Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Thoughts on Karl Rove

This is one of those days I find myself sifting through a lot of information. Most of the links on the right side of the page have things going on. The life and times of President "I'm the Decider" Bush just get stranger; it would be a macabre comedy if weren't for all the lives at stake.

Since I've been reading so much about Iran lately, I find myself looking at events through that special prism; there's always a danger in that kind of thing so take my thoughts on Rove as speculation worth thinking about. What I offer in the next paragraph is nothing more than a very tentative hypothesis.

I'm not going to go hunting for the quote, but in my reading over the last week, one item that caught my attention is that Karl Rove is nervous about the potential of any attack on Iran. The brief item suggested that things would go bad for Republicans in November if Bush were to launch a bombing attack; there was also an implication that even talking about attacking Iran close to the election might not have the effect that talking about Iraq in 2002 had. Now the item itself might be wrong or it might be one of those tidbits given to reporters to lead observers elsewhere. But one possible interpretation of Rove's minor demotion is that he viewed by the other members of the Bush inner circle as getting squeamish, meaning the talk about dealing with Iran is serious after all. And Karl Rove is being dealt out of the discussions.

A more likely scenario might be that the Valerie Plame investigation is getting closer to Rove, though things are going slow if that's the case. In that case, why now?

More than likely Rove was demoted because Bush feels there isn't enough sliming and smearing and hardball tactics going on for his taste and Rove is good at that kind of thing and, after all, Bush's numbers are sagging. Journalists, Democrats and even a few independent Republicans should have their rain gear handy in the coming months—Bush is desperate. And he hasn't learned a thing.


Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

While I wouldn't be surprised if Rove was given the green light to step up the sliming, I don't see him as having been demoted.

I suspect the drumbeat from so many quarters, especially his base and nervous enablers in Congress, for Bush to get off the dime and make some changes within the White House has forced his hand. So, with a conspicuous lack of enthusiasm, he's complying. Sort of.

There is a chance, however, that his one fairly significant change, staff chief Bolten, may have told Bush that if he (Bolten) was to have any chance of bringing on board anyone worth a damn, Rove would have to be out of the policy end of it, or at least appear to be out of policy making.

Will Rove really be out of policy making? I don't think so. I say that in large part because I don't think the Bush inner circle has ever distinguished between political hardball and policy matters in any significant way.

2:32 PM  

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