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 k / o
                                       politics + culture

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

the vulnerability report

The White House pickle stems from the fact that their barrel is leaking in more than one place.

It's a real pickle barrel, this one. Hence, a vulnerability report.

Vulnerability one: Five indictments of Libby means five criminal charges filed against the office of the Vice President. It doesn't matter if anyone knows who Libby is. Everybody knows Dick Cheney...and there are five criminal indictments pointed directly at his office, including perjury and obstruction of justice.

Those indictments don't magically dissappear. They don't go away. And they point at Cheney. Regular people understand that what your right hand man does, you told him to do. Cheney will pay a political price.

Vulnerability two: Bush's changing standards for White House terms of employment is now fully "in play." This is serious; Bush's flip flop on firing leakers will equal or exceed the consequences of his father's "no new taxes." This broken pledge is a big deal.

Bush moved to the "convicted of a crime and you're fired" standard within days of the Matthew Cooper story pointing to Karl Rove. It was an idiotic pledge not simply because of its timing, but because the reality is that if Rove is indicted, he is gone. Bush's pledge helped no one, and hurt himself. Even if Rove leaves this White House, that flip flop still hurts Bush. Craven hypocrisy comes with a price.

Vulnerabiltiy three: Patrick Fitzgerald's indictment enumerated numerous ways in which the White House was not forthcoming about this story. They knew, they knew early, and they spread "the leak" with impunity.

Try watching those 2003 press conferences again knowing what we know from Fitzgerald's investigation. The only conclusion is that they sent McClellan out there to lie to us. And, as E.J. Dionne pointed out, they had Libby lie to the FBI so they could win an election. Governors have been recalled for less.

As this story grows, this aspect of it grows more and more significiant: Libby's charges taint everyone in the administration who knew Plame's identity, or knew that Rove and LIbby might be giving false testimony. With or without criminal charges, it is very clear they lied to us with an election on the line.

Vulnerability four: WMD

They didn't find WMD. None. Zero. Zippo. And we are slowly but surely talking about WMD again. In fact, the whole reason to attack Joseph Wilson was WMD.


Since everybody in the White House knew about Valerie Plame...and, in fact, their defense is that their knowledge was quite innocent. It begs the question: Did the President know about efforts to research Valerie Plame before the Novak article, and if he did, who told him, where, and when and why did he know?

If he knew, given his later, befuddled press conferences...he's a bald faced liar. But we knew that already. What we haven't had yet, is a situation where it is legally significant what the President knew. That moment may yet arrive with the charges against Libby, and the pending process involving Karl Rove.

Vulnerability Six: Rove lied to the President and McClellan, and is still legally vulnerable.

That is very, very, very bad news. Lie in 2003. Get promoted to a senior White House policy position. Run a presidential reelection campaign. And then...in 2005 get caught in that lie...and still face indictment?

Bad news for Karl Rove. Lying to the public through the President's press spokesman is a big no-no. BushCo. reserves that right for Presidents and Vice Presidents only.

Rove's continuing legal jeopardy is a political pressure cooker for the White House. I doesn't get easier. In fact, Fitzgerald's continuing investigation of Rove, whether it brings indictments or not, is a political nightmare for Bush's White House.

Are they moving on? Retrenching? Is Rove a "good guy," or a "bad guy". a "liability" a "friend"...or, more and more persona non grata for Bush?

Rove's political AND legal problems are hurting Bush's poll numbers. Vulnerability extraordinaire.

V 7: No plea agreement for Libby.

"Serious time" = a serious trial. A serious trial = an open-ended legal process that won't and can't happen. Hence, hard alternatives and no soft landing for Libby and a battering in the press for Senor W.

V 8: The White House may have a flipper.

Bush loves loyalty. He rewards it. He promotes it. He's entirely based on it. Hell, he's utterly addicted to rewarding his friends with power. So, what happens when someone says...."You know, Mr. President, my family would like me to avoid going to jail for you."??

