We have been critical of the apparent role of Karl Rove in directing the President's political decisions, since the 2000 Republican Convention ("Campaign 2000," linked below); where he achieved the striking effect of a far greater minority presence than the actual demographics of Republican leadership. The show was replete with rather untraditional entertainment, but the near absence of the usual references to traditional American cultural and historic icons. Not much George Washington or Patrick Henry--nor traditional inspirational American tunes--but quite visible South of the border entertainment, as well as home grown minority faces.
Our impression then, was of a Rove designed political outreach, a campaign as effective as that of the most pathetic breed of retail salesman; one that insulted by trying too hard, and too unctuously, to flatter the recognized minorities that were the objects of Republican outreach. The net result was to create inferences more likely to offend the type of viewer apt to actually watch a Republican Convention: the small minority, within each minority, as well as the minority within the American mainstream, who had enough intellectual interest to want to view the dynamics of the nominating process.
This appeared stupid at the time. It did not give the usual--and very important--spiritual lift to the Party mainstream, so important in getting out the maximum potential vote from Republican families. It also failed to develop a productive approach to any real outreach, which requires an appearance of offering something worth supporting. No self-respecting person, identifying with any ethnic group, feels much incentive to identify with professional "butt kissers"; and that was precisely the impression being conveyed. It should have been instructive that the Democratic Convention, which, while advocating the most outrageous pandering to professional "victims," still managed traditional, Norman Rockwell images; the comparative effect, a huge boost for Gore--who had appeared to have little chance before then--coming out of the Conventions.
Yet far clearer evidence, that someone with no apparent grasp of the underlying dynamics of American politics was directing the campaign of the popular Texas Governor, was yet to come. The weekend before the election, the story that Bush had been arrested for on a DUI charge, suddenly broke in the major media. But this, far from being a threat, turned out to be a major opportunity. The charge was 24 years old; the driver had been only just over the limit; and he was discovered because he had taken precautions to guard against the effect of his slightly at risk condition. The incident, clearly, had nothing whatever to do with his fitness to be President, and the reports had all the "ear marks" of "dirty politics."
While a good hearted innocent might have failed to understand the actual potential, no one, who makes his living at the higher levels of political management, should have failed to understand. If Rove were not stupid, dysfunctional, or some sort of mole, he should have been on this in an instant.
President Bush has a likable personality. He comes across well on TV close-ups. He should have been on every TV outlet, achievable, election eve, "responding" to the smear. Of course, he would not actually waste time discussing it. The obvious formula would be 20 seconds of acknowledging that he had made a few mistakes in his youth, followed by 28 1/2 minutes of telling the biggest audience he was likely ever to have, of what his vision for America consisted. Since much of that audience would have been foes, thinking to watch him squirm, there would have been the potential for a huge swing from Gore to Bush. The election should never have been a cliff-hanger.
We have previously applied the term dysron--our own creation--to Karl Rove. A dysron is one who having a normal, or even above average I.Q., operates at a grossly sub-normal analytic level because of fears or compulsions; one somewhat similar to those whom the Communists used to refer to as "useful idiots." Academia is well populated with dysrons, as well as the committed Leftists, who know how to manipulate those dysrons. The latter, however, should not be confused with the still larger number of Academics who are merely intimidated by the Left; those who understand how ruthlessly dissent on certain issues will be suppressed, or who simply do not want to be sprayed with what comes out of "idealistic" mouths, when they are hissing the epithets, which are their primary argument against anyone who challenges the false premises of egalitarian collectivism.
