If I were to name the biggest ethical corner-cutter in modern American political history, there would be but one runaway winner, Karl Rove. This serial cheater is 61 now and he’s done a generation’s harm to the political process, to countless Democratic opponents running against a Rove-consulted opponent, to a number of Republican candidates competing in party primaries and to the American public as a whole. Moreover, Karl Rove has destroyed the core of what a representative democracy should be all about. And sadly, he would be flattered by the reference.
Rove has taught his Republican sycophants how to lie, cheat and smear the reputations and character of political opponents all in the name of winning and power. And Republicans almost universally praise him as ‘brilliant’ and a ‘genius’. I’ve got news for you. Winning an election using the tactics of a lying, immoral sewer rat is not a sign of ‘genius’. It’s a sign of a sociopath with no conscience. Although by Republican voting patterns in the last few years, that’s the type of behind the scenes the right-wing GOP prefers.
One anecdote from a book authored by Rove himself tells of the true Rove more definitively than I ever could. Writing in his 2010 ‘memoir’, Rove tells of sneaking into the Democratic campaign office in 1970 of then Illinois Treasurer Candidate, Allan J. Dixon. He used a false identity to get in. He then stole 1,000 sheets of campaign letterhead paper and printed up flyers promising, “free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing.” He distributed his ‘genius’ at homeless shelters and rock concerts and enough recipients showed up to disrupt the event.
Ever the moral coward, he shrugged the deed off as a youthful ‘prank’. So let’s see, in just one incident early he lied, stole and cheated, setting the tone for the rest of his life.
Perhaps the crown of Roves putrid misdeeds was his 2000 Republican presidential primary Push Poll in South Carolina aimed at candidate John McCain running against Roves guy, George W. Bush. Rove arranged extensive statewide robo-calls that asked the following question – “If it was true that John McCain fathered an illegitimate child with a black woman, would you vote for him?” Rove doubled down with a whisper campaign that the woman was a prostitute. Given the state’s innate racism, which flourishes to this day, the goobers bought it and voted for Bush.
As most people outside of South Carolina know, back in 1991, McCain’s wife Cindy brought a little girl to the U.S. from a Mother Teresa Bangladeshi orphanage. The McCain’s adopted the girl and named her Bridget.
It was also interesting that Rove used the gay marriage issue in 2004 against John Kerry, trying to get preachers to speak out from the pulpit. Ironic in light of the fact that it is almost universally accepted that the man who raised Rove, his stepfather, was gay.
Rove claims not to know whether he is or not. Homophobic politics trumps all, even family.
It’s also noteworthy that Rove is prepared to give hundreds of millions to elect a guy who is one of the strongest backers of the absurd Paul Ryan budget. A budget that would cut Medicaid benefits by $800 billion. This is the very program that just might have saved innumerable lives of thousands considering suicide just as Roves mother surely did before taking her life in1981.
Rove has trumpeted that his two super PAC’s, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS have set a goal of $300 million dollars dedicated to defeating Obama. True to his core, Rove created Crossroads GPS as a phony non-profit advocacy group so he wouldn’t have to reveal its donors. In case you’re curious, both Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter were limited to $29.4 million dollars each to make do for the 1980 presidential campaign. Crossroads GPS would have used up most of one of those candidates allotment with a single ad buy of $25 million announced last week. Republicans are looking to spend a total of $1 billion on Mitt Romney.
The Washington Post writes of a current Crossroads GPS TV commercial as painting President Obama as someone who promised change, but things changed for the worse. A spokeswoman and her two children are pictured as she laments the struggle with student loans and a weak job market. Not stated of course is the Republican Ryan budget which actually eliminates 1 million eligible students from Pell Grants over the next decade. And job markets do tend to get weaker when the red states intentionally slash public sector teaching, police and firemen jobs with the singular political intention of making Obama’s employment numbers look bad.
However, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) in the last 26 months, private sector job growth has averaged 163,000 jobs a month and last years gains were the highest since 2005. And remember recalcitrant Republican congresspeople were putting every legislative roadblock in the president’s path their evil little minds could conjure. The commercial also trashes Obamacare with its highly beneficial reform for millions upon millions. The president’s $800 million stimulus plan (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) signed into law in February of 2009 is also ripped. Nancy Pelosi said it best when she estimated that unemployment would be in the neighborhood of 14.5% without the initiative.
Finally, Rove’s people have this poor free-lancing actress who has no clue what the lines she’s memorized means, blaming Obama for the current debt. When G.W. Bush took office there was no debt. Zero! Then he decided his millionaire and billionaire friends weren’t wealthy enough and gave them the lion’s share of two enormous tax cuts; one aimed almost exclusively at the rich. The debt soared. Bush grew the debt at an exponentially greater rate than Obama and even at that Forbes magazine shrugs off the current debt as running behind a number of countries when you consider the true gauge of debt to income ratios. At 69%, we trail France (86% ratio), Canada (84%), Germany (82%) and Israel (72%). Libya at 5%, Uzbekistan, 8% and Russia 9% are the poster children for modest debt, so as a certain preacher was once heard to utter, if you don’t like the way we do things here – leave. I’m sure Syria would love to have you.
So, surprise, surprise, the Rove commercial is really a pack of lies and distortions, just like its twin that ran last year.
But no matter how many lies and distortions he throws out there; no matter the harm he’s wrought to men, women and children, students, gays, minorities, the poor and the infirm, Teapublicans still embrace him as King Karl, their majestic Smearmeister and Bullshitter in Chief.
That says more about Republicans than it does Rove!