Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Politics without Sin

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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.


  1. In the name of fairness and balance, I say we put every last political consultant in prison. Rove and Carville can be cellmates and fight it out over who gets to pitch and who has to catch. Just the very nature of their jobs makes them unsavory and unethical characters to say the least, and most likely criminal in some way or the other. The last 6 years have left me with such little faith in our entire political system that I wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea to scrap the whole electoral system entirely and and replace it with a draft lottery. Every citizen could be called upon to do their civic duty and be part of the government for a year, and there are to be no more political parties. Coalitions and voting blocs would have to be forged anew based upon the actual issues at hand rather than whether or not they would be good for interests other than those of the people of the country. And for jobs that are appointed, people have to apply for them and go through a hiring process just like any other job and can be fired at any time if they screw up.

  2. From what I gather, and I'm not there so I probably can't comment as extensively as you all, it looks like Karl Rove is being criticized for being GWB's spin doctor? Like JSF, I'd say that this is pretty standard political practice. People are hired here in Australia for the purpose of 'marketing' a particular leader and none more than the candidate on the Left. He and his female offsider were bland and unattractive in the beginning so the spin doctors set about creating an image for them and they stick unswervingly in those boundaries. The man, Rudd follows it to a T. He's pretty unimaginative and compliant and it has worked for him. The woman has a lot of trouble controlling her driving ambition and keeps shooting herself in the butt by going outside the spin doctors' boundaries, so she's been hidden off in a locked cell until the election is over so she can't blow it any more.
    I'm not sure aobut our current PM. He gets into too much trouble with the media to have a particularly good spin doctor I think. Maybe they should be spending as much as the Left is on theirs.

  3. I believe that Karl Rove is being deservedly crucified by the press as being the architect of every last failed policy of Bush. He's also the guy who has brought campaigning to new lows by playing on the worst parts of the republican base, whether it's a whisper campaign that Ann Richards was a lesbian or push polling about John McCain's illegitimate black baby. Oh, but it's OK because everybody does it, right? WRONG! Not everybody does it. Rove is a vile man without a shred of ethics. But he got you people what you wanted so by all means defend his despicable ass.

  4. Jason, seems to me that the talk about Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter, GWB's wayward partying daughters and GWB's own wild youth made it all the way to the tabloids here. If you're going to point the finger at Rove, you'd better point all the others back at the Left. You people are masters of it.

  5. Jason, very few of the moderates here in Texas heed or listen to Rove. Rove is popular with the conservative ideologues.

    I recall the rumors concerning then Governor Richards orientation although, those rumors never received attention in the press here in the state because, they were unfounded and had not basis in fact.

    In truth a lawsuit was instituted for defamation of character, slander and libel. The suit resulted in an out of court settlement.

    Even the heavy weight Moderate Republicans like former Senators Gramm and Tower found the campaign of which you speak distasteful.

  6. Oh Aurora, just another one of your cheesy arguments. You're going to compare the gossip pages with a political campaign? I know you believe that every media outlet that isn't owned by Rupert Murdoch is run straight out of the Kremlin circa 1955 and all, but that's just another bad analogy. Your hate for the left clouds your brain.


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