July 13, 2005

About Firing Carl Rove

By Demosophist

I don't necessarily disagree with Rusty's suggestion that Bush fire Carl Rove, but think the timing of firing him now, before there's any actual finding about what he did and primarily in response to the oversell of the scandal by the opposition, would be bad politics. Unlike many people, I haven't been especially impressed with Rove as a political consultant. I don't, for instance, think he did a very good job of managing the 2004 campaign. There's no reason that campaign ought to have even been close, and I think the blogosphere did the yoeman's work of countering the viciously biased drumbeat ofthe mainstream press and that ultimately led to a Bush victory. Rove had nothing to do with that, and if anything he made the task of the bloggers even more difficult. So strictly speaking Rove ought to have been fired ages ago. And the only reason I can think of that he'd still have the confidence of the President, is bad judgment.

And that brings up something else. I never have understood what the Joe Wilson affair was all about. As Pejman Yousefzadeh and Just One Minute observed, Joe Wilson was lying from day one. In fact, whereas he represented the report he wrote on his mission to Africa as proving that Niger had no intention of selling uranium, it actually lended credibility to the concerns that Niger was at least considering such a sale to Iraq, as well as Iran. Now, surely the administraition knew the content of Wilson's report, right? So, why didn't they just point out the disconnect between what Wilson was claiming about his report and its actual content? One wouldn't exactly need a degree in rocket surgery...

I mean, you have to conclude that someone responsible for the political and campaign dimension of the Bush administration not only had a tin ear when it came to internet-induced changes in the political dynamic, but also dropped the ball pretty badly when it came to Joe Wilson's little dramaturge. Who could that have been?

Now, perhaps I'm wrong and there would be no political penalty for firing Rove now... but it's hard for me to believe that. If an administration gets into the habit of merely reacting to allegations and insinuations based on appearances, just where does it stop? So, for the moment at least, I think George is stuck with this turkey. He ought to be fired at the first opportunity, but there's no telling when an opportunity may arise short of a finding that he actually did something illegal, such as lying to a grand jury or outing a clandestine agent. And if neither of those things proves to be true then the "scandal" will eventually die down, and Rove can be issued a normal pink slip for fundamental incomptence and strategic irrelevance.

By Demosophist at 03:41 PM | Comments |