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July 18, 2005

If Karl Rove worked for Helaine Olen

What if Helaine Olen was the the President of the United States? What if she learned that mother's little helper Karl Rove was leaking state secrets to journalists? Worse, he was leaking anonymously in her home while he was supposed to be working for the American people!

What if Olen knew about Rove's outrageous behavior for months, and all her friends knew too? She'd be a pretty bad POTUS, wouldn't she? After all, Karl has a very sensitive important job. Some of the American people are children.

What would we think of Olen if she'd promised to fire anyone connected with the leaks, knowing all along who it was, and giggling with her friends about what color tie Rove was going to wear to his next anonymous encounter? What if she suddenly backpedaled and said that she was only going to fire "that person" if they committed a crime?

It's amazing how different employment standards are for the White House vs. the real world. If you work as a nanny in a Brooklyn brownstone, you can get canned for any reason whatsoever, including veiled online grumbling about hypothetical surgical procedures. You can even be fired for making your employer feel like a middle aged mum instead of an edgy young hipster like yourself. Even your employer's harshest critics will agree: your boss has the legal right to can you. Who knows, she might even get a few column inches in the New York Times to congratulate herself for demanding your head on a platter.

Whereas, if you're the President's most senior advisor, you can reveal a CIA operative's identity in wartime. You can destroy the career of a leading expert in weapons of mass destruction in order to discredit her husband. You can use and discard the First Amendment at will, but not before your "anonymous" tips send reporters to jail. You can force your closest colleagues to lie for you. You can drag your employer's entire operation through the mud. But, hey, as long as you didn't actually commit a crime...

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» Re: Nannygate from Pandagon
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» Drum vacation lineup from aTypical Joe: A gay New Yorker living in the rural south.
Kevin Drum's gone for a week and the wonderful Lindsay Beyerstein, whose been * kicking * some * NYTimes Style * butt * lately (Right-on Lindsay! * Thankyou * Atrios * & Amanda) will be guest posting there. Her co-guest-blogger... [Read More]

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Comments

OMG. Best post on this topic, hands down!

I think we all need to make multiple posts about how stupid it is to challenge Karl Rove's power and how anyone who does really deserves what's coming to them for not being properly deferential. (Although Rove what Rove did is sorta bad too.) And then pat yourself on the back for making the banal point that challenging Rove is risky, is if you're the only person who's ever noticed this. That would be really interesting.

Serves Joe Wilson right for being so http://www.suntimes.com/output/steyn/cst-edt-steyn17.html>weirdly self-obsesssed, doesn't it? Going up against Karl Rove while he was married to a spy. Shoulda known better.

The truth is Bush believes he would be admitting to a mistake if he fires Rove. Bush only fires people who tell him he's committing mistakes. See Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke and Colin Powell.

Brilliant Lindsay!
Hats off to you!
Happy Birthday too!

Happy Birthday too!

Are you keeping something from us, Lindsay?

Well if/when Rove is fired, I'm looking forward to Bush's NYTimes column wherein he discusses his and Rove's relationship.

Linking Rove to Olen. Now that's thinking!

Impossible. There's no way Karl Rove has had sex with more women than the nanny's boyfriend....

Awww, you beat me to it! I was going to post something about standards for "outing," but will link to this post instead...

Well done!

(...and Happy B'Earthday seems to be in order!)

SUN TIMES Solves the whole thing for you....

Take a look at this nuttiness----

http://www.suntimes.com/output/steyn/cst-edt-steyn17.html

He has a great point in one and only one way---the American disinterest in the London dead. However he might talk to one of his editors about that---or one of his beloved Republican figures. Otherwise, you'd think you were reading Free Republic crossed with the Onion.

Sounds like the guy's on speed

I have a question: Why exactly has this particular scandal prompted the media to grow a spine? Why not one of the others?

Christopher, it's easy. They've been repeatedly lied to by McLellan, and this time they've got the evidence clearly in their respective memories.

Isn't Rove an unmarried xian? And wouldn't that make him a virgin? No wonder he's so grouchy.

No, Karl is married (2nd time) with a teenage daughter. The gay rumor about him is as persistent as the one about Tom Cruise. Reading the Time Magazine Man of the Year award (which nearly went to Rove), a sidebar piece on Turdblossom disclosed his rather ardent reaction to meeting Bush for the first time back in the early 70s. Love at first sight? And then some.

What if Karl Rove were a neurotic hausfrau's domestic help instead of the fixer/brains of the president of the United States and his team of enforcers? Well then, I guess his case would have been handled very differently.

This premise is not as fertile as Ms. Beyerstein may think.

He doesn't wear a wedding ring. Ug, someone has to sleep with him....

Stop me, if you've heard this - but I can' stop heehawing.

From Randi Rhodes:

"If Karl Rove is a whistleblower, then Jeff Gannon is a whistle!"

Something that's bothered me (and having not read through lots of blogs on the topic I don't know whether anyone else has pointed this out...probably someone has) is this: it was fine to reveal the name of a female CIA operative. Had the gender roles been reversed (Wife speaks out against the administration, Husband is covert CIA operative) I'm not sure whether he gets his cover blown over this. I tend to think that Rove places no value on women whatsoever and, therefore, would think nothing of shredding one to try to distract from other things. Granted, he doesn't appear to think much of men either...but the abject dimissal of any thought about this woman's life really galls me.

Chris
This is something that a very good friend of mine (career diplomat actually) said to me over a year ago---they were *able* to use this tactic because the woman was the CIA agent. As a man who knows this world inside out after 30 years, he also suggested with some disgust that it would be flat-out war with the CIA if it was a male agent. or, as he said "its a two way street on that sort of bigotry"

Look at much of the "defense" of the accused, its often full of subtle hints about how this is characterized. For one thing, even "analyst" is often left out of the characterization of Valerie Plame leaving various combinations of "desk" work to the point where some give the impression (I'm sure deliberately) that she is clerical help. These narratives move back and forth trying to find some sort of resonance on a gender issue : Wilson is a wimp sent by his macho agent wife to Africa! Plame isn't *really* a CIA *agent* she's an office worker; Plame goes to social events as his *wife* so she's not in *hiding*---

I trust my long-time friend and mentor to know what he is talking about if for no other reason than gender is the last thing that usually occurs to him in any of these situations. But, he called that out immediately and predicted exactly how this would eventually be described.

disgusted in texas & chris
I've even heard Valerie Plame described, by the right-wing of course, as nothing but a check-out girl like at home depot or a filing clerk.
A sexist put-down as well as a Rove boost.

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