Monday, August 13, 2007

Same to you, Karl!

Granted, it's not as big a stunner as Tommy Thompson's withdrawal from the presidential race, but Karl Rove's resignation from his White House gig is major news nonetheless.

As for why Rove is leaving, I' m not going to be modest. He knew The Rascal was on his case. Let him also know this: He can run, but he can't hide. I'll hound him to the ends of the earth -- even to Poughkeepsie, if it comes to that.

I'll have more to report on Rove later today, as I'm calling in all my chits from among the political intelligentsia. You'll find the straight skinny here and nowhere else.

But let's get serious for a minute here. Let's not be taken in by all the nonsense we're going to hear about Rove having been some kind of political genius. The one inescapable fact is that he's been the "architect" (as George W. Bush calls him) of the most spectacularly unsuccessful presidency since Richard Nixon's and one of the worst in American history.

Yes, the disastrous war in Iraq has been Dick Cheney's doing more than Rove's, but Rove, given his influence with Bush, could have steered the president away from this tragic blunder.

On domestic policy, Rove is almost entirely to blame for the administration's failures, as is explained in a piece in the current issue of The Atlantic (subscription required to get it online). The man, for all his vaunted brilliance as a campaigner, has a tin ear when it comes to the politics of governance.

Rove's departure from the White House should be cause for lament among Democrats, who have enjoyed kicking him around, and cause for pleasure among some Republican insiders, who often bristled at his arrogance and abrasiveness.

It's not unlikely, of course, that Rove will make more headlines in the coming months. He's still a major figure in ongoing investigations, including the probe of how and why a bunch of federal prosecutors got canned.

UPDATE: You would think that a British paper like The London Times would be the last to refer to Rove as "Turd Blossom" in a headline. You'd be wrong. FURTHER UPDATE: Somebody at The Times had second thoughts and took down the "Turd" headline.

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