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Karl Rove - brilliant?

  

 I have always wondered about the fascination with Karl Rove by the mainstream media.  I mean, if he's so brilliant and crafty and clever, why are Bush's poll ratings hovering at 30% and why did Republicans lose both houses of Congress in 2006?  Why did Bush mismanage the war in Iraq as badly as he did?  Why is Bush so tone deaf when it comes to immigration?  Why didn't Bush pass social security reform at the beginning of his second term when he had maximum political capital?  Why did Bush spend and spend and spend and offend his base of fiscal conservatives and ruin the Republican brand name for fiscal responsibility?  Why did he did he add a new unfunded entitlement, the largest expansion of the federal govt since great society?  Why did he not address the drastic underfunding of the military during Clinton's term when we are at war?  And so on.

By Republican and especially conservative lights, Bush's presidency has been not just a major disappointment but a defeat of fundamental conservative principles.  He has spent like a drunken democrat, was ready to split his party and the country by giving amnesty to some 20 million illegals, bonding with his favorite Senator (the senior senator from Massachussets) as he did in No Child Left Behind.  He added the medicare prescription bill, unfunded, the largest expansion of govt since great society, even as medicare and medicaid already threaten to eat the federal budget.  He failed to address the Clinton era underfunding of the military despite being at war.  Bungled New Orleans and Katrina and then made matters worse by putting the US taxpayer on the hook whenever a natural disaster occurs for all sorts of expenditures never before the province of the federal govt - I mean, yes, save lives and provide immediate food, shelter, and relief, but do we now also have to buy new homes and trailers for unfortunate individuals by the thousands and rebuild entire cities?  How the hell can the US taxpayer afford that?  Did the US taxpayer build New Orleans to begin with, when it was forest and swamp land? 

But by Bush lights, everything is the province of the federal govt.  And, so too, i guess, is Rove's.  Ok, Ok, we got fairly meager tax cuts early on, hardly Reaganeque in vision, and two supreme court judges, the latter of which came only after a great hue and cry over his original pick, Ms. Myers.  But other then these few points of light, his reign has truly been, to put a gloss on it, dismal, by conservative lights.  Perhaps, we should have seen the writing on the wall when early on he announced himself a "compassionate" conservative, which, properly translated, can mean only one thing: big government.   

I have never understood the hatred of Bush by Dems and Libs.  Basically, he's one of them, a big gov lib, only with a ranch and a swagger.  And so too i guess is Rove (does he have a ranch?).

But the media always marvel at the sinister, mysterious power of Rove, as if a modern day Rasputin, pulling strings, undoing the poor befuddled lib's dreams and schemes, always outsmarting and outmanuevering them, one step ahead, a sneaky little guy they could never pin down.  And yet, what has he done?  alright he gave us two paper thin presidential wins, the first in which Bush lost the popular vote and needed the Sup Court to finalize, both decided by single states, hardly Reagan like landslides or even Nixonian mandates or even a victory in the manner of his Daddy in '88.  Nothing to base a future on.  Nothing to hang our hats on.  Nothing pointing the way to a Republican/Conservative future.  All very precarious to say the least. 

I mean, we really do have a conservative majority in this country.  Most Americans are religious and conservative.  They are ready to go conservative if they have a competent, inspiring, activist leader with a functioning conservative ideology and approach to governance.  But in Bush-Rove, they did not.  What they had were liberals in conservative clothing.    And in the process, Bush lost Congress and totally confused his base as to what it means to be a Republican.  By Bush-Rove lights, Republican governance means basically that you govern like a Democrat only worse.  You spend money you don't have, create new programs, and overfund the rest, meanwhile failing to address the Clintonian underfunding of the military the previous eight years.  And what a lost opportunity it was, what with the White House and both houses of Congress in Republican hands.  What a lost opportunity to demonstrate the competence, fiscal responsibility, and maturity of conservative governance.  But minus a conservative governing ideology, the tendency is to veer left, and Bush-Rove have exemplified that principle perfectly. 

The real damage comes in that it will be years before Republicans can lay claim to being the party of fiscal discipline and responsibility, the party of limited government, the party of balanced budgets or, better yet, budget surpluses.  These were all part of the Republican name brand so to speak, that have been utterly squandered by Bush-Rove and their Republican buddies in Congress.  The problem basically is that Bush-Rove are big government liberals, nothing more, nothing less.  And the frustration has been in catching up with that reality.

In a word, Bush's departure from the scene will not be soon enough.  He and his consigliori have been a fiasco for Republicans and especially conservatives.  I believe it will be up to Guliani to clean up the mess Bush has made.  in 08.

