Friday, April 28, 2006

Whither Rove?

So right now all we really know for sure is that Fitz called Rove back to testify for a fifth time, which is... a lot. But what the exact significance of it is is still subject to fevered speculation. It could mean he's getting indicted, it could mean he's going to flip on someone (presumably that could only be Bush and/or Cheney), or it could mean that he has managed to miraculously squirm free. To my untrained legal mind, his "I would have been stupid to think I could get away with it" defense is pretty damn weak, so I think it comes down to the first two.

The first question this raises is, Who is Rove loyal to? Is he entirely Bush's creature, willing to throw himself to the wolves to protect his beloved master, or is he a self-interested parasite who will just attach himself to a new host once Dubya is spent?

The second question is, What does happen if Rove flips? Even if he does avoid jail time, would the Republican mafia repudiate him as a disloyal squealer? If this were happening during Bush's Swaggering Codpiece Of Victory period, I think turning on him would be certain political death. But Bush's approval ratings are so low right now that the Republicans would be relieved to get rid of him. They might decide to praise Rove as some kind of courageous whistleblower who just couldn't stomach the lies and coverup any more, and cheerfully welcome him back into the fold to run 2008.

The least satisfying outcome (and therefore the most likely, according to Murphy's Razor) would be for Rove to rat out Cheney. Not only would Bush be in the clear, but it would be a very convenient way to get rid of his political baggage and begin grooming a new VP as Dubya's heir. On the plus side, while this might protect Bush from legal jeopardy, I don't think anyone but the most fanatical Republican Kool-Aid drinkers will believe that Rove knew about the Plame-Out operation and never once mentioned it to his master.

The best outcome would be for Rove to rat out Bush and Cheney, forcing them both to resign or face impeachment (President Pelosi?). And while he saves his own skin, he becomes an untouchable within the Republican party. As with DeLay and Abramoff, no-one will admit to knowing him, much less let him anywhere near their campaign. I know it's about as likely as a Jets-Giants Superbowl next February, but I'm rooting for that too.


UPDATE: I should probably clarify that it were all up to me, I would indict Rove over Bush in a heartbeat. Once Bush's second term finishes (whenever that might be), he'll just quietly drink himself to death in between $100,000 speeches and fundraising appearances. But there are no term limits for dirty tricksters. Rove could go on engineering slimy, mean-spirited victories for the GOP for the next 20-30 years.

Yes, I'm sure the Republicans have a very deep bench of amoral scumbags just waiting to run underhanded, Rovian campaigns - we'll just have to keep chipping away.

3 comments:

hisstoryman,Hunter Of Da Snark said...

According to some reports I have read, Rove becoming persona non grata, would please many Republicans.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, Rove can't turn on Bush - because the next pol he might attach himself to could never trust that he wouldn't do the same to him (or her). Let's just all do the best voodoo rituals we know and hope for an indictment.

Eli said...

According to some reports I have read, Rove becoming persona non grata, would please many Republicans.

I can certainly see that. I assume you're referring to the ones who have been attacked or threatened with non-support for being less than 100% loyal to Dear Leader.


Sadly, Rove can't turn on Bush - because the next pol he might attach himself to could never trust that he wouldn't do the same to him (or her).

Well, I would actually *prefer* that Rove take the bullet for Bush (see update).

As for trust, remember the fundamental arrogance of Republicans: "Rove only turned on Bush after he became a liability. I'm way too awesome to ever become a liability, so I have nothing to worry about."