In a fit of pathos and nauseating self-pity, Karl Rove had the temerity to claim that Washington partisanship is to blame for the failures of the Bush Administration. That pushes the extreme outer limits of hubris and intellectual dishonesty. Rove whining about partisan politics is like a child who murders both parents, then pleads for leniency before the judge because he is an orphan. We can only stutter in astonishment at the sheer audacity of the claim.
Apparently King Karl has never encountered the biblical concept that "you reap what you sow" or "as you made your bed, so you must lie upon it." Rove is the Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods of partisan politics all rolled into one, so any complaint about partisanship is beyond outrageous. Rove's bizarre complaint is as absurd as if the Pope was lamenting that religion made ruling the Vatican so much more difficult. We just have to shake our head, and say, "What?"
Bush occupies the White House only because Rove mastered the divisive politics of hot button social issues so dear to right-wing evangelical Christians. He energized his base by demonizing the left. He took partisan politics to a new hateful extreme as a deliberate policy. He divided the nation into god-fearing, anti-abortion, anti-gay, church-going conservatives and latte-drinking, BMW-driving, French-speaking liberals who despised America. Never mind that his characterization of the left is absurd, or that Bush had a Republican majority on the Hill for six of his eight years. By obscuring reality, he convinced the religious right that the world would end if liberals won the election. It was "us against them" taken to an all new level of vitriol and rage in 2000 and 2004.
And now he wonders why Bush encountered partisanship in Washington. I'm breathless.
Rove's plea would be easy to ignore, but dangerous to do so. This is the opening salvo in the Republican effort to rewrite history and sanitize the Bush Legacy. Rove and his colleagues will try to use sleight of hand, smoke and mirrors and outright lies to get us to forget the horrors of the past eight years. We can easily see the path they will take. We must block their advance.
Rove said the following: "nobody will say that taking out the Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was a mistake or that the broader war on terrorism was a miscalculation." Really? Nobody? Are you sure, Karl? How about 63 million Americans who voted for Barack Obama? Here Rove is intentionally confounding his ill-fated war in Iraq with terrorism, again confusing Saddam with 9/11 even though we know conclusively that Hussein had nothing to do with the attacks on the World Trade Center. The CIA has concluded unambiguously that al Qaeda was not in Iraq before we invaded. At the same time, Rove is deflecting attention away from Bush's failure to finish the fight in the real war on terror in Afghanistan. Rove is trying to obfuscate, deflect, misdirect, but we will not let him. Bush took his eye off the ball, diverted resources to Iraq, and let the Taliban, who really are responsible for 9/11, regroup and rebuild. He also let bin Laden escape. If a Democrat was president, and bin Laden was still roaming free, we would hear of nothing else, every day.
Rove goes on to say that, "no president in the foreseeable future is going to step back from the tenets of the Bush philosophy, which are: better to fight them over there than to fight them here..." We should probably ask Sarah Palin for an explanation, because what Rove said makes no sense. That is only one tenet, too, by the way. By invading Iraq we created a new breeding ground for terrorists, an entire new generation of radical Muslims who hate us, and who cannot wait to get here to kill us. And al Qaeda can multi-task: just because we are now fighting them in Iraq does not mean they will not come here as well. Have Bush and Rove never heard of a multi-front war? (Hmmm, perhaps that is why Afghanistan is going so poorly...). If Bush and his brain understand that a war can be fought in more than one place, do they believe only we are capable of doing so? The views espoused by Rove are ridiculous, constituting a naïve pipe dream, not a philosophy. If a Democrat said something as idiotic as we are fighting them there so we won't fight them here, he would be drawn and quartered.
Israel Hernandez, a longtime Bush supporter who entered politics as a Bush aide in Texas, said of Bush: "What you see is what you get...and what you get is a man who loves his country dearly and will do anything to protect it." Yes, that is the problem, he will do anything, including break the law, trample our civil rights, condone torture and initiate an illegal war. Explaining that Bush loves America is like a wife-beater who explains his actions by pleading that he loves his wife. Yeah, maybe, but we would all be better off if he loved a little less, or with a bit more wisdom and restraint.
The Big Lie has begun. Republicans are desperate to whitewash the intense red stain of Bush and his hideous legacy. Like the Shadow, they will try to cloud our minds. Much is at stake, because Bush's failures are the failures of his party, and of conservative ideology. We must resist every effort to cleanse the record so that the world never forgets the tragic consequences of faith-based conservative rule executed in the name of a stubborn conviction immune to reason and immutable in the face of a changing world. Bush nearly drove this country to its knees, and Karl Rove must never be allowed to twist that basic truth.
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