Thursday, July 21, 2005

Rove - tacky beyond the pale

The Atlantic Monthly has published a highly descriptive article describing Karl Rove and what HIS background is for the job running the Bush smear campaign. Please feel free to share it far and wide.

The Chronology:
--Karl Rove was born December 25, 1950, in Denver, Colorado. One of five children; raised in Colorado and Utah.
--In high school in Utah, was known for being argumentative with teachers and students, for using "vulgar and suggestive language" with female peers, and was accused of stealing money from other students' lockers on more than one occasion. Often ran for school office; his pattern was to quietly slander his opponents with allegations of sexual deviancy, and then deny that he had done so. Interestingly, at some point a report on Rove was purportedly generated by a school district psychiatrist; if true, this would indicate that his behavior was such that it had risen to the level of being noticed by those in authority.
--On Rove's 19th birthday, Christmas 1969, his father abandoned the family. Rove later found out from family that this man was not in fact his biological father.
--By 1970, Rove was a protégé of Donald Segretti, a Republican operative working for Nixon who was later convicted and sent to prison for involvement in Watergate.
--Also in 1970, Rove took boxes of campaign letterhead and envelopes from the Chicago headquarters of Alan Dixon (Illinois Democrat, running for state treasurer), forged invitations to "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing" at Dixon's headquarters, and then distributed them throughout the community. Depending on which version of this event you read, he distributed the invitations throughout Chicago's red-light district and to local soup kitchens, to homeless shelters, and/or to rock concerts.
--Avoided the Vietnam draft through a college deferment, though an ardent Nixon and Vietnam war supporter.
--By early 1970's, was attending the University of Utah. Alleged to have circulated forged newspaper articles reporting the criminal arrests for sexual deviancy of various campus liberals. With classmate Lee Atwater, began to consolidate power in the university's College Republicans club. (It would be Lee Atwater who, years later, would put together the racist "Willie Horton" ad for Bush Sr. in the 1988 presidential campaign against Dukakis. It was purportedly Rove who introduced Atwater to Bush Sr.)
--In 1971, dropped out of the University of Utah. Later attended both the University of Texas at Austin and George Mason University, but has never received an undergraduate academic degree from any colleges attended. Rove is said to have taught at some point at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and in the Journalism Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Since he has no college degree, it is likely that those were guest spots, rather than actual teaching stints. His journalism credentials seem to consist of a stint as a member of the Board of International Broadcasting, responsible for oversight of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
--1971-2 Rove was the Executive Director of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC).
--In 1973, ran for the national chairmanship of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC). His campaign was marked by the usual slander and smear of opponents. In a new twist, Rove ultimately challenged the legitimacy of each and every delegate who voted for his opponent. He also helpfully devised an alternate slate of delegates that he claimed had more standing than the original delegates. The election eventually was decided in Rove's favor by the head of the Republican National Committee, who was then....George H. W. Bush (Bush Sr.). Rove held the office of National Chairman of the CRNC from 1973-4.
--August 10, 1973, the Washington Post publishes an article, based on tape recordings, detailing how Rove and another operative had been going around the country training new GOP operatives in dirty tricks.
--In 1977, Rove was sent to Texas, purportedly to run a PAC. However, it is thought that the real reason he was there was to take care of Bush Jr., who at that time was a serious binge drinker, often in and out of social and legal trouble as a result.
--In 1978, involved in George Jr.'s unsuccessful congressional bid.
--In 1980, Rove's biological mother committed suicide in Reno, Nevada.
--In 1980, Married Valerie Wainright (a wealthy Houston woman, member of the Bush social circle).
--In 1980, helped to run George H. W. Bush's (Sr.) unsuccessful primary campaign for president against Ronald Reagan.
--In 1981, founded his own direct mail political consulting firm, "Karl Rove & Co.," based in Austin, Texas.
--In 1986, divorced Ms. Wainright, and in that same year married his second wife, Darby (has one son by second wife).
