Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Examining the architect

It was 1970 when a flier circulated on skid row advertising "Free beer. Free food. Girls." and giving directions to a campaign rally for Alan Dixon, a Chicago Democrat running for Illinois state treasurer. I'm sorry I wasn't there to witness the assortment of miscreants who showed up; it's one of those things we can all look back on and laugh at now (Dixon, by the way, went on to win the race). And who initiated this prank? Why, a college-aged Karl Rove, who sent out the fliers on letterhead he brazenly stole from Dixon's campaign headquarters.

It was a minor, rather juvenile stunt from Rove, then a disciple of Donald Segretti, Nixon's "dirty tricks" operative who ended up in prison over Watergate. But it serves as a harbinger of bigger, grander political misdeeds to come over the next 35 years as Rove rose from College Republican rabble-rouser (Lee Atwater was a close CR colleague) to the GOP's head smear artist and sleaze peddler, the amoral bad cop behind Presidnet Bush's magnanimous-sounding good cop. Rove, of course, has surfaced as the shadowy figure who outed Valerie Plame as a CIA operative. Everybody figured as much, and this certainly isn't the first time we've heard about Rove and his rotten tricks. But this time is different. Rove's e-mail regarding the Plame outing serves as a smoking gun, perhaps the first time we've ever gotten the goods on this guy, who never leaves fingerprints.

Of course, Republicans and conservatives make excuses and moral equivocations, while silently keeping their fingers crossed that the whole thing will blow over, and they can again fall back into their old means of winning at all costs. A curious worldview for people who say God is on their side. One letter writer to this blog stated last week, "I really think that your bitter, bitter hatred for Pres. Bush, Tom Delay, Carl Rove, or anyone else who progresses the policies of the Republican party is just..well, sour grapes." I appreciate the statement as it fully illustrates the moral relativism and ethical double-standard that serve as a rhetorical crutch to many Republicans and conservatives.

So am I just full of sour grapes, or am I correct in saying that Rove years ago crossed over the line into what any reasonable American would consider sleazy and immoral? Funny thing about Rove. He's so good at what he does, you never can prove he did it. Yet Rove always seems to be hanging in the shadows when these things happen. Is it any coincidence that when he's running a campaign, the sleaze begins to gush forth? Consider:

*In 1986, mere weeks before the Texas gubernatorial election, Rove announced that bugging devices had been found in the offices of hs client, Republican candidate Bill Clements. Nobody ever determined that incumbent opponent Mark White's people ever had anything to do with the bugs, and a strong suspicion exists today in Texas that the bugs were planted by Rove himself. But the resulting damage of the accusation served as a contributing factor in White's defeat. Clements who had already served one term as the state's chief executive, went on to cement his place in history as one of Texas' worst-ever governors.

*In 1994, Karl Rove ran the campaign of Republican judicial candidate Harold See in Alabama. Rumors began ciruclating that Democratic opponent Mark Kennedy was a child molester and had used a children's welfare nonprofit as a front to mask financial misdeeds. A Kennedy campaign commercial showing him holding the hands of the children he was helping through the nonprofit was used as evidence to support the child indecency allegations. Kennedy ultimately won, but barely.

*In 1994, Texas voters began receiving telephone calls asking this question about Democratic Gov. Ann Richards, who was running for her second term against George W. Bush: "Would you be more or less likely to vote for Governor Richards if you knew her staff is dominated by lesbians?" This of course is an example of a "push poll," a fake poll that is not intended at all to measure voter sentiment but is merely designed to plant negative thoughts about an opponent in voters' heads. These polls have been a tactical mainstay for Republicans and conservatives. In this case, it helped to defeat Richards and send Bush on his ascendancy to the White House. By the way, who was Bush's campaign manager? Why, Karl Rove, of course.

*Rove is believed to be behind the 2000 smear campaign to discredit Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., as he ran against Bush for the Republican presidential nomination. Whispers passed along the Beltway grapevine and out into the media accused McCain of fathering an illegitimate black child (In truth, McCain adopted a black girl) and willfully consorting with his North Vietnamese captors when he was a POW.

