Karl is the big buzz of the day. Everybody is speculating on his past, present and future and he's fueling the fires. He made the rounds on the Sunday talking head shows and as expected, was mostly spared any of the difficult questions. Chris Wallace to his credit, made an attempt but Rove rebuffed those with a response of "nice try." This was the most revealing comment he made there.
At the conclusion of the interview, Rove acknowledged that his unwillingness to be candid would intensify congressional pressure on him. “Let’s face it. I mean, I’m a myth, and they’re — you know, I’m Beowulf. You know, I’m Grendel. I don’t know who I am. But they’re after me,” Rove said.
David Gregory also made an attempt to get a straight answer out of the old liar but came away dizzy with the usual spin. Meanwhile, Frank Rich reflected on Karl's legacy and what it will mean for the GOP.
That face, at once contemptuous and greedy and self-righteous, is Karl Rove's face. Unless someone in his party rolls out a revolutionary new product, it is indelible enough to serve as the Republican brand for a generation.
But the burning question among the thousands of words posted in the last few days has been, why? Why did he quit -- now? I've been mulling that over myself and have developed something of a conspiracy theory. Fortunately, I'm not alone in my view. PM Carpenter articulates my thoughts rather well. Karl wants the Democrats to win in 2008.
The next president will be accused of "losing" Iraq. The next president will be embroiled in the irremediable problems of the increasingly unstable Middle East. The next president will be forced to raise taxes, given the general fiscal nightmare he or she will inherit. The next president could very likely find him- or herself in the midst of the Great Depression II. The next president will be that much closer to the pit of the Baby Boomer crisis, with all its Social Security and Medicare funding problems.
Karl knows all this, and Karl wouldn't wish this mess on a fellow Republican. So he's praying for a Democratic president and another Democratic Congress in 2008, both of whom will suffer the electorate's immense anger and dissatisfaction in short order, to be followed in 2012 or 2016 by an overwhelming Republican congressional majority and Bush Administration Redux.
It makes perfect sense if you think about it. Whether or not you belive Karl is a genius, he's not certainly nobody's fool. But he's not above playing one if it suits his purpose and he's long range planner and a consummate historian. He knows that sometimes you have to lose a battle to win the war. Taken in that context, all the addled-pated decisions his Boy Blunder has made under his tutelage advance Rove's long-range agenda.
How many times if you asked yourself, as Bush arrogantly swaggers through one disastrous decision after another, acting as if he still has a mandate, whether he is deliberately trying to destroy the GOP? How many times have you thought, they couldn't screw up more if they were trying to fail? Every move seems designed to create a larger and more intractable mess.
It will take more than four years, and probably more than eight to repair what Bush has broken and it will take some painful choices that the public will not swallow easily. The electorate is a fickle creature, not prone to historical perspective and will eventually blame the Democrats for not fixing it fast enough and for being rendered unable to spare them the inevitable discomforts that will be neccesary to reverse course.
As Carpenter notes, "Karl Rove is still a young man, and his dream of a permanent Republican majority is still doable, in his eyes, but only if Democratic patsies are there to take the heat for a while." I think he's right.