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The subtitle of this post: Karl Rove in the Temple of Political Gamesmanship.
If you read the news, Karl Rove is leaving the White House. The Coastal Times editorial pages(New York and Los Angeles) both decry "wedge issues" and the "politicization of 9/11," However, in politics, it does not matter if your side wins by 3% or 35%, whether it was thirty votes in a precinct or 300 -- a win is a win. Just ask the House Democrats.
The reason Karl Rove is not getting a James Carville send-off by the press is because of the (R) next to his boss' name. President Bush won re-election; He is not running anymore. Bill Clinton won re-election during the world's "silly season" (11/9/1989 - 9/10/2001) and Carville is praised. Tell me again of how there is no media bias.
One of my best friends here in Los Angeles is an actress, a Democrat and a Boston Red Sox fan(The last one is totally unforgivable). However, she has a idealist view of politics. I discuss "logrolling" as part and parcel of the political and policy game and she thinks it is wrong. A Congressman trading a vote for a bridge in New York so he can get a votes for a fort in Texas has been going on since Pericles. Also, a candidate can logroll a precinct to get votes in an upcoming election.
Both forms of logrolling (with a touch of patronage) were done by Tammany Hall in New York. I got my early political training from some of their alumni. The Democrats also had Dick Tuck in the 1950's and 60's. Politics is never without sin. To get something, you have to be able to offer something: Votes, Security, support.
Karl Rove made sure President Bush received votes in 2002 and 2004 because he offered security. If the Democrats were willing to make that trade for votes, they would have won in 2004. Karl Rove understood the art of gamesmanship, he offered victory for Republicans, if they were smart enough to support it. 2006 was not a repudiation of Iraq (Please find me the quote from a newspaper before November 2006, if you disagree), but a repudiation of power without humbleness by the Congressional Republicans.
Even in Venezuela, there is no Politics without sin -- proximity to the Dictator brings benefits. So much for the Revolution. If you want sinless politics and policy, live alone on an island. To get things done means getting dirty.