Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One-Hundred Percent X-mas Certainty: Karl Rove Gets A Pardon

Scott Horton's one smart fella, and he's all OVER the machinations of Karl Rove to escape justice. He more or less assumes a Chimperial pardon. But "The horse may talk," and Rove can't take any chances, given his record. If he were sentenced for only half of his misdeeds, he'd face centuries in the jug. So he's bending every effort to complicate the appointment of Obama's choice for AG. From his "No Comment" site at Harper's, yesterday, Horton opined fiercely on how the porcine political procurer and provocateur is squirming, trying to avoid his fate by positioning himself as the next generation GOP "Leader."

Ever since the election, and indeed starting from early October when it became clear that 2008 would be an anti-Republican blowout, the Beltway bloviators have focused their speculation on one question: who would assume the mantle of leadership for the Republicans after the catastrophe? Would it be their presidential nominee, John McCain? Or perhaps Mitch McConnell, a survivor of the massacre and the leader of the Senate Republicans? Their George Hamilton-look-alike House leader, John Boehner? Or their leader-in-the-wings, Newt Gingrich, prepared to make a return to center stage like DeGaulle’s trek from Colombey-les-deux-Églises as the Algerian conflict brought France to a fall? Today we have the answer. The man to whom the Republicans turn to lead them out of the Sinai is Karl Rove. He’s been the party’s brains and spirit for the last decade, and a large number of Republican elected officials are happy to adopt his schemes to help achieve a comeback. No need to reflect on the inherent merits of the policy decisions they implicate.
Here's why I admire Horton's acumen: next paragraph he 'splains the whole thing.
Where do we see the evidence of Rove’s rise? The Republican strategists have decided that they will wage a war over one of Obama’s cabinet picks: his nomination of Eric Holder to be Attorney General. Their basis for opposing the Holder nomination will be that he was instrumental in securing a pardon for fugitive financier Marc Rich in the waning days of the Clinton administration. As Obama put the Holder nomination on the table, he received assurances from leading Republicans, including Judiciary Committee ranking member Arlen Specter, that, while there would be some questions about the Rich matter, Holder could expect smooth sailing. Suddenly, however, this has shifted, and it is increasingly clear why: Rove urged leading Senate Republicans to take on Holder. This weekend, we learn Rove’s advice was taken and Karl Rove had been tapped to serve as lead strategist in this effort. True to form, Rove was busy telling the Today Show’s Matt Lauer that Holder was the “one controversial nominee.”
Why, it's Eric Holder! Why is it Eric Holder? Horton says:
I think. Karl Rove has his own agenda at Justice. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s report on the U.S. Attorneys scandal identified the individual whose manipulations produced the firings of eight of the country’s best U.S. Attorneys so they could be replaced with partisan hacks: Karl Rove. The Justice Department’s Inspector General hints at just the same conclusion, but notes that it was thwarted from completing its study by the refusal of Karl Rove and those who worked for him to cooperate with the probe. When the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Rove to testify on these same issues, and his nefarious role in the prosecution of Alabama Governor Don E. Siegelman, Rove failed to appear, chosing instead to vacation with post-Soviet Mafiosi at a Crimean resort favored by Stalin. Now a special prosecutor is looking closely into Rove’s dealings and speculation that he may face criminal charges mounts.

This is not Rove’s first brush with the law. He clearly was also involved in the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame, and he lied about it to a grand jury. He narrowly escaped being indicted for this criminal conduct by Patrick Fitzgerald. And in all of these dealings, Rove has held an ace in the hole—political appointees at the Justice Department have undermined the inquiries into him and furnished him with highly improbable cover to avoid answering to Congress. Thus no one in Washington faces greater exposure as a result of the changing of the guard at the Justice Department than Karl Rove.

Thus it appears Rove has two objectives in taking on Holder. The first is to delay the turnover in the attorney general’s office as long as he can, providing more time in which his misconduct can enjoy the cloak of nefarious secret opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel and the attorney general’s own wink-and-nod. The second is to tar Holder as a political player, so that if charges are brought against Rove in the coming administration—as appears increasingly likely, unless Rove gets the pardon he wants for Christmas—Rove can bellow charges of “politics.” The charges would, of course, be brought by a special prosecutor appointed by Bush’s attorney general. But that’s just the sort of detail that frequently gets lost in the political belching that emanates from the nation’s capitol.
That's some analyzing, folks, though it leads to the conclusion that Rove will indeed and inevitably get his pardon for X-Mas...

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