Friday, October 28, 2005

Death by a Thousand Cuts

According to the New York Times, Scooter Libby will be indicted today in the CIA leak case. But the bad news for George Bush doesn't stop there. Additionally, the Times reports, Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will move to extend the grand jury to continue information gathering relative to Karl Rove and perhaps Vice-President Cheney.

The Libby indictment would be very damaging to an already weakened presidency. But even more damaging to Bush politically is the extension of the grand jury and continued negative headlines. With an uncertain exit strategy in Iraq, expensive and challenging recovery from this year's hurricanes, misplaced blame for rising gas prices, the aftermath of the Harriet Miers snafu and possible nomination dogfight, a continued scandal--no matter how overblown, mischaracterized and just plain unfair--threatens to crater Bush's second term.

If the Times report is accurate, I believe Bush has to proactively cut ties with Libby and that Karl Rove has to tender his resignation. The scandal's attachment to the Oval Office has to be severed for political reasons. Moreover, it will take all of the energies of senior staffers and possible replacements to get this presidency--and the nation--out of the ditch. Otherwise, George W. Bush is a lame duck a year into his second term and the nation will be drifting at a time in which it simply cannot afford to be drifting.

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