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.