The Arrogance of Being Karl
On Thursday, Karl Rove ignored a subpoena to testify before a congressional committee which is trying to find out the truth behind the firings of nine U.S. Attorneys in December of 2006. It has been testified that he was involved in those firings and Congress wants to know the extent of that involvement. They also want to know what role he played in the political persecution and subsequent imprisonment of former Alabama Governor, Democrat Don Segelman.
Segelman, you'll recall, was convicted by a jury of twelve Alabamans of average intelligence (average for Alabama, that is) of accepting a five-hundred thousand dollar check from a man named Richard Scrushy that went directly into a state fund that benefited secondary education. In exchange for this contribution, Segelman reappointed Scruchy to sit on the board of directors of a state hospital - a position he had held under three previous governors! This is the "crime" that sent Governor Segelman to a federal prison in Louisiana. (And just how many ambassadorships do you think George W. Bush has forked over throughout the years in exchange for campaign contributions?) He was a victim of Bush's politicized Department of Justice. Thankfully, this perversion of our justice system has since been corrected. Wiser heads have since prevailed and Segelman is now a free man after serving nearly one long year of a seven year sentence. That something like this could happen in the USA in the twenty-first century should have every thinking man and woman in this doomed country in a blind, fucking rage. Unfortunately, the story received very little attention from the main stream, corporate-controlled media. Incredibly, your fellow citizens seem to be more concerned with Christie Brinkley's divorce trial and American Idol. Is this a great country, or what?
Initially, Rove informed the Committee that he would testify only behind closed doors and not under oath. When refused that request, he then claimed executive privilege. I don't know about you, but I have this funny feeling that our man Karl has a thing or two to hide. Call it a hunch.
In Rove's defence, Fred Fielding, a counselor to the First Fool, said in a written letter to Congress:
"A present or former advisor to the president is constitutionally immune from compelled congressional testimony that relate to his or her official duties....Mr. Rove is not required to appear in response to the Committee's subpoena. Accordingly, the president has directed him not to do so."
That is utter nonsense. Only a sitting president can claim executive privilege and only in cases where national security is involved. That's pretty much how the Supreme Court of Warren Burger ruled against President Nixon way the hell back in 1973. When Tricky Dick claimed that his secret Oval Office recordings were off limits to any nosey Senate investigating committee, the Supremes informed the Trickster that a president and his subordinates are, in fact, subject to congressional inquiry. Thirty-five years after the fact, judicial precedence means not a thing to George W. Bush and Company. You're not really surprised by that, are you? Ah! I thought not.
Aside from their monumental corruption and incompetence, what will mainly be remembered about this disgusting administration will be what can only be described as their constitutional arrogance - an arrogance personified in the person of Karl Rove, a man who has been described as "Bush's Brain".
All of the dirty tricks, every single one of the smear campaigns and illegal persecutions that have been conducted by this White House, have originated from the office of Karl Rove. During the Republican primaries of 2000, it was Rove who got the word out in South Carolina that John McCain's beautiful brown-skinned daughter (who was in fact adopted from one of Mother Theresa's orphanages) was actually the result of his liaison with a black prostitute. A whole hell of a lot of South Carolinian Republicans - just about the stupidest creatures currently walking on two feet - swallowed the lie without question.
In 2002 he also helped defeat Georgia congressman Max Cleland - a genuine American hero who lost three limbs in the Vietnam war - via a shameful political ad that juxtaposed his image with those of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. And let us not forget that it was he who organized the now-totally-discredited Swiftboat Veterans For Truth against John Kerry during the 2004 campaign. American politics, a dirty business to begin with, has been utterly soiled by Karl Rove.