*During the 2000 elelction debacle as Florida bureaucrats were bumbling their way through their vote count, Rove loaded buses with "protesters," essentially a group of Beltway Republican insiders pretending to be an angry mob of "disenfranchised Republicans," and held a "protest."

I could go on and on. In researching this posting, I was confronted with an embarassment of riches when it comes to examples of Rove's deeds. It's no wonder that Bush's nickname for his head thug is "Turd Blossom." I certainly can't argue.

And if you think that Rove is just some campaign operative who then goes away after the inauguration, you thought wrong. This guy is very much a part of Bush's inner-circle with a real influence on the policies that come out of the White House. Next to Dick Cheney, probably nobody has as much sway with the president as Rove.

"Karl is enormously powerful, maybe the single most powerful person in the modern, post-Hoover era ever to occupy a political adviser post near the Oval Office," former Bush adviser John Dilulio told Esquire magazine after he resigned in 2001.

I'm sure some angry conservative will respond with the usual litany of obfuscation and deflection. You know the old story. The Democrats are no better. Everybody's doing it. Well, what about Bill Clinton? And so forth. I would respond with a question I ask often, If conservatives are the Godly paragons of moral virtue they claim to be, when do they plan to start acting like it? Indeed, we shall know them by their fruit, not to mention the company they keep.

Read more about it:
Here's a transcript of PBS "Frontline" episode on Rove. You can also watch the actual episode:

Now I'm not saying rotten.com is the most trusted source of journalism in America today, but they did put together a good factual bio on Rove:

Britain's liberal Guardian newspaper had this good article:

Numbers, numbers, numbers
-The portion of Americans who think the Bush administration is cooperating with investigators over the Plame leakage, according to an ABC poll released yesterday, down from 47% when the inquiry began last September.

Quote of the Day
"If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."
- President Bush on Monday, revising his statement last month that he would fire anyone associated with the Plame outing.

"It appears that an administration that came to office promising 'honesty and integrity' and to avoid 'legalisms' is now defining ethical standards downward. In this White House, apparently no aide will be fired or forced to resign unless and until the jail cell door is locked behind him."
- Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich, on Bush's announcement yesterday that Rove can be as sleazy as he wishes as long as he doesn't break the law.

Well, I wasn't thinking "Bill Clinton did it too," but rather, you sound just like a few right wingers who produced and sold the Clinton Chronicles; and, might I say, a little bit like Hillary Clinton who warned us of the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" against her husband.

And lets get this straight...you keep parroting the "conservitives think God is on their side" phrase. Conservatives do not so much think that God is on our side, but rather, we think we are on God's side. It is the Democratic party who supports homosexuality, abortion, etc. Y'all, as a whole, have chosen to not be on God's side.
Let me add to that..I should say, we social conservatives. While we do dominate the party, there are plenty of Godless conservatives (like Arlen Spector) that I'll be happy to criticise for being such.
Well, some social conservatives think that they are on God's side with being anti-abortion and anti-gay. But they forget about the other side of the equation - giving a helping hand to those that are less fortunate than them. They were also on the wrong side of morality during the civil rights movement of the 60's. So they need to get off of their high horse and show a little bit more humbleness and grace, and a little bit less pride. Their heart is not into helping others but attacking and pointing the finger at others - so that they delusion themselves to feel like they are on God's side, so to speak, therefore feeling better about themselves.
From Michelle Cottle of The New Republic: "In Bushworld, the definitions of such terms as "proper" and "right" and "good" depend entirely upon whether the act in question serves the goals of, and the version of truth propounded by, the administration. At the end of the dAy, despite all its moral posturing, this White House has a highly fluid, relativistic approach to right and wrong that one typically associates with fuzzy-headed lefties. The main difference seems to be that, for Bushies, the defining philosophy isn't "I'm OK, You're OK," but rather "I'm OK, and if you agree with me then pretty much anything you do is OK too." Sooooo true.
Dear Throat Deep,

You are truly a liberal - one who's emotions override their vision. This is evident from your two posting here without any substance whatsoever. I have to say, I can not say that about the Mouth nearly as much.

