Thursday, June 23, 2005

Terror been berry, berry good
to Karl

Nine-eleven is the best thing that ever happened to Karl Rove, and he apparently knows it.

With the war in Iraq wearing thin on the national morale, Rove, in a speech before the Conservative Party of New York State, chose to launch a weapon of mass distraction by virtually accusing Democrats of treasonous behavior in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Patrick Healy of the New York Times reports:

"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Mr. Rove, the senior political adviser to President Bush, said at a fund-raiser in Midtown for the Conservative Party of New York State.

Then he really got mean:

Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."

While Durbin's comments were over the top, he apologized on the floor of the Senate, which is more than Tom DeLay has done in the House after practically condoning hits on liberal judges. But don't get distracted by the Durbin piece of this; it's the libel on "motives" that takes the cake.

Scott McClellan, spokesman for President Bush, stood by Rove's comments, saying that the latter was only distinguishing between two philosophies.

And what philosophies would they be? Why, patriotism and treason, of course.

Flailing in Iraq and trailing in public opinion polls, Rove thought he'd shore up his man with that winning formula he used so cravenly at the Republican National Convention in New York City last year: If you're scared you won't beat 'em, then just traumatize 'em.

Let's hope the Dems stay disciplined and not issue any Durbinesque rebukes; leave that work to the blogstresses of the world.

So far, so good: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has called for Rove's resignation, and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has, according to the Associated Press...

...called on Bush to ''show some leadership and unequivocally repudiate Rove's divisive and damaging political rhetoric.''

Hillary Clinton used the occasion of a Senate hearing at which Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld testified to offer the Pentagon chief the chance to repudiate Rove's remarks. Not surprising, the not-so-demure secretary demurred.

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