Karl Rove: Outing Valerie Plame: Republican Reaction

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The Republican reaction since it was revealed that Karl Rove, Assistant to the President, Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to George W. Bush, was involved in outing Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA agent has run from total silence to uncompromising frontal attack to the illogical and absolutely nonsensical.

Also see:

Rove as "heroic whistleblower"

"But now, happily, comes the WSJ to set the record straight. And not a moment too soon.

"It's not poor Karl who's the villain of this latest Washington intrigue, it turns out. In fact Karl's the hero of the piece. It's Wilson and his conniving wife, Valerie Plame, who are the real scoundrels.

"Rove, we learn, 'is turning out to be the real whistleblower in this whole sorry pseudoscandal. He's the one who warned Time's Matthew Cooper and other reporters to be wary of Mr. Wilson's credibility.'

"Rove, the WSJ editorial goes on, 'told the press the truth that Mr. Wilson had been recommended for the CIA consulting gig by his wife, not Vice President Dick Cheney.' It will probably come as a surprise to followers of this story, not to mention Wilson himself, that he was recommended for the trip by Cheney. But never mind.

"This, the WSJ advises us, was a case of nepotism, pure and simple, and Wilson, far from being a whistleblower, was actually 'a partisan trying to discredit the Iraq War in an election campaign.'

"And it turns out that Rove's only motive in calling those reporters was to warn them so they would not be led astray by the duplicitous Wilson."

"Anyway, the truth about Karl Rove has finally emerged, thanks to the WSJ.

"And be sure to tune in next week, when the WSJ editorial page brings you the real story of Watergate, in which it is revealed that Richard Nixon was framed by Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein and Ben Bradlee, the actual Watergate burglars." --David Rossie, Press Connects, July 15, 2005.

The "Mirror Defense"

"The GOP's propaganda technicians are filling in some of the details of the mirror universe they're trying to create -- the one in which Turdblossom is the noble whistleblower and Joe Wilson and his wife are the sleazy insiders spreading lies and disinformation. And since everything has to be ass backwards in the Republican reality, we're now being told that Wilson, not Rove, is the 'leaker' and Dick Cheney, not Valerie Plame, the dedicated public servant damaged by the leak."

"(Shudders.) I don't know how far the Rovians plan to take this mirror image building campaign. But I won't be too surprised if we wake up tomorrow to find Bill O'Reilly claiming that Karl Rove used to be an undercover CIA operative (a kind of fat, ugly version of Keifer Sutherland) until he was outed by Valerie Plame -- all as part of a left-wing dirty tricks operation masterminded by Jim Carville. ... What Rove is doing here is an example, albeit an extremely weird one, of his standard tactic of attacking his enemy's strength with his most outrageous lies -- the kind that are simply too big and too brazen for most media chicken shits to call him on." --Tom Tomorrow, This Modern World, July 13, 2005.

Other "Defense" Strategies

  • Joshua Micah Marshall, re Rove's lawyer, Talking Points Memo, July 11, 2005: "... it's clear that Karl Rove's defense amounts to some sort of cover-blowing 'I didn't inhale' defense. [1]
  • Joshua Micah Marshall, "A TPM Reader tells me that on the Hannity show the new line is that Cooper set Rove up, lulling him with talk about welfare reform, before slipping in the last minute question about Joe Wilson," Talking Points Memo, July 13, 2005.

Republican Talking Points

Reminiscent of the "Talking Points Memo" which circulated among Republican members of Congress during the Terri Schiavo affair, another "Memo" was circulated by the Republican National Committee on how to respond to allegations about Rove and the Bush White House.

According to The Raw Story, the Memo was "circulated by the Republican National Committee to 'D.C. Talkers' in Washington. ... The document [posted on The Raw Story web page], emblazoned with the words 'Special Edition' and dated Tuesday [July 12, 2005], seeks to discredit claims put forth by Ambassador Joseph Wilson, whose wife was 'outed' as a covert operative by a conservative columnist. ... The talking points mirror a release by Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman earlier Tuesday, in which he declared the attacks on Rove were spawned by the 'MoveOn' wing of the Democratic Party. MoveOn later accused the White House of a 'cover up.'" The Raw Story, July 12, 2005.

The Left Coaster examined the "talking points" one-by-one on July 13 and 14, 2005:

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