Wednesday, October 01, 2003

St. Rove?

Jerome Doolittle has a few choice words for Scott McLellan's attempt to paint Rove as a man of high moral character:

I just finished, “Bush’s Brain,” last week. Thus my memory is delightfully refreshed about the 2000 Republican primary in South Carolina. There Rove defeated frontrunner John McCain by smearing him as a man who had been unbalanced by North Vietnamese torture — and whose adopted Bangladeshi daughter was really his illegitimate child by a black mother.

Since Scott McClellan was a spokesman for the Bush campaign at the time, he certainly does know “the kind of person (Rove) is.” I’m with him that far. But what he also knows is that Rove considers the highest standards of conduct to be strictly for suckers.

Rove learned dirty tricks at the knee of the master, the late Lee Atwater, and taught them to others in seminars for Young Republicans. He once had his own office bugged during a campaign, and blamed it on his opponent. He orchestrated a whispering campaign that Texas governor Ann Richards had a soft spot for lesbians. Everybody in politics knows Rove's loathsome history.

As an old press spokesman myself, I would remind McClellan that it is okay to duck, dodge, divert, obfuscate, refuse comment, and otherwise behave in a less than forthright manner.

It is even okay to lie, provided some possibility exists that you believe the lie yourself. But it is absolutely fatal to lie to a roomful of reporters when every last one of them not only knows you are lying to them, but knows you know it.

As coincidence would have it, I also just finished reading "Bush's Brain" (comments on this latest scandal by its co-author, James C. Moore, can be found here) so I also know a little something about the moral character of Karl Rove.

He has none.

This is a man who doesn't believe in just defeating an opponent but in destroying him utterly. And Rove does not reserve his ire just for political opponents. He has destroyed republicans, including former colleagues (just ask John Weaver), simply because they disagreed with him or went over his head at certain points in time. Rove is a great believer in the philosophy that "revenge is a dish best served cold." He has been known to wait years to get back at someone who crosses him.

And, as Mr. Doolittle points out, everyone knows this. So for McClellan to hold up Rove as some kind of paragon of decency is laughable in the extreme.


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