Saturday, October 15, 2005

Rove In Trouble

Via Washington Monthly I found out about this Washington Post article on Rove's testimony today in the Plame investigation:

Making his fourth appearance before the grand jury, Rove answered a broad range of questions for 4 1/2 hours, including why he did not initially tell federal agents about a July 2003 conversation about Plame with the witness, Time magazine's Matthew Cooper, the source said.

Rove's defense team asserts that President Bush's deputy chief of staff has not committed a crime but nevertheless anticipates that special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald could find a way to bring charges in the next two weeks, the source said.

The article continues to speculate about who might be indicted and on what type of charges, and it is all interesting if you like to follow such court cases. But what is more important in all of this is the fact that administration insiders are shown, finally, not to have the right to do whatever they want and to then call it politics as usual. It's not possible to overstress this.

Karl Rove has a reputation for very dirty fighting in politics (see, for example, the movie Bush's Brain). Whether this reputation is earned or not is less crucial than the fact that a man with such a reputation could virtually run a country and there was very little protest about this. Imagine the furor that would have arisen if Rove had been shown to bed another man, for example. There is something very wrong with our own ethics when most of us get upset over the latter but accept the former as just the way politics is most efficiently applied.

That the Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is not interested in whom Rove beds but in what he says in his job is therefore a wonderful piece of news, never mind whether Rove actually gets indicted. It is a return to the rules of the political game that we have been taught, not the rules that have prevailed during the last five years or more in Washington, D.C.. And call me prudish if you wish, but I really want those old-fashioned ethical rules applied to all players of the games.

I've mentioned earlier that I feel all tingly and warm when I hear about Rove's misfortunes. But this is not really Schadenfreude over the misfortunes of a political opponent, even an extreme political opponent, but a feeling that finally decency is showing some teeth here. Maybe she will even bite a butt or two in the process.