Opinion: Karl Rove stands up subpoena hearing but spends time on Obama


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White House aides playing hooky just never gets old. Karl Rove followed in that noble tradition today, when he failed to respond to a subpoena to appear before a House Judiciary subcommittee. ‘That,’ notes the Bush Blog, ‘didn’t stop the staff of the subcommittee from placing a placard with his name on it in front of an empty chair at the witness table, according to the Associated Press.’ Further proof that politics is showbiz.

Rove may have been MIA on Capitol Hill today, but he’s all over Obama in today’s Wall Street Journal, from praising his volunteer organization to calling his politics Nixonian:


In the primary, Mr. Obama supported pulling out of Iraq within 16 months, called the D.C. gun ban constitutional, backed the subjection of telecom companies to expensive lawsuits for cooperating in the terror surveillance program, opposed welfare reform, pledged to renegotiate Nafta, disavowed free trade and was strongly against the death penalty in all cases. But in the past few weeks, Mr. Obama has reversed course on all of these, discarding fringe liberal views for relentlessly centrist positions. He also flip-flopped on accepting public financing and condemning negative ads from third party groups, like unions. By taking Nixon’s advice, Mr. Obama is assuming such dramatic reversals will somehow avoid voter scrutiny.

The New Republic has a few things to say about that, including:

Beyond the strategic problems with pressing this case, it’s not even factually accurate. For example, Obama was not ‘strongly against the death penalty in all cases.’ See here for details.

Think Rove’s onto something? Post your thoughts below.

-- Amina Khan

*Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images