TBogg

Rove

Kos has this link up where Bill Israel, a UMass journalism professor writes:

The problem, as always, in dealing with Rove, is establishing a clear chain of culpability. Rove once described himself as a die-hard Nixonite; he is, like the former president, both student and master of plausible deniability. (This past weekend, in confirming that Rove was indeed a source for Matthew Cooper, Rove’s lawyer said his client “never knowingly disclosed classified information.”) That is precisely why prosecutor Fitzgerald in this case must document the pattern of Rove’s behavior, whether journalists published, or not.

For in this case, Rove, improving on Macchiavelli, has bet that reporters won’t rat their relationship with the administration’s most important political source. How better for him to operate without constraint, or to camouflage breaking the law, than under the cover of journalists and journalism, protected by the First Amendment? […]

Which reminded me of this from Deal With It:

To the extent there is a clear purpose in the Bush administration’s attempt to build America’s first national political machine, (link to the conservative article) the strategy is probably Rove’s. It requires stitching together a coalition based on access to governmental favors and payments to avoid being punished by those in power, combined with unprecedented control over hiring. Ethics, the public good, constitutional principles, and loyalty are valuable only so long as they contribute to holding power. It is the exact opposite of Madison and Tocqueville’s visions of a free society, and it is apparently Rove’s vision of America.

It requires ruthlessness, and Rove has it. Suskind writes of waiting outside Rove’s office for an interview. “Inside, Rove was talking to an aide about some political stratagem in some state that had gone awry and a political operative who had displeased him. . . . ‘We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!’ As a reporter, you get around-curse words, anger, passionate intensity are not notable events-but the ferocity, the bellicosity, the violent imputations were, well, shocking. This went on without a break for a minute or two. Then the aide slipped out looking a bit ashen, and Rove, his face ruddy from the exertions of the past few moments, looked at me and smiled a gentle, Clarence-the-Angel smile. ‘Come on in.'”

…and we wonder why the White House Press is so completely ball-less. Helen Thomas being the exception.

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