Will he be indicted? Won’t he be indicted? That is not the question. Let’s keep our eye on the ball.
1) Forget, for the moment, all the legal minutiae. If these guys, right up to the Shrub himself, are not all guilty as sin of outing a CIA agent for political purposes, I’m a blue hippo.
2) That being the case, their only ultimate certainty to stay out of jail is presidential pardon power.
3) Nobody can afford to piss off (or on) the Shrub.
4) The Shrub is a petulant frat boy who holds grudges forever.
5) So, up at Rove’s and Cheney’s level, they have to hang together, or they’ll hang separately. (Lower down, at Scooter’s level, where the Shrub has probably already forgotten his name, handing evidence to Fitzgerald would make sense.)
6) Okay. Now switch gears. The Republicans are in massive trouble with the voters. It would be handy to have a scapegoat for their anger.
7) Cheney can’t run for Prez. Nobody else is going to ask him to be Vice. He’s already wildly unpopular. Perfect scapegoat.
8 ) After much struggle, Fitzgerald uncovers that Cheney was the ringleader. Shrub was the “nice” guy who was out of it. Note that in this scenario when Rove rats out Cheney, it serves multiple purposes. Rove’s schemes generally work that way.
9) With much fanfare, around August, September, or October, Cheney resigns out of the goodness of that thing that keeps his blood moving. This is purely to spare Dear Leader all the dreadful partisan distractions. (Or for his health, of course.)
10) A new Vice is appointed, one whom (some) voters love, possibly one who could be heir apparent in 2008. Shrub’s popularity gains 5% or 10%. Republicans everywhere who are running for Congress talk about how decisive this Administration is and how well they’ve cleaned house. You never saw the Democrats doing that kind of thing, now, did you?
(Parenthetically: 11) Would that appointee be Condi? Not impossible. The drive-by media would love it. It would certainly work as a distraction and a boost this November, but I can’t see the bigoted Rethugs voting for a black female for President, no matter what. And I can’t see any progressives voting for a war-enabling Bush-licker, either.)
12) After the November elections, Shrub pardons Cheney. He pardons Rove, if events make it necessary. Congress may go tut-tut, but of course nobody would want to do anything as partisan as impeach a President for shredding the Constitution, so the Shrub retires peacefully to Crawford, and builds a presidential library bigger than his dad’s. It has a large central display area full of trophy blocks of wood from his brush-clearing activities.
Conclusion: wild-eyed conspiracy theory? Yes. Horribly plausible? Also yes.
Update, June 23, 2006: Good as my imagination may be, it’s obviously not good enough for reality. I never thought Rove would simply walk. Unbelievable. So much for the courts being the one branch of government that still retains some independence from this Administration.
Now all Bu$hCo needs to do is bring enough thousands of troops home to generate happy TV coverage, have a gradual crescendo of terrorist news (which seems to be starting right on cue), keep the stock market from crashing, stop gas prices from rising, and make sure voting machines don’t have paper audit trails.
Truthout  (quoted below, since Truthout’s servers seem to be suffering the equivalent of a denial of service attack. Will be removed once the bitstorm has passed.)Update, May 31, 2006, link now working, copy removed.Talkleft  (current news on the indictment, plus all the history)
Technorati tags: Rove, indictment, Fitzgerald investigation, Truthout, midterm elections, 2006 elections, Valerie Plame Leak, Luskin, Corallo, Jason Leopold