Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Rove in the bunker

Karl Rove's problem is (ironically) more political than legal. His gossip-mongering created this situation. Assuming Bush can't or won't fire him absent a criminal indictment, this could drag on for a while, putting the White House off its game at a crucial time. The main political problem is that (unlike, say, DeLay/Abramoff/Indian casinos) the wrongdoing here is pretty easy to understand, as ABC's The Note explains:

And this is where that old Washington rule kicks in.

No, no — not "it's not the crime; it's the cover-up" (although that has kicked in too).

We are thinking of: "It is the scandal that is understandable to Joe and Gennifer Six Pack that can get you in the end."

And this one is pretty easy to understand, based on known facts.

For the average American, it is unseemly for the president's senior adviser, using inside information, to discredit enemies of the president anonymously. (Of course, this happens all the time, but that doesn't mean it is seemly or appropriate in the minds of the Six Pack clan.)