Rove to Rescue the Weakling in the White House
(guest post by Taylor Marsh)
As the story goes, Karl Rove is losing his "policy position." Oh, brother, the traditional media will fall for anything.
Let’s get real. With Tom Delay now disgraced, out of commission, his K-Street corruption exposed for all to see, someone has to take the top spot. Hellooooo, Karl. Now he’ll be the one to press the flesh, take the payola and try to turn around the impending disaster the Republican party is headed for in the mid-terms. Democrats, watch your back, because Bush’s brain is about to be set loose.
But conservatives want us to believe they’re "cheering" because Karl’s been a policy failure? Again, oh, brother. Talk about spin.
It’s hard to say anything bad about Karl Rove. But ever since he took on the expanded role of overseeing policy, President Bush’s team has had a string of disappointments. So it comes as a relief to learn that Rove will be stripped of his policy portfolio, reassigned to focus exclusively on politics.
Our sources inside the administration have been critical of Rove’s handling of matters large and small. Starting with Social Security in 2005 and culminating with the widely panned State of the Union address in January, Bush’s team seemed to abandon conservative ideas.
The biggest policy disappointment under Rove: a national energy plan. With Republicans primed to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling last year, the White House completely dropped the ball. Then came Bush’s “oil addiction” remark in the State of the Union address, which did more damage to ANWR drilling than any Democrat could have done.
If "conservatives" are cheering, it’s because they can smell the cash, baby. But there’s another piece to this story, something else that’s being left out and it’s not a small detail.
Sure, no one raises money like Rove. So, with the Republicans weaker than weak, Bush needs serious help. It’s Rove to the rescue. To save the weakling in the White House, because if the Democrats take the House the Democratic leaders will be so far down Bush’s presidential pie hole he won’t be able to suck soda through a straw.
Right now, there is a lot of scuttlebutt about Republicans losing the House. But there’s real fear they could also lose the Senate. One part of the equation has to do with Bush losing support among Republicans. The question arising: Will Republicans get out to vote? That’s where Karl comes in and the spin begins.
But there’s even more.
In all seriousness, I think the real story here continues to be that things are so bad at the White House, the level of denial and secrets to be kept, the self-bamboozlement and bad-faith so profound, that they just can’t manage to bring in any new blood. – Josh Marshall
Read Josh’s whole post, though. It’s something that came to me earlier this morning. Just like John Snow at Treasury, who has already been "in essence," as Marshall puts it, fired, the problem with Scotty’s job is that nobody else likely wants it. In fact, nobody from the outside wants in at all, or at least most don’t. Sure, Victoria Clark, Dan Senor (fresh from his marriage to Campbell Brown) and Tony Snow have been mentioned. But just yesterday Clark said on CNN, fairly emphatically, that she wouldn’t do it if asked. But as we come upon the day that marks Bush’s last 1,000 days, April 26 or so, we’re going to have to come up with a new phrase, because "lame duck" doesn’t begin to cover Bush’s unmitigated collapse.
There’s danger for anyone coming in to help the weakling in the White House at this late date. Bush’s capital is gone, his credibility is shot, the war in Iraq has turned into a civil war, with Bush wanting to make Iraq War – The Sequel, the Iran version. And you know the story about sequels, as a friend said to me today, they almost always suck.
graphic via Erratum