Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Torches and Pitchforks

The creation of the Conservative Victory Project, Karl Rove’s new PAC, created to counter the monster he created, has disturbed the monsters.

“Their idea of the most electable presidential candidate was Mitt Romney, and before him John McCain and before him Bob Dole,” said Brent Bozell, the leader of For America, a social media group (MLSMG) that identifies its goals as promoting limited government, a strong national defense and Judeo-Christian values.

“These fake conservatives need to go away before they do more damage,” he said in an e-mail and blog post yesterday, referring to those behind the victory project. […]

The Tea Party Express, a political action committee based in California, said in a statement that Rove is making a “big mistake” that won’t lead to victories in 2014.

Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots Inc., based in Georgia, issued a statement calling Rove part of “the consultant class” that “has been on the wrong side of history.”

Martin said it is “time for conservatives to wake-up and stop funding their sabotage of conservatism.”

For the rest of us, the choice comes down to choosing between Orville Redenbacher or Jiffy-Pop.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Try, Try Again

Karl Rove and his Crossroads GPS crapped out in the last election by backing the wrong candidates and getting skunked by Tea Party entries like senate candidates Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock.  So they’re regrouping.

The group, the Conservative Victory Project, is intended to counter other organizations that have helped defeat establishment Republican candidates over the last two election cycles. It is the most robust attempt yet by Republicans to impose a new sense of discipline on the party, particularly in primary races.

“There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected,” said Steven J. Law, the president of American Crossroads, the “super PAC” creating the new project. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.”

The effort would put a new twist on the Republican-vs.-Republican warfare that has consumed the party’s primary races in recent years. In effect, the establishment is taking steps to fight back against Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations that have wielded significant influence in backing candidates who ultimately lost seats to Democrats in the general election.

The first test of the group’s effort to influence primary races could come here in Iowa, where some Republicans are already worrying about who will run for the seat being vacated by Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat. It is the first open Senate seat in Iowa since 1974, and Republicans are fearful of squandering a rare opportunity.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is already planning to run for Harkin’s seat.  As previously noted, Mr. King is about as far out there on the fringes of the right wing of the GOP that he and Michele Bachmann are basically indistinguishable.  (Speaking of Ms. Bachmann, she’s weighing a run against Al Franken in Minnesota next year.)

The funny thing is that Karl Rove is basically the man responsible for the growth of the Tea Party movement, at least indirectly.  Now he’s fighting off the very monster he’s created.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Friday, July 27, 2012

Turd Blossom’s Return

There’s a profile of Karl Rove in Business Week that is enough to wipe out the market for syrup of ipecac.

The bespectacled 61-year-old, once known as Bush’s Brain, left the White House five years ago. His patron was sinking in the polls, and Rove himself had barely escaped criminal indictment. Now he’s back—big time, as his friend former Vice President Dick Cheney might say. In a performance that rivals Rove’s nurturing of a famously inarticulate Texas governor into a two-term president, the strategist is reengineering the practice of partisan money management in hopes of drumming Barack Obama out of the White House.

The fact that he is not spending his life in the joint with his back to the wall for outing Valerie Plame and pinning it on Scooter Libby is one of the greatest miscarriages of justice of the last ten years.

Turd Blossom’s Return

There’s a profile of Karl Rove in Business Week that is enough to wipe out the market for syrup of ipecac.

The bespectacled 61-year-old, once known as Bush’s Brain, left the White House five years ago. His patron was sinking in the polls, and Rove himself had barely escaped criminal indictment. Now he’s back—big time, as his friend former Vice President Dick Cheney might say. In a performance that rivals Rove’s nurturing of a famously inarticulate Texas governor into a two-term president, the strategist is reengineering the practice of partisan money management in hopes of drumming Barack Obama out of the White House.

The fact that he is not spending his life in the joint with his back to the wall for outing Valerie Plame and pinning it on Scooter Libby is one of the greatest miscarriages of justice of the last ten years.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Annals of Asshattery – Continued

In a bloviation in the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove thinks the killing of Osama bin Laden was what any president would have done.

As for the killing of Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama did what virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation. Even President Bill Clinton says in the film “that’s the call I would have made.” For this to be portrayed as the epic achievement of the first term tells you how bare the White House cupboards are.

Yeah, except the president Mr. Rove worked for called off the hunt for bin Laden, saying at one point that he didn’t really think much about him. So I’m guessing that Mr. Rove was talking about virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation if he actually gave a rat’s ass about doing his job.

