THE REAL NEWS ABOUT KARL ROVE
I feel compelled to comment on the Rove-Wilson-Plame-Novak-Miller ad infinitum
saga because it struck me that there is an angle no one has mentioned, or at least no one I have read lately. That is to say thirty, twenty or even ten years ago, Karl Rove would have been left for political dead by now, his corpse would be cold and he'd have become an unperson, forgotten even by Jay Leno in his nightly monologue.
The once dreaded power of the Left's Iron Triangle - the implicit partnership of Congressional Democrats, the liberal MSM and top tier bureaucrats in the Cabinet to destroy Republicans- is a spent force.
Karl Rove is a brilliant bare-knuckle political operator and no saint but the likeliest legal outcome of this charade is that he did not, at least technically speaking, break the law
by " outing" a CIA clandestine officer engaged in covert operations, which Ms. Plame was not in any event. Given the unlikelihood of Judith Miller doing hard time for Mr. Rove, he's obviously not " the" source, though I can imagine he walked right up to any legal line in speaking to reporters. That's how hardball is played in Washington and hardball is what the incredibly arrogant Joseph Wilson chose to play when the senior staff at Foggy Bottom and at Langely cooked up this gambit in order to torpedo the President's foreign policy and, if they were really lucky, the President along with it.
In some countries, when the unelected insiders engage in secret machinations to oust their elected leaders it is called a coup.
Too strong a word ? Admiral Stansfield Turner
, the Left's favorite CIA director and no fan of the Bush administration, felt compelled to speak out in support of housecleaning at Langely:"The CIA has got to be kept out of partisan politics," said Stansfield Turner, who was CIA director under President Carter. "And it appears that they were leaking information to influence the election. Porter Goss has now got a difficult problem."
The coup failed because the old oligopoly on public discourse of three major TV networks and two newspapers is broken. Would-be drumbeats orchestrated by elite powerbrokers through their media friends now dissolve into a cacophony of fact-checking, fisking, ridicule and a devastating counterattack if any chicanery is exposed. Chicanery that once would never have been detected, much less thwarted.
At one time the " appearance of impropriety" or if none existed, outright slander ( provided Ted Kennedy was sober enough to reach a microphone) was enough to sink a Republican officeholder or nominee regardless if there was any substance to the charge. Remember Ray Donovan ? Of course not, he was Reagan's Secretary of Labor who was investigated out of office and into the poorhouse. He was cleared of wrongdoing once he had been destroyed. How about that nominee for SCOTUS who may have smoked a joint - he disappeared into the memory hole so fast I doubt anyone reading this blog can remember his name.
Of course this death by media culture boomeranged on the Democrats in a big way in the 1990's when President Clinton who was a walking, talking, scandal-machine came into office. The GOP, which had ample real things to complain about in terms of Clinton's policies, threw everything at the Clintons but the kitchen sink, including quite a few things that sounded clinically insane to anyone not drunk on personal hatred for the man. The Republican Party was saved from self-destruction only because the Clintons inevitably kept getting caught doing something shady that re-ignited controversy. Between old Bill, Hillary, Newt and that assistant principal looking special prosecutor, the country burned out its capacity for political indignation for a generation.
I'm highly doubtful Rove did anything illegal but if Karl Rove really and truly broke the law he should go. What the Left lacks, for the first time in forty years, is the power to make him.