Thursday, July 14, 2005

Rove vs. Nixon

Rove vs. Nixon

Blogging (minimally) on the road today from the New Parental Homestead in Wisconsin. A couple stories stand out from the day:

  • My favorite is at Washington Monthly, comparing Karl Rove's leak with Nixon's stance when confronted with Kennedy's non-existant "missile gap" in the 1960 debates:

    Richard Nixon lost that election by a hair, and public perception of the missile gap was probably one of the reasons. Despite that, he never revealed — either publicly or privately — the classified information about Soviet capabilities that could have saved his campaign.

    Think about that. This is Richard Nixon we're talking about. His opponent was spreading clear misinformation that he knew to be untrue. And there was a presidential election at stake!

    Even so, he kept classified information classified and went down to defeat. Maybe this was because he took national security seriously or maybe it was just because he was too smart to use classified information in a pissing match. Who knows? By contrast, when Karl Rove was faced with a trivial piece of unfriendly spin that had no major consequences for anyone, his first instinct was to systematically call half a dozen reporters and peddle classified information to them even though he didn't need to. With no apparent qualms at all, he did something that even Richard Nixon with an election on the line wasn't willing to do.

  • Punchline of the day was at TalkLeft, noting Rehnquist's statement that he will stay on the job as long as his health permits: "with luck (although these are not the Chief's words) until President Bush surrenders his office. Send your positive energy toward the Chief Justice, and drink to his health."

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