Thursday, August 16, 2007

Note to Omaha World-Herald: There's No Excusing Karl Rove

by Kyle Michaelis
Yesterday's Omaha World-Herald included an editorial that went out of its way to make a false and preposterous equivocation between political strategist and White House adviser Karl Rove (aka "Bush's Brain"; aka "The Architect"; aka "Turdblossom") and political players from year's past - particularly in the Clinton years:

The purpose of political parties and their operatives, so it is said, is to win elections. Karl Rove, about to depart the Bush administration 17 months shy of its eight-year limit, devoted himself fervently to that purpose. Just as people like James Carville did for Bill Clinton and other partisan devotees did for presidents long ago.......  
[A]s 2004 nominee John Kerry said this week, "the politics of division may win some elections but cannot govern America." But he ascribed the proof to Rove alone, as though Clinton's team didn't do its share. The pursuit of electoral success and the formation of wise public policy can be mutually exclusive.... 
Leave it to practitioners of his trade to weigh Rove's success or failure in building the long-term Republican majority that he craved. (That is, after they analyze how a more deeply rooted Democratic regime in Congress crumbled more quickly on the watch of Carville & Co.)
The World-Herald reveals its bias quite plainly for all to see by writing as if Rove's notoriety were a fabrication rather than a reflection of his singular legacy in modern American politics.

To suggest, as the World-Herald does, that the Clinton White House practiced the same "politics of division" as Rove and the Bush Administration is - frankly - a damn lie. Clinton - in policy-terms and in presentation - was always a uniter seeking to bridge the gaps that predominate in American life. Bush, on the other hand - under Rove's tutelage - long ago embraced a presidency of paranoia and endless power plays that saw a sitting president campaign for re-election speaking almost exclusively to audiences that had to sign a pledge of support to even get past security. Gone was even the pretense of representing a united American public. Rove's was a game of numbers - pure and simple - in which victory was not just the ultimate goal but the only principle.

It is absurd and patently hypocritical for the World-Herald to simultaneously accuse the Clinton White House of divisiveness while mocking it for the Democratic Party's 1994 defeat. The anti-Clinton backlash that resulted in the Republican Party's takeover of Congress that year was a manifestation of the GOP's politics of division, proving just how effective a weapon it could be.

The whole Clinton impeachment ordeal was an extension of that style of politics, which the American people eventually rejected as Clinton left the White House with high approval ratings and the affection of many voters. Still, it wasn't until Karl Rove that we saw the true culmination of that ethos - at the very highest level of power - bringing us to the present where the sorry state of George W. Bush's presidency hopefully spells an end to what will be remembered as a very dark political era.

The World-Herald's attempt at defending Rove is insultingly idiotic and utterly preposterous. No matter their self-serving desire to portray Democrats as just as devious and just as corrupt as their Republican counterparts, there is only one Karl Rove - and thank God for that.

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