It’s like I’m out in a big boat and I see one fellow in a rowboat who’s tired of rowing and wants a free ride – and another fellow who’s drowning. Who would you expect me to rescue?


Let's start with a little intirque and work our way from there, Rove said cooperating in CIA leak inquiry

According to several Pentagon sources close to Rove and others familiar with the inquiry, Bush's senior adviser tipped off Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to information that led to the recent "discovery" of 250 pages of missing email from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney.

Rove has been in the crosshairs of Fitzgerald's investigation into the outing of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson for what some believe to be retaliation against her husband, former U.S. Ambassador to Gabon, Joseph Wilson. Wilson had been an ardent critic of pre-war Iraq intelligence.

While these sources did not provide any details regarding what type of arrangements Rove's attorney Robert Luskin may have made with the special prosecutor's office, if any, they were able to provide some information regarding what Rove imparted to Fitzgerald's team. The individuals declined to go on the record out of concern for their jobs.

According to one source close to the case, Rove is providing information on deleted emails, erased hard drives and other types of obstruction by staff and other officials in the Vice President's office. Pentagon sources close to Rove confirmed this account.

As there have been stories of a riff between Rove and Cheney after Rove floated the possibility of replacing Cheney on the 2004 presidential ticket this would explain the current power play. Cheney is not only less popular then Bush, he's expendable. Karl's record is clear, given a choice he''ll look out for himself and his boss first. Ultimately Bush could come out a winner in the sense that if he replaces Cheney, that replacment will automatically have a boost to frontrunner status in the 2008 elections and Cheney ( and Libby for that matter) can always be pardoned just as the emperor leaves office. There's a lively discussion about this article at The Washington Note, Beneath the Surface on Plame Investigation: Rove and Libby in Deadly Dog Fight. I would just add that while it would be a great service to the ideal of equal justice in the United States to see those involved in the Plame leak in prison stripes, convictions, followed by prisons or pardons, would still be a victory for those that think power should not entitle one immunity from justice.

Ben Domenech isn't the first right-wing moonbat to committ plagiarism. ( I think its a shame that Ben was a plagiartist, not because I grieve for poor Ben's lack of moral direction so much as he would have been a great beacon of wingnuttiness. Anyone that read his few posts could see that he was good at preaching to the already converted and alienating the middle. People like Ben, Ann Coulter and to some extent Bill O'Reilly give a whole new dimension to being rabid. One of the reasons that so many people are beginning to question the doctrinaire far right conservatives is because while they were drawn to the small government advertising of the conservative movement, the Bens and Anns constitute a political perversity that most Americans do not want to be associated with. In their way Ben-Ann-Bill are liberal recruiters that push people away from the moral bankruptcy of conservatism.) HT to James Wolcott for this post about conservative plagiartists Monica Crowley (who though banned from the pages of the Wall Street Journal, is now an MSNBC pundit) and Jerome Corsi of Swift Boat liars fame, Other Conservatives Got Away with Plagiarism. All of which reminded me of Michael Leeden. Who is no fresh faced right-wing punk, but one of the guiding lights of the neocon movement, Neocons plagiarize Italian Fascists,

….quote by the neoconservative Michael Leeden which seemed to be plagiarizing the work of the Italian Fascist F.T. Marinetti. Here is the Leeden quote:

Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our society and abroad.
We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature,
art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have
always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity which menaces their
traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep
pace … [W]e must destroy them to advance our historic mission.

I should say that my graduate studies are focused on the history of fascist Italy. Realizing that the fascist Marinetti is a pretty obscure figure to the rest of the world and hoping that I was somehow wrong, that it would be crazy for someone actively trying to influence the foreign policy of the United States to plagiarize fascist rhetoric, I checked into Michael Leeden. How, I wondered, would a neocon know about Marinetti? Perhaps, it was coincidence or maybe the Leeden quote was taken out of context. I quickly discovered that Leeden in fact has a Ph.D. in history, has focused his studies on Italy, and has even written articles about Italian Fascism. So much for that hope.

My next step was to go to Leeden's text. Maybe he had actually been writing about fascism and Buchanan had conveniently left out the footnote. Leeden's book "The War Against the Terror Masters" does have endnotes, but none for the passage quoted and none referencing Marinetti. It was true; Leeden was actually trying to pass off fascist ideology as his own. He was indeed suggesting that we give the fascist obsession with violence and war another try, regurgitating the ideals of Marinetti and pretending they were new. It is worth recalling the Merriam Webster definition of plagiarizing:
to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own: use (another's production) without crediting the source… to commit literary theft: present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

What Leeden did was not copy Marinetti word for word, but rather he stole his ideas and passed them off as his own, without ever crediting the source. Now this is not the first or the last time that some bit of fascist ideology will be resurrected and passed off as new. What makes this instance frightening are two things, the sector of fascist ideology being recycled and the recycler, a man with a great deal of influence in American foreign policy.

F.T. Marinetti helped Mussolini found the Fascist Party and is perhaps most famous for his love and glorification of violence and war. Marinetti wrote eloquently and convincingly about the beauty of violence and death. He wanted perpetual war and believed that only through continuous violent destruction could society move forward. Marinetti wrote:
We will glorify war- the world's only hygiene– militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman. We will destroy the museums, libraries, academies of every kind, we will fight moralism, feminism, every opportunistic or utilitarian cowardice.

Leeden has repackaged Marinetti's ideals into a theory he calls "Creative Destruction."

A little something to remember the next time someone in the conservative leadership accuses a Democrat of being a fascist. Pot meet Mr. Black.

Estate of Mind, Dorothy Parker willed her copyright to the NAACP – an organization her executor Lillian Hellman, detested.

See all those fellows? They're
the ones I'm trying to help. They
need it!
Mr. Cedar and that Mr. Semple don't
need anything. They've got plenty!
It's like I'm out in a big boat
and I see one fellow in a rowboat
who's tired of rowing and wants a
free ride – and another fellow
who's drowning. Who would you expect
me to rescue? Mr. Cedar, who just
got tired of rowing and wants a
free ride? Or those men out there
who are drowning? Any ten-year-
old child will give you the answer
to that.
(to farmers etc. in
All right, fellows. Thank you. Sit

Now, my plan is very simple. I was
going to give each family ten acres –
a horse, a cow and some seed. And
if they work the farm for three
years, it's theirs. Now, if that's
crazy, maybe I ought to be sent to
an institution. But I don't think
it is. And what's more, Mr. Cedar
doesn't either.
Just before the hearing started,
he offered to call the whole thing
off if I made a settlement with
him. So you see, he wouldn't think
I was crazy if he got paid off.

from the screenplay MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN (Shooting Draft, 1936) by Robert Riskin
based on a story by Clarence Budington Kelland