Tuesday, July 12, 2005

QPxB?, QxR! Check

If you play chess you'll know the conventional wisdom which teaches the value of pieces:

Pawns are each worth 1 point;
Bishops and Knights are worth 3;
Rooks are worth 5;
Queens are worth 10; and
Kings are, for all practical purposes, worth an infinite number of points.

The calculus that players do in their heads is whether to risk a piece in exchange for taking a opponent's more valuable piece.

If White takes Black's Bishop, but in turn loses a Rook, it is a net loss to White (-2). If White takes Black's Bishop, and in turn loses a Pawn, it is a net gain to White (+2).

Of course, the other part of the game is to force your opponent into dilemmas and traps. Does White, for example, take Black's Bishop or its Knight, knowing that one may be an advantage in later stages of the game? Or, perhaps White should retreat from both and attack on another part of the board. There are tradeoffs and sacrifices to be made and the smart player will know which pieces are expendable and which are valuable.

Now, with that in mind, there are two major pieces in play on the board for the current administration:
(1) Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove and
(2) The yet unknown Supreme Court nominee.

Karl Rove is a very powerful utility piece for the White House, as we all know. The Supreme Court nominee will, we assume, be a long term investment in the power of the Right Wing.

Let's assume that nothing happens in the White House for light or transient reasons. If so, the recent revealing of Rove's role in the Plame makes no sense. For a man as powerful as Rove to let an official inquiry get this far without it being stopped seems, at best, incompetent and, at worst, stupid. It baffles my mind that the man behind the curtain wasn't looking after his own interests... unless there is more to this than we think.

This all may be a distraction for those that are paying attention from the real battle on a different part of the board, namely, the Supreme Court Nominee hearings. The Democrats would love to take down Rove; the media would love to see blood, anyone's blood, in the water. I'm not going to underestimate the craftiness of these guys; White House may be sacrificing its Bishop in order to advance its Rook.

A carefully chosen candidate, just far enough Right for the Administration, would be able to slip past the public review while the hubbub over Rove reaches its boiling point. The Right Wing gets another foothold in the SCOTUS, Karl Rove gets a pardon, and the Democrats are back to playing defense.

Check. Or am I paranoid?

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