A dysron is basically a rationalizer, whose fears or compulsions leave him unable to see that he is rationalizing. Does that describe Karl Rove? We think that it does. We believe that we can demonstrate that there is no way that his political advice to the President, both on very important issues and on what might be described as "posturing issues," makes any sense--any positive sense, from the standpoint of a Republican Party that intends to represent American middle-class values;--that if Rove is not a dysron, he is either genuinely stupid, a quack completely out of his depth, or some sort of mole, deliberately sabotaging those who trust his judgment. Consider these issues and examples:
Immigration. The Bush Administration has not even tried to close the Southern border, over which literally thousands of unscreened entrants pour each day. The nearest to a rational response to this obvious crisis has been to propose "reforms," none of which address the ethnic questions involved; indeed, none of which even acknowledge the significant differences between peoples, or, specifically to our point, any desire to preserve characteristics which have made Americans unique. We cover fundamental considerations to any ethnic policy in a essay on "Immigration & The American Future" (linked below). There is no more fundamental issue for any nation than the character of its population; nor is there one more likely to stir voters, if properly presented. That Karl Rove has been a major player in the Republican neglect of this issue is demonstrated by a number of phenomena, not the least of which is his reported banning of Congressman Tancredo of Colorado, the most outspoken Republican foe of the present flood of illegal immigration, from access to the White House.
Any competent political analyst should recognize that issues fall into various categories. For our purpose, we will look at what we consider the two principal categories: Those where the appeal is to a special interest (what Madison would have referred to as a "faction," in his commentaries on the Constitution; where the debate is over whether to allow the special interest to be served; and, if it is to be served, how it might be served to the best effect, with the least adverse consequence to the general population. And those where the primary focus is on the general interests of the whole people.
For obvious reasons, the political strategist--as opposed to the lobbyist who must consider particular clients--should gravitate towards issues of broad, general interest; thus avoiding as much as possible the divisive squabbles, between self-seeking factions. The strongest possible issue, is one which combines an approach at once completely rational and easily grasped, yet able to evoke a strong emotional appeal to a broad spectrum of voters. Obviously, the Rove approach does not fit such profile. Not only is its appeal strictly limited to employers seeking cheap labor, and to anti-American ethnic theorists of a fanatic stripe; its major impact is to offend the vast majority of rooted Americans--those who provide continuity to all our institutions.
Properly presented, no issue could be more beneficial to a genuinely Conservative political candidate than a strong position in favor of an immigration policy, designed to protect the interests, social, economic, cultural and patriotic, of the American people. Conversely, there is no position that is more absurdly self-defeating, than to act as though one is impotent to protect the interests of the American people, in the face of a flood of incongruent types, surging almost unchallenged over their Southern border.
Is Rove's thinking driven by a fear that to act on behalf of American interests, will be to invite the hissing sounds of "nativist," "racist," "xenophobe," accompanied by misty spray from the mouths of Leftist "spokespersons"; a fear that intimidates him? Is he convinced that those sounds cannot be effectively answered by those of us who support the American ethnic traditions? Again, is he a dysron or a quack? We still cannot quite see him as an unrecognized mole.
Medicare Drug Benefits. As a concept, Medicare Drug Coverage is covered in our essay on "Medicare--Panacea or Death Potion?" (linked below). As a political idea, it is entirely consistent with redistribution of wealth schemes promoted by the extreme Leftwing of the Democratic Party since Roosevelt; consistent with what the Left and the middle of that Party have been advocating since L. B. J.. As such, it is their issue; and pretending that Medicare Drug Coverage can ever prove other than a fiscal and moral disaster, involves the usual Leftist spin, combining wishful thinking, egalitarian rhetoric, and the customary scapegoating ritual by which every problem, or failure, requires someone else to blame.
But consider the many snared trap in which Karl Rove has enmeshed the President:
1. The program will indeed be the financial disaster we predict, for all the reasons cited in the linked essay. Will Democratic "Liberals"--already charging the program is not being launched correctly--or those foolish Republicans, following the dysfunctional Pied Piper that is our subject, get the principal blame for this readily predictable chaos? (Note, the explosion in projected costs has already begun, even in the short time frame since passage, two years before the actual launch!)
2. This is precisely the opposite of the issue with broad, general appeal, such as we discussed under immigration. It is close to being the epitome of one that will fragment social cohesion, causing generational antagonism, and inviting a socially destructive maneuvering for advantage among contending interest groups.
