The White House's offer to the Senate that it would make Rove and Miers available only for a secret off-the-record no-oath “chat” — something with the legal value of cocktail party chatter — is risible. And even if the Crawford gang hasn't figured out that others are wise to their game, surely Fred Fielding understands that. So they can't seriously believe that the Senate will take such an insulting offer.
Which raises the question of why the White House is proffering such a silly idea. What have they been drinking? I can only think of three possible justifications for this strange move:
1. This could be a pure, cynical PR ploy to attempt to look reasonable. Given how CNN swallowed it hook line and sinker (“unprecedented access to Justice Department documents” — missing the point that the offer, which is far from unprecedented, doesn't include access to the key White House documents) this has to count as the most generous explanation.
2. The staff gets it, but the boy in the bubble doesn't get it, and he overruled the staff.
3. The truth is so awful, that Rove can't be allowed near a Bible. If nothing else, he'd be taking the Fifth over and over again.
I've heard a fourth explanation, but it's so crazy, that only someone who thought that the administration was hell-bent on creating disasters would believe it:
4. The administration wants to create a Constitutional crisis. It thinks it will win any votes in the Senate as it only needs a third plus one, and also win the in court of public opinion just like Clinton did (see “bubble” at (2) above). And the hardliners (Cheney) think that the precedents set by previous administrations of recognizing that senior appointees can be required to testify was mistaken; what's more they think that their hand is strong enough to allow them to rectify this. In short, they see Congress much as they saw Iraq.
Say it ain't so.