(WASHINGTON) — Republican electoral prospects in November appeared bleaker than ever this week after U.S. forces allowed al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to die in their custody and President George Bush’s close friend and adviser Karl Rove fanned the flames of conspiracy theories by preventing a special prosecutor from charging him with any wrongdoing in the CIA leak investigation.

White House sources failed to return phone calls last night, in a virtual communication lockdown, as the Bush administration hunkered down to figure out how to cope with the latest breaking news.

In five appearances before a grand jury Mr. Rove employed what one source called “his Jedi mind tricks.”

“But it was all for nothing,” the unnamed source said, “Since the lack of charges against him will only confirm America’s worst fears — that Karl Rove controls everything.”

Meanwhile jubilant Democrats hunted for media microphones, as one lawmaker said, “to kick the cowboy while he’s down.”

This week’s slight increase in the president’s popularity ratings only highlights the depths to which he has fallen, according to political experts.

In a bit of fortuitous timing, a Democratic National Committee spokesman said the DNC is on the verge of announcing its vision and plan for America’s future, which should be unveiled “any day now in the coming months.”

California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the presumptive Speaker of the House, took the high road, offering “words of consolation and comfort to our beleaguered Command in Chief.”

“We must rally around our chief executive in his time of need,” Rep. Pelosi said. “I call on all Americans to pray that God would lift President Bush from this pit of despair, and restore his confidence so that he may lead us boldly.”” — as reported by sartirist Scott Ott

How long do you think the timeframe will be for the DNC to announce its formal unified vision and plan to erradicate Al Qaeda and bring Bin Laden to justice?