07/10/2005 02:00 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Rove, Reporters, Psychiatrists, Rabbis, and Priests

The problems for Karl Rove aren't going away soon. Here is his problem. Rove is a big shot. He knows when he talks to reporters he gets to set the ground rules and always gets his way. Because if the media doesn't play, they don't get access to him the next time. So unless it's a career-making story, reporters are forced to play by the rules set by Rove and the White House. That's the way the game works: Rove says what he wants to say, when he wants to say it. On the record, off the record, on background.

So when Rove says he can't be quoted, he's not quoted. Period. He knows what he says will never ever come back to haunt him. Talk to the reporter. Say what he wants to. Move on to the next call. It's like talking to your psychiatrist or rabbi/priest: It's a private conversation never to be repeated.

But now imagine if some of the things you said to your psychiatrist, rabbi/priest all of a sudden were to become public. Shit. Now you understand Rove's problem. We will see a ton of word-parsing the rest of the summer by the White House press operation. But one thing is certain: Rove's got himself into a serious jam and sure wishes he never got involved with Joe Wilson in the first place. Seemingly little things like this destroy careers all the time.