Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More on Rove and the Bush administration

On August 13, Keith Olbermann interviewed James Moore, author of Bush's Brain and The Architect, two books about Karl Rove. When the transcript is available later today I will post excerpts, but until then check out the video of the interview, in which Moore describes Rove as pathological and summarizes the Bush/Rove SOP and what is sure to be the legacy of Rove and the Bush administration.

Immediately after Olbermann's show, Dan Abrams opened his show with a fairly blistering commentary on Rove. I will also post excerpts from that commentary when the transcript is available later today.

Now for excerpts which already exist. Kevin Drum noted two passages from Joshua Green's profile of Rove in the current issue of The Atlantic magazine. The actual article is accessible online only to subscribers, and although I have a subscription, I don't know if a link would work for non-subscribers. Anyhoo, here's a heartwarming story Dick Armey told Green:
"For all the years he was president," Armey told me, "Bill Clinton and I had a little thing we'd do where every time I went to the White House, I would take the little name tag they give you and pass it to the president, who, without saying a word, would sign and date it. Bill Clinton and I didn't like each other. He said I was his least-favorite member of Congress. But he knew that when I left his office, the first schoolkid I came across would be given that card, and some kid who had come to Washington with his mama would go home with the president's autograph. I think Clinton thought it was a nice thing to do for some kid, and he was happy to do it."

Armey said that when he went to his first meeting in the White House with President Bush, he explained the tradition with Clinton and asked the president if he would care to continue it. "Bush refused to sign the card. Rove, who was sitting across the table, said, 'It would probably wind up on eBay,'" Armey continued. "Do I give a damn? No. But can you imagine refusing a simple request like that with an insult? It's stupid. From the point of view of your own self-interest, it's stupid. I was from Texas, and I was the majority leader. If my expectations of civility and collegiality were disappointed, what do you think it was like for the rest of the congressmen they dealt with? The Bush White House was tone-deaf to the normal courtesies of the office."
What a couple of douchebags. And then there's this nugget concerning hurricane Katrina:
Hurricane Katrina clearly changed the public perception of Bush's presidency. Less examined is the role Rove played in the defining moment of the administration's response: when Air Force One flew over Louisiana and Bush gazed down from on high at the wreckage without ordering his plane down. Bush advisers Matthew Dowd and Dan Bartlett wanted the president on the ground immediately, one Bush official told me, but were overruled by Rove for reasons that are still unclear: "Karl did not want the plane to land in Louisiana." Rove's political acumen seemed to be deserting him altogether.
Beside the fact that that decision was monumentally stupid, why the hell did Bush--the supposed "Decider" and bold leader--need anyone to tell him that as President, he needed his ass on the ground to provide some tangible show of leadership and that he actually cared about the victims? Why did anyone need to tell him that making a personal appearance instead of simply flying over would possibly give people hope and trust? Then again, why on September 11, 2001, did The Decider just sit in an elementary school classroom for seven minutes after being told that America had been attacked? Why did he look like he had no idea what to do? Go to the last section of this post for a description of what Bush did in that classroom.

George W. Bush is no leader. He can't even make easy decisions on his own. Instead he has relied on reprobates like Karl Rove. They are both disgraceful.

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