3. By actually sponsoring and pushing through their initiative, the Rovians have precluded most Republicans from later challenging the concept of an entitlement in this area. This means a bidding war, underpinned by Socialist assumptions, and the acceptance of dependency upon Government in one more area of American life--an area of growing importance and growing danger, for all of the reasons pointed out in the referenced essay. And with that bidding war, the Republican position will come to be perceived as ever more ridiculous. We will be caught in the switches, as it were; hopelessly compromised, yet blamed for every problem--and they will be massive--which flows from the program.
Indeed, the charges are already heard, that the primary intent of the Bush plan is to benefit not the elderly, but the drug companies. To the extent that it may be argued that the plan protects American drug manufacturers from competition, or prevents the Department of Health from using its clout to negotiate lower prices, the Democrats will have a field day, catching the Administration--and those Republicans foolish enough to have gone along with the Administration--in a very effective crossfire. On the one hand, they will say that this isn't enough. On the other, they will say that it is corrupt. Just what is the profit to those Republicans, who surrendered principle in order to put themselves in this position?
Finally, where does the Medicare expansion fit in the Republican outreach? It is obvious that the latter is not being aimed at new voters, who are being handed a lifetime burden to keep the elderly on feel good medication; on drugs, for which those same young voters might go to jail, if they bought them from a street vendor.
Dysron, quack or fool? We really do not believe that Karl Rove has been a mole. If so, who has activated him?
Federal Aid To Education. In the Reagan triumph in 1980, many Conservative Republicans, saw an opportunity to get the Federal Government out of civilian education, save for the District Of Columbia and the Federal Territories. The idea was openly discussed, but never implemented in the face of a Democratic Congress. But the Rove advised Bush Administration has taken precisely the opposite tack. Ignoring fundamental concepts (some of which are discussed in the Chapter on "Public Schools: Issues & Reality," linked below)--including a lack of Constitutional authority, and the vast variation in individual aptitudes; the Administration pushed through its "No child left behind," legislation. But does anyone really believe that all children can achieve on an equal basis?
Whether you have a large or small family; whether you have ever taught another, or simply remember your own school days; whether you are a defender of traditional individualistic values and an America based upon self-reliance, rather than "give me" and "poor me"; if you have read thus far, you have within your own memories and retained images, more than enough data to realize that there is no way given the realities of God's Creation, the President can achieve, or force the States to achieve, an educational system "where no child is left behind." What, then, is supposed to be the political advantage for Republicans in getting the Federal Government still deeper and more expensively into Education--a course directly opposite to the President's pledged "strict construction" in Constitutional interpretation--in pursuit of a fantasy; in pursuit of a goal that every rational person knows is not obtainable?
With each passing year, the failure will be more obvious. Yet by premising the program on a Leftist delusion--that of ability determined by educational environment--the Republicans are again caught in a cross-fire! They, not nature, will end up bearing the blame for the broken expectations, the dashed hopes--the inevitable heartache.
Does Karl Rove understand this, when he counsels the President? Is he a dysron, quack or mole? Or is he purely evil?
Aid For AIDS In Africa. The reports that AIDS is out of control in Africa, are sad; yet the history of mankind, in all its variations, is replete with epidemics, plagues and other disasters, which from time to time slow down, check, and sometimes actually reverse the growth of population. It is one of the ways that Nature maintains balance. Millions may be dying in Africa of this disease, which usually--though admittedly not always--is brought on by the conduct of those suffering from it. In the long run, a more serious threat to human life, and to a variety of same more directly connected with the dominant culture in America, is the dramatic fall in the birth rates of European nations, largely as a result of a lost sense of purpose. But neither the viral disease in Africa, nor the even more destructive psychological malady in Europe, is the fault of the American taxpayer.
The Constitution does not authorize foreign charity. Foreign aid, during the Cold War, may have had some military justification. A lot of it, in our estimation, was not justified and was indeed reprehensible. Still we understood the proffered justification. But neither AIDS medications, nor family advice for other nations, have justification in terms of any Constitutionally recognized duty of the United States Government. This is an even more egregious example of using other people's money, so one may appear to be philanthropic, than that exposed in the tale of Davy Crockett's education, linked below.
