In Defense of Karl Rove

 

STAFF PORTRAITS OF KARL ROVEKevin D. Williamson had a piece in National Review Online this weekend on the man both sides love to hate.

For the Left, Rove served for many years as the go-to bogeyman, the marquee name with which to conjure before Democrats discovered Charles and David Koch. “Karl Rove” was how the Left pronounced “Satan.”

What has been peculiar in the years since then is Rove’s transformation from left-wing hate totem to right-wing hate totem, an all-purpose villain whose name is used liberally by tea-party groups and conservative populists raising funds for races in which he has no involvement.

Read and discuss.

Williamson — and his frequent collaborator, Charlie Cooke — is among the best of the younger NR contributors and would be welcome on Ricochet any time.

Image Credit: “Karl Rove” by White House – http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/results/leadership/bio_383.html (direct link). Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

There are 91 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    James Of England:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    “…every time a Republican loses an election, the Torquemadas among us begin their ritual denunciation: “We’d have won if only our guy had been pure enough, conservative enough, true-believing enough.” And then Republicans get buckets of campaign advice from people who have never had a hand in so much as a school-board election.”

    Those people are were called voters.

    Do you mean “the average voter felt like McKenna would have become governor of Washington if he’d been more conservative” or “the people who stake out the position you outline are often American citizens”? If the latter, could you outline the position you believe you are refuting?

    I have no idea who McKenna is.  I am not taking about McKenna.  Neither is the sweeping claim to which I responded.  Go fish.

    • #61
  2. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Klaatu:gts, I do not know what advice Rove gave Bush on this matter.Do you?

    A good advisor gives his advice confidentially and publicly supports the decision regardless of its relationship to his advice.

    Well and good that the buck stops with the boss.  But you don’t see George Bush out there running a big PAC.

    “In Defense of Rove” equals “Blame Bush”?  Thin soup, that.

    • #62
  3. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    James Of England:

    wmartin: Please give me a source on an Iraqi nuclear program that inspectors never found (as well as aerial reconnaisance, the effect of sanctions, etc) I would like to know exactly how Saddam was getting ready to start up a Manhattan Project on a shoestring budget.

    The Iraq Survey Group would be a good place to start, although not for what you’re asking. I didn’t claim that Saddam would have been ready to start a Manhattan project on a shoestring budget. His budget would not have been shoestring, and achieving the dizzying heights of 1945 technology became cheaper as time moved on.

    wmartin: As far as freedom and prosperity, functioning democracy, etc…well, I’ll just accept that you and I are on different planets. The Iraqis are a bunch of primitive savages, and they were not worth one American life.

    Do you believe that, say, Ukraine is? I’m not sure how to calibrate your remarks. Obviously, it should go without saying that the ending of Saddam’s dominion is still more likely to saved American lives than cost them; you don’t need a very high chance of an Iraqi nuclear development before 4k stops being such a high number, just as the people who argue that we can’t afford to have troops in Iraq require some creativity to maintain that argument in light of the costs of withdrawing them.

    Agree with every word.

    • #63
  4. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Carey J.:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Personally, I always viewed WMDs as an issue for making the sale to the undecided — I knew that with the unsustainable triple of no-fly zones, maritime interdiction, and sanctions working in reverse, we needed to either kill Saddam or let him go. And I was not prepared to let him go.

    Hah!

    • #64
  5. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Saddam Hussein was himself a weapon of mass destruction (cited in Wikipedia):

    According to The New York Times, “he [Saddam] murdered as many as a million of his people, many with poison gas. He tortured, maimed and imprisoned countless more. His unprovoked invasion of Iran is estimated to have left another million people dead. His seizure of Kuwait threw the Middle East into crisis. More insidious, arguably, was the psychological damage he inflicted on his own land. Hussein created a nation of informants — friends on friends, circles within circles — making an entire population complicit in his rule”.[9] Other estimates as to the number of Iraqis killed by Saddam’s regime vary from roughly a quarter to half a million,[10][11] including 50,000 to 182,000 Kurds and 25,000 to 280,000 killed during the repression of the 1991 rebellion.[12][13] Estimates for the number of dead in the Iran-Iraq war range upwards from 300,000.[14]

    • #65
  6. Xennady Member
    Xennady
    @

    I remember years ago engaging with leftists about the Iraq War, with the assumption that there were no weapons of mass destruction found post invasion. None.

