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Republican strategist Karl Rove says Democrats need to "stop scaring people" with regards to gun policies and gun control reform.
Speaking on ABC’s This Week yesterday, Rove said, "Let's be clear about this. This is prompted by the Sandy Hook murders.... Let's be very careful before trampling on the rights of people. Look, if you want to get something done, then stop scaring people."
When it comes to understanding the political value of scaring people, of course, Karl Rove, is the undisputed king. As president of the College Republicans back in the 1970s, Rove was investigated by the Republican National Committee for teaching political campaign "dirty tricks" to college students. As a strategist for George H. W. Bush, Rove was one of the masterminds behind the unforgettable Willie Horton scare campaign that helped sink Michael Dukakis in 1988.
While working on George W. Bush’s Texas gubernatorial campaign in 1994, Rove developed a television ad designed to frighten voters into the Bush camp. The ad employed the graphic image of a woman being grabbed at gunpoint in parking garage and police draping a sheet over a young boy’s body, while Bush declared in a voiceover that Texas was considered “the third most dangerous state in the nation” due to a rising crime rate and the early release of criminals from prison. In reality the crime rate had actually declined during incumbent Ann Richards’ term as governor, but the truth has never been an obstacle to Karl Rove. The chilling ad helped put Bush in the Texas governor’s mansion.
As advisor to Bush in the White House, Rove exploited the fear of terrorists lurking behind every door and under every bed to scare the American public into accepting the Patriot Act and a bloody and expensive war over non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as vital to preserving our freedom.
So when Karl Rove presumes to accuse the Democrats – or anyone – of trying to scare people, I can only think of proverbial pots and kettles and this quote by playwright Tennessee Williams:
“The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that's also a hypocrite.”