Karl Rove to leave the White House.
Reminiscing for a moment, I walked away from politics after 9/11 because chat board bickering felt beyond tasteless. Having worked on both Republican and Democratic campaigns it seemed reasonable to me that either party deserved a chance to make things right.
To be honest I probably would have stayed gone from politics if not for Rove. The dust had barely settled on the dead bodies in New York, DC and Pennsylvania when the White House started gaming the terrorism issue for political advantage. The Even without the documentary proof that we have today detailing how Rove sent political commissars to supervise every Federal department including DoJ and, ludicrously, the ambassadorial corps, reminders that the White House planned to use every issue to demonize and marginalize the Democrats came practically every day.
Important bills (the PATRIOT Act, Homeland Security) were written and rewritten to make it as hard as possible to get Democrats to vote for them. The 2002 midterms and the buildup to the Iraq war. Rove’s “permanent Republican majority” lay behind practically everything the government did. Republicans who don’t appreciate being labeled diaper-wetting morons who cheer on war from the safety of mom’s basement might appreciate how I responded to hearing that I couldn’t possibly have come to my opinions honestly, that I hate America, support Saddam and want the terrorists to win.
Rove obviously had help. Tom DeLay left his personal thumbprint on Congress and the smog’s roots stretch back at least to the Gingrich revolution. It would be hard to say what direction George W’s genial bumpkin act might have taken without constant guidance from Dick Cheney’s stronger hand. But even taking all of that into account, too much of Bush’s government carries Rove’s signature to call the repulsive atmosphere of the last six years anything but his. Walking out with a year and a half to go won’t change that.
It may be a case of ensuring he is an “ex-official” by the time his skeletons in the cupboard are fully exhumed, of course, as has been the case with many another Bush official who has quite “for the good of The Family”. It’s been a hallmark “fall on your sword” loyalty move for Republican heavyweights this last six years and there have been plenty of indications in various congressional investigations recently that where there’s been allegations of wrong-doing – for instance of serious Hatch Act violations – then Rove has been instigator and director.
Or it may be that, as he’s returning to Texas, he has his eye on a new Texas Republican dimestore cowboy to promote. There are persistent rumors down here of Gov. Rick Perry positioning himself for a veep run. Personally I think Perry is more ambitious and less aware of his own inadequacies than that and may be looking to emulate another ambitious and inadequate Texan governor.