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|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
“”Can you even begin to fathom anything quite so soul-satisfying as being at sea with the inspiration for the Kraken, Karl Rove?...As you might expect, Rove wore a jacket all the time and pants you'd best describe as 'trousers,' because the man knows how to party. To further emphasize this, the cruise had scheduled time to smoke cigars and drink cognac, because sitting on a sinister throne and laughing maniacally didn't play well with focus groups.
Karl "Turdblossom" Rove is a Republican political operative who served as campaign adviser to the Bush administration. He's the quintessential super-dweeby Young Republican. Like many of those in the upper echelon of the Dubya administration, Rove exhibited a level of entitlement and self-esteem that rivals that of the College of Cardinals. The fact that he was born on Christmas Day is probably just a coincidence.
For some crazy reason, Newsweek decided to give Turdblossom his own column and Fox News has retained him as a political commentator. Seems some people do want to hear from a very successful swindler.
“”What Rove does is try to make something so bad for a family that the candidate will not subject the family to the hardship. Mark [Kennedy] is not your typical Alabama macho, beer-drinkin', tobacco-chewin', pickup-drivin' kind of guy. He is a small, well-groomed, well-educated family man, and what they tried to do was make him look like a homosexual pedophile. That was really, really hard to take.
Very early in his political career, Rove was a ratfucker in the Nixon campaign. He pioneered many of the so-called "dirty tricks" used by the GOP, preying on the deep-seated prejudices of his base.
Bush's brain (so to speak)
“”It took hundreds of millions of dollars and huge armies of such behind-the-throne puppet-masters to twice (well, maybe twice) sell a voting majority on the delusion of George Bush, president. Though people might quibble with the results, the scale of this as a purely political achievement was awesome and heroic, comparable to a moon landing or the splitting of the atom.
Rove's magnum opus was initiating the faux-grassroots PAC groups that coincidentally appeared at the right moment to help Bush during his campaign. Manipulating these groups like puppets, Rove trashed Texas Governor Ann Richards (dyke!), John McCain (negro child out of wedlock!), and Hillary Clinton (brain damage!).
For his efforts, Rove was rewarded with a choice position in the Bush administration.
During the 2004 election season, Rove expanded his operation to target war heroes, including Georgia Senator (and triple amputee) Max Cleland and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, which culminated in Rove's master stroke: The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
Bush knew he would be attacked on his war service; he allowed Kerry to pull the anticipated attack, but didn't bother justifying his own Texas national guard service (which is pretty weak sauce). Instead, Bush performed an act of political judo and used the strength of his attacker's argument against the attacker: By calling Kerry's military service into question, even if it was all smoke and no fire, Bush completely changed the focus and nullified the attack. Efforts to recreate this move happen all the time now, with the Benghazi scandal (and its nullifying Hillary Clinton's ability to lean on her experience as Secretary of State in her 2016 Presidential campaign) being one of the more obvious examples. This approach is about attacking your opponents’ strengths, rather than their weaknesses, which might at first glance seem somewhat counterintuitive, but if successful, it is far more damaging.
Humiliation conga line
Rove resigned from Bush's cabinet in August 2007. He gave the reason for leaving as "To spend more time with my family." As this phrase is political code for, "I got fired but I'm not allowed to tell you why," it has left the door open for some speculation about the real reasons for his departure. It might've had something to do with the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, although it's entirely possible he's just an asshole nobody likes.[citation NOT needed]
He was thrown under the bus by his wealthy donors, who were annoyed that Obama won re-election despite Rove convincing them to back Romney (and pocketing their donor cash). He's yet to recover...but like Dracula, he is sure to rise again.
On 29 December 2009, Rove's "family spokesperson" Dana Perino announced the "amicable" divorce of Rove and his wife of 24 years. This was the second divorce for the defender of marriage. The mainstream media all but ignored the announcement, but the radar of liberal bloggers switched full on. First question: How did the Roves keep their impending divorce secret until after it was granted? The only answer is that the court records were sealed. Which prompts a more urgent question: Why seal the records?
One theory is that Turdblossom was about to join the ranks of really embarrassing conservatives. Ever since conservative pundit Jeff Gannon was outed (in more ways than one), people noticed how "close" he was to the rampantly homophobic Turdblossom. Within days of the announcement, liberals began speculating that some of those five million — out of 22 million missing — recovered Bush Administration e-mails might contain communiques between Rove and Gannon that were—shall we say—of a more personal nature. It makes you wonder what an IM exchange between these two would be like:
Or maybe it's best not to wonder about such things.
