Karl Rove Peeks out of his Hole
The Puppetmaster spoke. The Man Behind the Curtain poked his head out. He took time away from his scheming and manipulating to give an interview. As we all know by now, he said “Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war.”
He had to say something. Bush’s poll numbers keep slipping, and the Downing Street memos have finally broken through the mass media’s wall of silence. The story is no longer relegated to page 41 of the Saturday paper that nobody reads. It was time for some serious damage control.
As stupid and insulting as Rove’s comments were, he provided a sort of tension release. When there’s a long-simmering silent fury and tension that’s been building up and it finally erupts into a shouting match, there’s almost a feeling of relief.
Everyone knows this is what Rove thinks. It’s what millions of people think: liberals are just these starry-eyed wackos who live on tofu, hug trees and think terrorists and criminals need to be coddled. Or there’s the more generous description: well-intentioned but fuzzy-headed.
Personally I don’t hate Rove for what he said; I hate him because of his shameless manipulation and molding of public opinion. OK, I really hate him because he’s so F#@%&$! good at what he does. Goddamnit, the Democrats need someone like that. All the Democrats get is Frasier Crane running for president, backed by an inept campaign manager who must have flunked Journalism 101.
Republicans get an empty suit posing as “somebody I’d like to go have a beer with,” backed by the shrewdest, most brilliant mastermind since Joseph Goebbels.
Conservatives are easier than liberals to galvanize in large numbers. According to the stereotypes, conservatives always vote, come rain, sleet, blizzards, earthquakes, you name it. Liberals might vote if it’s nice out, they aren’t too stoned and there’s nothing on the tube. They also don’t jump into high gear by the millions when someone yells out the right slogan or buzzword.
Right after the 2004 election I posted in a political forum that the Left needs a hot-button issue that would motivate millions of liberals to organize and vote, but I couldn’t think of what that issue would be. The consensus on the forum was that liberals think things through and then make a decision, rather than snapping to attention at the sound of a buzzword. Of course it’s better to be motivated by thought processes rather than kneejerk reflexes, but it’s a disadvantage when faced with millions of opponents whose buttons get pushed so easily and predictably.
So go ahead and be pissed at Karl Rove for insulting half of America. But more importantly, be on the lookout. Watch your back. The more publicity there is about the Downing Street memos, the more desperate the Right will become. Every minute that Rove spends giving interviews and making speeches is a minute that he’s not working behind the scenes, dreaming up new gimmicks and tactics.
That’s what he does best. Get ready for some all-new hot-button issues to galvanize the Right, and wedge issues to divide the Left. He’s gonna come up with some doozers. Count on it.