Thursday, November 11, 2004

Karl Rove spoke to reporters on Tuesday. According to the Houston Chronicle, he's promising us that the 2008 presidential contest won't be a Rove campaign. On the other hand, Bush's next four years will be a Rove campaign:

Rove said that he expected to remain in the White House for the second term as a senior adviser. But he said presidential candidates seeking expertise in 2008 will have to look elsewhere.

"It will be left to somebody else who has a little bit more energy and interest than me," he said. "This will be the last presidential campaign I will ever do."

That could just be a tired man talking, but we should be happy if Rove isn't running the '08 GOP campaign -- he's good at what he does, and if he engages in illegal or immoral conduct in the course of his work it's clear that the press has decided it's impossible to catch him at it.

But he'll be around for four more years, unfortunately, and while ordinary Americans (Bush supporters and opponents alike) are hoping the White House will focus on prosperity and security and similar matters, he'll be focused (and I'm afraid he'll continue to focus the White House) on his long-term goal: making this an era of Republican dominance -- a purely political goal.

It's a scary combination: the top presidential adviser seems to see world-historical events merely as opportunities to advance the cause of his party, while his president can't seem to imagine the human consequences of those events, and apparently regards them merely as opportunities to strut around, rallying the faithful and showing his parents that he never really was the underachieving brother.

The US assault on Fallujah is a prime example of what [Emmanuel] Todd calls "theatrical micromilitarism." ... What's unfolding is not a decisive moment but a ghastly production that trains hellfire on a symbolic target and "plays well" to American citizens as a flex of muscle.... Civilian casualties, the destruction of homes and livelihoods, the absence of any significant capture of insurgent ringleaders, these are secondary to getting good action footage over which benedictions can be said.

--James Wolcott

There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus. What you've got is everything--and I mean everything--being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis.

--former Bush adviser John DiIulio to journalist Ron Suskind

(Chronicle link via Democratic Underground.)

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