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rove-exit.jpgOh look.  The WaPo finally got around to writing about Rove’s wholesale misuse and overwhelming politicization of governmental agencies as Republican party tools in an never-ending electoral quest for “the math.”  Where the hell have they been — because Marcy and I, among many, many others, have been on this beat forever.

And, as Marcy pointed out yesterday, Tom Davis (R-VA) has some serious ‘splaining to do.  While I’m at it, so does Chris Shays (R-CT), says MyLeftNutmeg.  And yes, we do have some extensive back-records of those Doan hearings in the House Government oversight committee, should anyone be interested.  In addition to GSA head Lurita Doan, there are some huge questions raised in the WaPo article about Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.  Perhaps she and her hubby, Sen. Mitch McConnell, would like to talk about them over the August recess.

It seems to me that our buddy Karl was so intent on keeping the Republicans in power…not just to save his own political guru street cred, but to keep his ass out of investigatory hot water.  Contemplate, just for a moment, how many oversight hearings on the politicization of governmental agencies for ill-gotten, Hatch Act violating, Republican party gain we were having while the GOP was in control of Congress?


Hello, electoral consequences.  How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways via a round-up of Rep. Waxman and other House members’ investigative findings to date.  And that leaves out the substantial digging that the Senate Judiciary Committee has been doing as well the last few months.  Which brings us to the motivation behind “the math.”  A bit of panic mixed with extreme hubris:

The lessons that Dick Cheney and George Bush took away from the Nixon Administration were not that overreach would get you in the end, or that adherence to the letter of the law was important. No, what they learned was that if you are going to consolidate your grip on power, you had to do it wholesale and demand that you not be held accountable — it’s the Iran-Contra message replicated across the whole of government. If you are going to break the law, then you have to first consolidate your control of the very means by which you might be caught and/or held responsible.

But this only works if we are willing to allow them to continue down this path without redress.

And if the GOP held onto power, there wouldn’t be any redress, now would there? Take a look, again, at the electoral map:


(Electoral college numbers map via The Talent Show.)

Which leads us back to the WaPo story on all of this.  Consider just this paragraph:

In practical terms, that meant Cabinet officials concentrated their official government travel on the media markets Rove’s team chose, rolling out grant decisions made by agencies with red-carpet fanfare in GOP congressional districts, and carefully crafted announcements highlighting the release of federal money in battleground states.

There are all sorts of on-the-record quotes from folks like GOPR flack Mark Corallo, who used to work at the DOJ and was also Rove’s mouthpiece during the Fitzgerald investigation and other folks from governmental agencies to say, unequivocally, that Rove was really conscientious about the Hatch Act.  Um…yeah.

You know what that says to me? Someone, somewhere has a smoking gun cache of documents — maybe all those RNC-cached e-mails and blackberry records — and they know it. And they are doing some front end damage control.  Because, as Digby points out so thoroughly here, Rove is a creature of misdirection habit:

Actually, this is vintage Rove. there’s nobody in the whole wide world who has promoted the idea of Rove-the-mastermind more than Karl Rove. In fact, his legendary jujitsu skill is pretty much all in his self-serving myth making, as he shows here. He knows there are people all over the country who are saying right now, “I’ll bet he did plant them.”

And that is so Rove, isn’t it? Trying to take credit for random people who happened to be useful props for toying with the reporter in question. Is he? Isn’t he? Who the hell cares. It’s just one big synaptic not.

They can play hide the Turdblossom all they want, but I sense a huge shitstorm in the Beltway. That Rove article was written by John Solomon, whose record of GOP talking point stenography is lengthy. Now that the smarm-merchant is on his way out, all those back-stabbing minions are going to look for a way to grab the battered Lee Atwater Tiara of Shame. And they’ve learned at the feet of the king of dirty tricks — you think they’ll stop at a backdoor sneak attack? And do you think Rove would have opened himself up to this sort of onslaught if he hadn’t had to do so?

Here’s to more sunshine. And soon.

UPDATE:  I meant to link up Adele Stan’s American Prospect take on Scott Bloch and Karl Rove, and their bad blood.   Adding it in here for some additional perspective.  Also, the photo is via Reuters, but I have been unable to track down a photographer credit — anyone who finds one, let me know.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com