Who’s puttin’ the hurt on Alberto? Well, a lot of Americans can identify: it’s his boss.
The Attorney General long ago lost the trust of all liberals. He’s now lost the honest conservatives; and even some of the remainder are being forced by political circumstance to distance themselves from the blatant effort by the White House and the Attorney General to politicize the choice of federal prosecutors.
No doubt this was an integral part of the plans of both halves of the Bush camp. Cheney needed the lack of oversight, indeed the ability to ignore the law, to pursue his chickenhawking warmongering profiteering. Rove needed his past, present, and future dirty tricks absolved if he was to have any realistic chance of keeping a majority pieced together by such dishonest means.
Cheney’s strategy is apparently encapsulated pretty well in the unitary executive theory, also known as Respect My Authoritie. He needs the AG to provide legal cover for his twin thefts of the public treasure and our civil rights.
This particular AG, however, may not be long in office. His chief of staff has resigned over the firings of eight federal prosecutors in what appears to be a blatant attempt to get Republicans off the hook for illegalities; for instance, the prosecutor who convicted Duke Cunningham and was investigating Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Ca) was one of the eight.
So what do you think? Will Attorney General Gonzales:
The problems with Rove’s strategy are belatedly becoming obvious to those who used to fawn over him, though of course we understood all along.
For one thing, if you cheat at every opportunity, you leave in your wake lots of people who hate you and are looking to bring you down. Even if they coöperate with you it’s only temporary. Karl’s apparently lived a lot of his life that way, and has perhaps grown used to it.
It’s possible that Karl thinks, or thought, that he was leading a parade headed toward his goal of a permanent Republican majority. Personally I considered that laughable from the first, because there’s no way a majority of Americans will ever agree with what the Republicans are really about. Sure, they have most of the money, they can buy slicker ads, and they hire the most viciously dishonest PR teams. As a result, they can muddy the waters sufficiently to get within striking, or rather cheating, distance. But they’ll never get a majority on their side honestly.
Realistically, no rational person with any awareness of the US population would claim that most people support a pardon for Libby, or are for staying in Iraq “until the job is done”, or letting rich folks avoid estate taxes. On the other hand, a strong majority favors universal health care, easier access to better education, more money spent on public transportation, and so on.
In other words, we don’t seem to live in a democracy. But the silent majority (I recently saw a bumper sticker that read “I never thought I’d miss Nixon”) may be about to rear up and assert itself. Exploited, even wounded, it may be, but angry as well, at least for now.
Rove may find that instead of leading a parade to his chosen destination, he’s caught between a wall of unspinnable facts and a snowball of wronged opponents.