The Long Weekend of Scooter Libby
Yeah, Scooter, it's been a long
weekend. But not as long as yours
How Dubya lost his swagger
BY THOMAS M. DEFRANK
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF
Patrick Fitzgerald's indictments are especially jarring because they also raise the dangerous specter of political hypocrisy: In the 2000 campaign, Bush ended every stump speech by placing his hand on an imaginary Bible and swearing to restore the honor and dignity of the Oval Office, "so help me God."
"There is still time to recover, but we are in a terrible mess," a senior GOP strategist closely allied with the White House admitted.
The damage to Bush could have been far worse, however, and he and his aides breathed massive sighs of relief when Fitzgerald did not announce an indictment against Karl Rove.
The effect of the loss of Rove to the weakened President could not be overstated. The 54-year-old strategist is the central nervous system of the Bush White House, as well as the driving force of the national Republican movement.
It's no coincidence that such political fiascoes as the sluggish federal response to Hurricane Katrina and the bungled Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers occurred while Rove was distracted by his own legal difficulties.
"The truth is, Karl is irreplaceable," a senior Bush adviser said. "We have seen what this administration looks like absent Karl these last weeks. The rest of the group is simply not up to the task."
Now Rove will lead a battered White House's attempt to rebuild from the carnage, but that's a daunting mission.
Was? It took a last minute intervention to hold off a Friday indictment.
Now the plan is to toss Libby under the bus and hope that works. Which is why Fitzgerald indicted him on a Friday. He could have done this midweek, but no, he did it in time for the Sunday chat shows.
So all weekend long, he gets to see David Brooks and John Cornyn, both with excellent connections to the White House, say it was a "one man operation" "not a cancer on the presidency"
Libby has to think about how loyal he's been and how quickly the GOP has turned on him. They so much as announced that he no longer counts on the Sunday chat shows.
So I bet that he'll be meeting with the special prosecutor this week, to consider if he wants to take the weight for this, and let everyone else skate, risking his home, his family, and a civil suit by the Wilsons. Yeah, with his weak assed bad memory defense, which Fitzgerald will demolish in open court, he's got few choices. If he has to turn into Sammy the Bull to save his ass, well, it's not like there's a Scooter Libby defense fund. The GOP has walked away from him, and Pat Fitzgerald is letting him think hard on that.
posted by Steve @ 7:02:00 PM