Better yet, though, Mr. Rove — either on purpose or via an oversight — left out an important part of Mr. Clinton’s quote: “He took the harder and the more honorable path. When I saw what had happened, I thought to myself, `I hope that’s the call I would have made.’” Big difference there, Karl. And apparently the editors at the Journal noticed it, because they later went in and put the full Clinton quote into the piece, which completely cuts the legs out from under the argument:

As for the killing of Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama did what virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation. Even President Bill Clinton says in the film “I hope that’s the call I would have made.” For this to be portrayed as the epic achievement of the first term tells you how bare the White House cupboards are.

In a way, it’s kind of comforting to know that some things never change: the sun will always rise in the east, water will always be wet, and Karl Rove will always be a flaming sphincter.

Annals of Asshattery – Continued

In a bloviation in the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove thinks the killing of Osama bin Laden was what any president would have done.

As for the killing of Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama did what virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation. Even President Bill Clinton says in the film “that’s the call I would have made.” For this to be portrayed as the epic achievement of the first term tells you how bare the White House cupboards are.

Yeah, except the president Mr. Rove worked for called off the hunt for bin Laden, saying at one point that he didn’t really think much about him. So I’m guessing that Mr. Rove was talking about virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation if he actually gave a rat’s ass about doing his job.

Better yet, though, Mr. Rove — either on purpose or via an oversight — left out an important part of Mr. Clinton’s quote: “He took the harder and the more honorable path. When I saw what had happened, I thought to myself, `I hope that’s the call I would have made.’” Big difference there, Karl. And apparently the editors at the Journal noticed it, because they later went in and put the full Clinton quote into the piece, which completely cuts the legs out from under the argument:

As for the killing of Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama did what virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation. Even President Bill Clinton says in the film “I hope that’s the call I would have made.” For this to be portrayed as the epic achievement of the first term tells you how bare the White House cupboards are.

In a way, it’s kind of comforting to know that some things never change: the sun will always rise in the east, water will always be wet, and Karl Rove will always be a flaming sphincter.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rove’s Reality

If you enjoyed the head-spin you got from John McCain informing us that he never called himself a maverick, you’ll love this claim from Karl Rove:

President Bush, for example, never allowed a White House staffer or administration spokesman to go out and do what this administration and our predecessor routinely did — that is to engage in calling the leaders of the opposition party disparaging labels and question their motives.

No, he just questioned their patriotism, compared them to Islamic propagandists, and outed a CIA operative.

But he never called them names.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Roving Through History

Karl Rove says in his self-servingly-titled memoir due out next week that the biggest mistake he made in running the Bush White House was not pushing back against the truth that there were no WMD’s in Iraq.

The former White House political adviser blames himself for not pushing back against claims that President George W. Bush had taken the country to war under false pretenses, calling it one of the worst mistakes he made during the Bush presidency. The president, he adds, did not knowingly mislead the American public about the existence of such weapons.

In “Courage and Consequence,” Rove argues that history will look favorably on Bush’s two-term presidency, particularly his decision to invade Iraq. He calls the 2003 invasion the most consequential act of the Bush presidency and a justifiable response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, even though al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden, not Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, were responsible.

By that logic, President Roosevelt would have been fully justified in invading Italy in retaliation for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

But wait, there’s more.

Rove staunchly defends Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated states along the Gulf of Mexico in September 2005. Bush came under withering criticism for the federal government’s response to the crisis; his memorable praise for FEMA administrator Michael Brown – “Heck of a job, Brownie” – was fodder for those who said it revealed the administration’s detachment and incompetence.

In the book, Rove blames state and local officials for botching recovery efforts, particularly Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, both Democrats.

I see he hasn’t lost his ability to find someone else to blame for his problems. I’m sure he’ll tell us that it was Valerie Plame herself that leaked her own name to Bob Novak. Nor has he lost his talent for unintentional irony.

He also has sharp words for President Barack Obama, calling him a stereotypical Chicago politician who plays fast and loose with the facts.

By calling the book Courage and Consequence when he is unfamiliar with both qualities, Mr. Rove doubles down on the irony supplements. A better title might have been Turd Blossom.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Plotting Big Trouble for Moose and Squirrel

Via Bruce Bartlett, Matt Latimer, the former speechwriter for George W. Bush, gives us his impression of “Bush’s Brain”:

Karl was not the hero of the Bush White House, the brilliant behind-the scenes strategist. He was what all the liberals said he was: the villain. And to make matters worse, a clumsy one at that. He employed ham-handed tactics, put forward obviously unqualified subordinates, and stubbornly defended them. He’d turned out to be less a Voldemort than a Boris Badenov chasing Rocky and Bullwinkle.

