This Week in Rovian Rubbish, Especially on the Don Siegelman Case
“According to the most recent surveys, President Bush’s current second-term debacle exceeds any other White House calamity in modern times. Yet the man who made it all possible, the ‘brains’ behind the president who has become ‘radioactive’ inside his own party, is toasted in the press as a political wise man.”
— Eric Boehlert, “If Congress Slaps Rove with Contempt, How Will His Bosses at Fox and Newsweek Deal with It?” Media Matters, May 22, 2008.
“Rove is a proven liar who cannot be trusted to tell the truth even when he is under oath, unless and until he is directly threatened with the prospect of prison time.”
— Joe Conason, Salon.com, March, 2007.
Karl Rove doesn’t look good these days; although he still exudes a smugly smiling aura of the polite ‘good’ little boy who knows he’ll never get caught for stealing that bicycle, he’s added weight and an unhealthy pastiness to his moon face, and his porcine blue eyes dart nervously from side to side as if seeking cover when the questions hit too close to home.
Those who have followed Rove’s fetid bottom-feeder career in politics, from his youthful College Republican days as a Nixon dirty trickster to his shoehorning the affably inept George W. Bush into the Texas governor’s mansion and the White House on 3″ X 5″ index cards of tested talking points and a willingness to hit lower below the belt and lie more continuously than most previous political handlers, know that no fly’s wing is safe near this man and, seeing him strut his stuff on ABC’s This Week Sunday morning, that even in supposed retirement from party politics, he is still in the business of regurgitating king-sized crapola for the GOP with the worst of them.
I reached for something to throw at the TV as he discussed Barack Obama’s supposed lack of any kind of record in the US Senate and his alleged failure to ‘reach across the aisle’ to Republicans to get things done. Either Rove is as ignorant as the body that hosted his political brain, or he’s lying through his teeth, and my bet’s on the latter. Here’s what someone more honest and objective had to say concerning Obama’s record:
“Obama has been accused of being all flash, and of not having done much in the Senate. His record in the three and a half years he has been there suggests someone serious about the job: he worked on a nuclear nonproliferation bill that passed and backed a number of policy changes to help veterans, including more medical care for those with post-traumatic stress disorder, assistance for homeless veterans, and the extension of tax credits for military families. He pushed through the Senate a major bill on ethics reform; and introduced legislation in January 2007 to stop, or if that failed, limit funds for the surge. He also worked with the conservative Republican Tom Coburn in a successful effort to get Congress to impose transparency on government expenditures so that anyone can look them up. The criticism that he hasn’t done more also overlooks the fact that during his first two years in the Senate, he was ninety-ninth in seniority and in the minority party.”
— Elizabeth Drew, “Molehill Politics,” The New York Review of Books, March 30, 2008.
No wonder Karl thinks Obama has done nothing all of the things he’s accomplished are what Rove despises ethics, government transparency, nuclear nonproliferation, increased help for veterans and their families.
Then Rove did a little riff praising Hillary Clinton’s experience and one has to wonder with a double-dealing sleazebag like Karl if he wants Hillary to stay in the race or actually wants Democrats to hate Hillary since he’s praising her. (Sadly, she recently accepted Rove’s New Math to pump up her chances at the Dem nomination. This is the same math that said Republicans would retain the majority in Congress in 2006. Oops.)
But the stench of the sewer really overflowed the pipe when George Stephanopoulos asked Karl about the Don Siegelman matter. Here’s a transcript, with your Tattlesnake’s remarks interspersed:
STEPHANOPOULOS: “We’re just about out of time. As we know and our viewers probably know you were subpoenaed this week by the house Judiciary Committee to give testimony on any involvement you may have had with the prosecution of the former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. He’s claiming there was selective prosecution. He’s out on bail now even though he was convicted. He said your fingerprints are all over it. The House report said ‘in Selma 2007 a Republican attorney for northern Alabama named [Dana] Jill Simpson wrote an affidavit stating that in November 2002 she heard a prominent Alabama Republican operative named Bill Canary say that Karl Rove had contacted the Justice Department about bringing a prosecution of Don Siegelman. The question for Mr. Rove is whether he directly or indirectly discussed the possibility of prosecuting Don Siegelman with either the Justice Department or Alabama Republicans.’ did you?”
