Rove, Karl

From Bwtm

Karl Rove, The Architect of Evil, Turd Blossom


The Rove Doctrine


Liberals must be permanently destroyed.

Karl Rove’s strategy may be summarized in 1 word: attack. Never mind issues, just attack your opponent’s character. Don’t go positive. Attack, attack, attack until the very end. Attack with sleaze, smears and ugly innuendo.

There will be three main stages in the unfolding of this movement. The first stage will be devoted to the development of a highly motivated elite able to coordinate future activities. The second stage will be devoted to the development of institutions designed to make an impact on the wider elite and a relatively small minority of the masses. The third stage will involve changing the overall character of American popular culture....

Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive. We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them. We will endeavor to knock our opponents off-balance and unsettle them at every opportunity. All of our constructive energies will be dedicated to the creation of our own institutions....

We will maintain a constant barrage of criticism against the Left. We will attack the very legitimacy of the Left. We will not give them a moment's rest. We will endeavor to prove that the Left does not deserve to hold sway over the heart and mind of a single American. We will offer constant reminders that there is an alternative, there is a better way. When people have had enough of the sickness and decay of today's American culture, they will be embraced by and welcomed into the New Traditionalist movement. The rejection of the existing society by the people will thus be accomplished by pushing them and pulling them simultaneously.

We will use guerrilla tactics to undermine the legitimacy of the dominant regime...

We must create a countervailing force that is just as adept as the Left at intimidating people and institutions that are used as tools of left-wing activism but are not ideologically committed, such as Hollywood celebrities, multinational corporations, and university administrators. We must be feared, so that they will think twice before opening their mouths...


To slander opponents so their political positions are discredited -- Karl Rove's doctrine has been immensely effective in defeating Bush's challengers; will it now be effective in defeating grieving mother Cindy Sheehan? By Stewart Nusbaumer. Intervention Magazine. Dirty fighting is in their political blood. It?s their modus operandi. It?s their cr?me de menthe. By slandering and lying and thrashing they decimate enemies and capture political office -- they win, which means everything to them. Now they are eyeing Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier tragically killed in Iraq, a grieving mother protesting the war from a ditch near George Bush?s ranch. They want to slaughter the mother lamb to destroy her resonating antiwar message. They want to win again. Henry Kissinger once joked seriously that ?90 percent of politicians give the other 10 percent a bad reputation.? Hunter Thompson once said that Richard Nixon, although this could have been about the 90 percent of politicians, ?could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time.? But George Bush and Karl Rove are not just back-stabbers -- they make Richard Nixon look like an angel. Rove and Bush are unique. Their vulgarity is wrenching, their lies are outrageous, their maliciousness is extreme, and their morality is nonexistent. All of which is evident in their sordid thrashing of three honorable military veterans.

The Rove Doctrine. Which brings me to the story that has Washington's political groupies twittering: that Esquire article in which the White House chief of staff, Andy Card, frets that with the moderating influence of Karen Hughes gone, the hard-liner Karl Rove will run the show. If the past 18 months have been what policy looks like with Mr. Rove only partly in control, one shudders to think what comes next. For the most distinctive feature of Mr. Rove's modus operandi is not his conservatism; it's his view that the administration should do whatever gives it a political advantage. This includes, of course, exploiting the war on terrorism -- something Mr. Rove has actually boasted about. But it also includes coddling special interests.

Early years

Rove Strategy Paper Found in Nixon Archive

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2007 — The year was 1973, and Karl Rove was looking for help — from the Nixon White House.

Tucked away inside 78,000 pages of documents from the Nixon administration, released by the National Archives earlier this week, is a little gem: a strategy memorandum from the man who would go on to become the architect of President Bush’s rise to political power.

Mr. Rove, then a 22-year-old aide on Capitol Hill, was planning a run to become chairman of the College Republicans, a position he would ultimately win twice. So he wrote to Anne Armstrong, then counselor to Nixon. Mrs. Armstrong had been co-chairman of the Republican National Committee, and therefore Mr. Rove’s ultimate boss the previous year when he was executive director of the college group.

In the memorandum, he thanked her for “taking time out of your busy schedule” to talk with him, and offered up his musings — in the form of a nine-page typed outline — on how to strengthen the Republican Party by motivating students.

“Appreciate anything you might be able to do for me,” he wrote, on simple stationery with only his name, Karl C. Rove, at the top. “I have taken the liberty of enclosing the rough outline of my platform. Of special interest is the ‘New Federalism Advocates’ mentioned in the campaign section.”