    More specifically, I recall the Plame accusations, which I recall as the claim that Bush lied when he said that the Hussein regime was attempting to obtain yellowcake uranium ore from Niger.

    Imagine my astonishment when a couple years later the Bush administration casually announced in a press release that they had just completed disposing of 35 tons of yellowcake found in Iraq.

    Whiskey tango foxtrot??

    Ya think they might have told a few people about all that uranium- say, like the United States electorate? Before the public voted with the assumption that the war was a failure?

    If Bush was so deluded that he believed the verdict of history would justify this strange unwillingness to tell the public what was found in Iraq when it would have mattered politically- well, that’s on him. History will of course take note of his poor judgement.

    But it seems to me the job of a political consultant such as Rove is to tell the boss unpleasant truths, while also taking pains to avoid becoming a political burden in their own right.

    Rove failed on both counts- or worse, agreed with Bush’s mistaken ideas about politics and history.

    Thumbs down on both.

    • #66
  7. calvincoolidg@gmail.com Inactive
    calvincoolidg@gmail.com
    @CalvinCoolidg

    James Of England: If the status quo changed, how would that make him less relevant? It sounds as if you’re saying he opposes people like Sharon Angle, for whom he was the chief fundraiser. The piece you link to suggests that you disagree with him about the WMD messaging, but does not seem to suggest that he was suppressing the message in order to crush opposition to his agenda. Do you believe that this was the case? Could you outline the mechanism? Do you accept that there are people who are not Democrats who are less objected to by Democrats?

    James you seem to forget what Roves position is in the Republican party. He’s the king maker. But he’s only the king maker if the king agrees with him. Sharon Angle was in a position to take out Harry Reid. That’s about as easy as it gets to anybody in the Republican party that is fighting to win back a section of the legislature that they helped to lose. You also fail to realize that you’re confusing one thing with another. Will Rove step in to maintain, regain or alter the control of the House, senate or the White House? The answer is yes. So what’s your point? That has nothing to do with the shape of the face that he prefers to hold the lead position in any one of those seats. further more your last question is incomprehensible.: ” Do you accept that there are people who are not Democrats who are less objected to by Democrats?” The answer, who cares? Have you taken a hard look at the Democrat Party these days and what they stand for? So are we to, in theory, attempt to raise up a candidate that appeals to Communists? That’s stupid James.

    • #67
  8. user_5186 Inactive
    user_5186
    @LarryKoler

    Tuck:

    “So who was responsible for the failure to respond?” he writes. “I was. I should have stepped forward, rung the warning bell and pressed for full-scale response. I didn’t. Preoccupied with the coming campaign and the pressure of the daily schedule in the West Wing, I did not see how damaging this assault was.”

    So he actually knew that they found WMD, and covered it up, and then went and wrote this? I suspect that he might be nuts… It’s hard to reconcile those two facts any other way.

    Thanks for that, Tuck. I thought that was the case.

    • #68
  9. Gödel's Ghost Inactive
    Gödel's Ghost
    @GreatGhostofGodel

    wmartin:Even if they had proclaimed the discovery of the chemical weapons from the rooftops, the public still would have turned against the Iraq War. These old weapons were nothing at all like what the Bush administration was claiming we would find.

    Conservatives, including me, were wrong about the Iraq war; the left was correct.

    I’ll point out that this claim is contingent: conservatives whose support of the Iraq war was based solely, or perhaps even primarily, upon the WMD claim were incorrect. But that’s a risk you take on any intelligence reporting. (Lesson: don’t take the late Tom Clancy as an expert on the success of the intelligence community.)