And all this time I thought he was a genius. I mean, that’s what he kept telling us.

HT to Andrew Sullivan.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Everybody Gets Caught

It comes as no surprise whatsoever that Karl Rove’s involvement in the dismissal of the U.S. attorneys during the Bush administration is a lot more than what he said at the time — “Who, me?” His claims sounded hollow when he first insisted that he had nothing to with it, and anyone who has had the slightest bit of understanding of just how the Bush administration worked knew that he was being less than candid. After all, Mr. Rove never made it any secret that he saw his job as being purely about politics and about creating a permanent Republican majority. At the time, he didn’t seem to think it was at all a bad thing for a political operative to be working out of the West Wing; he probably saw it as the normal operating procedure for every administration, and Mr. Rove’s defenders are now saying that “everyone else does it.” He’s probably right. I sincerely doubt that Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan left the politics in the White House driveway, but there the false equivalency has to stop, because when it comes to politicizing the West Wing, nobody did it as overtly and as crassly as the Bush administration, and seemingly without any sense that they might be skating over the line.

Until now.

It never ceases to amaze me that people, whether they’re presidents or just a teenager sneaking a bottle of booze out of the house, think they can get away with it. Mr. Rove had to know that e-mails leave trails, that people remember phone conversations, that the attorneys would wonder why they were being dismissed for inconsistent reasons — for instance, in the matter of David Iglesias, the U.S. attorney in Albuquerque, being told he wasn’t doing his job a few months after getting a stellar evaluation — and that history has shown that there is just no way to cover up anything in Washington. But there’s always someone whose ego is larger than their brain and for whatever reason, they think that they are either the one who can pull it off, or, even if they’re caught, it won’t matter. This, more than anything else, is Mr. Rove’s problem… well, aside from the fact that he helped screw people over for political reasons.

Oddly enough, while Mr. Rove may have escaped punishment for his role in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, this matter of replacing U.S. attorneys that seemed to be just a matter of political expediency in the operation of the Department of Justice may be the one that finally gets him before a jury.

Short Takes

Good show — President Obama answered questions about healthcare reform in Portsmouth, NH.

Packing heat — things got a little gun-nutty outside the town hall meeting in New Hampshire before President Obama arrived.

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) had a rowdy town hall meeting of his own.

What a shock — Karl Rove was deeply involved in the firing of the U.S. attorneys in 2005 and 2006.

Why is Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL), who isn’t running and is planning to resign, still spending campaign funds?

How sweet it is — A bit of Florida entertainment history makes it on to a stamp.

230 MPG? — The electric Chevy Volt is touted as the ultimate mileage machine.

This tropical depression could become Tropical Storm Ana today, and it will probably not get anywhere near land.

The Tigers lose after a rain delay and a bench-clearing brawl in Boston.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Irony of the Day

Karl Rove, the undisputed master of pre-packaged, organized, controlled, and scripted events, on President Obama’s town hall meeting on health care in Virginia:

This White House has carried pre-packaged, organized, controlled, scripted events to a new height, and they’re getting away with things that in any previous White House, the media would have eviscerated the press secretary and the White House for it.

Sounds like jealousy is rearing its shiny head, Karl.

Friday, June 12, 2009

La-La Land

Karl Rove critiques the Obama administration’s plan for “pay as you go” budgeting and denies that the Bush administration had any responsibility for the deficit.

“This is a cosmetic gesture. This guy is going to run up a $1.8 trillion deficit. That’s what it’s projected to be this year,” Rove complained. But when host Greta Van Susteren asked if the Bush administration is responsible for any of the deficit, Rove replied, “No.”:

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you take some responsibility, meaning you, the Bush eight years, for this…

ROVE: No.

VAN SUSTEREN: You take absolutely no responsibility? Because…

ROVE: No.

I would love to smoke what he’s been drinking.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Short Takes

Now would not be a good time to own a Chrysler or GM dealership.

New Hampshire on the verge of joining the marriage equality stampede.

The House demands that President Obama detail his plan for closing Gitmo before they pay for it.

Karl Rove will testify on the U.S. attorney purge.

Hubble telescope repairs are underway.

Mrs. McCain vs. Rush Limbaugh — She’s 97 and feisty; he hits back like the bully that he is.

Tigers get skunked in Minnesota, losing all three games of the series.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What About Don?

As I noted yesterday, the dropping of the indictments against former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) raised the question of what about other people — notably former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman — also prosecuted by the same Justice Department.

