I'd be confidently asserting it was time to stick a fork in Karl Rove's bloated carcass. Given the story set to appear in tomorrow's New York Times (and other papers as well, I'm sure) that gives the lie to his claims to have been only peripherally involved in the decisions to fire U.S. attorneys the Republican leadership considered to be underperforming when it came to pursuing politically motivated indictments/investigations, I'd say Karl's ass is well and truly spit-roasted, and it should be all over except for the firing and, eventually, the tell-all book deal.
Unfortunately, this isn't that world. The revelations in the Times piece confirm what most of us in Left Blogistan (and, at least off the record and not for attribution, probably most Republicans as well) have known for years: to wit, that Karl Rove is a lying, cheating, pimping, no-good, two-timing sonofabitch who should never have been allowed to hold an office of public trust or honor in the United States or anywhere outside of a tinpot dictatorship or a banana republic--and even they'd have to think twice before taking him on, he's that radioactive. There is literally no level so low that Rove will not stoop to it if he thinks it will keep him in power a femtosecond longer.
The president should fire, first Rove, and then Abu Gonzalez. But we all know that isn't happening anytime soon. Failing that, I think Senator Leahy should call a special meeting tomorrow of the Judiciary Committee and revisit the question of issuing subpoenas to Rove and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers. The committee was thinking about issuing them subpoenas anyway, but according to the Times, Republicans on the committee quashed that idea at least temporarily. If they know what's good for them, their president, their party, and their chance of winning anything in the 2008 elections, they will not only not block those subpoenas, they'll be knocking on Senator Leahy's door first thing tomorrow morning begging him to issue them.
I understand that all 93 U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president, subject to confirmation by the Senate. I understand that virtually every sitting president in recent memory has removed, replaced, or fired at least one U.S. attorney (though that does not excuse or explain the Shrubbery's actions in the instant case). But this was not anything that could remotely be described as ordinary. What Rove was trying to do, with the connivance of the Attorney General and virtually certainly at the direction of the president, was to make even the administration of justice a partisan issue.
Tony Snow and all the other flacks for the Shrubbery can spin this until they're blue in the face: they will never be able to convince any thinking human being that the eight prosecutors who were shown the door had any disciplinary or performance issues that would warrant termination under any kind of standard operating procedure. The only problem they had was that they weren't going along with the Bush program with sufficient vim and vigor to satisfy the preznit and his political operatives.
Nor is the malfeasance confined to the West Wing and its denizens. We know that at least two members of Congress also attempted to contact one of the dismissed prosecutors, with an eye toward urging him to be more assiduous in his investigation of Democrats for alleged voter fraud in New Mexico. (None was found, for the record.)
Once upon a time in this land of the putatively free and this home of the too-infrequently brave, we not only claimed to stand foursquare for that happy state of affairs described by the four words carved in the marble above the entrance to the Supreme Court in Washington ("Equal Justice Under Law"), we actually did a halfway decent job of providing it. Then the Republicans took control, first of the Congress, then the White House--and proceeded to do their level best to grab the trifecta and control the judicial branch as well. Ever since then, we have been forced to contemplate the spectacle of justice for sale to the highest bidder, and a state of affairs that is tantamount to legislating by fiat the well-worn blogosphere cliché that "It's OK if You're a Republican."
That sorry state of affairs would actually be halfway funny, if it weren't so depressing. Once upon a time, in a simpler time when the Republicans could call themselves the Party of Lincoln without receiving a 10 minute misconduct penalty for self-referential incoherence, they liked to portray themselves as the party of law and order. Where did that idea go, Mr. Rove? For my part, I shall be praying nightly to the God that killed Cain and squashed Samson that he come out of retirement and get back into practice on Messrs. Rove and Gonzalez--or at the very least that I be granted the grace of being able to watch them led out of their cushy offices in handcuffs, tried and convicted for perpetrating numerous frauds upon the American people, and locked away in a maximum-security federal prison for a very long time indeed.