Somebody has decided that the hothouse has got too hot.

V 9: Rove's defense doesn't wash.

Rove will say that he didn't know that Valerie Plame was covert. He will say that over and over again. "I was a whistle blower."

Of course, what Rove and the GOP have forgotten; when it comes to the safety and security of the American people...there are no excuses.

The Final Vulnerability: George Bush's father was President.

You'd think that would be an advantage. It isn't now.

If the tide turns against George W. Bush, it takes the whole Bush clan. Look for the battle lines to be drawn. If the GOP base decides that they have to distance themselves from Bush, they will tie him to his not-so-beloved father and toss him in a bathtub faster than you can say Grover Norquist.

Bye, bye Mr. Bush.



  • All valid...

    The thing I am finding interesting at the moment, is that Fitz has put into motion, with his one indictment, a potential domino fall. And he doesn't have to do much more to gain the same results as sweeping indictments would have gained. Also, with this one indictment action, he comes across as a measured and restrained prosecutor instead of a gunslinger, which he certainly would have been called if he had handed up a bucket of paper on Fitzmas.

    He's letting the media and the selfserving interests of Washington do a lot of his work at the moment.

    My take? I think we'll see more legal activity when that energy runs its course. Then wash, rinse, repeat.

    I'm not calling him a genius or even attributing to him the planning of all this, but it sure seems to be working out. Planned or serendipity, who cares? We are in for a really interesting ride...and the sooner the cementhead Democratic leadership understands that this is big, the fucking better. If they don't, they are going to be buried under the falling debris.

    I can even see Republican candidates beating incumbent Dems with a reform platform...to get rid of the corruption in Washington.

    By Blogger NYBri, at 11:25 AM  

  • Good article! I join you in hoping that Little bush breaks the grip of the Bush Family Evil Empire once and for all. However, I am betting that this one will never come anywhere near a trial. Pardons are the BFEE way!

    By Blogger Brenda, at 2:50 PM  

  • Yo, K/O I hope your right about all this. I wanted to pass an idea on to you because I find it very funny and possibly usefull in the political bloggy land.

    It's called the "27% Crazification Factor" and I think it needs to be spread out there. It is an attempt to define the lowest possible favorability rating for Bush. It has it's origin as far as I can tell in this conversation:

    John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is --

    Tyrone: 27%.

    John: ... you said that immmediately, and with some authority.

    Tyrone: Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That's crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.

    I didn't make it up, but I think it's a brilliant thoerum in my opinion and I am going to try and spread it.

    Peace and Cole's Coffee!

    By Blogger jonathanK, at 4:30 PM  

  • 27%...

    I'm not sure what the actual number is, but I agree that there is a crazification factor. I wonder what it would be on the left.

    I mean, we should ask ourselves, how far would a dem government have to go before we voted for a Republican? I might be a member of that factor on the left. I'd probably either not vote or find another candidate before I'd support a Republican administration.

    By Blogger NYBri, at 4:59 PM  

  • Though I was not voting in Mass at the time (I had recently moved to Cal) I would have voted for Bill Weld over Wacko-Democrat-in-name-only John Silber for Governor. It is possible for a moderate republican to be a better choice than a crazy man.

    By Blogger jonathanK, at 5:07 PM  

  • i nearly voted for campbell over feinstein for senate in 2000, but then he was an antiwar, anti-drug war, pro-gay rights non-racist republican. were we in a less dire political period, with a less batshit crazy republican party, i would have considered it. no longer.

    By Anonymous wu ming, at 6:04 PM  

  • but then he was an antiwar, anti-drug war, pro-gay rights non-racist republican.

    Those words don't make sense in that order.

    By Blogger NYBri, at 7:45 PM  

  • I'm betting somewhere in the high 20s, which is the BTKWB Limit:


    And certainly somewhere Nixxonian:


    By Anonymous willyr, at 7:47 PM  

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