Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Rove Legacy: Defining Deviancy Down"

Trying to find meaning in Karl Rove’s political career, as so many observers are now doing, is like, to borrow Gen. David Petraeus’ expression about Iraq, “putting lipstick on a pig.”
Today the Washington Post asks: “(A)s Karl Rove resigns from the administration, a question lingers over his legacy: What, exactly, did the architect build?”

The answer is nothing. There is no Rove philosophy, doctrine, strategy. The man is the sum of his ugly tactics, a college dropout who spent a working lifetime winning, buying or stealing votes by all possible means--a porcine rooter in the garbage of American politics. His sole accomplishment has been, in Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s phrase, to “define deviancy down” in the White House.

Ask John Kerry, John McCain and Max Cleland about his legacy.

Rove’s departure, along with that of his creature, George W. Bush, has meaning only in the question of how much of their fake piety and total disdain for political morality will persist in American life.

The answer to that won’t be long in coming. On the Democrats’ part, the jury is still out. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards are still staying within the bounds of civilized contention and serious discourse.

The Republicans, who have to climb out of the Bush wreckage, seem confused. Rudy Giuliani is showing symptoms of Rove Disease, but the others are still in doubt. Much will depend of what Thompson and Romney do when push comes to bare knuckles. How far Mike Huckabee gets will be a clue.

For the moment, it would help if the MSM and blogosphere stopped arguing about the biggest bottom feeder of our time and looked ahead to putting back some semblance of decency into American politics.
Howie P.S.: My personal suggestion headline for Rove's tombstone: "Karl Rove: Traitor to Democracy." The author of the above post (Robert Stein) is a former Chairman of the American Society of Magazine Editors.

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