Monday, July 11, 2005

Valerie Plame - Not So Secret Agent

My kids love The Backyardigans, a cartoon featuring singing and dancing and fabulous make-believe adventures in the backyard. (of course) One of the songs the sing is about secret agents, trenchcoats and fedoras. This is the vibe I get with the Valerie Plame thing. She thinks that it is cool to be a CIA agent and have a spy mystique. Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC acknowleged that Plame was generally known to work for the Company. The incestous world of DC politics and reporters is not particularly shy and Tenet's agency seems to have leaked like a sieve. Heck, she was listed in the who's who bio with her husband, an ambassador. I don't think this story would have any legs if it weren't for the star power involved, and by star power I mean Karl Rove.

If secular human relativists have an anti-Christ it's Rove, whose Machiavellian planning has ushered in the armageddon of a Bible reading Jesusland person into the White House, and is planning on the dominion of the GOP for a thousand years. (Assuming of course the nation remains a republic and not a theocracy.) The whiff of Rove misdeeds have sent the pack a-baying. For a rundown on what we actually know, Tom Maguire has done the heavy lifting.

John Hawkins asks the question: Given what we know what should Bush do? He says:

But then you have to consider all the publicity this Plame has gotten. It would look bad if Bush hung on to Rove after it happened.

Conversely, if Bush got rid of Rove, who people know is his right hand man, that would look bad, too. It would confirm to the public that something "really bad happened" which the Democrats would use to try to tar the whole administration.

However, as a general rule, it's a good idea to even avoid the appearance of ethical impropriety -- especially when it might concern the safety of a CIA Agent.

Yet and still, I have this hunch that if no crime were committed and Bush sticks by Rove, he could probably weather this whole storm quite well.

What it basically comes down to is that it's a no-win situation at this point. Should Karl Rove be fired for what now appears to be a very minor, non-criminal offense or should Bush risk sustaining political damage by keeping him around?

What Bush should do and what Bush will do are two different kettles of fish. Assuming that nothing serious actually comes to light, Bush will stick by his man. Bush is loyal to those that are loyal to him. He also treat well political opponents who are disproportionatly nasty to him. Unless Rove did something real bad ethically or something criminal, Rove will be around. If Rove ever considered running for office himself though (those rumors of a Senate run) this will sink him. I think the President rarely considers the political cost when he sees a course of action that he thinks is right.

UPDATE 7/12: Heh. I wrote yesterday the pack was baying over Rove and today Michelle Malkin says: Woof, woof, woof about Scott McClellan under questioning from ABC's Terry Moran. Read Lorie Byrd too.

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