Wednesday, July 30, 2008

No Brainer Alert

My glee at Karl Rove, who has arguably done more to harm American politics than any single individual in a generation or more, being cited for contempt by the House Judiciary Committee is overwhelmed only my belief that this was an absolute no brainer. And I would like to think that I would argue the same (in terms of legal culpability) were Rove a Democrat. Congress subpoenad Rove. He was called by the country's highest legislative body to testify. And, in a classic example of Rovian hubris and arrogance, Rove declared that he did not have to do so, that in effect, he was bigger than the United States Congress.

My guess is that for many of us who loathe the Bush administration, it is this arrogance that we most hate. This sense of not only being right, but of righteousness where most people would be at least a little bit self-reflective. Because aside from the arrogance, this administration has also shown a breathtaking level of incompetence. My view on the Iraq War was always ambivalent, but I could and did make a case for waging a war against Iraq. I also made a case as to why I did not trust this administration to wage that war well or competently. And this is where I see the biggest failure with regard to iraq -- arrogance mixed with incompetence that has reached such a perfect storm that the administration and its defenders actually manage to muster up something resembling outrage over the unwillingness of the anti-war types, whose own idiocy is often manifest, to recognize recent successes in Iraq. But it is this administration whose chief Iraq War architect sneered at reporters that the war would take six days, six weeks, but he could not imagine it taking six months.

Into the sixth year of the war that was supposed to take a fraction as long and cost a fraction as much, we are now supposed to genuflect to the sagacity of our leaders who may inadvertantly have stumbled into a modicum of success? It's ironic that one of the few good lines that President Bush has managed to squeeze out of his malaprop-prone mumblehole was his reference to the "soft bigotry of low expectations," because his advocates now expect his presidency to be graded on a curve so soft that it redefines the idea of lowering the bar.

So Karl Rove is likely to face contempt charges. And Republicans are likely to bewail the partisan nature of Democrats daring to act upon the obvious. But the reality is that Rove refused to respond to a subpoena that the country's lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats, issued. There was once a time when the Republicans were Amnerica's self-proclaimed law and order party. But apparently there are no angles to be played when the scofflaws don't play to type. Suffice it to say that rich, white, connected Republican operatives are not that type.

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