--In 1986, John Weaver, a former colleague of Rove's and at that time the executive director of the Texas state Republican party, went into the political consulting business for himself; in the process he took one of Rove's own top employees away with him. Rove spread a rumor that Weaver had made a pass at a young man at a Republican party event. This was the beginning of the end for Weaver as a Republican operative, and eventually he left the party altogether. He is now a Democrat--though, interestingly, he ran John McCain's presidential campaign in 2000, and still works for Senator McCain into the present.
--In 1986, Rove ran Republican oilman Bill Clements' campaign for governor of Texas. On the night of a debate in which his candidate was expected to do poorly, Rove publicly announced that he had "discovered" that his own office was bugged, allegedly by the opponent's campaign--there is evidence to suggest that the device had been placed in Rove's office only hours before its "discovery."
--In 1992, Rove was involved as a direct mail consultant in the presidential reelection campaign of Bush Sr. The campaign manager for Texas, Rob Mosbacher, split up what had been Rove's contract alone in 1988, and gave the lion's share of the contract to another company this time around. Using Robert Novak as one conduit for exacting revenge, Rove proceeded to spread lies about Mosbacher's competence and standing within the Bush campaign. Rove was eventually fired for this behavior.
--1993-1994, Bush Jr. runs for Governor of Texas. Rove manages the campaign, and months prior to the election repeatedly floats the rumor that the incumbent, Ann Richards, is a lesbian. Bush Jr. wins.
--In 1994, at the behest of the Business Council of Alabama, Rove worked to get Republican judges elected to the Alabama state supreme court. Particularly notorious was the effort to defeat Democrat Ernest "Sonny" Hornsby. After a nasty, dirty campaign, complete with a fictionalized TV ad depicting Hornsby as personally soliciting support from a trial lawyer with a case currently pending in his own court, Hornsby beat Republican Perry O. Hooper by 304 votes. Rove then disputed the results, moved for a recount, continued to spread lies about election fraud by the Democrats during the months of wrangling over the recount, lawsuits ensued, and by October of the following year the case was decided in the Republican's favor by the US Supreme Court. (It is of note that in Bush v. Gore, the State of Alabama filed a friend of the court brief in support of Bush Jr.)
--Also in Alabama in 1994, Rove ran the first judicial campaign of Republican Harold See, who ran against Democrat Mark Kennedy. Rove floated charges that Kennedy had used a nonprofit children's foundation he was involved with to mask campaign finance improprieties, and started a whisper campaign that Kennedy was a pedophile, putting an ugly spin on his history of working with children--and using against him his own campaign commercials showing him holding hands with some of the children he was trying to help. Kennedy won by a bare margin, but once his first term was finished, he never ran for public office again.
--In 1996, Rove had flyers printed up that looked as if they had been put together by the Democratic incumbent's campaign, flyers that viciously attacked his own Republican candidate for the Alabama Supreme Court, Harold See. Then Rove had his campaign workers deliver these flyers throughout key neighborhoods in the middle of the night. The Democratic incumbent, Kenneth Ingram, was unable to counter the sympathetic backlash, and lost.
--In 1999, Rove sells his consulting firm. However, in December 2000 he fails to mention on a required campaign disclosure form that he is still the firm's president.
--In 2000, Wayne Slater (one author of Bush's Brain) writes an article for the Dallas Morning News describing Rove's history of dirty tricks since the `70's. In a public venue during the presidential campaign, Rove shouts at him, "You're trying to ruin me!"
--In the run-up to the 2000 presidential election....and on into 2001(!), Rove manages Bush Jr.'s ultimately successful campaign for POTUS. When McCain looked to be ahead during the Republican primaries in 2000, Rove allegedly hired a telemarketer to call voters across South Carolina, asking them whether they would vote for John McCain if they knew he had had an illegitimate child with a black woman. Other versions of this story say that the rumor was disseminated through e-mail. Apparently an actual photograph of John McCain with his adopted Bangladeshi daughter was used to fuel this slander. Rove also floated rumors throughout the primaries that McCain had betrayed the US under interrogation as a POW in Vietnam, and that his experiences in Vietnam had left him mentally unfit for office.
--It is Rove who sends a busload of Republican operatives from Washington DC to storm the barricades in Florida, staging the "angry mob of disenfranchised voters" at government offices during the 2000 Florida count/recount fiasco.
--In early 2001, George Bush is sworn in as 43rd POTUS, courtesy of SCOTUS, and Rove becomes Senior Advisor to the President. Depending on the source, Rove was also referred to as "Special Advisor to the President," but essentially it appears that he was in charge of the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Public Liaison, and the Office of Strategic Initiatives, all of these operations located within the White House.
--In March, 2001, Rove was instrumental in arranging a merger between an Intel company supplier and another Dutch company; he himself owned $100,000 in Intel company stock at the same time.
--In June, 2001, Rove met with drug industry lobbyists; he himself owned $250,000 in drug industry stock at the time.
--On June 30, 2001, Rove divested his stock in 23 companies, stock which included more than $100,000 in each of the following: Enron, Boeing, General Electric, and Pfizer. It is estimated that Rove held between $100,000 and $250,000 in Enron stock at the time Bush was sworn into office, and continued to hold that stock while participating in energy policy meetings. Prior to Bush Jr. declaring his candidacy for the 2000 election, it was Rove who recommended Ralph Reed (of Christian Coalition fame) to Enron for a consulting gig.
--In August, 2002, Karl Rove was included as a member of the newly organized "White House Iraq Group;" along with Karen Hughes, Rove was a key player in the selling of the invasion of Iraq to the media during the run-up to the official war itself.
--In the mid-term elections of 2002, incumbent senator and Vietnam War veteran Max Cleland (D-Ga) was portrayed in Republican Saxby Chambliss' opposing TV ads as being in cahoots with Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. This was payback by Rove and the Bush White House for Cleland's vocal opposition to the president's version of a homeland security bill.
-After the reelection of Bush Jr. in November, 2004, Rove is named Deputy White House Chief of Staff (he is referred to by some sources as the "Deputy Chief of Staff in Charge of Policy"), and is now responsible for coordinating policy between the White House Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council.
To Summarize, Rove's MO Is Highly Predictable:
--Control your candidate's access to all major donors, thus keeping them firmly in your pocket and in your debt.
--Go negative against your opponent whenever possible, from beginning to end of the campaign, and then really pour it on in the last couple of weeks before the election. Even if not actively in the midst of a campaign, go negative whenever you need to create a distraction from what's really going on.
--Concoct a set of lies about your opponent, of a sexual nature if possible, and then spread those lies by word of mouth through unattributed rumor and innuendo. Enlist others to do your dirty work for you while conducting such whisper campaigns (for example, gullible young conservatives). Be sure to manufacture phony documents, pamphlets, or other written materials to provide evidence, if needed, that appears to back up the lies. Don't ever hesitate to run TV ads that depict fictitious scenarios purportedly involving your opponent, even though they never actually happened.
--Be sure to attack the opponent on whatever seems to be his/her strongest points in terms of his/her public service record, character, and personal life.
--Thwart any possible civil discussion of the issues by deployment of Rove's version of "the stonewall"--respond to any and all communication from others by repeating the same 2 or 3 talking points on what you yourself want to talk about over, and over, and over....and over. Don't worry about whether your talking points actually have anything to do with the topic under discussion.
--While demonizing the opponent, be sure to stir up as much populist resentment as possible amongst the voters, playing on whatever controversies, hates, and fears are local, and specific to the targeted demographic. And "trim" your "media buys" so as to pander to all that emotion, and also to help keep those voters who might vote against you relatively unaware of how really sketchy you are (e.g. don't advertise in Alabama during the Oprah Winfrey show).
