David Kirkpatrick

November 28, 2008

Will Bush pardon Rove?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:04 am

My gut tells me yes, but it could easily fall either way. It’d be craven, but no more craven than pretty much every other president has acted at one time or another.

A preemptive pardon would be sold as keeping “the architect” from unfounded partisan attacks, but the reality is history will almost certainly see that move as an acknowledgement Rove, and by association the entire Bush 43 administration, was knee-deep in illegal and unconstitutional activities for a number of years. That stain will never be washed away.

There’s a little to like about the Bush 43 years and a whole lot not to like, but the defining action of the outgoing administration is authorizing torture. George W. Bush is the first United States president ever — ever — to authorize torture under the auspices of our nation. Taking a long view I doubt anyone would say Islamo-terrorism is/has been the greatest threat this country has ever faced, but until Bush 43 no president saw fit morally or tactically to institute a program of systematic torture applied to potentially innocent captives.

No rule of law, no rule of human decency and no real objectives at the end of the day other than to detain and torture prisoners who might (and you better believe some are) or might not (and you also better believe we’re destroying some innocent lives) be guilty of conspiring against the USA. The utter lack of judicial oversight — military or civilian — ensures no one knows the truth of guilt or innocence.

So at the end of the day will Bush pardon “the architect?” I guess we’ll know sometime in the next two months.

From the link:

Should Rove be indicated by the special prosecutor before January 20, 2009 (unlikely) or should the House Judiciary Committee seek and receive a contempt of Congress charge, which it could do (veryunlikely), that would make Bush’s decision to pardon Rove easier. “I think Bush pardons Rove on his last day in office regardless,” says George Shipley, a longtime political foe of Rove in Texas. “Bush has to pardon a hundred guys—washboarders, torturers, lawyers who wrote the opinions on torture, the White House political staff who violated the Hatch Act. And Rove.”

Others disagree. “I would think Bush would not want to further damage his presidency by clearing the hired help,” Roger Stone says. “Bush Senior’s pardoning of Casper Weinberger is different. Weinberger was secretary of defense and a social peer of the Bush family. Karl is still the hired help.” What’s more, Bush may not be pleased with the way his presidency has turned out. “Rove is the architect of Bush’s current unpopularity,” Stone says. “He is the architect of failure. Bush might want the judgment of history to be on Karl as well as himself.”

As such, Rove may have worries separate from potential indictments or a possible presidential pardon: his legacy. Within the Republican Party, he is now viewed by many as the mastermind behind one of the greatest collapses of a political party in American history—losing both chambers of Congress in 2006, now the presidency.