Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Frogmarch Update: Threat Level Yellow

I got three different e-mails today asking me to sign various online petitions urging the President to fire Karl Rove over Plamegate.

I'm usually a sucker for those (I don't give much money or time, but I am one online-petition-signing mofo) but in this case it just seemed absurd. First, Karl Rove's odiousness aside, firing somebody for ethical/moral failure isn't the type of decision that should be made by holding a finger to the winds . If Bush can't figure out for himself that Rove is ethically crippled, a jillion signatures or e-mails or phone calls won't convince him, nor, in some ideal sense, should they. Secondly, I can't imagine that Internet petitions from JohnKerry.com are greeted with anything but derision by Bush and his inner circle. Also, realistically, what are the chances? When has Bush fired anybody for excessive zeal and loyalty? Plus, as Marshall Wittman so delightfully phrased it, Bush firing Rove would be like Charlie McCarthy firing Edgar Bergen.

It's good that the mainstream news organizations finally smell Rove's blood in the water. Odd that it took so long. Reporters are finally mad at Scott McClellan, whose whole job is to tell them every day that 2 + 2 = 5, and that seems to be acceptable, but when he's caught in a crude deception instead of an artful one, telling them in effect that 2 = 5, that's a no-no. And Matt Cooper and Judy Miller are lousy test cases for press freedom, but if it took a couple of its members being threatened with jail for the DC media social club to get exercised, fine and dandy. It's nice to see the moderate-liberal blogosphere (the Wittmans and Kilgores and Schmitts, the TPMCafe types) in such a state of manic excitement. I hope Mark Schmitt is right that Roveism is truly in decline. I hope this scandal represents a chink in Bush's shell. Let's wait and see, though.

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