“There seems to be substantial evidence of prosecutorial and other misconduct in my case, that would dwarf the allegations in the Stevens case,” the former Alabama governor told TPMmuckraker …

Referring to Attorney General Eric Holder, Siegelman said that while he supports the Stevens decision, “I hope that [Holder] will take a look at some of the other cases that are buried on his desk.”

If the Obama Justice Department is truly interested in pursuing the case, they might also look into who was behind pushing for the prosecution of Mr. Siegelman in the first place (see: Rove, Karl).

And, as he has before, Siegelman framed his case as part of a wider effort to get to truth about politicization of the Justice Department during the Bush years. “Who at the Department of Justice abused their power, and why?” he asked. “Was Karl Rove directing the show?”

The “loyal Bushies” have already admitted as much. Now let’s prove it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Short Takes

Going Home — As the economy shrinks, foreign workers go home.

Tell It — Karl Rove and Harriet Miers finally agree to testify to Congress.

They Like It
— Health industry voices support for Obama health care plan.

Staving Off Foreclosure — The Obama administration unveils plans that could keep people in their homes.

Pay Up — “In a major setback for business groups that had hoped to build a barrier against injury lawsuits seeking billions of dollars, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said state juries may award damages for harm from unsafe drugs even though their manufacturers had satisfied federal regulators.”

Wishes for a Swift Recovery — Barbara Bush has heart surgery.

Tigers Update — Team Panama 9, Tigers 5.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

“I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing”

Following up on this item from this morning’s Short Takes, I kind of wish the Secret Service hadn’t taken out the bugs in the Oval office left over from the Nixon administration so that history could record what the conversation was like when Vice President Cheney pushed hard on President Bush to pardon I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby. If the reporting by Tom DeFrank of the New York Daily News is accurate, it wasn’t a pretty moment.

In multiple conversations, both in person and over the telephone, Cheney tried to get Bush to change his mind. Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the federal probe of who leaked covert CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity to the press.

Several sources confirmed Cheney refused to take no for an answer. “He went to the mat and came back and back and back at Bush,” a Cheney defender said. “He was still trying the day before Obama was sworn in.”

After repeatedly telling Cheney his mind was made up, Bush became so exasperated with Cheney’s persistence he told aides he didn’t want to discuss the matter any further.

The unsuccessful full-court press left Cheney bitter. “He’s furious with Bush,” a Cheney source told The News. “He’s really angry about it and decided he’s going to say what he believes.”

Mr. Bush had already commuted Libby’s sentence and taken a lot of heat for it from the left, who saw it as proof that the fix was in, and from the Orcosphere and the True Believers who thought that even if Libby did everything he was accused of — leaked Valerie Plame’s name for the sake of political revenge (and if it had happened in a Democratic administration would have led to impeachment) — he was a true patriot and battling the evil libruls who were plotting even more ways of discrediting their Dear Leader. They thought he should award Libby the Medal of Freedom.

Apparently Vice President Cheney thought so too, or at the very least he thought that by only commuting the sentence, Mr. Bush wavered in his faith that anything done in the name of the Global War on Terror — including outing CIA agents — was righteous.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Short Takes

Stimulated — The Senate passes the $787 billion bill; the president will sign it on Monday.

Rejected — Norm Coleman’s bid to stay in the Senate got bad news yesterday.

Testify, Karl — Rep. John Conyers will brook no more delay from Turdblossom.

Dinner on the Diamond was a little awkward this year at Alex Rodriguez Park at the University of Miami.

Vive La Difference — Straight French couples get civil unions, too.

Ship Ahoy — The Miami International Boat Show is in town this weekend, and so is Boatboy to take in the sights.

Saturday Morning TV: What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day and the boat show?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rove Will Talk?

Murray Waas reports at TPM that Karl Rove will break his Garbo-like silence about the U.S. attorneys firings and his role in the indictment and conviction of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman.

Rove previously refused to cooperate with an earlier Justice Department inquiry into the firings. The Justice Department’s Inspector General and its Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) said in a report released last September detailing their earlier probe of the firings of the U.S. attorneys that their investigation was severely “hindered” by the refusal by Rove and other senior Bush administration officials to cooperate with the probe.

Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin, said that Rove, however, will cooperate with a federal criminal probe of the firings being led by Nora Dannehy, the Acting U.S. Attorney for Connecticut who was selected by former Attorney General Michael Mukasey to lead the investigation. Dannehy has recently empaneled a federal grand jury to hear evidence in the matter.

I echo David Kurtz’s skepticism; I’ll believe it when I see it.