The big question i have often wondered about is how Cheney and Powell missed the coming debacles in the Iraq War?  I mean these two knew what they were doing, were respectable heavy weights, particularly Cheney who is a proven conservative/tough on defense kind of guy.  Powell does tend to go lib. 

These two, after all, managed Bush senior's first gulf war and took care of that in four days.  The world was in awe.  We had incredible standing and prestige after that.  We knocked the whole Vietnam syndrome with one shot.  Now, thanks to Bush II, we've got Vietnam back all over again.  At a time when we should be preparing for possible war with Iran and even Syria, or at least the threat of one, backed up of course by a Reaganesque military buildup, no one is even talking about it because Bush has so weakened us by his pathetic performance in Iraq that everyone's afraid to even bring it up - even as the Jihadists running Iran develop nuclear weapons.  

But i still wonder what happened to the Cheney-Powell combo, the Powell doctrine of "overwhelming force" that worked so well in the first gulf war?  Where were these guys when Bush-Rumsfield decided that we could do the far more difficult job of taking out Iraq and then occupying and rebuilding it, with a gendarmerie of some 125 thousand troops in comparison with the half million troops we had to execute the far simpler military task of liberating Kuwait?  AWOL, I guess. 

Anyway, their failure, and the failure of Bush-Rove, has brought us the disaster that became Iraq, a noble enterprise, entirely worthy and workable, provided it was planned and executed properly and adequate resources were committed to properly consummate - none of which was done.  Yes, i believe it is salvageable, i believe the surge is working, but typical Bush, not near enough troops.  Still, Iraq cannot be allowed to fall. 

Basically, he should have called Daddy, the old WWII vet would have known what to do.  Junior did not.  The towel snapping frat boy did not fill his father's shoes even though Dad (Bush senior) didn't have the "vision thing."  When it came to putting men in harm's way, when it came to war, he knew how to get the job done, done well, and fast.

One other point on Bush-Rove.  I believe that our standing in the world is quite low but i don't believe the world really hates the US as much as we are led to belive by the MSM (mainstream media), Dems, Libs.  In fact, the world is waiting for someone else to take over so they can love us again.  Even Europe.  Oh, i know there is alot of anti-Americanism out there, alot of irrational, paranoid, delusional hatred of the US, but I do not believe it is the majority and that overall there is a large reservoir of proAmericanism out there too. 

As evidence, i offer the following. 

Just for a second, forget the polls you always hear about in which the US is rated second only to its little brother Israel as the most hated nation in the world, worse than Commie China, North Korea, Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Zimbabwe, etc.  And instead, take a look at the only polls that really matter - also known as elections. 

Blair, the alleged Bush poodle, won in the UK. Brown, his successor, will more or less, hew to Blair's foriegn policy line. Merkel, pro US, conservative, won in Germany, over the anti US socialist, Schroeder.  John Howard, pro US, conservative, pro Iraq, wins handily in Australia.  Steven Harper, pro US, conservative, won in Canada taking over from former lib, anti Iraq, anti US guy.  Koziumi and then Abe, both big US allies win big in Japan.  Most amazing of all, with Sarkozy's astonishing victory, we now have an ally in France.  This is truly remarkable and totally underplayed by the MSM, even unreported - for obvious reasons.  He won a convincing victory, openly campaigning as a friend of the US.  A real accomplishment for the US - especially coming after Mr. anti US nuisance with zero influence, Chirac. 

This story, by the way, didn't make a peep in the MSM, downplayed to the max, why?  Didn't fit their narrative of a world that hated the US.  When Sarkozy took over France, it was a major defeat for Dems, Libs, and the MSM here in the US.  A real shocker.  Screwed up their whole deal.  Good.  And you never heard a word about it. 

Yes, we lost Italy when Berlusconi went down, but by very little, and his replacement Prodi is having trouble and will probably not survive.  Berlusconi may come back, and yes the war in Iraq is very unpopular in Italy and so it is amazing that it was as close as it was.  The overall pattern of the real polls, the only polls that actually matter, the elections, is that pro US seems to be OK with voters in important allied nations around the world.  I believe the world is waiting for Bush to leave office before showering us with pent up love and affection - as well they should. 

I would describe the Bush-Rove reign as a misadventure, a profound disappointment, salvaged only by the fundamental greatness of our nation. 

See my articles from July 07, Jan 07, and two from Nov 06 in my article archives for more on the unfortunate missteps of Mr. Bush. 

   

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