Sunday, August 28, 2005

Is Karl Rove's Number Up?

Advance Indiana called for the removal of President George W. Bush's, Deputy Chief of Staff and chief political guru, Karl Rove on July 12, 2005 in a story entitled, "Time For Gay Baiting Rove to Hit the Road" for his role in leaking the identity of a covered CIA agent Valerie Plame, who's husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, had publicly questioned the Administration's claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction in the lead-up to the war. As the story's title indicated, Karl Rove has often relied upon gay-baiting in political campaigns to damage his political opponents. Two campaigns cited in the story included then-private citizen Bush's campaign to unseat Governor Ann Richards in 1994 and his presidential primary campaign against Arizona Senator John McCain in 2000. As the slow news days of August set in, Karl Rove began to fade from the headlines. But the Boston Globe today reminded us of the person Karl Rove is and how he may again take center stage after Labor Day.

In an editorial, the Boston Globe described Rove in the least flattering terms. The opinion said: "Rove's record has been consistent. Over 35 years, he has been a master of dirty tricks, divisiveness, innuendo, manipulation, character assassination, and roiling partisanship." The Globe editorial recounts many of the incidents described in Advance Indiana's July 12 story on Rove, but adds several equally as intriguing stories of his hardball politics. The editorial notes that Rove's dirty tricks began at an early age. Though he never graduated from college, he was active in the College Republicans. In 1970 at the age of 19 Rove pretended to volunteer for Alan Dixon, who was a rising star in the Illinois Democratic Party at the time, in his bid to become Illinois Secretary of State. As a mole, Rove managed to steal some stationery and disrupt a campaign event before being outed.

While Rove may have tackled his first bout with dirty political tricks with the incompetence of the Watergate burglars, he would get much better and eventually hone his craft to a fine art. The Globe editorial quotes from political observers of Rove: ''Rove didn't just want to win; he wanted the opponents destroyed." And that he has often succeeding in doing. But the Globe reminds us that the on-going investigation being conducted by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald from Chicago is about to conclude nearly two years of evidence gathering and grand jury testimony, including apparent discrepancies in accounts provided by Rove to federal agents and the grand jury. That by the way is the same prosecutor set to go to trial against former Illinois Governor George Ryan next month, and the same prosecutor with current Illinois Governor Rod Blagoyovich and Mayor Richard Daley in the sights of grand juries he has also convened to investigate wide-spread political corruption in the Land of Lincoln.

Rove insists his goal in the outing of Valerie Plame was nothing more than that of a "neutral researcher." The Globe, like Advance Indiana, isn't buying Rove's account. The Globe editorial concludes: "So attention will inevitably turn back again to Karl Rove, who did talk with Novak and other reporters who wrote the story but who is now being portrayed by some as a neutral researcher in the Valerie Plame case. Yes, and sometimes dogs do eat homework." With a prosecutor making the call who has so far proven to be immune from political pressures, Karl Rove's number may indeed be up. Let's hope.

The photo above is obviously a fake photo, used for illustrative purposes only. You must admit, though, it is pretty funny.

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