There used to be a time when history was “written by the victors.” After reading Karl Rove’s revisionist op-ed in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal, it’s clear those days are gone. For now history is re-written by delusional, self-serving dickbags whose sole goal is profiting off the short memories of ignoramuses.
The former Dubya administration mastermind has every right to take to the friendly pages of the WSJ and criticize President Barack Obama, who essentially won an electoral landslide in 2008 because of his predecessor’s utter incompetence domestically and abroad. He has every right to think Obama the worst president in American history. He has every right to disagree with his center-left policies. But to bend the arc of truth in such an egregious, intellectually dishonest manner like Rove did here is indicative of all that is not only wrong with political ‘strategerie’ but the media-politico complex as a whole.
The president’s made himself a re-election movie. It’s narrated by Tom Hanks and directed by Academy Award-winner Davis Guggenheim. It highlights Obama’s successes, like staving off another Great Depression, saving the American auto industry, ending the Iraq War as promised and killing Osama bin Laden. It’s over the top, sure, but it’s a partisan endeavor — what would you expect?
And even though Rove is no stranger to political propaganda (‘Mission Accomplished’ flight suit that made Bush’s package look huge, anyone?), he’s apoplectic about this last point in today’s screed:
Karl Rove, you miserable little turd. Let’s break this down, shall we?
1. Surely Rove must catch the irony of his “so easy a caveman can do it” point. If “Obama did what virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation,” why didn’t Rove’s horse make the same decision when presented with his own opportunity? BECAUSE HE NEVER HAD THE FUCKING CHANCE. Because after starting a half-hearted war with the real enemy of 9/11, Rove had Bush take the fight to Iraq in order to get back at the guy who did his daddy wrong.
2. To use Rove’s own analogy, those barren cupboards mustn’t be so empty, either. They must be full of factory-sealed pickle jars. For after President Obama succeeded where Bush failed, Rove’s mangled face was all over friendly FOX News talking about how Bush’s policies resulted in the killing of the world’s most wanted terrorist. Hey, y’all, we loosened the jar for him! Really!
3. Perhaps most absurdly, and most dishonestly, Rove tortures Clinton’s quote to serve his own silly premise. Clinton didn’t say he would’ve done the same thing. At all. Know what he said? Here: “He took the harder and the more honorable path. When I saw what had happened, I thought to myself, `I hope that’s the call I would have made.’” He HOPES that’s the call he would have made.
4. Clinton had the chance to nail bin Laden in 1998 after the USS Cole bombings, and he missed by a few hours. Bush had eight years to track down bin Laden and couldn’t even come close. Obama’s intelligence team found him. Obama made a 50/50 call. Obama’s military killed him. Obama gets to gloat. Does he get too much credit? Maybe. But that’s the office of the presidency. He gets to gloat.
These are facts. This is not a partisan issue. You don’t like Obama? Good for you. Vote for the other guy. But while Karl Rove has the freedom to drop a steaming pile of dog shit on the pages of a formerly respectable news outlet, he should also be kicked in the balls by an Obama impersonator wearing steel-toed boots in a public square for doing so. (Nominations, please? Single file in the comments.)
Our country is polarized because of people like Rove. Our political system is toxic because of people like Rove. Our media is laughably off-course because of WSJ op-eds like this. And while I’m more bewildered than angry by this op-ed, sometimes you need to stand up and say, “Get the fuck off the stage, hack.”
HV editor-in-chief Slade Sohmer is tired of this shit. Are you? Tweet him @hypervocal.
UPDATE: Some time shortly after 5 pm, WSJ editors, apparently remembering they need to, ya know, edit, quietly tucked Clinton’s “I hope” into Rove’s op-ed: “An earlier version of this column included an incomplete quote from Bill Clinton in the last paragraph.” But now, with the “I hope” in there, Rove’s final graf doesn’t really make any sense. Bwahahaha.
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