Democrats & Liberals Archives

Trying America's Patience

On what Grounds is Karl Rove being defended?

Innocent of everything? Tried. Innocent because he let something slip? Tried. Innocent because the people he outed were Bush opponents? Tried. Innocent because the Reporter he leaked to screwed him? Tried. Innocent because Democrats hate Bush? Tried. Innocent because the Media is Liberal? Tried. Innocent because the judge is an unguided missile? Tried. Innocent because it’s a grand jury proceeding, and hey, what do we know? Tried. Innocent because of what a grand jury supposedly said? Tried.

Oh, these are trying times for the GOP, which means they're trying everything, even if no collection of these rationalizations could ever cohere rationally.

Some of these excuses are directly contradictory. Some are wrong on the facts. Some ask you not to consider the information because supposedly, it's all the result of the vast left-wing conspiracy, or the liberal media. Some attack participants in the case that don't conform to the message.

Every one of them demands a certain pattern of expectations. If you argue full innocence, you imply no evidence proves that something happened. If you argue Rove should not be punished because of the nature of his victims, then you argue away the premise of innocence, and also the principle that that there are laws we must adhere to, even in the face of partisanship. Some dispute the facts, some use them. In the end, though, the real shape of events remain the same, and that will determine many things, including the appropriateness of the responses made.

The Republicans need more than talking points that suggest any and every approach under the sun, regardless of their compatibility. They need to take a serious, skeptical look into what really happened. They need to find out what questions they need to be asking their leaders about this political advisor's behavior.

So much effort has been wasted in this controversy disputing known facts, recycling talking points, lies and excuses that already ran their course through the media mill. The Republican need more than this. They need a basis for being able to police their own, to readily punish those in their party who fail to put principles first in their behavior. If they fail to do this, then their party will become known for its display of irresponsible behavior, more than it's regard for the responsible kind.

It is worth noting that the original meaning of the word scandal was used to indicate a public sin that encourages and causes others to sin as well. I can't help but wonder how much the scandals of this administration have begun to turn into just that, despite the best intentions of many.

Those Republicans who are religious conservatives or social moralists should take heed of this: that in zealously defending the actions of the party members out there, they may be precipitating the very immoral atmosphere that they devoted themselves to fight in the first place. The example of behavior here cannot become that might makes right, and the right aren't to be questioned.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at July 16, 2005 9:55 PM