The NYT couldn't be more critical of Bush's Brain since it announced its scheduled lobotomy at the end of this month.
Related: Rupert Murdoch’s Next Target - The New York TimesMr. Rove Gets Out of Town *
Karl Rove, the architect of so much that has gone so wrong with the Bush administration, announced yesterday that he is leaving the White House to spend more time with his family. What he didn’t say is that by getting out of town he is also hoping to avoid spending any time at all with Congressional investigators.
Congress should not oblige.
The American public needs to understand the full story of how this White House — with Mr. Rove pulling many of the strings — has spent the last six and a half years improperly and dangerously politicizing the federal government. Mr. Rove is already defying one Congressional subpoena to testify about the United States attorneys scandal. He should be made to respond to that one, and should also be subpoenaed to explain his role in several other cases of crass politicization.
President Bush took a risk when he put someone so focused on politics as blood sport at the center of his White House. Once he did, he had an obligation to ensure that Mr. Rove understood that his job was to promote the interests of the American people — not solely the Republican Party. Instead, Mr. Rove used his position and power to relentlessly pursue his declared goal of a permanent Republican majority.
Mr. Rove appears to have been deeply involved in the decision to fire nine top federal prosecutors, apparently for either bringing cases that hurt Republicans or refusing to bring cases to punish Democrats. There is also mounting evidence that he turned nonpartisan agencies into campaign boosters, quite possibly violating federal law. Earlier this month, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales admitted that Justice Department officials attended political briefings at the White House, some led by Mr. Rove. Officials at the General Services Administration and Peace Corps, and even six American ambassadors, among others, were also given briefings.
Mr. Rove has stonewalled Congress’s legitimate efforts to investigate. Some of his key e-mail messages on the United States attorneys matter appear to have mysteriously disappeared, while others are being withheld with baseless claims of executive privilege. As for defying that Senate subpoena, some subjects might have been protected by privilege, but Mr. Rove’s refusal to show up at all is outrageous — although totally in keeping with his and his boss’s disdain for the separation of powers.
Mr. Rove failed his own party, as well as the American people, when he counseled President Bush to turn every serious policy debate — Social Security, the war in Iraq, even terrorism — into one more political dogfight. Today, despite Mr. Rove’s claims of invincibility, both houses of Congress are back in Democratic hands, Mr. Bush’s approval ratings are around 30 percent and many Republican presidential candidates are running as fast as they can away from the Bush legacy.
Mr. Rove can now contemplate that legacy from his home in Texas. But he should not get too settled in. Congress needs to use all its power to bring Mr. Rove back to Washington to testify — in public and under oath — about how he used his office to put politics above the interests of the American people.
That better not happen.