    Some of us who supported the Iraq war, though, did so based on a wider range of issues, e.g. the violated U.N. Security Council resolutions (what, 16 of them?), the expulsion of compliance inspectors, and the general concern of Hussein’s financial support of terror operations elsewhere in the Middle East. Some of us saw Bush’s effort as a more realistic one in a world where warfare shifted back from Great Powers signing Formal Declarations of War, to be delivered to the target with wax seals by Officially Designated Diplomats When All Else Had Failed, to something more closely resembling the era of the Barbary Coast. Some of us never believed Iraq had anything to do with 9/11 (and, in fact, were appalled by the fact that Bush didn’t bring Saudi Arabia, if anyone, to heel), but fully understood and expected the War on Terror to be the War on Terror, that would face off against terror everywhere, and would take decades—as Bush always said.

    Of course, some of us also rolled our eyes at that, because there never was a reason to believe Bush’s successors would take up the multi-decade mantle. In that, we’ve again been proven correct.

    By saying “the left was correct,” you buy into the false narrative they established—that actual in-Iraq WMDs where the only legitimate issue, and, indirectly, that only the U.N. can legitimize US foreign policy. Both are extraordinarily dangerous stances to take.

    • #69
  10. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Gödel’s Ghost “I’ll point out that this claim is contingent: conservatives whose support of the Iraq war was based solely, or perhaps even primarily, upon the WMD claim were incorrect.”

    I’m curious as to why you say this. (I agree with your assessment that there were other good reasons for this war, btw.)

    Bush said:

    “For more than a decade, the United States and other nations have pursued patient and honorable efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime without war. That regime pledged to reveal and destroy all its weapons of mass destruction as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

    “Since then, the world has engaged in 12 years of diplomacy. We have passed more than a dozen resolutions in the United Nations Security Council. We have sent hundreds of weapons inspectors to oversee the disarmament of Iraq. Our good faith has not been returned.

    “The Iraqi regime has used diplomacy as a ploy to gain time and advantage. It has uniformly defied Security Council resolutions demanding full disarmament. Over the years, U.N. weapon inspectors have been threatened by Iraqi officials, electronically bugged, and systematically deceived. Peaceful efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime have failed again and again — because we are not dealing with peaceful men.

    “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”

    The NYT (of all places) writes:

    “Five years after President George W. Bush sent troops into Iraq, these soldiers had entered an expansive but largely secret chapter of America’s long and bitter involvement in Iraq.

    “From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.

    “In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.”

    So Bush’s claim, that Hussein was not cooperating in our effort to find and remove his WMD, was correct.

    The lie that the left has perpetrated (from the NYT): “The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program”, was a phrase never uttered by Bush or by Colin Powell, who said:

    “As it did throughout the 1990s, we know that Iraq today is actively using its considerable intelligence capabilities to hide its illicit activities.”

    So why do you think it “incorrect” that we went to war over this issue?

    It seems to me Bush and Powell are vindicated.

    • #70
  11. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    OK, half my comment has disappeared, and there’s no edit button.  Guess the gnomes are screwing up the site again…

    The balance:

    “From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.”

    So Bush’s contention, that Hussein was not cooperating, and did not reveal all his stashes, was correct.

    The Left’s lie (from the NYT), that “The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program.” was not something that Bush or Powell ever claimed:

    “As it did throughout the 1990s, we know that Iraq today is actively using its considerable intelligence capabilities to hide its illicit activities.”

    Which seems to vindicate them.

    P.S. Powell said this, “We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction; he’s determined to make more.”

    Which is what everyone, including his people, assumed.

    • #71
  12. wmartin Member
    wmartin
    @

    Finding a bunch of old, rusted-out weapons from the 1980’s was definitely worth the deaths of more than 4,000 troops and the expenditure of more than 1 trillion in taxpayer money.

    Did Saddam even know where all these things were?

