Thursday, March 15, 2007

Getting Ugly

Very interesting developments this week in the firing of the US Attorneys. The insiders at the White House and DOJ must be panicking as they are throwing up some serious smoke to try and get the Gonzales scandal off the front pages. The fact that they are pulling out the super scary terrorist ploy is very telling. It is also telling that there have been several articles around saying that Bush and Alberto are not in step on this.
We know that Karl Rove is up to the pudgy neck in this and we'll just have to see if Gonzales takes the bullet for it. My prediction is that Gonzales will resign in a matter of days.
As Sidney Bluemthal notes in his piece in, Mr. Rove is in charge of the plan to basically remake the federal government in the image of the Bush administration; a permanent Republican majority run by loyalists.
To the extent that the facts are known, Rove keeps surfacing in the middle of the scandal. And it is implausible that Sampson, the latest designated fall guy, was responsible for an elaborate bureaucratic coup d'├ętat. Nor is it credible that Gonzales -- or Harriet Miers, who has yet to be heard -- saw or heard no evil. Neither is it reasonable that Gonzales or Miers, both once Bush's personal attorneys in Texas, getting him out of scrapes such as his drunken driving arrest, could be the political geniuses behind the firings. Gonzales' and Miers' service is notable for their obedience, lack of originality and eagerness to act as tools. The scheme bears the marks of Rove's obsessions, methods and sources. His history contains a wealth of precedents in which he manipulated law enforcement for political purposes. And his long-term strategy for permanent Republican control of government depended on remaking the federal government to create his ultimate goal -- a one-party state.


This effort began two generations ago with Richard Nixon's drive to forge an imperial presidency, using extralegal powers of government to aggrandize unaccountable power in the executive and destroy political opposition. Nixon was thwarted in the Watergate scandal. We will never know his full malevolent intentions, but we do know that in the aftermath of the 1972 election he wanted to remake the executive branch to create what the Bush administration now calls a "unitary executive." Nixon later explained his core doctrine: "When the president does it, that means it's not illegal." Karl Rove is the rightful heir to Nixonian politics. His first notice in politics occurred as a witness before the Senate Watergate Committee. From Nixon to Bush, Rove is the single continuous character involved in the tactics and strategy of political subterfuge.

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