All Roads Lead to Rove

Any time there is political filth floating around in the GOP cesspool, you can bet that the smell generally originates with Karl Rove or Dick Cheney. That's not to say that the little Shrub himself is not often part of that filth machine, but the truth is that a real complicated dirty tricks operation may be outside little George's grasp.

If Congress has the good sense to issue subpoenas and maintain congressional hearings even after Alberto Gonzalez resigns, you will see Rove's grimy little fingerprints all over the Justice Department's firing story. He just can't help himself.

Alberto Gonzales absolutely will resign because the GOP cannot afford all the political filth stories already confronting them. But the House Judiciary Committee should not let Rove and his creepy political henchmen stroll away from this one without showing Americans just how far gone decency and integrity really is in GOP politics.

Any time an ugly GOP political story has developed legs, Rove has always quietly slithered away like an unrepentant reptile. No questions asked -- no answers given.

Nine out of 10 Americans still are mostly in the dark about Rove's hands-on manipulation of the Valerie Plame outing because no one had the chance to actually watch Rove testify under oath. This should be the time that Americans get to see how the most influential man in GOP leadership goes about perpetuating Republican political filth. It will make for great TV.

More importantly, it will give all of us a clearer picture of how the GOP lock-step mentality, perpetuated by political hacks like Rove, threatens sustainable democracy.

The U.S. attorney story is simple to understand once you understand the mind of Rove.

Carol Lam was fired because she did the unthinkable. She prosecuted a close, personal friend of Rove's. Duke Cunningham was a thief by his own admission. He was a two-bit criminal, but he was, above all else, a close, personal friend of Rove's. It's the kind of company that Rove chooses to keep. Cunningham was a GOP loyalist lapdog who was more valuable to Rove outside prison. He was a GOP mover and shaker who is now behind bars for eight years.

Mike Papantonio co-hosts "Ring of Fire" on Air America Radio.

Another part of the story is that U.S. attorney David Iglesias was unwilling to aggressively target Democratic politicos and big Democratic money donors in New Mexico, so Rove's GOP brand of justice came together and Iglesias became a political target instead.

This Republican cesspool story is no different from a dozen others that Americans have watched develop during these GOP dark years. Just when we think that the Tom DeLay story is ugly -- Jack Abramoff surfaces. Just when we think the lies about the lead-up to the war in Iraq make a putrid picture -- we learn that the Republican-run FBI is engaged in illegally spying on political opponents of the GOP.

After 12 years of Republicans in Washington, Americans have adjusted to a completely new reality of political morality. But believe it or not, even that reality will become creepier the day that Karl Rove slithers into a congressional hearing to give us a little more insight about what the Grand Old Party has become.

Mike Papantonio co-hosts "Ring of Fire" on Air America Radio.