I hate Karl Rove. He is a sack of shit scumbag. He is the single biggest embodiment of what is wrong with politics in this country. And that's before he even punches in for a day of fucking over what's good for the country in order to advance the political agenda of himself and his boss.
As far as I am concerned Rove was an active participant in a political hit-job that resulted in the exposure of a CIA agent. I'm pretty confidant the facts will be with me on that when this all comes out. Did Rove technically commit a crime? Probably, but not in a manner that can be proven. The law violated here is too specific in terms of proving intent and knowledge, subjective measurements that will never be successfully stuck to Rove's sweaty hide. But even if Rove skates on any and all charges, the fact remains, he did what he did with malicious intent and with complete disregard for the ramifications beyond discrediting a critic. Party first, everything else (even country) second.
Revealing the identity of Valerie Plame as a covert operative not only exposes her, it destroys a valuable CIA commodity. It undoes everything she did in her years of service at the CIA. Everywhere she travelled, everyone she met, all of her sources, narcs and contacts, blown wide open now. And what was she working on? Oh, nothing important, just stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction at a time of War, when this front is perhaps the most important one to win.
All for a political takedown—just to get even with a critic of the Administration.
So why do I want to save Karl Rove's job, unlike everyone else on the left? Well it's simple really. If Turd Blossom isn't going to be rotting in a jail cell, I want him right where he is. If he is forced to "spend more time with family" or steps aside "to avoid becoming a distraction for the President's agenda" he gets away clean. If he stays, he has to operate within the parameters of his position. Phone calls and visitors logged, at least some oversight and accountability, and a salary of a mere $157,000. Make no mistake, if Rove leaves the White House, he will be performing the same function (Bush's brain), but as a private citizen for ten times the money, and even more in the shadows. That's a fucking reward for him.
[Addition] I'm not one of those who believes Karl Rove is some omnipotent God. He might be the biggest boil festering on the ass of the body politic, but he is not perfect. He fucked up and will probably fuck up again. I'd rather those mistakes happen in the glare of the White House. Plus, Rove's true talents lie in campaign dirty work, and getting people into office. Keeping him tied to a lame duck rather than spearheading midterm elections or Republican grassroots is probably a good idea. He's out of his element, most of his actions since Bush got re-elected have backfired—more, please.
Plus, throw in the added bonus of having his stinking, scandal-infested carcass around Bush's neck for the next three years. Same thing with DeLay, keep the super-scumbags in the spotlight until the elections please...anything to help the Dems bolster the case against the corruption in the Republican Party is okay by me.
More reading: The Moose thinks Bush will never fire Rove (and don't miss this in the comments... John Cole has several threads on this, but they've mostly gone off the deep end by now...UPDATE: Cole's trying an innovative concensus-building exercise, a step-by-step statement that you agree "yes" or "no" to... Salon.com has a pretty good roundup...Slate thinks "There is no moral case for keeping Karl Rove on the government payroll."... Greg at The Talent Show does the first-ever deserved evoking of 9/11... Big Media Matt ties it all back to the dickbag President.
UPDATE 2: A great post at TPMCafe about Valerie Plame. Written by a fellow CIA officer. It just demolishes the talking points of the Rove-enablers and apologists on the right. Go read the whole thing, it's not too long.
UPDATE 3 Some slight modifications and additions in the main text. Don't worry, mostly just harshening-up the language...