The Moose comments on the new conventional wisdom.
Now is the time to sell your Rove stocks - it is a political bear market for Boy Genius. He is now truly Turd Blossom. The Boy King is losing the Mandate of Heaven and his Rasputin is in ill-repute.
Mike Allen reports in Time Magazine,
"Karl Rove's colleagues don't know exactly when it will happen, but they are already laying out the reasons they will give for the departure of the man President George W. Bush dubbed the architect. A Roveless Bush seemed unthinkable just a few months ago. But that has changed as the President's senior adviser and deputy chief of staff remains embroiled in the CIA leak scandal."
The new CW contends that while Rove was a genius at winning elections, he is abysmal at governing. This wisdom will be advanced by the Bush Kennebunkport clan in their Hatfields and McCoy-like feud with the Bush Crawford Clan. The "Bushies of K" will argue that Rove's political skills are superb, but he is overestimated (or Roverestimated) as a governing guru. The Moose has reason to believe (he will do a "Judy Miller" before he reveals his inside sources) that the First Lady holds this view.
Meanwhile, conservatives are rallying to Rove's side urging him to push the polarization button. Bill Kristol in the Weekly Standard,
"This is where Karl Rove comes back in. Between the 2000 election and the 2004 election, Rove became the master of polarization politics. And now, with this year's ill-fated experiment in trying to govern from the middle surely over, polarization along ideological and party lines is a fact of life. Ethics classes won't ameliorate Democratic hostility to Bush. Nor will firing Rove. In fact, throwing Rove overboard--dropping the political adviser who has been with Bush during his past comebacks and greatest triumphs--will increase the sense of a White House in disarray and retreat.
"Keeping Rove; being unapologetic about the war; explaining why Saddam had to be removed, that there were terror ties between Saddam and al Qaeda, and why the war needs to be seen through to victory; fighting for Alito, and other well-qualified conservative judges at the appellate level; advancing pro-growth, pro-family tax reforms--this agenda won't enamor Bush to liberals. But it could lay the groundwork for a Bush comeback. The alternative is three long years of ducking, dodging--and defeat."
Here's where it gets interesting - could Rove be maneuvering for Kristol to replace Card as Chief of Staff? It would be a bold move, but Karl needs allies where he can get them at this critical moment.
Rove created the concept of Bush as a Governor and then as a President. However, the Bushies of K have always viewed him with suspicion. Not only has Karl been disappointing, but the other minder of Junior, Dicky C. has also let down the Kennebunkport bunch. As the President plummets, their views are in the ascendancy.
Karl - the Kennebunkports are coming after your job. What ingratude. How sad. --