Karl Rove and the China Syndrome
- Bob FertikWant to meet our members? Click 'Join' above!
If you trace any Bush scandal to its source, you'll find yourself eye-to-eye with Karl Rove. To pick just a few out of today's headlines:
The U.S. Attorney scandal? Karl Rove.
The G.S.A. powerpoint? Karl Rove.
The Pat Tillman coverup? Karl Rove.
Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Bush's mega-scandal is the Iraq War. Who chaired the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), which manufactured all the lies that sold the war to a nation traumatized by 9/11? Karl Rove, of course.
Karl Rove literally changed the world. He recruited George Bush to run for President, stole the 2000 election for him in Florida, and created his entire administration. But Rove's power extends far beyond the Executive Branch - he formed a coalition of multinational corporations (led by oil giants, arms giants, and media giants) that invisibly rules the nation and the world.
How did Rove amass so much power?
1. He controls the Republican Party. Karl Rove gained control of the GOP by playing dirtier than anyone else. If a Republican got in his way, Rove destroyed him through blackmail and smears. By allying himself with the Bush Organized Crime Family, he gained control of all the money that kept the GOP in business - both powerful corporate executives and ideological small-donor networks. After he stole the 2000 election for Bush, Rove formed a powerful alliance with Tom DeLay that gave them both total control over House Republicans (using Denny Hastert as their puppet). When Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott stepped out of line, Rove pulled out the sharp knives and replaced him with Bill Frist.
2. He controls the Executive Branch. Rove replaced every political appointee in every agency with a "loyal Bushie." And as the U.S. Attorney scandal revealed, it wasn't good enough to be a "loyal Bushie" at the start of your appointment - you had to prove your loyalty every day by twisting everything to help Republicans and hurt Democrats.
3. He controls the secrets. The key to real power in Washington DC is blackmail. Karl Rove knows where every body is buried in American politics - who owns who, who sleeps with who, and who killed who. His vast network of "loyal Bushie" spies feed him every rumor; and this "human intelligence" is multiplied a thousand-fold by using the massive National Security Agency as his personal eavesdropping device. If he wants, Rove can play back every phone call you've made and read every e-mail you've sent.
4. He controls the media. Finally, Rove controls all political news. If Rove wants something on TV, you'll see it instantly; if he doesn't want it on TV, you'll never see it, or it will pass in the blink of an eye. It doesn't matter how "important" a story is; all that matters is whether it's good or bad for Republicans. Until Hurricane Katrina, Rove's control of TV was nearly absolute. Now it's down to 80-90%, which is still extremely powerful.
Unfortunately for Rove, that power is starting to unravel. Rove dodged a bullet on Plamegate by getting Libby to take the fall. But now the Democratic Congress has him in the crosshairs on virtually every investigation.
Can Rove save himself? It's hard to see how.
Henry Waxman is on the trail of a treasure trove of emails at the RNC and everywhere else; if they are important, they will mention Rove. Sidney Blumenthal updates Watergate's "Deep Throat," who advised "Woodstein" to "follow the money" - Blumenthal says "follow the emails." But I doubt incriminating emails will bring Rove down, because the major lesson Rove learned from Watergate was to "burn the tapes." No doubt Rove's scrubbers are busy scrubbing everything they can, in direct defiance of Waxman.
The threat to Rove comes less from scrubbable documents than from victims of his lifelong practice of the politics of personal destruction.
The biggest threat comes from the Justice Department, which includes a lot of ethical professionals who also happen to be lawyers and therefore make very credible witnesses, just as the 8 fired U.S. Attorneys recently did. Alberto Gonzales was able to keep those professionals in line while he was their boss, but when he leaves (as he will soon), it will be much harder for Rove to shut them up.
And as Rove gets weaker, more and more of his innumerable victims outside the Justice Department, both high and low, will stop fearing him and start exposing his crimes to Congressional investigators.
Already the Congressional investigations are reaching critical mass; at some point in the near future, they will accumulate enough heat to cause a political meltdown. Because it is based entirely on corruption, Rove's Republican Party is as vulnerable to a meltdown as the defective Soviet nuclear plants at Chernobyl. It's easy to be reminded of the China Syndrome.
There is only one thing that could possibly save Rove, Bush, and the GOP - starting Bush's third war, this time in Iran. It's no coincidence that, with two aircraft carrier groups conducting war games in the Persian Gulf, we're one tiny mistake (on either side) from war.
But at some point in 2006, Rove's corruption, incompetence, and reckleness reached their limit. Just as Rove lost Congress in November, he also lost crucial U.S. allies around the world. It's no accident that just as Bush is threatening Iran with war, the Saudis are meeting with Iranian President Ahmedinejad and cancelling a state dinner with Bush.
Without a war to change the subject, Rove will have to face the consequences of his corruption in front of Congress, in full view of the world. He will fight to the death, but after running most of the world for over six full years, his accumulated enemies will ultimately bring him down.
But in the furious heat of his political meltdown, even atheists should pray that he doesn't take the whole world down with him.