The document, intended to develop an election program for the 1974 midterm campaigns, suggests that even then, Mr. Rove had a keen eye for organization, and a propensity for slicing and dicing the electorate, the kind of microtargeting that has since become a hallmark of his campaigns.

In his memorandum, Mr. Rove offered suggestions, from having college Republican clubs show “nonpolitical films for fund-raising (e.g. John Wayne flicks, ‘Reefer Madness’)” to developing a “Student Guide to Lobbying” with a “forward by Bush/Nixon.” That, of course, would be the elder George Bush, then chairman of the Republican National Committee, through whom Mr. Rove first met the current occupant of the White House.

Mr. Rove’s memorandum also proposes building a group of “New Federalism Advocates,” modeled on “Friends of Nixon,” a Nixon campaign committee. The group would have representatives from each state who, Mr. Rove suggested, could meet in Washington for “extensive briefings” with top administration officials like John D. Ehrlichman and H. R. Haldeman.

“That didn’t work out,” Mr. Rove said in a brief telephone interview Friday. (Mr. Haldeman and Mr. Ehrlichman resigned in April 1973 amid the Watergate scandal.)

As to the reference to “Reefer Madness,” a torrid antimarijuana propaganda film later revived as a countercultural favorite, the 56-year-old Mr. Rove pleaded forgetfulness. “God, this is 1973!” he said. “You work the math. I don’t remember it all.”

The letter is a walk back in time, and a reminder that in Washington, where relationships often span the decades, the seeds of power are planted early.

Mrs. Armstrong went on to become an ambassador to Britain, and then returned to Texas, where she owns a ranch — the very same ranch where Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a fellow hunter last year. Mr. Rove said he went hunting there every year.

Mr. Rove said he long ago lost his only copy of the campaign platform. But he said he was not surprised that the document had turned up in the Nixon files.

“When you send something to a White House person,” he said, ‘’it tends to be collected and remain.”

Don't Blame Rove


But spin is another word for "lie."

He Got Out While the Getting Was Good

a relentless repertoire of dirty tricks, smears and outright lies

the stench of failure hangs over the president,,2152380,00.html

The 'architect's' great project By Grover G. Norquist

Permanent Republican Majority? Think Again.

a partisan sock puppet

enlisting political appointees at every level of government in a permanent campaign that was an integral part of his strategy to establish Republican electoral dominance.

Fess Up, Karl, Like Atwater Before You - An Open Letter

Karl is too partisan

conservative issues such as tax cuts, the protection of unborn life and the appointment of originalist judges

Rove's Science of Dirty Tricks

The Twisted Legacy of Rove

Tributes, even from Republicans, have been rare

Jack Abramoff corruption probe is ongoing

resignation unlikely to hinder Hatch Act investigations

Rove exhibited astonishing blindness

"Charisma Isn't Everything."

He is departing the White House when the going in Iraq is as tough as it ever was.

significant political achievements and frustrated ambitions.

Rove is not brilliant; he's ruthless.

The collapse of Karl Rove

I'm Moby Dick

Rove, a GOP superman with a target on his back By Patrick Fitzgerald

A Tough Road Ahead for Rove

Karl Rove, at the White House, supported delaying the announcement of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s ouster until after the election.

November 19, 2006 WASHINGTON, — Karl Rove, the top White House political strategist, is coming off the worst election defeat of his career to face a daunting task: saving the president’s agenda with a Congress not only controlled by Democrats, but also filled with Republican members resentful of the way he and the White House conducted the losing campaign.

White House officials say President Bush has every intention of keeping Mr. Rove on through the rest of his term. And Mr. Rove’s associates say he intends to stay, with the goal of at least salvaging Mr. Bush’s legacy and, in the process, his own.

But serious questions remain about how much influence Mr. Rove can wield and how high a profile he can assume in Washington after being so closely identified with this year’s Republican losses, not to mention six years of often brutal attacks on the same Democrats in line to control Congress for the remainder of Mr. Bush’s presidency.

Things have not gotten off to a great start since the election. Democrats are taking Mr. Rove’s continued influence at the White House — as well as some of its recent moves, like nominating conservative judges for the federal bench — as a sign that Mr. Bush’s conciliatory pledges of bipartisanship will prove to be fleeting.

“Karl’s role has not been to serve as a bridge over troubled waters; he has tried to stir the waters as often as possible,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who will be the second-most powerful person in the Senate next year. “Maybe he got religion on Nov. 7, but we’ll see.”

