Rove trumps Wilson -- it's not even close

David Limbaugh

7/15/2005 12:00:00 AM - David Limbaugh

The Left isn't obsessed with destroying Karl Rove simply because they want to taint President Bush by taking out one of his closest confidants. When they're not focused on their fantasy that Vice President Cheney is the de facto president, they sometimes think Rove is. To destroy Rove is to neuter the Bush presidency.

As resolute, effective and visionary as President Bush has been in office, the Left obviously still doesn't consider him the man in charge. Only a superhuman Machiavellian strategist could have engineered this bumbler's unlikely ascension to the presidency.

And, anyone one capable of facilitating a lightweight's rise to the highest office in the land must be not only brilliant, but sinister. For who but a sociopath would foist on the nation such a dangerous Neanderthal hell-bent on reversing the advances of "progressivism"?

The Left's underestimation of Bush and irrational fear of Rove distort their perception and drive them into a mouth-foaming feeding frenzy to devour this mad political scientist. These misapprehensions also explain their jaded view of the baseless claims against Rove in the Valerie Plame matter.

But in considering the Left's possible motives in this manufactured scandal against Rove, let's not forget the underlying subject matter driving the story: the Left's obsessive claim that Bush lied in maintaining that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling or trying to acquire WMD.

If there were such a thing as the personification and eventual death of an ideology, American liberalism would doubtlessly derive some degree of deathbed comfort from repeatedly chanting until it's final breath the "Bush lied" mantra. What began as a monstrous deception would finally ripen into a full-blown delusion where the engineers of the lie came to believe it themselves into eternity.

But American liberalism is far from dead and is eager to retrofit any available snippets, no matter how intrinsically unreliable, onto its "Bush lied about Iraqi WMD" template. One such snippet was Joe Wilson's supposed revelation that President Bush lied when stating these notorious 16 words in his 2003 SOTU address: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Now, let's be clear here. President Bush's statement was true when he made it, and it remains true today. The Brits made such a claim and reiterated it emphatically (with the Butler inquiry expressly validating President Bush's SOTU claim) even after the Bush-scavenging American Left falsely accused him of inventing the story.

That Joe Wilson claims he couldn't substantiate Britain's findings on his own trip to Niger in no way alters the irrefutable fact that the Brits made and stood by their claim. But as we now also know, analysts contradict Wilson's present version of the story, saying that his findings did more to support the Brits' conclusion than discredit it.

In their zeal to dispatch Rove, the Left willfully ignores that Wilson not only lied about his findings but also about who sent him, denying his wife recommended him for the job, and sometimes alleging that Vice President Cheney, who didn't know him from Adam, sent him.

They ignore that a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee discredited Wilson in two essential particulars. First, it confirmed that Plame recommended her husband for the African junket. Second, it found that certain forged documents Wilson bragged about debunking were not even discovered until eight months after his trip.

The Left also chooses to overlook Wilson's political motivation to damage President Bush -- his admitted longtime support of John Kerry and his monetary contributions to Kerry's presidential campaign.

They would have us believe the flawlessly calculating Rove is gratuitously vindictive. That he is foolish enough to risk conspicuously violating a criminal statute by outing an undercover CIA operative to a presumptively hostile member of the mainstream media all for the sake of petty revenge on the Wilson/Plame duo.

It strains credulity far less to deduce that Rove -- who readily provided information to authorities with no apparent fear of incriminating himself -- alluded to Wilson's wife's CIA status to refute his fraudulent implications against the Bush administration: that it sent Wilson to Niger.

It is uncontroverted that Rove didn't know Plame's name, much less that she was a covert operative. He was alerting Time's Matt Cooper to the incestuous, conflict of interest-laden genesis of Wilson's assignment (through his wife) in defense of his boss, not to lash out at or imperil this star-struck couple, who didn't even respect Plame's undercover status themselves.

If the Left didn't have so much invested in Wilson's fictions and obliterating Karl Rove and George Bush, they would abandon this non-starter against Rove and concede that the clear misfit in this overblown episode is the truly tainted and already thoroughly discredited Joe Wilson.