"Ultimately, this isn't just about Mr. Rove. It's also about Mr. Bush, who has always known that his trusted political adviser - a disciple of the late Lee Atwater, whose smear tactics helped President Bush's father win the 1988 election - is a thug, and obviously made no attempt to find out if he was the leaker."
Losing all the modifiers and extracting the meat of the sentence yields -
"Mr. Rove is a thug."
It's about time someone said it out loud.