There have been numerous diaries written on the subject of Rove and his recent comments, including by the always erudite Hunter. There has been a lot of exposition about the whys and wherefores of his comments and the ulterior motives, and there has been a copious amount of sturm und drang about 'what do we do about this?'
I'll tell you what I'm NOT going to do about it. I'm NOT going to sign a petition asking the White House or Republicans to disavow Rove, I'm NOT going to ask Rove to apologize, and I'm NOT going to seek his resignation through petition drives or other such mechanisms.
Because that allows Rove to continue to control the terms and language of the debate.
Further exposition continues.
Karl Rove is a genius. That is not a compliment, it is a statement of fact. He is a political genius, he knows what he is doing at all times, and he is not only fantastic at pulling GWB's (and other Republicans') puppet strings, he does a sickeningly admirable job of yanking the Democrats' chains.
As for his latest statements, I'm not going to reprint them, but it's an absolutely brilliant case in point. Rove was speaking to a conservative, not a Republican group. His comments were about the differences between liberals and conservatives. He did not use the terms Democrat and Republican. But the response has come from Democrats challenging his attacks on liberals.
You may say that's just a matter of semantics. But - and this is my key point - Rove is an undisputed master of semantics, as well as of symbols. Every word that comes out of his mouth (or elsewhere) is carefully considered and carefully constructed to get as much effect as possible.
As for his comments about liberals, some of what he said is correct. I am a liberal, and I remember back to the days after September 11 trying to understand the background and why such a thing could have happened. If you remember, in the first few weeks there were any of a number of stories explaining the problems in the Arab world and why there was such hatred and resentment. But gradually, Barber's "Jihad vs. McWorld" explanation gave way to Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" reasons, and now the debate is controlled by the likes of David Horowitz. Study is limited, news is restricted, and in my opinion as Americans we are all the worse off for it. I know that not everyone on this site will agree with me, but at least I can put it out here for a discussion.
But I'm not going to explain myself or defend myself to Karl Rove or to the likes of him. It's not worth the discussion, and I'm not going to let him or his minions control it.
With Bush's numbers falling and the tide of opinion turning, spending precious energy on trying to counter Rove's comments is precisely what he wants us to do. The more time the Democrats (who, I don't need to point out, supported military action) keep trying to defend themselves for something they didn't even do, the less time and energy and attention will be given to the Downing Street Memos, to the decay in Iraq, and to the upcoming bad news that is likely about to be released, as previously diaried.
Rove is baiting the Democrats and the rest of us. So far we've taken the bait.
So, call him what he is. Call him an instigator. He's trying to get a fight going. Make him defend that.
Call him a hatemonger. He is working to rile up his base and create more anger and hatred in the right-wing ranks. Make him defend that.
Call him a manipulator. He's trying to formulate positions and manipulate fact to his own diabolical ends. Make him defend that.
But call him what he is, defend what you've called him, and then leave it alone. Don't defend yourself. Let Rove and his ilk defend Rove. And don't try to defend against his comments or those of his minions.
And let's get the focus back to the important issues about what this administration is doing to destroy America. Please.