>Rove, The USA’s and the Holder Confirmation Hearings: Coming and Going Around?

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Sometimes what goes around comes around, and what is going around is coming back. Perhaps if we go back to 2006 when Karl Rove was advocating vote suppression tactics in critical races, such as those in Nevada, Wisconsin, and other parts of the country, we can get a clearer picture of why Rove and his supporters are so intent on not seating Al Franken and making confirmation for AG nominee Eric Holder, Jr. difficult. First, the somewhat infamous Republican National Lawyers Association is back in the headlines, and secondly there are some interesting connections between that group, Karl Rove, and the upcoming confirmation hearing for Mr. Holder.

Vote Suppression Group backs Coleman: Remember back in 2006 when Karl Rove told the Republican National Lawyers Association that the Democratic Party “rests on the base of election fraud?” [TPMM] From this came a connect-the-dots exercise linking voter suppression activities to the firing of the U.S. Attorneys (Nevada’s Daniel Bogden included), and the thoroughly politicized Bush Department of Justice. [Harpers]

They’re back! The Coleman Recount efforts in Minnesota are being funded in part by none other than the Republican National Lawyer’s Association. The Minnesota DFL Party has filed a formal complaint that the RNLA has “failed to register with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC)and is breaking the law by taking sums in excess of legal limits and from corporations that aren’t allowed to donate.” [MN Indy] Additional information: [Dkos] More to the point, the vote/election suppression issue may be back in the spotlight during the Holder confirmation hearing.

Speaking of things Rovian: Senator Arlen Specter, who was only too happy to declare his support for Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft in advance of Judiciary Committee hearings in December 2000, is now bemoaning Senator Patrick Leahy’s support for Obama nominee Eric Holder, Jr. [TP] Now why would the Republican Party be so concerned about Holder’s appointment? There are at least three possible theories.

Theory One: The ‘roughing up’ of Holder because of his connection to the Clinton pardon of Marc Rich will provide cover for Bush pardons that may come in the last moments of the current administration. (Paul Abrams) [HuffPo]

Theory Two: There are outstanding subpoenas for Karl Rove’s testimony concerning the political operations in the White House and the firings of the U.S. Attorneys. Therefore, the more Rove and his followers can impune the credibility of Holder and characterize him as a political flunky, the more validity Rove might seek to attach to his claims that holding him accountable constitutes a witch hunt. [WashMonth]

Theory Three: A number of Department of Justice Lawyers were doubling as activists with the Republican National Lawyers Association, and some may have been the subjects included in the infamous missing Rove e-mails as suggested in April 2007. [TPM]

Theory Four: Holder is an outspoken critic of vote suppression tactics, such as those advocated by Rove. Prior to the 2008 election Holder said, “We’re hoping that there will not be anything by way of voter suppression efforts, where people will be challenged unnecessarily, or impediments will be placed in front of people who want to exercise the right to vote.” NPR’s Farai Chideya.” [NPR]

If the latter two speculations are valid, then Senators Specter and Grassley have fallen into line with Karl Rove’s possible desire to put a monkey wrench into the hearing in order to (1) protect his own skin; and (2) to continue the voter suppression tactics he advocated to that meeting of the Republican National Lawyers Association in 2006. Could this also have something to do with the lovely photo of Senator Arlen Specter shaking hands with RNLA Board of Governors member Cleta Mitchell at the RNLA 2007 conference? [RNLA] Or, could this connect with Senator Specter’s declaration that Attorney General Gonzales should resign, while not specifically calling for the resignation in April 2007?

If none of the speculations are valid, then there remains quite enough fodder to stoke conspiracy theories into time immemorial about the relationships between Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzales, the Republican National Lawyers Association, the U.S. Attorneys firing scandal, and the vote suppression attempts in 2006 and 2008.

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