Get Along Little Rover
In this media environment of sound bites and half-assed reporting, it is going to be up to independent media outlets, bloggers and those of us that read them, to counter the traditional media drum beat of “Karl Rove has been vindicated” by Patrick Fitzgerald’s announcement that the won’t be seeking indictments of Bush’s Brain. Rove is one slimy, slippery eel and although at first I was surprised by this development, I think ultimately, most of us were prepared for this possibility and it certainly doesn’t change the facts as we know them, that Rove, Libby, Cheney and Bush all lied to the American people, on their own and through Scott McClellan, when they said they had nothing to do with the leaking of Valerie Plame’s name to the press. The news today doesn’t change that fact.
This is certainly good news for the Bush administration and the GOP, as it frees up Rove to put all of his energy into maintaining a Republican majority in Congress this November. The Congressional races will likely be more ugly than even the 2004 Presidential election. The GOP has even more to lose now than they did back then and I expect to see outrageous mud-slinging prior to November and “unbelievable” vote tallies on election day because where there’s Rove, there’s fire, and whether or not he’s ever charged with arson, you can bet he’s holding the match.
I’m not as disappointed as I thought I would be by this news. I guess that’s because imagining Rove in an orange jumpsuit was nothing more than a happy fantasy picture in my mind that on some level I knew was just a visceral pleasure that had nothing to do with the real situation we are fighting. It would have been fun, but it wouldn’t have meant the end of the fight, not by a long shot. I still hold out hope that Fitzgerald’s investigation will continue to shed light on what happened in this White House during the lead up to the war and further expose the tactics this administration uses to silence its critics. As the case against Scooter Libby goes forward, Cheney isn’t out of the woods just yet and we can speculate that Rove, in an effort to get himself off the hook, may have provided Fitzgerald with information that will help that case move forward. Too bad the “Scooter and Shooter Show” won’t be opening (in a DC courthouse near you) until after the mid-term elections.
It is looking more and more likely that we won’t find out the whole truth of what really happened in the CIA leak case until after Bush and Cheney have left office, but that shouldn’t be a surprise either. This administration has locked down information better than any administration before and they seemed to have learned the lessons of Nixon, don’t just hide the most incriminating evidence, keep it all under lock and key so that the picture never becomes clear enough to find even a starting point. Allowing an outsider like Fitzgerald to conduct an investigation into Bush administration wrongdoing is a mistake they won’t likely make again. This desire for secrecy is why I have no doubt that Rove and the GOP will do anything and everything to keep control of Congress this November. It may take more “glitches” in voting software and purging of Democrats from voter rolls to do it, but thwarting democracy is a small price to pay for the riches to be gained and the crimes must remain hidden in order to continue the looting.
We have corruption at the highest levels of our government and it will take more than one lone prosecutor to remedy that. It will take each and every one of us, the citizens of this country, doing everything we can to make sure our voting systems are accurate and secure, to hold our elected officials’ feet to the fire, to organize behind new candidates that will go to DC and actually work for us, to re-build a Democratic Party infrastructure that supports candidates that have loyalty only to the people they represent, to put pressure on traditional media outlets to cover the stories we care about, to speak out when we see wrongs being committed and join together with others in our community to find common cause and strength in numbers. In theory, this is still a democracy, so let’s exercise our rights and participate in the process before the process rolls over us and we lose those rights altogether.
Rove being indicted would have been a very high profile blow to this administration, but it is certainly not their only weakness. The real nuggets of truth buried in the CIA leak case are the lies that led us to war. Getting Rove off the hook for outing Valerie Plame doesn’t absolve the Bush administration of that, and with a public that is disenchanted with this President and skeptical about his war of choice, there are plenty of vulnerabilities to hammer away at. We may only be flies buzzing around the head of this administration, but a swarm of flies can be awful irritating. They may not kill you, but they will draw attention, drive you crazy and maybe even force you to run screaming in the other direction. The stink is spreading making our job easier. All we have to do is point the flies in the right direction and let the swarming begin.