Sunday, August 19, 2007

Karl Rove: A Profile in Delusion

Boy, it's hard to read this in the NYT without the old jaw dropping.

I'm not sure what the most amazing part is.

Is it the part where he blames Democrats for the divisive tone that has prevailed during the Bush administration?

Is it the part where he says that his greatest regret during his tenure in Washington was speaking harshly to a friend?

Is it the part where he says that his efforts to eviscerate the Democratic power base are defensible because Democrats, too, would like a durable majority? (Note to Karl: yes, they'd like one, but there are limits to what they'll do to get it. This is one of many very important differences between you and them.)

This guy is delusional. There are close calls in politics, but this one isn't a close call. Rove is a bad guy who has done bad things to the country. He's cut from the same mold as guys like Lee Atwater. Atwater finally recognized and admitted his errors, though it took a brutal struggle with cancer--and impending death--to get him to do so.

Rove doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who will ever see anything like reason. Not only is he completely wrong about almost everything and largely responsible for dividing the country at a time when unity is crucially important, but he projects his own failings onto his political opponents. He not only fails to recognize his own viciously partisan, win-at-all-costs nature, but he attributes that very nature to those who oppose him.

In this piece, we also see Rove employ a mode of defense that others have used to deflect criticism from him. It's the "Aw shucks, I'm no evil genius" ploy. Well, of course he's no genius, though he does seem to have a certain low cunning. And, as we know, most of the evil wrought in politics is not done by those who are straight-forwardly evil, but, rather, by those who just aren't particularly good. Those who are, e.g., willing to let partisanship rule them, who are capable of turning a blind eye to their own intellectual conscience, those who are willing to nip and tuck and massage the facts, those who are willing to systematically paint just slightly distorted portraits of their opponents until they are nothing but evil caricatures. No, Rove is no evil genius. He's just a mean, small man who's cleverer than he is intelligent, and more zealous than he is good. He's the kind of man who's probably done more damage to democracy than any other.

One of the reason I tend to side with the silly Democrats is that guys like Rove are less common on their side of the aisle. Sure, they'll hire mercenaries like Dick Morris sometimes (which makes me sick), but they have fewer wild-eyed, dyed-in-the-wool true believers like Rove. As my friend Peter once put it, the worst the Democrats have is James Carville--and he'd only be about averagely vicious if he were a Republican operative.

So good riddance, Karl...though I'm sure we're not really shed of you just yet.


Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

they have fewer wild-eyed, dyed-in-the-wool true believers like Rove. The Kossacks? George Soros, who destroyed entire third-world economies?

The Chicago Democratic machine? "Walking around money" for black pastors? ACORN? Democrat fraud is so entrenched in the culture that it's dog-bites-man, and is barely news.

I won't even make the claim that the GOP is any better, because there's lots to go around. But geez, this narrative has amnesia.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...


7:15 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...


7:54 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Thanks, Tom! I think you cured my insomnia!

Shall I explain in detail the irrelevance of your comment?

Or would you rather explain to me why you feel obligated to comment on every single post here, even when your response is irrelevant?

(Hint: fraud is not the same thing as having true-believers in the White House. (And you wanna talk voter fraud...sheesh...the Dems are pikers compared to your guys... This stuff is all small potatoes...)

('Nuther hint: "Oh, yeah, well Democrats suck in OTHER ways" is not a relevant comment.)

This is like some kind of schoolyard tit-for-tat.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

WS, your opinions are most frequently in the form of "whatever the Democrats do, the GOP is worse," as you have once again done here. It's you who frame the format, my friend, in fact, you just repeated it re fraud. You can check your own words all over this blog; no one need take my word for it. (And certainly wouldn't!)

Since your approved news sources don't report the Democrat slime, I'll remind you and your readers about it from time to time, since you are making assertions based on only half the truth. For some reason, you think that its political ideology confers a moral superiority for your side in the everyday muck that is politics. Not so. Politics and its slime is the constant on both sides of the equation. Subtract it from both sides, and the value of the variables begins to emerge about our disparate political philosophies, the substance of the matter.

(I hope you remember how to solve simultaneous equations.)

Tit-for-tat? Sure. Disputing your perennial premise dictates it. Oh, look, the Democrats are sliming Bobby Jindal over his writings on Catholicism. The mainstream press reports his remarks one way, others who have actually read them report them another.

If anyone here's interested---which they're not---find the links yourself. The truth's only a google away these days, although you can't always be content with the first thing that pops up.

9:28 PM  

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