The unintentional irony of David Broder
David Broder thinks that Karl Rove has been unjustly maligned:
For much of the past five years, dark suspicions have been voiced about the Bush White House undermining its critics, and Karl Rove has been fingered as the chief culprit in this supposed plot to suppress the opposition.
Now at least one count in that indictment has been substantially weakened — the charge that Rove masterminded a conspiracy to discredit Iraq intelligence critic Joseph Wilson by “outing” his CIA-operative wife, Valerie Plame
This would be the same Karl Rove who told Chris Matthews that Valerie Plame was “fair game” and then the White House lied about any involvement:
In early October 2003, NEWSWEEK reported that immediately after Novak’s column appeared in July, Rove called MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews and told him that Wilson’s wife was “fair game.” But White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters at the time that any suggestion that Rove had played a role in outing Plame was “totally ridiculous.” On Oct. 10, McClellan was asked directly if Rove and two other White House aides had ever discussed Valerie Plame with any reporters. McClellan said he had spoken with all three, and “those individuals assured me they were not involved in this.”
Of course, we all know that Karl is simply a delightful person without a vindictive bone in his body:
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. I paid it no mind and reviewed a jotted list of questions I hoped to ask. But after a moment, it was like ignoring a tornado flinging parked cars. “We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!”
And yet, on Valerie Plame Rove suddenly went all wobbly. Yeah. I’ll buy that.
The fact of the matter is that David Broder is mailing it in; sitting on the sidelines and pretending that he is still the “dean” of the Beltway pundits when he can’t be bothered to do anything other more than write up a conventional wisdom/talking points mash-up. And he’s not even bright enough to recognize that, when he quotes Sidney Blumenthal, Blumenthal is talking about him:
“While the White House stonewalls, Rove has license to run his own damage control operation. His surrogates argue that if Rove did anything, it wasn’t a crime. . . . Rove is fighting his war as though it will be settled in a court of Washington pundits…”
I rest my case.