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7/14/2005 03:31:00 AM | Justin

The Karl Rove Affair's Really Blowing Up

Howard Kurtz has some good coverage of how the various right-wing media outlets are handling the Karl Rove affair. But it's hard to outdo the Editorial page of the Wall Street Journal on Karl Rove coverage. They wrote: "As for the press corps, rather than calling for Mr. Rove to be fired, they ought to be grateful to him for telling the truth." It seems like the only time Rove actually told the truth during this affair was when it was both illegal and in his political interest to do so.

One thing's for sure about this Rove scandal. It's turning into a left-wing conspiracy theorists wet-dream. I can't count how many columns I've read in which the author ended with cryptic insinuations that Rove was probably the shadowy figure behind some mystery evil. And if you really scratched any liberal about the Plame case before all this most recent stuff had come out, they'd have tentatively guessed it was Rove who was behind it. Who else could it have been but the man behind the "McCain fathered an illegitimate black child" smear campaign of 2000?

I know it hasn't been proven yet that Rove intentionally meant to out Plame, but it just seems so in character that it's hard to believe he would have done it by accident. In '92, he was expelled from Bush Senior's campaign for leaking negative information about a rival within the campaign to, that's right, Robert Novak. (In that case, his motive appears to have been pure vindictiveness) So it's hard to believe he would have "innocently" leaked something to Novak again, especially if he also conveniently leaked the same information to Cooper and Miller around the same time.

Bush and Rove have made the perfect political pair, of a Dr Jekll and Mr Hyde sort: Rove needed to find someone who exuded trustworthiness enough to hide the sort of pure evil which, of all the people in Washington, only he is capable. But Bush's closeness to Rove could really tar his image if this scandal turns out to be as big as it looks.

Updates: Now this is a really onionesque turn of events. Bush administration officials are now testifying that it was Novak who leaked Plame's name to Rove, rather than the other way about.

...Now it's starting to seem like Rove was probably a secondary source. The leak went out through someone else, and came back in through Rove, if we're to believe what the media is saying. Who is the primary source? If it were Powell, as new evidence hints, this could really neutralize criticism of Bush on the whole issue. Powell was assigned the role of blametaker-in-chief for misleading the U.N. on Iraq, so the administration might just be trying to pin this on him too.




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