Speculation continues to mount on the fate of General Petraeus' Iraq Status Report, scheduled for delivery to Congress on September 15th. There are signs of a possible rift between the White House and the man once referred to as 'Bush's Patton' and 'General Jesus', with the White House now signaling it's unwillingness to allow Petraeus extensive public exposure, as well as their desire to help polish his progress report by writing it for him.
Fueling the fire is a segment of Wednesday's interview of Karl Rove by Rush Limbaugh which was not intended for broadcast, but inadvertently included in the online transcript. Although it was quickly removed, a number of bloggers were able to capture and repost the dialogue which occurred during a three minute commercial break.
Rush: We've got to stop for a commercial now... you know, folks, even El Rushbo has to pay the bills, so I beg your indulgence as we briefly hear from our sponsors. Back in a flash with more from departing boy genius, Mr. Karl Rove....
Going great guns so far, Karl. Can I get you anything to drink, a soda or a Stella Artois? Coffee?
Rove: No, but if you happen to have a malt liquor...
Rush: No, I'm sorry I don't, but I can get one for you before the next segment. Snerdley, here's a twenty, run down to the corner and pick us up some Olde English 800. 40s okay? Yeah, Snerdley, about five or six 40s, and what do you like, Karl, Fritos? Cheese Doodles? I myself like the Andy Capp Hot Fries... What the hell, Snerdley, make it a bag of each.
Rove: You're the perfect host, Rush. Have any Oxies?
Rush: Oh, no no. No no no, I'm all, uh... Do you know what I hate, Karl? And I imagine you hate the same thing, but... all these liberals and their RINO fellow travelers who seem to want to marginalize General Petraeus, and... and they voted for him unanimously just a few months ago, they voted to make him commander of the Multi-National Forces, and now they're fighting as hard as they can to make sure he doesn't have time to get the job done. It just infuriates me no end.
Rove: Rush, I really can understand that, but... and this is off the record, the Administration never really put all that much faith in Petraeus in the first place.
Rush: But... you've been focusing on him for months, saying that he's the only man the president wants to hear from, and...
Rove: I know, I know, but put yourself in our place. You've got a rebellious congress, you've got, thanks to the media, not you, Rush, but a lot of the media, showing people too much of what's really going on out on the streets...
Rush: Yes. Yes. They're all trying to make names for themselves. Little Seymour Hershs...
Rove: ...It's serious, so many forces trying to undermine us. So my thinking was, time to throw out a Gerald Ford, know what I'm saying? You think Richard Nixon ever wanted Gerald Ford as his veep?
Rush: I would strongly believe that he did not.
Rove: Of course he didn't. But just like Ford, Petraeus had a good reputation, no blemishes, no controversies, you just fly him in under the radar and buy yourself more time for the plan.
Rush: Indeed. What plan?
Rove: Truth is, the President doesn't put a lot of stock in Petraeus, thinks he doesn't see enough of the big picture. And Cheney, he won't talk to him at all. You'll appreciate this... he thinks the General is a bit of a nancy-boy.
Rush: Ha-ho, I get the picture. But, if memory serves me well, I think that the Vice President often intimated much the same thing about you.
Rove: The difference being that he was wrong about me.
Snerdley: Here you go, fellas, ice cold.
Rush: Any change left over, Snerdley? If there is, you can leave it on my big stack of important stuff.... Mmmm... that really hits the spot.
Rove: Bingo. See, you'd never find Petraeus having an Olde English at 1:20 in the afternoon. He'd probably prefer a nice pot of tea, maybe a couple crumpets.
Rush: Good one. He could share it with the Breck Girl.
Rove: I mean, look at the guy. Does he ever look like he's been out in the middle of a war zone? Always with the perfect shave, uniform looks like it's just back from the cleaners. You know, we have to fly fresh strawberries all the way...
Rush: Hold up a second, Karl. On the air in five... four... three... two... This is The Excellence in Broadcasting Network. I am Rush Limbaugh, speaking to you with half my brain tied behind my back just to make it fair. We're back with Karl Rove... Something I've always wanted to ask you and I just never have, Mister Rove. Could you tell us what it was like in the first few months of the administration, following the aftermath in Florida...
©2007, Mark Hoback