To begin with, the key problem I have with Karl Rove is what he stands for- and I am not talking about his politics. The fact that Karl Rove represents a so-called neo-conservative political agenda still factors in only in a minor sense when I consider why I dislike him. Instead, what bothers me about Rove is the fact that to me he represents a trend in politics that is everything I find wrong with recent trends in politics, most notably candidates that do not actually stand for anything but instead manufacture a stance on a variety of issues that they feel are most likely to win them the election. I realize that political corruption and pandering to interest groups is nothing new in the United States. After all one of the concern of the Federalists was that so called "factions" would dominate American politics and of course there were the powerful political bosses of the 1800's like Boss Tweed in New York City. Nonetheless, I think in recent elections, probably starting with Ronald Reagan, candidates have increasingly stood for only a vague agenda initially and then only focused on issues specific issues once doing so appeared clearly politically expedient. Granted, I understand that pleasing people with their policies makes some sense in theory in a democracy. Popular and elected or reelected politicians are doing the will of the people because if their policies did not reflect what people wanted they wouldn't get elected in the first place. The downside of this type of thinking is in part what many conservatives criticized the Clinton administration for- a lack of leadership on tough issues that might result in unpopular public opinion.
I'll admit that the Bush administration has certainly taken on plenty of issues that engender negative public opinion; however, it does not change the fact that Karl Rove strikes me as the architect of an administration policy aimed primarily at getting republican candidates elected at the expense of positive social and economic policy.
The recent flare up over Rove's alleged involvment in the Plame Scandal should concern everyone. For one thing, it shows a major lack of accountability on the part of the Bush Administration. Initially Bush had claimed that if anyone at all was found to have a connection with the leak of the CIA operative's name to the press, then that person would be let go from the administration; however, now Bush is stating that they will wait until the investigation into this "very serious matter," is over before the administration takes any action. The message here should be clear: they plan to stall for as long as possible, hopefully until Bush's term is close to being over and if Whitewater is any roadmap- an investigation could clearly take that long.