Still Not Reassured

3 comments June 13th, 2006at 07:41pm Posted by Eli

Well, the ever-dependable watertiger tried to cheer me up under my woe-is-me-Rove-is-free post by pointing me towards the shining beacon of legal insight that is firedoglake, where Christy (and Otis) have some postmortem analysis on the Rove non-indictment, basically to the effect that it looks like Rove might have cut a deal to rat out a bigger fish (can a fish be ratted out?). WT also suggested that the Wilsons might now hit Rove with a civil suit, which would distract and frustrate him during this year’s midterm campaign.

So a lot of my fellow liberals are now all excited by the prospect of Rove helping Fitz nail Cheney. It would certainly be an impressive scalp, but trading Rove for Cheney doesn’t really make my heart sing. The thing is, Rove is still a major asset to the Republicans. Nobody else is as good at throwing slime around, or at packaging fear and hate as courage and virtue – tricks the Republicans will desperately need to distract the voters from their godawful track record while In Charge Of Everything.

Conversely, as emptywheel observes (again by way of FDL), Cheney is a liability, an uncharismatic and immovable loose cannon who makes the administration look bad. Throwing him to the wolves could actually be a net positive for Bush and the Republicans, especially if it gave them an opportunity to start grooming Bush’s successor so he could run as an incumbent vice-president (or president, should the Dems retake Congress and become uncharacteristally spinal).

The other problem with a Cheney indictment is that it’s less harmful from an image perspective. Rove is unquestionably Bush’s creature, and anything he does reflects directly on his master, who is unquestionably the face of the Republican party. Cheney, on the other hand, is a separate power center unto himself, and if he gets indicted, the media and Bush’s surrogates can use that to distance his actions from the president. If Cheney notoriously does his own thing and doesn’t really report to Bush, then Bush can’t be responsible for his crimes. Yes, I know that should reflect badly on Bush The Strong Leader, but it’ll be glossed over with a what-can-you-do-about-those-headstrong-employees shake of the head (remember how no-one questioned Bill Keller letting Judy Miller run wild at the NYT?).

As for the possibility of the Wilsons filing a civil suit against Rove, it seems a poor consolation prize. First of all, I don’t know if a civil suit can gain steam fast enough to hamper Rove’s midterm machinations (Little help? Any lawyers in the house?). Second of all, I don’t think a civil suit is something that would trigger a Rovesignation. Third of all, it’s a lot easier to spin a lawsuit brought by an individual (especially a self-promoting, unhinged moonbat individual!) than a lawsuit brought by The Federal Government. A Wilson lawsuit would simply be disparaged as harassment by a sore loser who just can’t stand it that his bete noire couldn’t be taken down by “legitimate” means.

I know, I know. It’s not over yet. Fitz may still have some more shoes to drop, and maybe Rove screws up and gets indicted after all. In December.

Entry Filed under: Cheney,Favorites,Libby/Plame,Politics,Rove,Wankers


  • 1. Thers  |  June 13th, 2006 at 8:43 pm

    Well, I’m with you, to a point. Overall, I can’t get too worked up either way about issues I can’t do anything about. Rooting for Fitz to indict Rove was/is like rooting for the mets to beat philly: it’d be nice, but you can’t do anything to affect the outcome. The real issue is what to do about 11/06. Period. And that, I think we can affect, through a collective effort: yeah, I know, I may not be cynical enough here, but still, that is the real issue.

  • 2. Buckeye, Dealer of Rare Coins  |  June 13th, 2006 at 8:59 pm


    I hate it when you make sense.

  • 3. Eli  |  June 13th, 2006 at 9:05 pm

    If I limited myself to blogging about stuff I can do something about, my political content would be sparse indeed.

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