Towards A Good Samaritan World

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Christopher Hitchens debunks the Rove "scandal." What's frustrating about the pseudo-scandals surrounding Karl Rove and Tom DeLay is that they force me to support officials whom I would otherwise prefer to see the back of. I don't like Tom DeLay. He's too hard-line, and some of his comments on judges were kind of scary. I'd prefer a less disciplined Republican House. As for Rove, it's alleged that he channels a lot of federal dollars as pork to shore up key Republican constituencies. The ultimate blame here is on Bush, who ought to have more backbone when it comes to resisting domestic spending. But maybe if Rove weren't around with his porkbarreling wizardry, the temptation would be less.

However, it's a key principle that politicians shouldn't be hamstrung by the ever-present threat of pseudo-scandals. Legislators should have more latitude to get input from constituents. If they're letting special interests buy votes that run counter to the public interest, let the electorate punish them. There's limits to this, of course, and some laws constraining campaign contributions are surely warranted, but the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of tying legislators' hands. The Rove scandal is even sillier. Or rather, it's about the CIA, namely that a fool like Joe Wilson was sent on a sensitive government mission by his wife. One always suspects that the curtain of secrecy that protects the CIA from foreign enemies actually protects a gross and comprehensive incompetence from public scrutiny. If Valerie Plame sent her loony-tunes husband to investigate a very serious matter, namely Saddam's possible search for nuclear weapons, well, let's just say it becomes a lot less surprising that the CIA failed to prevent 9/11, got everything wrong about Saddam's WMDs, etc., etc.

And now the Democrats want Rove fired. Well, it would set a terrible precedent for responsible, democrat governments if we allowed a media, partisan, and reckless-federal-bureaucrat lynch mob to take down a close confidant of our highest elected official. And even if Tom DeLay and Karl Rove step down for, ostensibly, some other reason, it will look like the phony scandals did their work. So it's now essential that they stay on for a couple more years to avoid rewarding the scandal-mongers. Thanks, Democrats.


  • In what way has he "debunked" the Rove scandal? The article barely even mentions Rove. It's almost entirely about Wilson and Plame, and doesn't really make any sort of coherent argument except to say that Wilson is a lier. But the Rove scandal has nothing to do with Wilson or Plame. Nothing. It's about federal criminal law. If Rove compromised an under-cover CIA agent, he is guilty of a federal offense, and in a time of war can be charged with treason. The article did not address the issue one bit. I don't care if Wilson and Plame are Satan's little helpers. Their personal attributes and histories are irrelevant.

    My whole take on the Rove scandal is that it's not much of a scandal for now, since there's no proof he committed a crime, and there's not likely to be any even if he did commit it. The press and media coverage that I've been exposed to has been relatively guarded in passing judgement on Rove regarding this issue, and I think everyone's playing the wait-and-see game. It's a non-issue to me anyway, because there are much worse things an official can do than accidentally (or purposefully) exposing an under-cover agent, though, admittedly it's not a great thing to do.

    By Blogger Thomas Reasoner, at 2:46 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home