Dispatch from the Briar Patch: NYT Demands Dems Investigate Rove

When it comes to investigating Dems, the MSM is all Moveon.org. But when a Republican is potentially in the crosshairs, the liberal media suddenly goes Eliot Ness . . .

Take the New York Times editorial of this morning, Mr. Rove Gets Out of Town, which amounts to an extended plea to Democrats to investigate Karl Rove on matters sundry. Huffs the Times:

The American public needs to understand the full story of how this White House — with Mr. Rove pulling many of the strings — has spent the last six and a half years improperly and dangerously politicizing the federal government. Mr. Rove is already defying one Congressional subpoena to testify about the United States attorneys scandal. He should be made to respond to that one, and should also be subpoenaed to explain his role in several other cases of crass politicization.

Some "scandal," one in which no one has denied the right of the president to have fired the attorneys in question. But never mind. A scandal is in the eyes of the beholder, and for the Times, this is apparently big stuff.

Let's consider what might happen if the Dems follow the Times' advice. Between now and election day 2008, the headlines and cablewaves will be charged with the profoundly unilluminating spectacle of a bunch of Dem committee members in various states of manufactured outrage inveighing against the mild-mannered Rove about something in which the American people are largely uninterested.

And rather than the Dem presidential contenders and ultimately the party's candidate, the face of the Democratic party will be Senate Judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy and House Judiciary chairman John Conyers, along with fellow Senate committee members like Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer, and Jerry Nadler, Robert Wexler, Sheila Jackson Lee and Maxine Waters of the House committee.

It might be an uncomfortable episode for Mr. Rove. But I'm guessing Republican strategists might well be thinking: by all means, throw us in that briar patch!

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.