Jonathan Alter, Newsweek:
[O]n December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story. The Times will not comment on the meeting, but one can only imagine the president’’s desperation.
The problem was not that the disclosures would compromise national security, as Bush claimed at his press conference.
No, Bush was desperate to keep the Times from running this important story — which the paper had already inexplicably held for a year — because he knew that it would reveal him as a law-breaker. He insists he had “legal authority derived from the Constitution and congressional resolution authorizing force." But the Constitution explicitly requires the president to obey the law. And the post 9/11 congressional resolution authorizing "all necessary force” in fighting terrorism was made in clear reference to military intervention. It did not scrap the Constitution and allow the president to do whatever he pleased in any area in the name of fighting terrorism.
Begging the press? How unseemly.
Despite the fact that Bush has been circling the wagons and allowing Rove to bask in the glory of his public presence once again of late, I’ve been noticing a shift in CW this week. After Scooter was indicted, wonkish DC agreed with David Corn that Fitzgerald was done and Rove had dodged the bullet. Most now seem to think that Rove will be indicted and that Luskin will have to recuse himself from the case; in fact, there are rumors Rove already has another attorney working for him (to which some attribute the competing stories about what role Viveca Novak plays in Rove’s defense, although I confess I don’t really understand that).
One need look no further than last night’s tacky knickknack set decoration to know that Karen Hughes is BAAACK and ready to bigfoot her way onto the stage again, and by the way Karl don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
(thanks to reader zAmboni for the pic)