Monday, August 13, 2007

Wave Goodbye, Karl

I've read several things on Rove's departure today, and many are speculating on the "real" reasons—which may be a long time revealing themselves—he's leaving. I don't much care, as it won't effect much as far as I can tell. If nothing else, I think it's an indication that Rove's usefullness was waning.

Thankfully, Andrew Sullivan is back from his vacation (too long for me) and sums up the Rove Legacy better than anything else I've read. Here's the whole thing:
The man's legacy is a conservative movement largely discredited and disunited, a president with lower consistent approval ratings than any in modern history, a generational shift to the Democrats, a resurgent al Qaeda, an endless catastrophe in Iraq, a long hard struggle in Afghanistan, a fiscal legacy that means bankrupting America within a decade, and the poisoning of American religion with politics and vice-versa. For this, he got two terms of power - which the GOP used mainly to enrich themselves, their clients and to expand government's reach and and drain on the productive sector. In the re-election, the president with a relatively strong economy, and a war in progress, managed to eke out 51 percent. Why? Because Rove preferred to divide the country and get his 51 percent, than unite it and get America's 60. In a time of grave danger and war, Rove picked party over country. Such a choice was and remains despicable.

Rove is one of the worst political strategists in recent times. He took a chance to realign the country and to unite it in a war - and threw it away in a binge of hate-filled niche campaigning, polarization and short-term expediency. His divisive politics and elevation of corrupt mediocrities to every branch of government has turned an entire generation off the conservative label. And rightly so. It will take another generation to recover from the toxins he has injected, with the president's eager approval, into the political culture and into the conservative soul.

The only problem is if Sullivan and others let the truths of that passage walk out the door with Rove. Pinning all that on Rove, and Rove alone, lets Bush off the hook. Bush was a willing participant and the prime benificiary of those actions, and the same "party over country" condemnation deserves to be clearly attached to him as well.


Toast said...

He took a chance to realign the country and to unite it in a war - and threw it away in a binge of hate-filled niche campaigning, polarization and short-term expediency

You know, that's pretty fucking rich coming from a guy who famously dismissed Iraq war opponents as a "domestic fifth column" in the war on terror.

Mr Furious said...

Agreed. But he has seen the error of his ways and is atoning for it daily. Too bad that list is pretty much confined to him and John Cole.

S.W. Anderson said...

You're right about this rant letting Bush off the hook. Same goes for Cheney and a host of others. Rove enabled others and was enabled by others, chiefly Bush.

IMO, anyone who thinks Rove is going to be out of the picture is extremely naive. He can, and I'm sure will, do plenty over the phone, via e-mail and in secret sit downs with the Decider, Deadeye Dick and others.

Don't be surprised if Rove continues to be hailed by the right as a strategic genius. For all he's obviously done wrong, Rove did two things right-wing Republicans value most: winning in 2000 and 2004. For them, winning isn't just the best thing, it's the only thing that matters.

Toast said...

Agreed. But he has seen the error of his ways and is atoning for it daily.

Please. There's no atoning for calling me a traitor for being opposed to an illegal, immoral war. Sullivan ain't on my "On Notice" board. He's dead to me.

(*I do recall that even when Andy wrote his first big Iraq mea culpa, he went out of his way to claim that those of us who opposed the war in the first place were "right, but for the wrong reasons". Seriously, the dude can just go fuck himself for eternity.)

fridge said...

I agree with Toast on Sullivan. Mighty convenient of him to switch sides in that debate when one side became so obviously wrong.

I also agree with Furious that it lets Bush off the hook. It brings up an interesting question. How much blame will land on Bush for all of this mess? He's so widely regarded as a disinterested boob. How much can you blame him?

Mr Furious said...

My take on Sullivan? I wasn't reading him when he would have been calling me names, so I'm not holding the same grudge... But, I cannot deny the fact that he's a good writer and there is definite satisfaction reading a guy so throughly disenchanted with Bush, and doing an entertaining and prolific job of being so.

He is also an invaluable source of links and quotes. So to me his column is a must-check-multiple-times daily. He'd probably be "dead to me" to if I had read him all along.