Saturday, February 23, 2008

GOP Cockroaches Squirming in the Spotlight

Have you ever noticed what happens when you turn on a light in a darkened room where cockroaches have convened? They scurry for cover, right?

A certain breed of Republican, like the cockroach, fears the light. This breed of GOPer strongly prefers dark places, states like Alabama and Mississippi, where an obedient mainstream press is not likely to shine a flashlight in their direction.

But a national news program, CBS' 60 Minutes, will use its prime slot tomorrow night to shine light on a dark corner of the Republican Party. And that appears to have the King Cockroach himself, Karl Rove, scurrying for cover.

Teasers released about the 60 Minutes piece indicate it will focus on Republican whistleblower Jill Simpson and her statements that Rove asked her to get evidence of marital infidelity by former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.

Team Rove fired back on Friday evening with a statement to the Associated Press. But as seems to be typical for Team Rove, its statements don't seem to square with the facts.

Scott Horton, of Harper's, notes that Rove attorney Robert Luskin presents two key defenses for his client--neither of which has any connection to the truth.

First, Luskin asserts that Simpson had never said before that Rove pressed her for evidence of marital infidelity on Siegelman's part. It was pretty clear this would be one line of attack by Rove because, indeed, such statements by Simpson have not been previously reported. But Horton states that she made such statements to him last July in an off-the-record conversation. And he says she evidently made similar statements to at least two other reporters.

Second, Luskin asserts that 60 Minutes ran the story without talking to Rove. Again, this isn't true. CBS' own teaser says that Rove refused to talk with them for the story. Actually, according to Horton, Rove did talk with 60 Minutes at some length, but insisted that his comments not be used without his prior permission.

In other words, it was an off-the-record conversation, but Rove was not willing to go on camera or on the record. Interesting that he also is not willing to go before Congress to testify about such justice-related matters.

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