Thursday, July 24, 2008

Like Mama Always Said, "Evil Is As Evil Does"

Syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak, a.k.a. "The Prince of Darkness," was cited by police after performing a hit-and-run on a pedestrian with his black Corvette in downtown Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning. Novak, a press chum of Karl Rove, was a willing pawn in the White House's decision to blow the cover of its most important spymaster in the Mideast, the CIA's anti-WMD operative Valerie Plame. (I suppose executive privilege covers treason, too.) Novak claims he didn't notice a man splayed across his windshield after hitting him in the crosswalk. Police let him go with a $65 ticket. He would have gotten away scot free but for a bicyclist who chased him down and physically blocked his car:
Politico reporter Jonathon Martin saw Novak in the front of a police car with a citation in his hand; a WJLA-TV crew and reporter saw Novak as well. The pedestrian, a 66-year-old male, was hospitalized at George Washington University Hospital with minor injuries according to DC Fire and EMS. Novak was later released by police and drove away from the scene.

“I didn’t know I hit him. I feel terrible,” a shaken Novak told reporters from Politico and WJLA as he was returning to his car. "He's not dead, that's the main thing." Novak said he was a block away from 18th and K St. NW, where the accident happened, when a bicyclist stopped him and said, "You hit someone." He said he was cited for failing to yield the right of way.

The bicyclist was David Bono, a partner at Harkins Cunningham, who was on his usual bike commute to work at 1700 K St. NW when he saw the accident happen.

As he traveled east on K. Street, crossing 18th, Bono said a "black Corvette convertible with top closed plowed into the guy. The guy is sort of splayed onto the windshield.”

Bono said the pedestrian, who was crossing the street on a "Walk" signal and was in the crosswalk, rolled off the windshield and then Novak made a right into the service lane of K Street. “The car is speeding away. What’s going through my mind is, you just can’t hit a pedestrian and drive away,” Bono said.

He chased Novak half a block down K St., finally caught up with him and then put his bike in front of the car to block him and called 911. Traffic immediately backed up, horns blared, and commuters finally went into reverse to allow Novak to pull over.

Bono said that throughout, Novak "keeps trying to get away. He keeps trying to go.” He said he vaguely recognized the longtime political reporter and columnist as a Washington celebrity but could not precisely place him.

Novak, 77, has earned a reputation around the capital as an aggressive driver, easily identified in his convertible sports car.

In 2001, he cursed at a pedestrian on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 13th streets Northwest for allegedly jaywalking.

“’Learn to read the signs, [bodily orifice]!’ Novak snapped before speeding away,” according to an item in The Washington Post’s Reliable Source column.

Novak explained to the paper: "He was crossing on the red light. I really hate jaywalkers. I despise them. Since I don't run the country, all I can do is yell at 'em. The other option is to run 'em over, but as a compassionate conservative, I would never do that."


Jon said...

Now Bush has to add yet another name to his pardon list for the day he leaves office. Actually, Novak was probably already on the list to cover up his part in the treasonous outing of an undercover CIA agent. Anyone have an over/under on how many people in his administration get a blanket pardon when he leaves office? 1,000 maybe?

Bruce said...

Evil is as evil does

MarcLord said...


serious question: can a President pardon the outcome of a civil suit?

MarcLord said...


that's a really good graph. Is there any way to import it?

Bruce said...

Not that I know of Marc.

Jon said...

I don't believe a Presidential pardon applies to civil suits. Also, it appears that the pardons don't apply to convictions in State courts; see

More importantly, Presidential pardons don't apply to International crimes....this entire administration will be afraid to cross the border for the rest of their lives.

Oh, and the diagram from Slate in the article Bruce mentions doesn't include the outing of an undercover CIA agent at a time of war. How can Treason not be included?

MarcLord said...

Bruce, it's a cool chart--as Jon notes, it's incomplete, but you have to stop somewhere short of infinity.

MarcLord said...


thanks for the link and info. i will really bear this in mind, because if Obama becomes President it might come in handy.

The best way to get at the Bush Administration would be by getting other countries to indict them. There will be a "Church Committee" type of effort in Congress under the next admin, an effort is probably better focused on rolling back Closed Government than on prosecution.

Proving criminal intent would be very difficult domestically, whereas the international courts only need to focus on criminal outcomes.

Jon said...

I predict President Obama will set up a "Truth and Reconciliation" commission that, while outing the truth, will also provide immunity for anyone not covered under Bush's upcoming blanket pardons.

MarcLord said...

I fear the same, but in truth am not sure what's better to do than that. If the wound keeps festering, that's bad, so the blanket antibiotic at least works in that sense. The South African solution is probably better than holding up a few little scapegoats who worked in the Justice Department because they helped fix the Florida election.

The best outcome is we get an ongoing emphasis on Open Government, and there's reason to hope Obama can get something going there, given how much Congress critters love looking righteous.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Robert Novak just (as in, just) get diagnosed with a brain tumor?


MarcLord said...


yes, he did announce he had a brain tumor. Call me cynical, but the timing seems pretty suspicious coming just a couple days after he hit someone with his car.