MoveOn: Move Off the Rove Ads

Thursday, July 28, 2005

MoveOn: Move Off the Rove Ads

I don't know how long plans to continue its TV ad buy, which urges President Bush to fire Karl Rove. But I saw the ad again last night, and it strikes me as a waste of money.

I despise Rove as much as the next (progressive) person. He may well have violated federal law. Dems and their allies should certainly continue to criticize Rove's behavior and urge the press to dig deeper into this. But is this truly worth the expense of a $125,000 TV ad campaign?

I don't think so. After all, we're not talking about a U.S. senator, a judge or another position for which there might be some possibility of replacing Rove with someone we would actually like. Even if we assume the best case scenario -- i.e., Rove resigns or is pushed out by Bush -- the outcome would not change the political dynamics all that much.

Bush could hire someone to replace Rove on the White House staff who might prove to be every bit as repugnant as Rove, maybe even more so. (Yes, I know that's hard to fathom.)

Additionally, bear in mind that Bush could (and likely would) continue to check in with Rove and seek his counsel even after Rove is off the White House payroll. There's no law that forbids this, and there's no law that requires a president to report with whom he is consulting on political affairs.

Since its founding, has helped to shape political dialogue in some positive ways. But in politics, as in business, it's worth considering the "opportunity cost" factor -- deciding to spend X amount of money for Purpose A necessarily means that X isn't available for Purpose B.

This $125,000 could have been spent more wisely.

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