Where's Rove?

by digby

I thought it was rather poignant today when the juror said "where's Rove, where are these other guys?" I can understand it. Bush promised to fire anyone who leaked, but Rove's still being paid by the taxpayers to do dirty political work for Bush and the Republicans even as we speak. Cheney is running all over the world babbling and shaking his fist like some sort of Hunter S. Thompson hallucination. It is kind of frustrating.

But let's not forget what we know about our friend Karl Rove. There's no doubt he participated eagerly in the smear against Wilson, he just wasn't as stupid as Libby, nor did he have as much to cover up, what with having a half-wit for a boss who barely knows what day it is. And he got very lucky with the happy coincidence of a little sloppy gossip over drinks between blabbermouth Viveca Novak and Rove's lawyer that gave him a plausible explanation for his miraculous recovered memories. Cheney is even on record as being pissed that Rove was getting the protection of the president while poor little Scooter was hung out to dry.

We also know some very unpleasant things about Rove's motivations for going after Wilson with everything he had. It wasn't because he was covering for his boss or even protecting his job. It was much more base and despicable than that:

Prosecutors investigating whether White House officials illegally leaked the identity of Wilson's wife, a CIA officer who had worked undercover, have been told that Bush's top political strategist, Karl Rove, and I. Lewis Libby, chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, were especially intent on undercutting Wilson's credibility, according to a person familiar with the inquiry.

While lower-level White House staff members typically handle most contacts with the media, Rove and Libby began personally communicating with reporters about Wilson, prosecutors were told.

A source directly familiar with information provided to prosecutors said Rove's interest was so strong that it prompted questions in the White House. When asked at one point why he was pursuing the diplomat so aggressively, Rove responded: "He's a Democrat." Rove then cited Wilson's campaign donations, which leaned toward Democrats, the person familiar with the case said.

Libby did this thing out of loyalty. Rove did it out of sheer partisan hatred.

It's a shame that Rove isn't going to bed tonight a convicted felon like Scooter Libby is. The fateful loss of the mid-term elections and the complete collapse of the Bush administration will have to be his legacy. After all, Karl Rove is "Bush's Brain," the king of the Mayberry Machiavellis who thought he could run a nation like a dirty tricks campaign in South Carolina. He was in way over his head and now he reeks of the fetid stench of Bush/Cheney failure, for which he, probably more than any other single person, is responsible. I would be very surprised if any politician in the country will ever hire him again.

It's not what he deserves. But it's better than nothing.

Update: Limbaugh says that liberals better be careful because they are "poking the bear" meaning that we are getting the wingnuts all upset and we'll be sorry. I'm quaking in my boots, I don't know about you.

And using the term "poking the bear" probably isn't the best choice of phrases when talking about Scooter Libby.