Are you really suggesting social conservatives don't help those in need? Is the word "some" your out to criticize social conservatives as a whole without being held accountable for the facts?

My gosh, man, I mean, Southern Baptist, (most of who you could consider social conservatives) who the left loves to demonize, supports 5,000 full time missionaries in the U.S. and another 5,000 overseas in 153 countries, not to mention the mind boggeling amount of work that is done through churches accross the country and the world for the needy. In my church we don't just complain about homosexualism and abortions but rather we reach out to those who are hurting with homosexuality recovery programs, support groups for family members, and a huge pregnancy crisis center for mothers of unborn babies. I've spent more than 2 weeks this last 12 months helping the people of Boston and Greece to share the love of Christ with a dying world, not to mention participation in Habitat for Humanity and spending a Saturday with poor hispanic kids in a Dallas apartment community showing Christ love to them. And beleive me, I'm not bragging - I'm ashamed I haven't done more. But this is the life that evangelical Christians (who make up the majority of Social conservatives) live.

Now, concerning Michelle Cottle's factless dribble..it is exactly that..essentially, just a child like name calling without any substance whatsoever. While I can't speak for his ENTIRE administration, I can tell you that President Bushes basis for right and wrong is the unwavering Rock, Jesus Christ, and His teachings found in the Old and New Testament of the Holy Bible. This has been evident from the start and a constant irratent to godless liberals everywhere who would prefer for the truth to be just what Michelle said "a highly fluid, relativistic approach to right and wrong."
I'm sure most folks on the Christian right are sincere about their relationship with God (including our president), and they certainly have all the right in the world to express their faith in the public forum.

What I find offensive is that many of these same folks have appointed themselves God's spokespeople. They've decided that what they believe is automatically what God believes, and anyone who disagrees with them is "godless" or is a "God-hater." Each of us has a right to decide for ourselves what God would want for our society, and none of us needs a political party dictating God's truth to us. I especially don't need a party which makes excuses for Karl Rove and Tom Delay telling me what's morally correct. Sadly, the Christian right has sold itself out for the sake of political gain.

Furthermore, while I find the Democrats' airtight lock on its pro-choice agenda shameful (Yes, I'm pro-life, but not just anti-abortion like most conservatives), I think conservatives should be ashamed of the lack of any social conscience present in its' chosen party's political agenda. While I know many right-wing Christians who do work to make the world a better place, the political establishment they support completely scorns the ideas of social justice and peace. I would think this disregard for the least among us is an abomination in Christ's eyes.
Gee Brian M, you call me a liberal like its a curse word. I'll take it as a compliment, although I personally think of myself as a progressive. I guess I missed the announcement that you've been named "Judge of Substance". Hopefully others in the forum could get something from my comments, as much as 2 cents as they are worth. I'm not saying that there are not any social conservatives that do not help the needy. I know many that are peronsal friends of mine, that have a heart of gold. Although I'm sure those that do get involved, which are to be graciously commended, are not nearly in the majority. I'm commenting on the group as a whole, especially in the political forum. If all this ministry is going on in the grassroots level, why isn't the concern showing up on the political agendas of social conservatives? I mean, I wish they would put 10% of the energy into welfare issues that they do on flag burning ammendments. Is that what Jesus would focus on ?
In regards to Michelle Cottle's article, it sounds like it hit a nerve. Or maybe the truth ? I think she is soooo dead on. Mindless drivle now, hmmm, let me see. Shall we say Anne Coulter. Talk about someone of no substance. That woman is so hateful in her comments that it gets personal. And when you use the term Godless liberals, I hope you mean just the liberals that are Godless, not that all liberals are Godless. Be very careful there.
Sigh.....You know, in the end, these discussions go nowhere, except perhaps to further clarify the beliefs we already have.

I'm going to take a night or two off from this discussion and get to bed before 3:00 AM this morning!
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