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« Hillary Clinton Winning Early Money Primary. | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 108 -- Elephant Calls. »

Giving Rove A Pass

It seems to be infuriating the Left that there is no groundswell of Republicans agreeing with John Kerry that Rove must go. Is it any wonder, considering that the grand jury has not even told us yet whether they think a crime has even been committed? Plus many key pieces of the puzzle are under seal with the grand jury, such as: who was Novak's informant?

Shouldn't we maybe sort that one out before we send old Karl packing?

The worst thing on the record about Rove in this matter is that he basically confirmed what Cooper already knew, and as a professional courtesy told Cooper to avoid this story as if it were handling yellowcake uranium itself. For Rove's part, if that is all it turns out to be, there is little extraordinary in it, let alone criminal.

On the other hand, if Rove is convicted of something, do I even need to say he should sit in jail? Or perhaps he could share a slap on the wrist and probation, right along with Sandy Berger.

Even if he is not indicted, it is true that the appearance of impropriety or wrongdoing is often damaging enough by itself. Rove could be damaged goods politically, dragging the Bush administration further down in the polls, being a hindrance rather than a help.

So why keep Rove?

Let us apply Occam's Razor here. Either: a) the Democrats and the Left are sincere in their desire to protect an asset of the CIA, or b) they are attempting to humiliate the Bush administration. I leave it to you to decide which it is, but God, I would like to think that it is the former, and that the Left has seen the light, and that from now on they will maintain a continuing suitable level of vigilance in national security matters. Even if it is a desire both to protect the CIA mixed with an obligatory attempt to humiliate Bush, perhaps this is progress.

Otherwise, if the intent is merely to humiliate Bush, detached from all real concern about espionage assets, why play along?

Bush has, rightly or wrongly, a demonstrated loyalty to employees (George Tenet), and a detached view of polls. He is unlikely to eject Rove in order to bolster his image in the eyes of his political enemies, nor should he. This situation is quite analogous to the full-court press the MSM has given Rumsfeld over many issues. There is no reason to think Bush would break form on this, and most likely would refuse to accept a letter of resignation from Rove.

The critics of the administration think it is the very height of hypocrisy for the Republicans to be giving a pass to Rove on this matter of national security. Perhaps we are giving Rove and the administration a pass, rightly so. Republicans know in their hearts that Bush may make mistakes, but that he has been unflinching in his prosecution of the GWOT. I think I speak for many (hopefully) when I say I trust him absolutely in this sphere, but do not expect perfection. The Republicans have always made national security the priority--whereas many Democrats and liberals have expressed open contempt for the CIA and the military since the Vietnam War--and so it is a little hard to stomach the Democrats' newfound love and respect for the sanctity of security issues.

And we Republicans know a hatchet job from the Left when we see one. We have had so many laid at our feet the last few years, such as the skewed coverage of Abu Ghraib/Gitmo/Koran events, Rathergate, Jeff Gannon, and the Downing Street Memo. This Rove episode has all the earmarks of those overblown half-stories, where innuendo and speculation are presumed to be fact.

Moreover, I do not recall ever seeing such an opaque campaign of political payback. It should be clear that this flap is not about national security, really. It is about revenge for Florida 2000, The Swift Boat Veterans, and Ohio 2004. This kind of stuff is why Republicans are thus far giving Rove and the administration a pass.

So in conclusion I ask, why give in to these howling noise makers?

Absent a conviction, firing Rove would be an admission, not of wrongdoing, but that the sheer decibel level on an issue can determine its outcome. And what a perverse incentive to ratchet up still more decibels that would create.

Surprise! This is NOT Will Franklin, but rather his padawan apprentice, Ken McCracken. I can also be found churning out memes irregularly at Am I A Pundit Now?

Posted by · 15 July 2005 05:51 AM


Welcome Ken McCraken!... And Happy Anniversary almost... to Will and Kristel Franklin! One Year July 17th. I hope you all have a great time!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at July 15, 2005 07:23 AM

Every week the Dems. try to stir up some kind of trouble for the President!..Our Country has much bigger concerns without the Dems. conjuring up needless partisan BS!... I would suggest they get to work on more important matters such as Social Security Reform for our future generations! (preferably this generation) Partisan Politics is out! We have more important matters!!!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at July 15, 2005 07:45 AM

Yes, happy first anniversary to the Franklins!

And thanks to Will for a chance to guestblog here - it truly is an honor.

Posted by: Am I A Pundit Now? at July 15, 2005 07:55 AM

Your last paragraph is brilliant. Could you please explain this concept to Bill Quick before he has a stroke?

Posted by: Jim Rose at July 15, 2005 09:52 AM

Great stuff...

Posted by: Will Franklin at July 15, 2005 09:54 AM