I am amazed that it took so long to figure this all out. Many people have been pulling together very loose threads laying together, and finally, a very coherent picture of what Karl Rove has been trying to do for the last six years is coming out.
This is from Paul Kiel at TPM Muckracker.
The entire scheme has been laid out before us. The question now is whether Karl Rove will get away with it.
Here's the scheme, as revealed over the past month: Rove and his deputies traveled to various agencies throughout the government, lecturing management there about Republicans' political prospects. Which House and Senate members were in trouble? Which Democratic seats were vulnerable? What were the major issues in the election?
But there was a line to be drawn: no commands were to be given -- because such a directive would be a blatant violation of the Hatch Act, which forbids the use of government resources for political ends.
On the contrary, the government officials receiving the briefing were supposed to get the hint -- as Tom Hamburger reported, "employees said they got a not-so-subtle message about helping endangered Republicans." The briefing simply gave them the tools to be helpful in the next election. They were supposed to take the ball and run with it.
The Washington Post reports today that Rove and his deputies gave such briefings to at least 15 different agencies (ranging from NASA to the Department of Homeland Security). But one briefing in particular continues to shine a light on all the rest: the one given this January to officials at the General Services Administration, the government's massive procurement agency.
Rove's deputy Scott Jennings simply showed up and gave the briefing (the slides (pdf) for which have been obtained by the House oversight committee -- that's one of them above). Employees were supposed to get the "not-so-subtle" message. But unfortunately for Jennings, GSA chief Lurita Doan doesn't do "not-so-subtle." Doan was obviously supposed to come to the tacit understanding that such things should be discussed "off-line." But, as anyone who watched Doan testify before the House last month can attest, she doesn't think well on her feet. Now, the White House has adopted the line that the briefings were simply to provide employees a look at "the political landscape."
This is all just one piece of the whole puzzle. Rove intended to convert, with the blessings of George W. Bush, no doubt, the entire federal government into a tool by which a permanent Republican majority was the outcome. Another piece of his whole toolbox intended to dismember the democratic form of government that has served us so well is the stacking of the Dept. of Justice with toadies. These “loyal Bushies, as Kyle Sampson referred to them, would use the power of the offices of the United States Attorneys to prosecute Democrats for all sorts of real and imagined offenses while holding off or even obstructing investigations into wrongdoings by Republicans. If all this happened on a two year cycle that coincided with the elections, all the better. Investigations into “rampant voter fraud” was intended to suppress minority voting in areas that normally vote Democratic. The Bush administration routinely paid “journalists” to write stories that put them and their policies in the best light, otherwise known as propaganda. The government’s main job, besides endless war and keeping the electorate perpetually scared and in the dark, is to cater to big business, who can and does supply huge voting blocks from corporate interests. They used the FBI and other government agencies to spy on potential enemies, such as anti-war protestors. They smear anyone, and that means absolutely anyone, including former allies, who are critical of their actions and policies. Bush routinely uses "signing statements" as a way of avoiding any laws he doesn't like, while his Attorney General will come up with supposedly legal rationalizations to allow Bush to do whatever he wants, such as legalizing torture and the suspension of Habeas Corpus.
On and on it goes. It appears that everything that Karl Rove has done in the last six plus years was pointed toward this goal of total, permanent domination by the “Republican party.” There is more than a little irony in this, of course, given that the traditional Republican party was about small, non-intrusive government and fiscal responsibility. And, due to the convergence of several very bad trends, our main stream press, whose job is oversight and to ask the tough questions of our elected officials, became willing tools of the government. If someone in the government wanted to plant a story in the press that would further their goals, they didn’t have to look very hard to find someone. Judy Miller, from that “bastion of liberal press”, the New York Times, was quite willing to take whatever BS the Scooter Libby was dealing, print it as her “investigative reporting”, which the White House would routinely quote to support their arguments for war.
I knew that I desperately wanted the Democrats to win control of the House and Senate in the last election. I just wanted all Rethuglicans out office. However, I did not realize how big a deal getting a majority in each House was at the time. With the power of the subpoena in both Houses, we now have a segment of the government that has been missing for the last six years; active and critical oversight. No longer can these people (and I use that term guardedly) can do their evil work under the cover of darkness. Rocks are starting to be turned over, and everything that has been hidden for the last six years are starting to see the light of day and, believe me, it isn’t pretty.
I only hope that this continues and we rescue our “government for the people and by the people” from the hand of corrupt, power-hungry and ego-driven criminals. Before Bush got elected, I would have never thought that anyone calling themselves an American could actively work to subvert our government to the extent these people have. I just don’t understand, but then again, I have never been an egotistical, power-hungry manic like Dick Cheney or Karl Rove. But by all indications, these people would have been better suited to be members of the Politburo of the Soviet Union, not members of a democratic government.