ROVE’S ODD ADVICE…. I’m trying to pick my favorite part of Karl Rove’s latest column in the Wall Street Journal. There are so many gems to choose from.
There are … plans to use the Obama campaign’s email list to lobby for Mr. Obama’s policies. The Chicago Tribune, reporting comments from Obama spokesman Steve Hildebrand, summed up the plan this way: the email list could be used “to challenge Democratic lawmakers if they don’t hew to the Obama agenda.”
Just one problem. It’s illegal. There are statutory prohibitions on the White House from using tax dollars to directly lobby Congress by unleashing emails, calls and visits. That’s up to outside groups to do.
This is interesting for a couple of reasons, both of which Yglesias tackled nicely. First, Rove is confused about the law. Second, it’s ironic to hear Rove encouraging Obama to steer clear of White House legal transgressions, given Rove’s role in helping Bush ignore legal restrictions they found inconvenient.
The president-elect says his first priority will be a stimulus package. He may get one, but it will consist of tired ideas offered by congressional Democrats: extending unemployment insurance, giving money to states and cities, and increasing spending on infrastructure…. [I]f Democrats pass it, and particularly if they add an auto bailout, there could be a public backlash.
I see. The problem with the ideas underpinning a stimulus package is that the proposals are “tired.” Policy makers could pursue a stimulus package that works, but Rove seems to think it’s more important to think outside the box.
There is also a thorny local controversy. Should the new president replace U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who prosecuted Mr. Obama’s fund-raising patron, Tony Rezko, and is investigating high-profile Democrats?
First, Karl Rove is offering advice about the politics of replacing U.S. Attorneys, which on its face is comical. Second, as I recall, Rove had his own experiences with Patrick Fitzgerald. Funny, he didn’t mention it.
So, which is the most entertaining part of the column? It’s hard to choose; they’re all amusing in their own way.