The other Washington is all a titter over reports of an illicit affair between Karl Rove and “comely lobbyist” Karen Johnson.
Rove, who stands accused of using leaks and slurs against Sen. John McCain , terrorism adviser Richard Clarke and CIA agent Valerie Plame , was mum yesterday when we called about Johnson, a never-married, fortysomething GOP loyalist from Austin, Tex.
The two are said to have gotten acquainted when Johnson sat on the board of then-Gov. George W. Bush’s Business Council.
“Their friendship reportedly deepened after Bush appointed Johnson – a little-known spokesperson for the Texas Good Roads Association – to a seat on his Transportation Department transition team in 2000,” Radaronline.com reports. “The plum appointment enabled Johnson’s lobbying firm, Infrastructure Solutions, to snare such high-paying clients as Aetna and the City of Laredo.”
So we’re not only talking about an extramarital affair, but the possibility that Johnson may have received some nice favors in return for her, um, favors. According to reports, Johnson frequently flies to D.C., and often appears at Rove’s side at parties… so it makes you wonder why the “liberal media” has long kept quiet. According to one Texas reporter:
“I’ve heard the stories, but I would never write about Karl and Karen. If you want to keep your job as a reporter in Texas, you make believe you don’t see them together.”
Uh-huh. Gotta love that freedom of the press thing.
But perhaps my favorite part of the story is the official response:
Johnson declined to comment on the story. A White House spokesman told Radar that Rove’s relationship with her was “the business of these two individuals who have personal lives.”
Isn’t that rich? So when it comes to reports of an extramarital affair by a hypocritical, venal rumor-mongerer like Rove, we should respect his privacy. But when the goal is retaliating against a former ambassador, exposing the cover of his CIA-agent wife is fair play. There’s the “ethics of outing” for your, Bush administration style.
Still, as much as I somewhat enjoy this tawdry illustration of “what goes around, comes around”… I just don’t buy the rumor, and thus I’m a little uncomfortable promulgating it. First of all, if he really was having an affair, you’d think Rove would be too smart to allow himself to be publicly seen with his illicit paramour, especially considering the poisonous political and media environment he helped create. And second… I’m pretty damn sure Rove is gay.
On what do I base this stunning accusation? Well, mostly on an acute sense of irony. But if you adopt the same scrupulous adherence to the truth that Rove himself has used to viciously smear countless numbers of political opponents, the pieces of the puzzle start to fit together like Rove’s dick in Gannon/Guckert’s well-lubricated anus. Take for example this excerpt from the New Yorker, in which Rove breathlessly recounts his first meeting with a young George W. Bush:
“It was the day before Thanksgiving, 1973… I can literally remember what he was wearing: an Air National Guard flight jacket, cowboy boots, bluejeans, complete with the