Photographers rarely are allowed into the forward cabin of Air Force One, but consigliere Karl Rove and other aides summoned them so they could snap pictures of the Boss gazing out the window as the plane flew over the devastation. Republican strategists privately call the resulting image—Bush as tourist, seemingly powerless as he peered down at the chaos—perhaps among the most damaging of his presidency.Yeah, Unka Karl is off his game. Maybe it's the kidney stones, maybe it's the pending indictments. If he was as brilliantly Machiavellian as everyone says he is, I'd accuse him of setting up Fearless Leader to keep himself out of the headlines and off of Patrick J. Fitzgerald's radar, but I don't happen to be a member of the "Rove is a genius" set. I just think he has a particularly effective craven gift for appealing to the most base and negative instincts of the most base and negative people, and extracting power therefrom.
Trouble is, you also start collecting enemies when that's your MO, and your only hope is that your power keeps accruing such that the ever-accumulating mass of ill-wishers can never overtake you. People who say "Rove will never suffer" are betting his power will always be on the ascent and he will never stand at the mercy of the people he victimized, a la Ronald Reagan.
(Although as a side note, my friend Terrenceo thinks that there is some cosmic justice in the man who turned the mentally ill out onto the street so his rich buddies could pile up a few more shekels ending his life with his brain turning to jello and the party he birthed cutting off any hope from stem cells.)
We don't know the exact numbers of people within his own party that Rove has terrorized, threatened, bullied, blackmailed and smeared. Not all of them will be such acquiescent bitches as John McCain. They won't say anything while he's strong, but let him show the least little weakness and they will begin to come out of the woodwork. With little acts of betrayal that never make it into the headlines, but are deadly and damaging nonetheless.
Mark my words, Unka Karl will die from a thousand paper cuts. A thousand people who could come to his rescue -- but won't.
And he knows it.