    All had been manufactured before 1991, participants said. Filthy, rusty or corroded, a large fraction of them could not be readily identified as chemical weapons at all. Some were empty, though many of them still contained potent mustard agent or residual sarin. Most could not have been used as designed, and when they ruptured dispersed the chemical agents over a limited area, according to those who collected the majority of them.

    • #72
  13. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Calvin Coolidg: James you seem to forget what Roves position is in the Republican party. He’s the king maker. But he’s only the king maker if the king agrees with him.

    I don’t understand what you mean here. Do you mean that Rove selects the winners of elections, but only when the candidate agrees with him? Could you give an example of what you mean? Rove’s position was that of a political consultant and campaign manager until he gave that up to run Crossroads and such. Now he provides political advertising. I don’t think that it’s true that the maintaining of the status quo is important to that, but since you say that he’s keen to expand conservative control, which would not be maintaining tthe status quo, it may be that I’m misunderstanding.

    Calvin Coolidg: Will Rove step in to maintain, regain or alter the control of the House, senate or the White House? The answer is yes. So what’s your point? That has nothing to do with the shape of the face that he prefers to hold the lead position in any one of those seats.

    If you’re suggesting that Rove helped Sharon Angle because he believed he would hold a lead position in Angle’s office, then I feel confident that you are entirely mistaken.

    Calvin Coolidg: further more your last question is incomprehensible.: ” Do you accept that there are people who are not Democrats who are less objected to by Democrats?” The answer, who cares? Have you taken a hard look at the Democrat Party these days and what they stand for? So are we to, in theory, attempt to raise up a candidate that appeals to Communists? That’s stupid James.

    I was responding to your claim that Democrats only loath Rove because he is not a Democrat. Does that clarify my question? I was not suggesting that we should try to appeal to commies.

    • #73
  14. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    wmartin:

    James Of England:Didn’t you support an amnesty supporting candidate in the 2012 primaries?

    I supported Newt Gingrich? As I recall, I was the 2nd most fervent Romney supporter on ricochet, after yourself. I was quite derisive and mocking toward Gingrich supporters, much more than I really should have been.

    I apologize for the error, and thank you for reminding me of some good times.

    • #74
  15. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    wmartin: Finding a bunch of old, rusted-out weapons from the 1980′s was definitely worth the deaths of more than 4,000 troops and the expenditure of more than 1 trillion in taxpayer money.

    In hindsight, that part of the investment was a poor one.

    Sadly, hindsight isn’t a guide to making decisions of the sort Bush had to back in 2003.

    • #75
  16. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    gts109:Are you kidding me, James of England? We have Rove himself in the NY Times (as quoted by Tuck above), plus a host of uncontradicted Republican sources (from the Eli Lake article) saying that burying the WMD thing was Rove’s call. You have no proof the other way, yet you’re insisting that this wasn’t Rove’s doing. WHATEVER.

    I should start by noting that “we don’t know where he was on this particular issue” is pretty different from “I insist that this wasn’t Rove’s doing”. One could say that it was the opposite.

    My reading of the Rove quote is that he is claiming that he was on the pro-disclosure side of the argument, but didn’t make much of an effort. That’s different from him leading efforts against disclosure, which you note others claimed he did. That’s why I said that we don’t know, since I see nothing other than some people’s word against others, with both sides of the debate being obviously self-serving.

    • #76
  17. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    wmartin: Did Saddam even know where all these things were?

    The real question, of course, is: if all he had was old munitions, why didn’t he come clean?  He’d still be in power if he’d done that.

    • #77
  18. Xennady Member
    Xennady
    @

    wmartin:Finding a bunch of old, rusted-out weapons from the 1980′s was definitely worth the deaths of more than 4,000 troops and the expenditure of more than 1 trillion in taxpayer money.

    Did Saddam even know where all these things were?

    An important reason for the war was to prevent the Hussein regime from using nukes against us later, when those WMD programs had been restored once the economic sanctions and inspections had ceased. Failing invasion and the destruction of the Hussein regime, that was inevitable.