Rove: Oh, Jeff. You're all ripply and muscly and tan like a statue of Adonis come to life.
Gannon: Oh, Karl. You're all bald and squishy and pale like a jellyfish dying on the beach.
Rove: It's true, you scamp!
Gannon: Tee hee!
It has been speculated that Rove's disagreeable demeanor may be a product of his having been bullied while at school; i.e. it is something of a psychological rule-of-thumb that victims of bullies become bullies themselves.
Pop culture typically depicts Turdblossom as a first-level douchebag (The Salvation War being a prime example) or as a supernatural hellbeast who loves manipulating politics of any kind through lies and deceit (American Dad).
Stephen Colbert portrayed Rove as a large loaf of ham wearing a pair of glasses, which served as the advisor for "Colbert Super-PAC" segments (until being eaten, anyway). For added schadenfreude, the Campaign Legal Center named a conference room "The Ham Rove Memorial Conference Room," which brought Colbert's gag to Turdblossom's attention during an interview on ABC. When presented with a now-unavoidable question regarding his much-more-handsome counterpart, Rove tried diverting attention to Colbert stabbing the ham multiple times in a video clip by suggesting that Colbert had anxiety over the incident. Colbert responded by pulling up a fork and a knife from his desk as he stared at the on-screen images of Karl and Ham side-by-side.
Rove v. Reality
Rove is widely suspected to be the "anonymous Bush aide" who coined the deliciously self-incriminating phrase "reality-based community" — as snark apparently intended to categorize the opposition, no less.
"Political judo" is about taking an issue off the table: Projection as a defense against inconvenient facts by denying their existence in themselves, often by attributing them to others (no, you're the racist!). If low-information voters cannot tell who is lying, they throw up their hands and say "meh". Many voters view their chosen candidate as a "lesser of two evils" anyway, so it's easy to discard information that doesn't fit. It's like that Simpsons episode where Burns is so sick that all the viruses cancel each other out and make him invincible.
- Felix Clay, "The 7 Most Profoundly Depressing Celebrity Cruises"
- Dubya actually gave him that nickname.
- Don't believe us?
- You remember him, the smug douchebag who raises his hand to ask questions he already knows the answer to.
- Green, Josua, "The Man Karl Rove Couldn't Beat", The Atlantic 5.13.11. Karl Rove's candidate lost the election, but the shit he pulled was so bad his opponent didn't run for reelection in the next cycle, and Rove's candidate then took and held it for the next 12 years.
- Stolberg, Sheryl Gray, "Rove Strategy Paper Found in Nixon Archive", NYT 7.14.07.
- Taibbi, "Revenge of the Simple: How George W. Bush Gave Rise to Trump", Rolling Stone 1 March 2016.
- Smear Artist, Salon
- The Architect: Karl Rove and the Master Plan for Absolute Power, Moore & Slater; (2007) ISBN 978-0307237934
- Lou Dubose, "Don't Mess With Texas", LA Weekly
- Ann Banks, "Dirty Tricks, South Carolina and John McCain", Nation
- Peter Beinart, "Why Karl Rove Uses Dirty Tricks: They Work", The Atlantic
- Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential, Moore & Slater; (2004) ISBN 978-0471471400
- Rove Exposed: How Bush's Brain Fooled America, Moore & Slater; (2005) ISBN 978-0471787082
- Scott Mcclellan, "Bush Should Have Fired Karl Rove", Associated Press
- High schooler spars with Rove over gay marriage, Think Progress
- Gillette, Felix, "Welcome to my living room, thank you for spinning", Bloomberg 11.6.12. Megyn Kelly: Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better, or is this real?"
- Fueling the speculation that the records are sealed is the question of what day the divorce became final. The best date the Huffington Post could come up with was "sometime last week."
- Rove-Gannon Connection?, CBS News
- Chris Wallace Interview with Karl Rove, Fox News Sunday transcript (courtesy of RCP) 8.20.07.
- Putin mentions Ferguson during Charlie Rose interview
- Radia, Kirit, "Defiant Putin Blasts West as Hypocrites for Ignoring 'Free Will' of Crimeans", ABC 3.18.14.