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Posted by on Nov 20, 2006 in At TMV | 6 comments

Is Rove about to go?

Think Progress is reporting (quoting Bulletin News) that Rove may soon leave the White House:

The rumors that chief White House political architect Karl Rove will leave sometime next year are being bolstered with new insider reports that his partisan style is a hurdle to President Bush’s new push for bipartisanship. “Karl represents the old style and he’s got to go if the Democrats are going to believe Bush’s talk of getting along,� said a key Bush advisor…

The advisor said that Rove is aware of the situation and that a departure might come in “weeks, not months.�

We’ll see. The Republicans lost badly last week, and Rove deserves some of the blame (if hardly all of it) for their poor performance. (See Dickerson at Slate.) If he goes, he goes.

But what’s this nonsense about Bush’s “bipartisanship�. Do you see it? I don’t. Sure, he met with the Democratic congressional leadership and, despite the evident awkwardness, said all the right things. But that’s self-interest, not conviction. The GOP losses didn’t reform Bush. If anything, I suspect they made him incredibly bitter. One thing we know about the Bushes, father and son (and brother), is that they’re highly competitive and hate losing. And when they do lose, they don’t take it well.

So despite some friendly rhetoric, what have we heard from Bush since the midterms? He reiterated his support for John Bolton even with Bolton’s confirmation as U.N. ambassador dead in the Senate. He signalled his intention to nominate (or re-nominate) extremist judges. He appointed an extremist to head the Office of Population Affairs. And although his chief of staff, Josh Bolten, claimed he’s open to new ideas on Iraq, and although he met with the Iraq Study Group (which will likely propose a new course in Iraq), he came out recently and compared Iraq to Vietnam, stating that “the task in Iraq is going to take awhileâ€?. Plus, according to the Post, he “launched a sweeping internal review of Iraq policyâ€? on Tuesday that “parallels the effortâ€? of the Iraq Study Group — or, in other words, that essentially negates its work. Plus, according to The Guardian, he “has told senior advisers that the US and its allies must make ‘a last big push’ to win the war in Iraq and that instead of beginning a troop withdrawal next year, he may increase US forces by up to 20,000 soldiersâ€?.

Does this sounds like bipartisanship? Does this sound like he intends to compromise? Does this sound like he intends to work with Democrats? If Rove goes, it’s because he’s done his job and there’s really nothing left to do. But don’t expect anything new from a president convinced of his own righteousness. The Democratic victory will only strengthen the bubble in which he presides over his own delusions and fantasies.