Republicans on Capitol Hill said anger ran deep over Mr. Bush’s decision to announce the ouster of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld one day after the election instead of weeks before, when some say it could have kept the Senate in their party’s hands and limited Democratic gains in the House. Mr. Rove was among those at the White House who had argued that to announce Mr. Rumsfeld’s resignation before Election Day would have been tantamount to affirming criticism that the war in Iraq was failing, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.

“There is lingering resentment on that,” Representative Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, said of the timing of the announcement. Asked if he expected the White House to take as much of a lead in setting the Congressional agenda as it had in the past, Mr. Flake responded flatly, “No, I don’t.”

More broadly, many Republicans say they blame Mr. Rove for failing to heed warnings that the war was hurting their campaigns, as the president and the vice president continued making the case for it on the stump.

“I would say that brilliant as he is, he was not right,” said Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who counts himself among those who believe that Mr. Rumsfeld’s resignation could have helped the party maintain control of the Senate. “I think Rove misread the anger of the American people about Iraq.”

Mr. Specter said the White House should be prepared to step back and concede some power to Congressional leaders.

Mr. Rove declined to be interviewed for this article.

The White House seems aware of the apparently limited influence in Congress of Mr. Rove, the aide most closely identified with Mr. Bush. Joshua B. Bolten, the White House chief of staff, was dispatched to the Hill this week to hold meetings with members, suggesting that he is likely to play a more prominent role.

But Dan Bartlett, the White House counselor, said in an interview this week that Mr. Rove’s main job was not emissary to Congress. “That’s not the position he played in the past,” Mr. Bartlett said.

Rather, administration officials said, Mr. Rove’s main role had always been within the White House itself. Mr. Rove has derived his real power from his long and complicated relationship with Mr. Bush, and he has the president’s ear on a wide array of political and policy matters.

Mr. Rove’s policy oversight duties were taken away after the difficult first two years of Mr. Bush’s second term, and he was directed to focus more closely on the midterm elections. Since the outcome, Mr. Bush has given no indication that Mr. Rove’s role will change further. But he could not resist a dig at his old friend, telling reporters Mr. Rove was beating him in a book-reading contest because “I obviously was working harder in the campaign than he was.”

Officials said afterward that the comment was typical of Mr. Bush’s rough teasing of his longtime friend.

And Mr. Bartlett said Mr. Rove would continue to play a central role in Mr. Bush’s final two years. “He’s going to be an integral player because his value to the president and the White House goes far beyond his political skill set,” Mr. Bartlett said. “He has an enormous amount of responsibility to help strategize in our efforts to help get things done.”

Republicans close to the White House say Mr. Rove has been arguing that the White House needs to shore up its standing with conservatives, whose support will be crucial to rebuild Mr. Bush’s popularity and ultimately give him some leverage.

Reflecting that strategy, Mr. Bush sent Congress a slate of conservative judicial nominees, which was taken as a provocation by Democrats who had previously rejected them. A close associate of Mr. Rove’s suggested that the strategy was first to placate conservatives, then tack to the middle to strike deals with Democrats on immigration reform or Social Security.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and a close ally of Mr. Rove’s, said the best role for Mr. Rove would to be to help Republicans regain the House, the Senate and the presidency in 2008.

“Karl is a key player in that,” Mr. Norquist said, adding that he is going to need cooperation from the Republicans taking party leadership roles in Congress.

But Republicans do not seem to be feeling like much of a team right now, let alone one that will look to Mr. Rove as its leader.

White House officials say some of the ire against Mr. Rove in particular and the White House in general will pass.

Mr. Rove has told his associates the party still has a good-size Congressional minority that will assert its influence over the next two years.

And some in that minority expressed confidence. “We’ve sort of gone through the grieving process,” said Senator John Cornyn of Texas, a close Republican ally of Mr. Rove’s. “Now we’re in the process of coming up with an agenda.”

Even his enemies say the GOP would have done worse without him.


November 10, 2006 In the wake of their Tuesday catastrophe, angry conservatives are pointing fingers in every direction. They blame corrupt congressmen, terrible Donald Rumsfeld, the stumbling president, their disaffected rank and file. They blame social conservatives, neoconservatives, moderate conservatives, and big-government conservatives.

But are they blaming "the architect"? I wondered how Karl Rove's reputation withstood the Tuesday thumping. Are Republicans holding their top political strategist responsible for the midterm fiasco?

