Although it is raining, windy and cold here this morning, it still feels like that calm before the storm. No new news in terms of whether there will be indictments. Or not. Or something else like an extension. Or not. But my gut is telling me this morning that it will be indictments.
Unfortunately, I have no idea when. And the suspense is killing me.
Apparently, it's not doing much for Karl Rove, either.
Mr. Rove was not with the president last Friday in California, where Mr. Bush attended a $1 million Republican fund-raiser in Bel Air and spoke at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. Mr. Rove helped plan for the event a year ago, when it seemed a natural trip for the person in the White House who has worked hardest to tie Mr. Reagan's legacy to Mr. Bush.Sounds like someone may be a little radioactive these days, along with feeling down in the dumps about that pesky e-mail he sent to Hadley about talking to Cooper...ooops. Sucks when you screw up your cover story with your own e-mail. ("I said hit delete, not copy.")
Mr. Rove also canceled plans to attend a Republican Party fund-raiser in Greenwich, Conn., last Monday, a Virginian Republican Party fund-raiser on Oct. 15 and a speech to the conservative Hudson Institute on Oct. 11.
Elizabeth Bumiller has an atmosphere story up at the NY Times that paints the entire WH as being a bit...um...on the edge of their seats, despite public attempts by Nicole Wallace and Ken Mehlman to make it seem like everyone is hanging out in the political equivalent of Disneyworld this week.
At the domestic policy meeting last week, Nicolle Wallace, the White House communications director, said that Mr. Rove "went from asking probing questions to checking his BlackBerry to taking notes to popping out to take important calls." Mr. Mehlman said that the White House "is focused on the people's agenda" and that a staff that has faced huge challenges, like a terrorist attack and two wars, can handle this one.Are they saying that these WH spokespeople are lying? I'm shocked. Truly I am.
Allies of the administration who talk regularly to top West Wing officials paint a less happy picture. "The general mood is one of grim determination to conduct business as usual, even though it's clearly not possible," said a Republican close to Mr. Rove who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to antagonize the White House by talking about internal thinking. "It colors the mood, it colors everything that people do, say and think about."
But clearly, there is a silver lining for Republicans in all of this mess. They can dump Rove over the side of the boat!
Another Republican close to White House said that some in the party were viewing a possible departure by Mr. Rove as a potential positive. "He is a political genius, but he controls too much, and the cabinet is irrelevant," said the Republican, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to alienate Mr. Rove. "And maybe there will have to be some other policy people in there, and maybe that will help the president."Why, Ken Mehlman is a Republican close to the WH, isn't he? Guess he learned quite well from his master just how to twist that knife.
The consensus among some Republicans in Washington was that Mr. Mehlman was a logical replacement for Mr. Rove, should he depart, because Mr. Mehlman, a former White House political director, managed Mr. Bush's 2004 campaign with guidance from Mr. Rove. Mr. Mehlman, who was with Mr. Bush in California, a trip he might have taken regardless of Mr. Rove's legal distractions, declined to respond to any questions about the speculation.
The NYTimes also has an article summing up the fact that we don't know what Fitz is going to do, that we're all waiting to see, and that Republicans think we are morons. The new strategy in minimizing this mess is to pretend that perjury and obstruction of justice aren't really crimes. (See my discussion on this here.)
Well, I have two words for Republicans. Bill Clinton. If perjury was a big enough crime to trigger the impeachment of the President of the United States in 1999, then I seriously doubt it's a completely meaningless charge now. In fact, I know that it is a very effective prosecutorial tool -- because it is a serious incentive against people lying to police when they are trying to solve a crime.
Oh, and if I may, to try and say that it is a "technicality" is insulting -- to the intelligence of the American public, to the integrity of the system of laws of our nation, and to the hard work that criminal investigators and prosecutors do every single day in trying to keep our communities safe. Shame on you people for choosing poltical expediency over decency and ethics and integrity. Shame. Shame. Shame.
(Major graphics love to Hail Dubyas.)
UPDATE: Looks like everyone around the blogosphere is having Haloscan problems. Sorry if you have difficulty in posting a comment -- but we're working on it.
UPDATE #2: Mark Kleiman has great analysis on the two NY Times pieces. This is a must read.