ROVE: “Let me say three things, first of all, I think it’s interesting — everybody who was supposedly on that telephone call that Miss Simpson talks about says the call never took place. I’d say “
TATTLESNAKE: Not everyone, Karl, just those who are in as much trouble over this as you are.
STEPHANOPOULOS: “Although she produced a cell phone record according to the committee.”
ROVE: “Well, I would say three things. First of all, I have — I learned about Don Siegelman’s prosecution by reading about it in the newspaper.”
TATTLESNAKE: Maybe, but did you influence Siegelman’s case prior to the prosecution and what did you have to do with those ballots from Baldwin County, mysteriously discovered in the dead of night long after the polls had closed, that reversed popular Democrat Don Siegelman’s gubernatorial victory in Alabama?
ROVE: “Second of all, this is really about a Constitutional question of the separation of powers. Congress, the house judiciary committee wants to be able to call presidential aides on its whim up to testify, violating the separation of powers, executive privilege has been asserted by the White House. In a similar instance in the senate. It will probably be asserted quickly in the House.”
TATTLESNAKE: Uh, no, Karl. Committing partisan illegalities while an aide on the White House staff is not a question of the separation of powers, it’s a question of crime, a crime not covered by executive privilege, since it involved a domestic political matter and not a national security issue. Unless you’re claiming that Bush was in on the crime, you cannot claim executive privilege, since that only applies to personal communications with the president. Congress is also fully empowered to investigate and subpoena presidential aides to account for committing illegal acts, whether the Executive Branch likes it or not.
ROVE: “Third, the White House and — has agreed, I’m not — I’m not asserting any personal privilege. The White House has offered, and my lawyers offered several different ways in which if the House wants to find out information about this they can find out information about this. And they’ve refused to avail themselves of those opportunities. We didn’t say, close off any option to do anything else you want to do in the future. We said if you want to hear about this let’s sit down and talk about this and then you’re entitled to do what you want to do in the future. This is now tied up in court. It’s going to be tied up in court and settled in court. And frankly the house last week doing this is, you know, duplicating what the Senate has done.”
TATTLESNAKE: First of all, if the story is completely baseless and you had nothing to do with Siegelman’s bizarre last minute loss for the Alabama governorship and subsequent prosecution, what is there for you to ‘sit down and talk about’ with Congress? And your lawyer’s sole offer was a joke ‘testimony’ off the record, out of the public eye and not under oath. If you haven’t done anything wrong, why not testify to it under oath and in public?
STEPHANOPOULOS: “But to be clear you did not contact the Justice Department about this case?”
ROVE: “I read about — I’m going to simply say what I’ve said before, which is I found out about Don Siegelman’s investigation and indictment by reading it in the newspaper.”
TATTLESNAKE: Yes, but again, what did you have to do with this case PRIOR to the investigation and indictment?
STEPHANOPOULOS: “But that’s not a denial.”
ROVE: “I’ve — you know, I read — I heard about it, read about it, learned about it for the first time by reading about it in the newspaper.”
TATTLESNAKE: And here Karl smiled that eerie cold grin, the one that says ‘I’m guilty as sin but they’re never going to prove it.’ Only this time, it may be different. Siegelman’s not going to fade away so easily, and neither is John Conyers and Henry Waxman, plus it’s rumored that other shoes may be about to drop right on Karl’s shiny pate. Those eight fired US attorneys may have more to say, and current federal prosecutors may be compelled to testify under oath to politically motivated corruption in the Justice Department and it all leads back to Rove.
STEPHANOPOULOS: “Mr. Rove, thanks very much.”
TATTLESNAKE: Thanks for nothing, Turdblossom.
The transcript is from ABC’s This Week, broadcast May 25, 2008, via Raw Story.