Whitesburg KY
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The Karl Rove factor

To the Editor:

From the time Karl Rove delivered the keys to one of the family limos to George W., he was enthralled by W.’s dress and demeanor. He soon saw in Bush a prize catch to usher him along to his ambition of becoming a political consultant. He envisioned a political career for Bush all the way to the top. Realizing that the real George Walker Bush was a package hard to sell, a concentrated makeover was undertaken retooling Bush to look presidential. Knowing that his grasp of important issues, both domestic and foreign, was nonexistent or thin at best, experts were brought in to home-school Bush to make him seem somewhat informed. His movements and exposure to the media and the public were closely monitored for fear he would gaffe the hard questions. Bush became a product, produced and promoted by Rove and bought by the gullible, mis- and uninformed among the electorate. The Texas governorships were mere stopovers, refueling stations on the way to the White House. Without Rove’s dark side and dirty tricks, that destination would not have been realized.

Don’t be fooled by the pixiefaced Pillsbury Doughboy lookalike appearance, Karl Christian Rove is not the least bit impish. He is danger incorporated. He is without scruples. His dedication to vengeance and vindictiveness is limitless. He is not satisfied with flesh wounds. He must draw blood and plenty of it. No one is safe and nothing is sacred as long as he “roves” the political landscape.

If challenged and the challenger emerges the victor, that name is placed on a target list and politically the individual becomes an endangered species. One example from among many will suffice. When John McCain won the 2000 New Hampshire primary, after the crying towels and licking of wounds, it was on to South Carolina with the agenda to trash John McCain. Trash him they did with the most venomous slaughterhouse skullduggery heretofore unheard of in political campaigns – even worse than the Lee Atwater character assassination of Michael Dukakis for Bush I and that was low-level enough.

Rove set the tone, drew up the plans of attack, and, as is his habit, passed the assignment on to surrogates. He had Ralph Reed – yes, the Christian Coalition Ralph Reed – embedded in the Enron payroll as a cover-up of his connection to the dirty tricks of the South Carolina primary. Reed helped set in motion all of Rove’s usual artillery-push polls, telephone banks, e-mails, anonymous mailings, automatic dialings of untraceable hate messages, phony unheard of front groups – to bring down John McCain. Among the bombardment of lies: John McCain is gay and had sex with his captors while a POW. John McCain collaborated with the enemy and upon released was brainwashed to destroy the Republican Party. John McCain abandoned a crippled wife to father black children with black prostitutes. John McCain’s wife Cindy is a drug addict who steals from charities to feed her habit. The McCains’ dark-skinned Bangladeshi adopted daughter is not Bangladeshi but John McCain’s “love child” by a black prostitute. All of this garbage was circulated by Christian (?) Coalition groups. Mission accomplished. Bush won the South Carolina primary.

As for the outing of Valerie Plame, from the very beginning the White House propaganda assault against Joseph Wilson, her husband, signs that Rove has been here were like mile markers. The malicious leaks against Wilson bore the trademarks of methods used by Rove over the years of his path of destruction: false information, whispered and broadcast, designed to damage reputations of those seen as “enemies” and divert attention from substance, to pump up partisan advantages and to exact personal vengeance. From even before day one the Bush White House has known Rove had guilt up to his armpits and was standing too near the fire so they conducted a two-year plus program of denial. They had to have someone to take the blame and shield Rove. They couldn’t afford to let Rove be thoroughly investigated and maybe indicted; so “Scooter” Libby became the fall guy. Unlike “Scooter”, Rove was not expendable. He was a necessity.

Once more, Rove stands too near the fire in the ousting of the eight federal prosecutors. So, without an available fall guy to shield Rove, the White House agrees to allow Rove, Harriet Meyers and other officials to be interviewed in their favorite environment, behind closed doors, not under oath thus allowing Rove to use his favorite tool to skirt perjury, “selective forgetfulness,” and without transcripts. This is not cooperation. It is a conspiracy to protect Rove. After all, you don’t bite the hand that feeds you and Rove is creator of all that many in the Bush administration survey. They owe Rove and Rove owns them.

Rove envisions the possibly of a permanent Republican majority in which the GOP controls both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the vast architecture of the federal judiciary not for a brief interval but for generations. He would like a oneparty system that would reduce what we call a democracy. He and his teammates will not be satisfied until all of the programs of the New Deal and the Great Society are at least reversed if not in shambles.

James More and Wayne Slater, authors of Bush’s Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush President, suggest that the landscape would be different had Rove not been established in his duck blind in the West Wing. He is the political mastermind of an administration that preached compassionate conservatism but has practiced something considerably different. They make an argument that there might never have been a war in Iraq. There would be underprivileged children still attending Head Start programs – reduced now or eliminated. There would be lowincome families getting health care from the Children’s Health Insurance Program instead of going without due to federal cutbacks in funding. There may have been competitive bidding on contracts to rebuild Iraq instead of delivering deals to Halliburton and other companies that pour funds into the GOP coiffeurs. There would never have been a California recall, which Rove engineered using a Congressman from the state. There would be Congressional districts in Texas drawn to represent the interests of minorities. There might have been a complete and honest report from the 9/11 Commission if Rove had not approved redacting information to reduce political impact. There would be real accounting of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in acts of terrorism.

But Rove is very much still in the picture and since his goal of GOP takeover and control of all branches of government was derailed he has stated that they (read Republicans) will get them next time. Bush continues to maintain he has confidence in Rove and that he is an important member of the team. Actually, Rove is the team-manager, coach, cheerleader and even water boy. Without Rove, there would never have been a team. With Rove out of the picture, George Walker Bush would come unplugged. He would lose his life support.

JOE DRENNAN Moultrie, Ga.

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