December 20, 2004
The Genius of DeceitBush's Brain is a great film, based on the book of the same name, which no doubt goes into great detail far beyond that of the film. But the film is intense, very important. With Rove, we get a picture of a man for whom winning is not only "the only thing," it is not enough to just beat your opponent at the political game, you must destroy them. Destroy their careers, destroy their lives. No opposition is to be tolerated.
Rove's career is based on lying, smearing, slandering opponents. That's how he wins. That's how Bush has won. When you see Rove's history laid out in front of you, it makes perfect sense. He's done the same thing for his entire career, but he's carried it from one level to the next and always caught his opponents off guard. No one can believe how low he will go, and no one can match him in viciousness or defend against his attacks.
Rove doesn't go after his opponent's weak point. He selects his opponent's strongest point and then slanders him mercilessly, so that his strong point becomes a negative point, or at best a neutral one.
With McCain they said his experience as a war prisoner may have made him crazy. His adopted daughter was a -- (SHOCK!) -- black person! The "love child" of perhaps a prostitute. His wife was a drug addict.
With Kerry they said he lied to get his medals. It was all a sleazy trick to get into the White House.
Another favorite trick of Rove is to feed someone flawed information, then use it to discredit not only the reporter with the story, but also the story itself.
That was what happened to J.H. Hatfield, according to his publisher Sander Hicks' theory. Hatfield said Rove called him, met with him, gave him information. It turned out to be largely true, but with a bit that was false. That helped to discredit Hatfield when that part of his story was proven wrong, the part about it being a Republican judge that got George Jr. off of his alleged cocaine bust in 1972.
Randi Rhodes saw Rove's fingerprints on the Dan Rather case before it came to light that the documents were fakes. Rhodes warned that Rather was being set up, and in the end it looked like he was. The facts were right,according to the typist who would have typed the originals, but the documents were faked. So Rather was discredited, resigned, and the story was discredited too. But Bush did flake out and go AWOL and not serve his military commitment. And he was a coke abuser and probably did get busted in 1972, as Hatfield said he did.
Dan Rather, by the way, was one for whom the Bush family had a particularly hateful vendetta. Rather had dared to confront presidential candidate George Bush about his many fingerprints on the Iran Contra secret wars. It was George Junior who coached his father to turn the tables on Rather when he asked about Iran Contra by pointing out the time he walked off the air and left the network blank. It more or less served to deflect the question as the blooming political attack dog George W. figured it would.
One other thing that occurred to me, incidentally. When you see Rove as a young man, it's striking. He wasn't a bad looking young man. For those who are used to the way he looks now, it's an amazing transformation. It tends to confirm that theory that at 50 you get the face you deserve. Young Karl was pleasant looking. Today he looks like a pig, like a character from Animal Farm, or worse, The Shining.