    The left, which needed desperately to paint the war as a failure to undermine Bush, seized upon the apparent failure to find ICBMs targeting New York to lyingly claim the war was unjustified.

    But as I said above, enough evidence was found to justify the claim that Iraq had WMDs. It is astonishing to read that Bush and Rove desired that this news be suppressed, utterly astonishing.

    One of the minor consequences of their poor judgement is that we’re here today rehashing old arguments about the war and the justification thereof.

    It would have been nice, way back then, if Bush et al hadn’t hidden the evidence for what was found, instead of essentially conspiring with the left to lie to the American people.

    Inexcusable.

    • #78
  19. wmartin Member
    wmartin
    @

    Xennady:

    wmartin:Finding a bunch of old, rusted-out weapons from the 1980′s was definitely worth the deaths of more than 4,000 troops and the expenditure of more than 1 trillion in taxpayer money.

    Did Saddam even know where all these things were?

    An important reason for the war was to prevent the Hussein regime from using nukes against us later, when those WMD programs had been restored once the economic sanctions and inspections had ceased. Failing invasion and the destruction of the Hussein regime, that was inevitable.

    Iraq was not going to get nukes. Saddam had no way to make them and no money/resources to make them with.

    Incredibly fanciful reason to start a war in which thousands of our men were killed and our treasury exhausted to the tune of over 1 trillion dollars.

    • #79
  20. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    wmartin:

    Xennady:

    wmartin:Finding a bunch of old, rusted-out weapons from the 1980′s was definitely worth the deaths of more than 4,000 troops and the expenditure of more than 1 trillion in taxpayer money.

    Did Saddam even know where all these things were?

    An important reason for the war was to prevent the Hussein regime from using nukes against us later, when those WMD programs had been restored once the economic sanctions and inspections had ceased. Failing invasion and the destruction of the Hussein regime, that was inevitable.

    Iraq was not going to get nukes. Saddam had no way to make them and no money/resources to make them with.

    Incredibly fanciful reason to start a war in which thousands of our men were killed and our treasury exhausted to the tune of over 1 trillion dollars.

    He could have gotten them the same way Pakistan and North Korea did.  Both nations with considerably less access to resources than one sitting on one of the world’s largest reserves of oil.

    • #80
  21. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Klaatu: He could have gotten them the same way Pakistan and North Korea did.

    Or Syria.  Or, Iraq!  Given that he’d nearly gotten them once already.

    We can’t always rely on the Israelis to bail us out…

    • #81
  22. Xennady Member
    Xennady
    @

    wmartin:

    Xennady:

    wmartin:Finding a bunch of old, rusted-out weapons from the 1980′s was definitely worth the deaths of more than 4,000 troops and the expenditure of more than 1 trillion in taxpayer money.

    Did Saddam even know where all these things were?

    An important reason for the war was to prevent the Hussein regime from using nukes against us later, when those WMD programs had been restored once the economic sanctions and inspections had ceased. Failing invasion and the destruction of the Hussein regime, that was inevitable.

    Iraq was not going to get nukes. Saddam had no way to make them and no money/resources to make them with.

    Incredibly fanciful reason to start a war in which thousands of our men were killed and our treasury exhausted to the tune of over 1 trillion dollars.

    You’re wrong, and I’ll explain why in the morning. No time now, alas.

    • #82
  23. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Tuck:

    wmartin: Did Saddam even know where all these things were?

    The real question, of course, is: if all he had was old munitions, why didn’t he come clean? He’d still be in power if he’d done that.

    Not necessarily. One of the downsides of choosing to rule through atrocity induced  fear is that you have to continue to appear strong. Since Saddam was losing control over various parts of Iraq to Sunni Arab, Shia Arab, and Kurdish groups, there were multiple possible futures in which compliance would have been fatal.

