The Moose suggests that Rove's past provides a window into his current dilemma.
Mr. Rove has a problem. In his past, he has always benefited from passing rumors, gossip, slander, innuendo and falsehoods about his adversaries. Ironically, in the Plame incident, Rove might have been telling the truth - albeit a violation of government secrecy.
Josh Green described Rove's M.O. in last November's Atlantic Monthly (subscription required),
"Some of Rove's darker tactics cut even closer to the bone. One constant throughout his career is the prevalence of whisper campaigns against opponents. The 2000 primary campaign, for example, featured a widely disseminated rumor that John McCain, tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, had betrayed his country under interrogation and been rendered mentally unfit for office. More often a Rove campaign questions an opponent's sexual orientation. Bush's 1994 race against Ann Richards featured a rumor that she was a lesbian, along with a rare instance of such a tactic's making it into the public record-when a regional chairman of the Bush campaign allowed himself, perhaps inadvertently, to be quoted criticizing Richards for "appointing avowed homosexual activists" to state jobs."
Short of a criminal indictment, Rove will remain in place. For Bush to get rid of Rove would be like Charlie McCarthy firing Edgar Bergen.
We now know why Rove launched the attack on "liberals" a couple of weeks ago. Feeling the heat of the grand jury, Rove was likely cementing his relationship with the conservative base of the Republican party. Agnew was also a master of this game.
Did Rove undermine himself by resorting to the truth? The Moose would revel in the irony! --