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Monday, November 08, 2004

Karl Rove On Wisdom, Humility, and Other Bullshit

To hear Karl Rove talking about wisdom, patience, and humility is like listening to Ron Jeremy talk about abstinence. Don’t be ridiculous.
(Showing a video of Jan, 2004 of Rove heading to church)

MR. RUSSERT: You're heading over to the national cathedral for a prayer service with our new president. What are you gonna pray for?

MR. ROVE: Wisdom and patience. Humility. That's important, I think, for people who come here to realize that we are here for only a time and we have an obligation of service and we need to keep things in perspective.

MR. RUSSERT: Wisdom, patience, and humility, the watchwords for the second term?

MR. ROVE: Yes. Those that the Gods destroy they first make prideful. So, absolutely.

Sunday on Meet the Press, Karl Rove, looking affable and kind, put out about as much disinformation in a few minutes as is possible for one human being to do. For a transcript of the interview, see

First, let’s recall that Eva Braun said during the storming of Berlin, “It’s hard to believe this is happening; it almost makes one question one’s faith in God.” Of course, the difference is that I think she was being sincere.

Q: How can you tell Karl Rove is lying?
A: He’s awake

During the interview, Karl Rove masterfully blamed everything from the “coarseness of society” to the deficit, to so-called “activist judges” to the fact that Bush “had not succeeded in being a uniter...” on the “Democrat” party.

Democrat party. This is a ploy by the Republic party to avoid painting the Democratic party as the party that is Democratic. By changing English usage, as they often do, the spinners at the GOP say “Democrat Party” for a few very important reasons.

  • As I said, the phrase “Democratic Party” insinuates that one party is “democratic” while the other is not. I think part of the reason they can’t stand this is that it’s actually truer than the GOPers would like to believe. But by changing it to purposely not include “Democratic,” there is now by insinuation a sense that the Republic party is now the more “democratic” party. Scary, eh?

  • By changing the English usage to “Democrat Party,” because it’s not the correct usage, it leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth to say or hear it. I believe this is by design, not accident. If every time one hears the name of the Democratic Party it sounds just a little “off,” because it’s misnamed, the very idea of the Democratic Party sounds distasteful and a little “off” as well. There’s a clear advantage to having one’s adversary make people feel a little uncomfortable on the mention of their name. It affects the public. Truly. Really, are the Democrats being painted as “they who cannot be named?”

  • Don’t underestimate the power of sound. “Democrat Party” can be spit out, whereas “Democratic Party” is much softer sounding. I kid you not.

These guys, especially Rove, are scary smart, and are masters of spin and psychological manipulation. Every thing they do is for a reason. Don’t doubt it. Remember “partial-birth abortion?” “The marriage penalty?” Remember how effective those were? Pay attention.

You’ll notice I used “Republic” party to make a point. I think we should use it regularly. For more on the importance of naming, see

At every opportunity, the mouthpieces of the Republic party talk about how Democrats “filibustered the President’s judicial appointees.” More misinformation. More Bush-appointed judges were approved in the last four years than under Clinton. But if they say it, it’s true.

MR. ROVE: The president said during the campaign that in virtually every speech that he gave that he would continue to nominate men and women to the bench who are well-qualified and who would strictly interpret the law, who knew the difference between personal agendas and personal views on the one hand and the strict interpretation of the law.

He believes that he ought to pick people who will impartially apply--interpret and apply the law, not people who have a political agenda or a personal agenda that they want to pursue on the court.

Absolutely untrue, misrepresenting, and manipulative. See our earlier writing on this,

If you look, whenever Rove (or any Republic spokesman) mentions the “weak and vulnerable,” it’s about fetuses, not the poor or weak. Interesting, yes?

According to the Rove and the Republicans, most economic woes, healthcare costs, business costs, etc., are due to either taxation or litigation. They rarely acknowledge either the usefulness of litigation, or address the overuse of litigation by both themselves when convenient, or the corporate community as a regular way of doing business and intimidating competitors.

The truth is that health care is skyrocketing as much from litigation as it is from prescription drug gouging. And this year, the Republic party gave a huge boon to the pharmaceutical companies by disallowing negotiation of drug prices by Medicare.

The true focus on “litigation” and “trial lawyers” is an attempt to reduce the financial base of the Democratic party. The Democratic party receives a huge amount of donations from trial lawyers; the huge base of donations the Republic party gets from corporations (who are the ones that trial lawyers sue for negligence most of the time) is offset by a huge base of donations to the Democratic party from trial lawyers. Rove and gang know that by limiting litigation winnings, they can limit the donations to the DNC.

Don’t fall for it. Just remember “Erin Brockovich.” These are the lawsuits the Republic party is trying to limit. Nice, eh?

Just about everything Rove implies about Social Security is misrepresentative. Of course, would you expect any less?

(Being a divider, not a uniter)
To hear Rove or any Republic operative tell it, this is entirely the fault of the Dems. Rove was, as usual, blaming the Democrats, this time with an anecdote apparently about Tom Daschle, implying that the President was trying to make unity but Daschle was two faced.

MR. ROVE: Well, it's part of the process. Look, I'll tell you. It's been an interesting experience for those of us who came up from Texas. I remember well after 9/11 sitting with the president and a leader of the Democratic Party talking about the economic stimulus package. The president said, "Look, our economy's been hit hard on 9/11. We need to do something to jump start our economy. You know, my advisors at the Council of Economic Advisors tell me the number one thing we can do to jump start the economy is A." And this Democrat leader said, "Well, Mr. President, I can't get the votes for A, but I can get the votes for B." And the president said--listened to him and several days later laid out his package and included as one of the principle elements of it B. And that Democrat leader immediately went out and criticized it. And, you know, I was angry at the time. I remember the president saying, "Look, that's the way the town works. Let it go."

Democrats—and others—need to fight this misinformation tooth and nail, and come out loudly with the truth in ways that are just as concise and catchy. We need to call the liars to the carpet in public. Over and over and over.


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