sack of pus of the theory of the unitary executive once and for all. "Ferocious"--Harry, Nancy--is definitely not gutting FISA, abolishing the Fourth Amendment, at midnight, and then scampering back to the district for the August recess. That's pus... pusillanimity personified.
And Norquist is Norquist:
Rove's second big accomplishment was the 2000 Republican primary. Arizona Sen. John McCain ran as a former prisoner of war with tons of charisma and several million dollars in network campaign contributions [how true] in the form of cheerleading thinly veiled as media coverage.
Ah, yes. John McCain's nigger love-child. Good times.
And weak-chinned Fred Hiatt is Fred Hiatt:
The GOP's wipeout in 2006 would suggest that Mr. Rove did not achieve this goal, notwithstanding his brave parting words about Republican victory in 2008. And if the manufactured polarization of the Bush-Rove years did not even serve its ostensible purpose, then what was the good of it?
Ending on a rhetorical question? Why on earth?
R.I.P. the Constitution. That's "the good of it."
The Bush administration was the culmination of a thirty-year Conservative project, funded by winger billionaires, to replace Constitutional government with authoritarian rule. You, Fred, and your paper, were more than willing collaborators in that project, starting at least as far back as your disgraceful stenography in the Whitewater affair.
So, that was the "good" of the Bush-Rove years, which have worked out very well for them. And when none of the leaders of the Democrat Party have a plan to restore Constitutional government, I'd say that Bush and Rove can, indeed, safely say to their masters "Mission accomplished."
Karl, we knew ya hardlyMR SUBLIMINAL Obligatory "Jeff Gannon" reference....
UPDATE Josh Marshall blows the interpretation in exactly the same way Fred Hiatt does, and using the exact same rhetorical strategy (!). He concludes:
But on the cynicism of Bush-Rove rule, its damage to the country and its destructiveness to the Republican party, across a broad swath of the electorate, it's difficult to find much of an argument. So really what is there left to say?
Well, er, what I said. Je repete, in slightly altered form:
R.I.P. the Constitution. That's "what's left to say."