A dummy, and a coward, too

Will Bush dump Rove?

Marshall Witmann:

For Bush to get rid of Rove would be like Charlie McCarthy firing Edgar Bergen.

But Witmann seems to think that Bush’s reluctance to dump Rove should dampen Democrats’ enthusiasm for attacking him. Just the reverse, I’d say. In any case, I’m not sure he’s right: Bush values loyalty — to Bush. And Bush shows the way be being unflinchingly loyal to his own interests. If Kaiser Wilhelm could dump Bismarck, Bush can dump Rove, and will if he thinks he needs to. “Greater love hath no man than this: that he lay down his friends for his life.” Whitmann calls Rove “the closest thing in Washington an indispensible man.” But as De Gaulle once said, “The cemetaries are full of indispensible men.”

Note today’s AP story:

President Bush, at an Oval Office photo opportunity Tuesday, was asked directly whether he would fire Rove — in keeping with a pledge in June, 2004, to dismiss any leakers in the case. The president did not respond.

Yes, the most admirable thing about George W. Bush is his steadfast courage. Feh.

Update

McClellan presents a profile in weasel:

At a White House briefing afterward, spokesman Scott McClellan was pressed about Rove’s future.

“Any individual who works here at the White House has the confidence of the president. They wouldn’t be working here at the White House if they didn’t have the president’s confidence,” McClellan said.

Not exactly a ringing vote of confidence.

And still not a single Republican elected official standing up to defend Rove. Just Ken Mehlman. Note that Mehlman doesn’t even try to deny the role the White House has been insisting Rove never had: he’s just arguing that exposing an agent’s identity wasn’t the wrong thing to do.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com