    I think it likely that he’d have done better than Assad has, but it’s obviously not certain, and it seems unlikely that he’d be doing so with less bloodshed. Some of his ex-colleagues suggested that he viewed Iran as the primary threat until right before the invasion.

    There were few ways that Saddam could immortalize himself and ensure that he and his dynasty would regain the durable support of his people.  One of these, of course, is nuking Tel Aviv.

    • #83
  24. wmartin Member
    wmartin
    @

    Xennady:

    You’re wrong, and I’ll explain why in the morning. No time now, alas.

    I would be more intereested in knowing where physicist Greg Cochran went wrong. From an interview in 2007:

    I looked at freely available evidence. For example, when the Feds started telling us that Iraq was a nuclear menace, I knew that the hardest step in making a bomb is obtaining fissionable materials, and I knew what the four ways of making those fissionable materials were (breeder reactors, gaseous diffusion plant, centrifuge, calutron), their costs and difficulty, and it seemed to me that none of them were possible (while remaining undetected) in Iraq, considering sanctions, inspections, aerial recon, negligible local talent, and being stony broke.

    Since I read the paper every single day, I knew roughly how much oil Saddam was smuggling out by truck and how big a kickback he was getting on the oil-for-food exports. A horseback guess said that the whole Iraqi state was running on a billion dollars a year. Took about fifteen minutes of Googling to determine that. Not much to pay for an army, secret police, palaces out the wazoo, and an invisible, undetectable Manhattan project. Which was right on the money, as later laid out in reports by Duelfer and Paul Volcker.

    • #84
  25. wmartin Member
    wmartin
    @

    From recent comments on his blog:

    He did not have a massive underground nuclear lab, and he had no uranium refining facility. None. We spent over a billion dollars searching and we found nothing.

    You don’t even know what yellow cake is. It is true that Saddam had had a nuclear program before the Gulf War, although it had not come too close to a weapon – but that program had been destroyed, and could not be rebuilt A. in a way invisible to our spy satellites and B with no money, because of sanctions.

    The 550 tons of uranium oxide- unenriched uranium oxide – was a leftover from the earlier program. Under UN seal, and those seals had not been broken. Without enrichment, and without a means of enrichment, it was useless.

    And:

    There was nothing there. We looked hard, spent over a billion dollars looking: no sign that of the projects you talk about existed. Saddam would have had to make all the people who ever worked on the program disappear, their relatives and friends too, not just the hypothetical plant. Never happened. We would have offered cash and green cards to anyhow who had a valid story that showed we weren’t complete idiots – a story that checked out. But none did. Considering that well over half the population hated Saddam, and even more would have been thrilled to get out of that hellhole, it’s obvious enough there was nothing there. Just what you’d expect from a broke, backward regime under close watch.

    • #85
  26. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    wmartin:From recent comments on his blog:

    He did not have a massive underground nuclear lab, and he had no uranium refining facility. None. We spent over a billion dollars searching and we found nothing.

    You don’t even know what yellow cake is. It is true that Saddam had had a nuclear program before the Gulf War, although it had not come too close to a weapon – but that program had been destroyed, and could not be rebuilt A. in a way invisible to our spy satellites and B with no money, because of sanctions.

    The 550 tons of uranium oxide- unenriched uranium oxide – was a leftover from the earlier program. Under UN seal, and those seals had not been broken. Without enrichment, and without a means of enrichment, it was useless.

    Did you miss this part?

    An important reason for the war was to prevent the Hussein regime from using nukes against us later, when those WMD programs had been restored once the economic sanctions and inspections had ceased. 

    • #86
  27. user_5186 Inactive
    user_5186
    @LarryKoler

    wmartin: ain’t hindsight wonderful? I hope all you wrote above is true but if we had known all of that before in detail (and I believed it) — that only addresses the WMD case. I have grave doubts that Bush lied about WMD. Did you respond to Gödel’s Ghost in #69? He does the best job of showing what was being considered in our taking out the Hussein dynasty which Clinton left Bush holding like a bag of s**t.