History tells us that Rove is not totally unique to the American political scene. But were you to put history's most talented manipulators of statecraft and politics in a single room, Karl Rove would definitely stand out. As I wrote on "The Rant" almost a year ago on August 14, 2007:
"Say what you want about the man, it can not be argued that Karl Rove is a political genius. When all of the dust is settled, it will have to be conceded that he was able to take a pathetic moron like George W. Bush and not only make him look presidential, he was able to manipulate a huge segment of the American people into thinking that sending the little thug to the Executive Mansion was a really neat idea! Several presidents in American history have had Rove-like equivalents at their beck and call: William McKinley had Mark Hanna; Franklin D. Roosevelt had Louis Howe; Harry S Truman had Clark Clifford....But nowhere - nowhere - in history is there anyone who even approaches Karl Rove in terms of pure Machiavellian intrigue. Hats off to the man."
When a serious investigation into the felonies committed by these people is finally launched, it's a sure bet that Karl Rove's fingerprints will be everywhere. I think I am starting to understand why criminal charges against Rove or anyone else in this nightmare of an administration have yet to materialize. A president of the United States can not pardon someone for a crime committed unless the person in question has already been indicted or convicted. Whether or not a genius like our president is fully able to understand this is entirely beside the point. My guess is that the man is so gut-wrenchingly arrogant, he might even be under the illusion that a president can pardon himself. Is that the reason why the 110th Congress have been dragging their feet as far as bringing these people to justice is concerned? Are they waiting for Bush to be safely barricaded in his bunker in Crawford, Texas before they go in for the kill? Time will tell.
Rove is not the first member of Team Bush to ignore a Congressional subpoena. Earlier this year, former White House counselor Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolton were also instructed by our esteemed neanderthal-in-chief not to testify before Congress. As a result, they became the first persons to receive a Contempt of Congress citation in a quarter of a century. Incredibly, the previous year Bush had nominated Ms. Miers to fill the retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the Supreme Court. He had to withdraw the nomination when the extreme right wing of the GOP (not known for their impressive standards) decided that she was even too mediocre for them! I know what some of you may be thinking: "Aww, hell! Tom Degan's just makin' this stuff up! The guy's a laugh riot!" So help me Mitch Miller, it's all true. Every word of it.
Again, one can only hope and pray that the House and Senate are waiting for this administration to end before bringing these despicable people to justice. I would never again get a good night's sleep knowing that these despicable bastards and bitches (Hi, Condi!) were able to get away their crimes against the American people in general and the Iraqi people in particular.
Assuming they don't attempt to suspend the Constitution (and don't think for a minute that they aren't considering it), George W. Bush, Richard B. Cheney, Karl Rove and the entire cast of this poorly scripted, extremely dark comedy will be gone soon. Very shortly, most of the characters in this hideous farce will be retiring to their gated communities in the Washington suburbs - lounging on their decks and looking out on the manicured lawns that are kept up and landscaped by low-paid and overworked Mexican laborers. The majority of them will make an attempt to cash in on their years as players in the Bush White House, writing their memoirs, desperately trying to whitewash their respective roles within the most criminally incompetent, murderously corrupt administration in the history of human stupidity.
Ultimately they will be unable to escape the utter contempt of their heirs. It's a sure bet that Jenna and Barbara Bush's yet-to-be-born children will spend their entire lives disassociating themselves from and denying their relationship to their infamous grandfather. I know what I'm talking about here. I am related to Roger Brooke Taney, the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court who in 1857 wrote the Dred Scott decision - the worst, most inexcusable legal opinion ever concocted in the Halls of Justice. I only mention this because it is a part of my heritage that cannot be denied. Trust me on this one, folks, I certainly don't go around bragging about it!
If there is one thing that two centuries of the American Experiment has taught us, it is that one cannot escape the judgement of history. Posterity's glare is a harsh one indeed.
A couple of months ago, Bill Moyers gave a speech in which he talked about the mainstream news media, how it has been taken over by Corporate America and what you and I must do to reclaim the people's airwaves. It has to be one of the most inspiring talks that I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. It must be seen. Better still, it must be heard. Here's a link: