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June 24, 2005

Rove roundup

Karl Rove, Bush's chief political adviser, said in a speech Wednesday that "liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." Conservatives, he told the New York state Conservative Party just a few miles north of Ground Zero, "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."

Rove said the Democratic Party made the mistake of calling for "moderation and restraint" after the terrorist attacks. [AP/Yahoo]

Shakespeare's Sister on Rove's remarks, and Rove's reasons.

Charles on Rove, Hardball, and Downing Street.

Steve Gilliard outlines a 3-step Rove-Action-Plan: Call Forrester, call Bloomberg, call Pataki.

Digby expands on a post by Glenn Smith at BOP.

Peter Daou writes:

I'm devoting much of today's report to Karl Rove's vile comments denigrating half of the American public. My office overlooks Ground Zero, and I'm looking at the gaping footprint as I write this. My wife and I were in New York that day, on our way to the WTC for a morning meeting. A chance phone call dragged on a few minutes too long and most likely saved our lives. I lost friends in the towers, and when I walk past the site, as I do almost every evening, the pain is as real as it was on September 11th, 2001.

I spent my youth in Beirut during the height of Lebanon's civil war, and I fought the Syrian presence in Lebanon long before the "Cedar Revolution." I watched young boys give their lives and mothers cradle their dying children in blood-soaked arms. I've seen more bloodshed, war, and violence, and shot more guns than most of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists combined. I wouldn't presume to question the strength or dignity of a stranger, and I pity those who blithely push the right=strong, left=weak rhetoric. It says far more about their inadequacies than it does about the target of their scorn. Today, Karl Rove took that rhetoric to a new, filthy low. [An expanded version of Daou's post is available here.]


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» Dems Say Rove Should Apologize or Resign from Political News and Blog Aggregator
White House adviser Karl Rove should either apologize or resign for saying liberals responded to the [Read More]

» On the Turd Blossom thing from Pandagon
I don't have much to say. Rove isn't a genius, but I'm sure that Bush worships him far more than Jesus Christ or someone like that. But he has a knack for coming up with political attacks that are hard... [Read More]

» UPDATE: On the Turd Blossom thing from Pandagon
I don't have much to say. Rove isn't a genius, but I'm sure that Bush worships him far more than Jesus Christ or someone like that. But he has a knack for coming up with political attacks that are hard... [Read More]

» That makes two decent Republicans... any more? from Hillary Now
Many Republicans are showing that they'll be dicks as long as they can get away with it. It won't be much longer, but the last three days have been pretty wretched for the half of us Rove insulted to cover up just how much his boss has failed. From t... [Read More]


I've always found it telling that the people I know who were directly affected by the attacks on the towers -- people who witnessed it, lost friends, or saw the aftermath first-hand, either because they live in New York or because they helped with the clean-up of ground zero -- by and large don't support Bush, his policies, or the war in Iraq.

I don't know how telling it is, since most of those people were in New York or D.C., two overwhelmingly Democratic areas.

EDIT: I missed the "I know" part of your comment, Janet. Sorry about that. I of course have no idea where the people you know who were affected live.

It is sad that we have to respond to such comments at all.

I live in California (also a Democratic bastion, despite the Governator), but most of the people I know who were affected do live in New York, since I have friends there. I also have a friend here in California who's a firefighter and who went to help with clean-up just a couple of weeks after the attacks.

It's true that New Yorkers are overwhelmingly Democratic, but I still think it's telling that despite the overwhelming and wrenching nature of the event, they didn't buy the rhetoric of the "war on terror." On the flip side, I've always found it sort of unseemly when people who never cared about New York before 9/11 seem to act as though they were uniquely affected by it and use it (like Rove) as a political motivation/excuse.

The responses to which you link are utterly counterproductive. All of them have the sound of the lady who doth protest too much. The way to respond when subject to this kind of attack is not to squeal like a stuck pig. A cool-headed counterattack is far more likely to succeed than a hissy-fit that shows that Rove has succeeded in provoking us.

David, exactly right. Rove's only skills are in getting incompetents into elected office, anyone who pays attention to him deserves to get jerked around.

Can anyone tell me what the appropriate response should have been for a liberal Florida man, whose liberal sons signed up and went to fight in Afghanistan, only to have them sent to Iraq... where they both were killed would be to Karl Rove?

Here is a link for the Randi Rhodes show where KC was a caller, you'll find it under the clip section tag:

If you can tell me, after listening to that father, who had to bury his two sons, what is the appropriate response to Rove... I'd really like to hear.

This says nothing about the other "liberal" families who have sons and daughters in harms way in Iraq right now.

I just want to say that if liberals want the troops to die, isn't it nice of republicans to oblidge?

The conservatives are nostalgic for the pre-1989 days when they could accuse the Democrats of being sympathetic to Communism, a charge that resonated with wide parts of the public. The conservatives wish that they could, again, get the public to believe that the Democrats are sympathetic to the enemy. But there is no Islamic version of Eugene Debbs saying "Join the Democratic party" so the charge doesn't really stick.

While I appreciate David Velleman and Michael Farris's view, I have to say I quite disagree. Digby at Hullabaloo has argued frequently that one of the things that make Dems look 'weak' on defense is precisely their weakness in the face of Republican attacks; I think this applies here.

(I have links to Digby's arguments about Rove, as well as similar thoughts from Oliver Willis, Chris Bowers and others, at my (overlapping but not identical) Rove Roundup here:

Reading your post and a bunch of others, I have to link whore.

I think that both prescribed responses to Rove--address his attacks directly or ignore them--are traps to be avoided. We should respond in a hostile way that does not play into the whiny "demand an apology" trap. I suggested burning him in effigy by the WTC and I'm serious.

I like it Amanda. If you're really serious... well, there are people in New York who might be willing.

Yeah, roughly 6 million New Yorkers...

Rove will never set foot in our city again. Ever.

speaking of blogwhoring, if you guys haven't seen Tidmus' latest you have to check it out.

Karl Rove is smart. He knows what his base will hear from these comments. He wants people to think that criticism of the IRAQ war means they did not repsond strongly enough to 9-11.

Here is the way I hear his comments coming off:

"While the whimpy limp wristed vaguely french liberals were crying into their mothers dresses about the societal conditions that would cause arabs to hate us so much, we manly republicans were focusing our energy on the real problem: getting our saudi friends out of the country while all the other air traffic was stopped and going to war with guys who didn't attack us and we already had plans to go to war with anyway. While the pot and cock smoking democrat scum were worried about catching the attackers that were actually responsible, the testosterone crazed, big dicked republicans didn't reason first (like a female/liberal would) but just went in guns blazing, like Rambo woulda done. Who would you rather have protecting you from our eternal vague dark skinned 'other': republicans with their bombs and willingness to use them for fun, or liberal men in flower print dresses with shaved heads, entirely too much red lipstick, and dangly earings trying to ward them off with their matching purses."

I hate republicans. And I hate our country because this works so well.

"Digby at Hullabaloo has argued frequently that one of the things that make Dems look 'weak' on defense is precisely their weakness in the face of Republican attacks; I think this applies here."

How is not grabbing after an ugly chunk of bait "weak"?

The secret is recognizing that Rove's real attack isn't these comments, but a lot of cherry picked quotes the repubs have ready (and the whole purpose is to distract attention away from some other issues).

Anyway, the trick is to deflect the attack without looking like a 'wimp' and not give them a chance to counter argue.

Pointing out that reacting strongly in any way (for or against) is just allowing yourself to be manipulated is a good idea. If an attack must be made, then it must be made on areas where the W administration hasn't lived up to redstate ideals (never mind that they're not yours). And there's a lot there, sucking up to Saudi Arabia, allowing OBL to escape, the poorly run reconstruction in Iraq,

I don't think it's weak. I'm concerned that the general media perception might play it out that way. The basic argument is that the media attacks Republicans make translate into a broader sense of them as 'tough'. It doesn't make sense -- but it might be happening anyway.

Do you think that the Republicans suffered politically for attacking Durbin (unfairly), demanding an apology? It doesn't seem like it to me.

As for attacking the Republicans for "sucking up to Saudi Arabia, allowing OBL to escape, the poorly run reconstruction in Iraq" -- I'm all for it. But Kerry did try, and it didn't work. (Doesn't mean it won't ever; does mean it's not all that easy.)

Fighting lies and hate with reason and deference isn't enough, I think. We need to fight with reason and fury. Now, if you're just saying we need to choose our own ground -- I can get behind that. As long as we choose one, and press it.

Your readers might enjoy this picture ....

It takes a storng person to admit (s)he's wrong; a republican one to shove's his/her up its ass and announce it smells roses.

notice how I, a strong non-Republican, can easily admit that my previous comment is completely cocked up with bad grammar and typos (but I'm sure y'all got my point)

I don't think Rove is just going for his base. By saying obviously inflamatory remarks about Sept 11th, he is putting people, especially New Yorkers back in the 911 frame of mind. We are all supposed to get inflamed again by the attacks. Without them, this Admin has nothing. It was on the ropes just before 911 and it has been riding that wave for 4 years.

I can't tell you how much I hated having the Repugs here for their convention. And it was clear that the security here was to protect the Repugs and the Prez from New Yorkers and no one else.

These schmucks are only going to be defeated when 911 has worn off the public generally. I think a good answer is to re run the video of Bush sitting at that school for 7 minutes. "Conservatives saw the savagery of 911 and they sat there."

Maybe it is self defeating to try to lay anything on Bush directly. He is the essence of Teflon. Maybe the line is "New Yorkers saw the savagery of 911 and they hoped there would not be 20,000 dead bodies in the wreckage."

They are like the living dead, Rove and company.

Rove said worse than what is widely quoted. He went on to comment about Durbin's remarks:

"Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger," Rove said. "No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."

So your average American liberal is not just a wimp, he is out-and-out traitor whose only motive is to bring harm to American troops.

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