It turns out there are plenty of reasons to blame Rove if you're of a mind to. Here are a few:

  1. After the national horror of 9/11, Rove chose to please the president's conservative base rather than seize the historic moment of national unity by pushing a more moderate set of policies. This inevitably alienated independent voters. Rove thought they wouldn't penalize Republicans at the polls. They did.
  2. It was Rove's idea to push for Social Security reform after the 2004 election. He kept pushing it long after voters had told pollsters they didn't want it. He wildly misread the national mood, woke up the left, and saddled Republicans in Congress with a loser issue. Then, he pushed for comprehensive immigration reform, angering a different portion of the base.
  3. He and Bush delayed announcing Rumsfeld's departure. Had Rumsfeld left two months ago, you can bet George Allen and Conrad Burns wouldn't be planning their retirement parties.

There are lots of people in Washington whom Rove has intimidated or bullied. Some are Bush allies, and some are his former colleagues. Since he got the credit for Bush's victories, they think it's only fair that he take the blame for the GOP defeat. But when I went looking for what I expected to be a massive orgy of Rove schadenfreude, I actually found that, for the most part, Republicans were defending him.

They started by arguing that the election could have been a lot worse. Conditions really called for a 35- to 45-seat loss in the House. Rove and Ken Mehlman built a ground operation over the last seven years that limited the losses. They knew where to drop all the cash they'd raised and how to micro-target voters. I find this silly. No one praises football coaches for losing by five touchdowns instead of six.

More plausible is the claim that much of what flipped the election was beyond Rove's control. He couldn't reverse the violence on the ground in Iraq. Could he have pushed Bush to drop Rumsfeld earlier? Maybe, if he'd made that case a year ago, but dropping Rumsfeld too close to the election would have looked desperate and would have enraged the Rummy-loving conservatives.

But the most persuasive argument of Rove's defenders is that congressional Republicans deserve the blame for Tuesday's outcome. What sapped the energy and enthusiasm of the base were Congress' ethical lapses (culminating in the Foley fiasco), excessive spending, and addiction to earmarks. Rove allies are quick to point to exit polls showing that people mentioned "corruption" as their top concern when voting (but remember, Jack Abramoff visited the White House, too).

Of course, some Rove defenders are speaking up for self-interested reasons. He's still powerful. He retains his White House office, which will allow him to take care of those politicians who lost (or not take care of them, if the losers don't behave). There are still commissions and ambassadorships and corporate boards that Rove can pack with Tuesday's losers. Even if Rove leaves Washington tomorrow, he'll remain a leading light of the conservative movement for the unapologetic, even brutal, way he fights for conservative ideas.

The GOP has a history of turning defeated luminaries into folk heroes. Though Newt Gingrich was largely to blame for the GOP's poor performance in 1998, he is widely beloved by Republicans. Nixon retained a core group of followers even after resignation. One difference: It took time for Nixon and Gingrich to regain their stature. Rove won't need to wait.

Why Republicans wound up taking a bath on Election Night.


At the White House senior staff meeting in the Roosevelt Room at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Chief of Staff Josh Bolten thanked Karl Rove for his hard work in the elections, and the group around the big table burst into spontaneous applause. It was a much-needed moment of cheer for Rove, the President's chief strategist, after Republicans lost the House and were headed toward the same fate in the Senate in midterm congressional elections that turned into a blue rip tide of voter ire.

"The profile of corruption in the exit polls was bigger than I'd expected," Rove tells TIME. "Abramoff, lobbying, Foley and Haggard [the disgraced evangelical leader] added to the general distaste that people have for all things Washington, and it just reached critical mass."

Exit polls showed heavy discontent with the course of the war, and Bush announced the departure of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld the next day. But Rove took comfort in results of the Connecticut Senate race between the anti-war Democratic nominee, Ned Lamont, and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who ran as an independent after losing the Democratic primary over his support for the war. "Iraq mattered," Rove says. "But it was more frustration than it was an explicit call for withdrawal. If this was a get-out-now call for withdrawal, then Lamont would not have been beaten by Lieberman. Iraq does play a role, but not the critical, central role."

And he does not believe his data let him down. "My job is not to be a prognosticator," he said. "My job is not to go out there and wring my hands and say, 'We're going to lose.' I'm looking at the data and seeing if I can figure out, Where can we be? I told the President, 'I don't know where this is going to end up. But I see our way clear to Republican control.' "

Rove, who is Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Adviser to the President, had long been warning in speeches that Democrats suffered defeat in 1994 after ossified thinking and an entitlement mentality took over the party: "What I was trying to say was: What happened to them could happen to us," he told TIME.

White House Counselor Dan Bartlett said Bush is "deeply appreciative for the time and effort put in by Karl, and for all the political team's effort." Bartlett pointed to the President's statement at his day-after news conference that as the head of the Republican Party, he shares a large part of the responsibility. "He's not the one that's going to sit there and point fingers at others," Bartlett said.

