HARDBALL ALL THE WAY
Karl Rove is frantically busy getting the word out to Senators -- Clear Bush or Else.
NewsMax is reporting, or bragging, that Rove, a college dropout and crude schoolyard bully, is threatening to "blacklist" any Republican who votes against George Bush in the Senate Judiciary Committee's investigation of the administration's unauthorized wiretapping.
This could get interesting. Committee chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa) called for the hearings and flatly stated on NBC's Meet the Press that spying on Americans is illegal and, if Bush is guilty, impeachment was certainly an option. And, there have been outraged grumblings not only from Democrats but from most Republicans on the committee.
"It's hardball all the way," a GOP congressional aide declared. I beg to differ. In a game of hardball, there are two teams playing and the best team wins. This arrogant threat by Rove is nothing short of abuse by a White House team that will allow no other players on the field.
Being "blacklisted" means no White House political or financial support for Senators running for re-election. According to the article, the White House "is worried that the defection of a handful of Republican committee members could lead to a finding that Bush violated the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act - and possible impeachment hearings."
But Rove says if Republicans remain loyal they will get money and publicity for their campaigns, and those who are really really good may get a photo op with their Dear Leader.
Americans know this is not an "eavesdropping" program wherein only terrorists who are either calling to, or receiving calls from, foreign countries are targeted. This is furtive and illegal spying on American citizens, on United Nations officials and on political enemies in open defiance of the U.S. Constitution. It is a test of loyalty for a group of elected officials who must decide if they are Americans -- or if they are political lackeys who put party loyalty before party morality.
They will decide if George Bush has the "inherent" power as president to put himself not only above -- but outside -- the law.