--Bug your own campaign headquarters and blame it on the other guy, preferably when there's a debate scheduled that your candidate may do poorly in, so as to distract to maximum effectiveness.
--Print up hate mail about your own candidate, deliver it under cover of darkness to your neighborhoods of choice, and then say the other guy did it.
--If your side loses, cry foul, demand a recount, drag the recount out for as many weeks or months as it takes, and while all that is going on remember to spread lots of lies about all the ways the election was rigged by the other side.
--When reporters print things you don't like, call the offending reporter personally and scream loudly at them.
And the Diagnosis Is....:
Now, note the following, as posted in a comment by TrueBlueMajority on 6/24/05, and further excerpted here, describing the characteristics of a sociopath (from the January/February 2005 issue of Psychology Today):
no intervening sense of obligation based in emotional attachments to others
* lying, in increasingly elegant easily as breathing
* by far his most impressive talent is his ability to conceal from nearly everyone to true emptiness of his heart, and to command the passive silence of those who do know
* can bend others to his will, ... can cause otherwise sophisticated people to jump and then laugh at them behind their backs
* infamous for their refusal to acknowledge responsibility for the decisions they make or for the outcomes of their decisions.
* a refusal to see the results of one's bad behavior as having anything to do with oneself is a cornerstone of the antisocial personality diagnosis.
Remind you of anyone? So, in dealing with Rove and his ilk, and in reacting (or not) to Rove and his ilk, consider the following. Always remember that sociopaths don't understand the abstract concepts underlying their assertion of particular ethics and values, nor do they experience the various feelings they give lip service to. They can use the words, moving those words around in a superficial, gamesman-like way, like pieces on a chessboard, but they don't really "get it," and they never will, so discussing their transgressions with them directly will get you nowhere. There will be no reaching of mutual understanding, regardless of years of earnest discussion and entreaties by well-meaning and concerned acquaintances, because the sociopath is blind to the moral and ethical context of the discussion. Therefore, so as not to get confused, always follow the sociopath's actions, not their words. Sociopaths are all about achieving self-serving goals and objectives regardless of what they have to do to accomplish them-they are "ends" people, not "means" people. Further, if they happen also to be incompetent in one way or another, they are similarly blind to where and how they fail--by definition, if you're incompetent at something, you don't understand it well enough to do it well, or to know when you're failing at it.
An "evil genius" Rove is not--by definition, such an individual would know when to hang fire, and when not to overreach, and ummmm....that's not happening. Besides, since when is it "genius" to win through cheating? Real geniuses have no need to cheat. Karl Rove is a common thug, and always has been. Remember the advice grownups used to give you when you were nervous about confronting authority or speaking in public? Well, follow that advice--just imagine him naked, if you can stomach it (or...maybe not!). And always, always remember that what Rove primarily does is to deceive, in word and deed. Therefore, nothing is necessarily as it seems.
As William Shakespeare observed in "Much Ado About Nothing," slander is particularly ignoble, but admittedly can be potent nonetheless: "Done to death by slanderous tongues...the Hero lies." But stand strong-- don't let Karl Rove and his shenanigans throw a scare into the hero/heroine inside of you, or allow him to seed doubt about the heroes and heroines you most trust and admire--because he's not nearly so strong, special, or brave as you or they are. He may be the nowhere man who is everywhere, a sort of shapeshifter who's hard to pin down--but then, that would also describe a virus. And while a virus may be dangerous, that still doesn't make it a genius.
"Karl Rove in a Corner," by Joshua Green (November, 2004), The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 294, Issue 4
Bush's War for Reelection: Iraq, the White House, and the People (2004), by James Moore. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
"Karl Rove--Source Watch (http://www/
"Karl Rove" at (
"Karl Rove" at (
And, last but not least, "Voice of the White House Nov 1, 2004," posted by


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