Despite this week's repudiation of the GOP, Rove said he believes the party can still achieve a long-term majority. "I see this as much more of a transient, passing thing," he said. "The Republican Party remains at its core a small-government, low-tax, limit-spending, traditional-values, strong-defense party. I see the power of the ideas, even in a tough year." He added that he has "fundamental confidence in the power of the underlying agenda of this President," and cited fighting the war on terror, entitlement reform, energy, tax cuts, immigration reform, No Child Left Behind reauthorization, democracy agenda in the Middle East, reducing trade barriers, spending restraint and legal reform.

Rove is famous for his political statistics, and his team has come up with an array of figures to contend that the Republicans' loss of 29 seats in the House and six in the Senate is not so out of whack with the historic norms. In all sixth year midterms, the President's party has lost an average of 29 House seats and 3 Senate seats, according to these figures. In all sixth-year midterms since World War II, the loss was an average of 31 House and 6 Senate seats. And in all wartime midterms since 1860, the average loss was 32 House and 5 Senate seat.

The Republican get-out-the-vote program Rove helped invent precluded even deeper losses, he says. "People were talking 35, 40 or more and it didn't happen," he said. "There were a number of elections which were supposed to be close and ended up not being close."

The Republican National Committee has been pointing out that a small shift in votes would have made a big difference. A shift of 77,611 votes would have given Republicans control of the House, according to Bush's political team. And a shift of 2,847 votes in Montana, or 7,217 votes in Virginia, or 41,537 votes in Missouri would have given a Republicans control of the Senate. In addition, the party has calculated that the winner received 51 percent or less in 35 contests, and that 23 races were decided by two percentage points or fewer, 18 races were decided by fewer than 5,000 votes, 15 races were decided by fewer than 4,000 votes, 10 races were decided by fewer than 3,000 votes, eight were decided by fewer than 2,000 votes and five races were decided by fewer than 1,000 votes.

Rove is an enthusiastic historian, but even he has trouble coming up with a parallel for this wild week. "We may look back and see this as a unique expression," he said. Republicans can only hope.

Do the math, Turd Blossom

"I see several things," Rove says. "I'm allowed to see the polls on the individual races. And after all, this does come down to individual contests between individual candidates."

In addition to polls not generally available to the public, Rove says the Republicans have a huge financial advantage in the home stretch.

Robert Siegel talked with Rove at Radio Day on the North Lawn of the White House

Jack DUKE Abramoff

Mr. Rove has known Mr. Abramoff for about two decades, according to White House spokesman Scott McClellan. Both are former top officials of the College Republicans, many of whose alumni have gone on to national prominence within the party.

Susan Ralston

White House reels as aide quits over links to disgraced lobbyist


October 08, 2006 Republicans have been dealt a fresh blow in their increasingly frantic struggle to cling to power in next month's mid-term elections by the resignation of a key White House aide over links to a disgraced lobbyist.

Already reeling from a Capitol Hill sex scandal, the White House was bracing itself yesterday for further fallout over a widening financial scandal that precipitated the departure of Susan Ralston, executive assistant to Karl Rove, Mr Bush's chief political strategist.

She stepped down after congressional investigators documented her extensive dealings with Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist who has pleaded guilty to multimillion-dollar bribery charges involving Republican members of Congress and government officials. Her departure was announced late on Friday as the unrelated scandal surrounding the alleged cover-up of sexual approaches made by Congressman Mark Foley, a Florida Republican, intensified.

The resignation of Miss Ralston, officially a "special adviser" to President George W. Bush, will remind voters of the row that previously engulfed the Republicans over Abramoff, to whom she had been an aide before she joined the White House in 2001. She was reportedly found to have been involved in more than half of her former boss's 66 recorded contacts with her colleagues and superiors on President Bush's staff. Records showed that Abramoff's lobbying colleagues contacted her 69 times.

Congressional investigatorsindicated Miss Ralston had accepted tickets from Abramoff to nine events, including professional basketball, hockey and baseball games and an operatic recital. E-mails and memos uncovered by investigators suggest she served as a conduit for requests for favours by Abramoff, and at one point discussed the "significant amount of money" it would take to lure her away from the White House to work for him.

There was no suggestion that Miss Ralston acted illegally and it is not known whether she declared her dealings with Abramoff, or paid for the tickets he gave her. "She recognised that a protracted discussion of these matters would be a distraction to the White House and she's chosen to step down," said a White House spokesman.