    I’m glad you have the WMD case all tidied up in your mind and I know this post is on Rove and the WMDs but most of us are disgusted that there was no defense about anything. I don’t accept any of Rove’s excuses about being too busy because he had plenty of time to make a two or three sentence email to staunch the bleeding of the American-Bush-Republican near-corpse.

    Conservatives were begging for Bush to do SOMETHING about the damage he was leaving the Republicans with. Rove and Bush knew about this complaint from his own side and they did NOTHING. Nothing doesn’t happen all by itself — not this seamless nothing that has every appearance of being a clear over-arching policy decision from the top people.

    • #87
  28. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    wmartin:

    Xennady:

    You’re wrong, and I’ll explain why in the morning. No time now, alas.

    I would be more intereested in knowing where physicist Greg Cochran went wrong. From an interview in 2007:

    Since I read the paper every single day, I knew roughly how much oil Saddam was smuggling out by truck and how big a kickback he was getting on the oil-for-food exports. A horseback guess said that the whole Iraqi state was running on a billion dollars a year. Took about fifteen minutes of Googling to determine that. Not much to pay for an army, secret police, palaces out the wazoo, and an invisible, undetectable Manhattan project. Which was right on the money, as later laid out in reports by Duelfer and Paul Volcker.

    Where he went wrong is his assumption that the sanctions would have been maintained indefinitely. I remember the propaganda of the time about how only the Iraqi people were suffering from the sanctions. That thousands of Iraqi children were dying every month because of shortages caused by the sanctions. UN sources were estimating 3,000-6,000 deaths per month. The indefinite maintenance of the sanctions was both politically and morally unsustainable.

    • #88
  29. calvincoolidg@gmail.com Inactive
    calvincoolidg@gmail.com
    @CalvinCoolidg

    James Of England: If you’re suggesting that Rove helped Sharon Angle because he believed he would hold a lead position in Angle’s office, then I feel confident that you are entirely mistaken.

    That’s not what I meant at all. Look at the bigger picture for a minute. Rove isn’t interested in any one candidate. He’s interested in the make-up of the candidates as a whole and what the outcome of those candidates produce to his advantage or his party’s advantage. Take a look at the candidates he backs and then evaluate why he backs those candidates. It’s not about a position in any one office. It’s about a bigger agenda. Does that clear things up?

    • #89
  30. 3rd angle projection Member
    3rd angle projection
    @

    James Of England:For what it’s worth, I disagree with Kevin’s claims that Rove’s policy views don’t matter. Although most of the malcontent’s claims that Rove opposes the Tea Party because he’s intrinsically hostile to it are nuts (as demonstrated by his being the single greatest source of funds for Sharon Angle etc.), he is a persuasive voice for a couple of RINO policies and that’s not crazy to care about. The categories that Kevin uses aren’t impermeable, and Rove wears multiple hats.

    3rd angle projection:Rove’s only win was Bush. Twice I suppose. Everything else he touches turns to leaden rock. I view him as a menace more than anything else. I wish Fox would put him and his stupid little white board in a closet. What are we, 4th graders? He’s a fat headed dim wit as far as I’m concerned.

    Bush won more than that with Rove. Twice for governor, twice for President. He helped get Phil Gramm into the Senate, the Second Republican ever, and William Clements in as the first Republican governor. In 2010, American Crossroads provided a good chunk of the advertising that put Kirk and Toomey into the lead in their close races.

    I’m not keen for him to expand his position much (a good chunk of Tea Party activists today view him like the left views Palin, and there comes a point when a reputation becomes unsalvageable), but in his current activist position he does a lot of good, and he’s about as experienced a guy as we have in the party. Is there anyone you’d like to point to with a better record?

    He’s a doofus. He’s an establishment Repub-ugh. Since Bush, who he has “rode” to victory”? I’m willing to wager Palin has backed more winners on the national stage than Rove since 2008. Google it James and prove me wrong. I’m open to it.

    • #90
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.