But Karl Rove is a cynic, not a philanthropist. One must assume that he would have been consulted over this initiative; that he gave it his approval. What could he possibly have hoped to accomplish? If the political target was the American AIDS sufferer, how many votes will be won by sending medicine to Africa? And how many more votes from outraged groups, with very different identifications, will be lost? If the American Negro was the target, do many really identify with a Continent--or even those Western regions of the Continent--from which their ancestors were involuntarily taken centuries ago? It is insulting to suggest that. Those suffering from AIDS in Africa, today, probably include many in tribes responsible for enslaving some who came here. Yet, there is a clearer reason that the idea is insulting.
Negroes, who support the Republican party, do so for the same reasons that Caucasians support the Republican party. They identify with its policies. They are not there because of "grandstanding" or "showboating." Conversely, the Welfare Class of voters, be they white or black, or whatever, are not going to be swayed by a bidding war between the parties, over which may be seen as more generous to other peoples. The bought voter, wants the handout for himself. He is not into saving the world! As for those who are? They are a tiny minority, with generally very Leftwing views, pursuing Unconstitutional ends or social anarchy--not unlike the dysrons urging "Gay Marriage." The price of their support may be the antagonism of every other recognizable interest.
Dysron, quack or mole?
Homosexuals In Department Of Justice. In early June, 2003, Attorney General John Ashcroft ordered cancellation of the late June celebration of "Gay Pride"; an annual flaunting of offensive conduct, initiated in the Department of Justice during the Clinton Administration. We have no idea why it took the reputedly Conservative Christian Attorney General until his third year in office, to try to halt this calculated insult to traditional religious beliefs, in a Government Department. But only five days later, Ashcroft suddenly reversed himself, and allowed the "celebration" to go forward. The understanding in the Conservative community was that the President had ordered that reversal. Would either Ashcroft or the President have made such a decision without consulting the President's full time political advisor?
Let the issue, be stated clearly. It is not that American Conservatives--along with all Americans holding traditional religious and social views, whether or not they are Liberal on other issues--would advocate a "1984" style surveillance. No one advocates a witch hunt, or an intrusive search behind closed doors to investigate the weird behavior of any American with other consenting adults. What is at issue here, at a time, moreover, when the ACLU has managed to shut down many public religious commemorations fully consistent with American tradition, is whether to allow a small group of Federal employees, to use Federal facilities to flaunt their contempt for the Bible, over three thousand years of theological and moral teaching, and the sensibilities of most normal Americans.
Is there a political downside for a supposedly "Conservative" Republican Administration to put a stop to this sort of spectacle? What kind of political analyst would conclude that there was? Granted, there is a voting segment, who would take the position that such conduct--the celebration of perversion--is fit and proper; the sort who would hiss "bigot" and "homophobe" in a misty spray over this essay. But how many of that type are likely Republican voters as opposed to those, who would give Republicans a far more friendly look, if the party put a stop to such annual "celebrations?"
It is probably a mistake to speculate on the "thought" processes of a dysfunctional mind. But what could possibly have driven Rove to make the 'call' that we suggest? Did he involve a 'focus group' of recent Yale graduates, who had been bombarded with what the Ivy League considers 'Politically Correct'--or another, similarly constituted? If so, he almost certainly ignored the Emperor's New Clothes Effect, so obvious to any functional analyst. (That is, the tendency of a large segment of the population to try to get along by mouthing what they think others expect to hear. This is a major component in analyzing the difference between mouthed "beliefs" and real opinions and feelings, especially on public questions where sex or race is involved.)
Dysron, mole or quack? What drives or explains Karl Rove?
Trent Lott. The contrived issue over Trent Lott's birthday tribute to the retiring Strom Thurmond, at the latter's 100th birthday party, is discussed at length in the "Trent Lott Affair," linked below. In summary, Lott used no offensive language; advocated no position on any issue. He merely suggested that America would have been better off had Strom Thurmond been elected President in 1948, when he had run on a States Rights Democratic ticket. Someone on the Left decided to test the waters, to see how Lott would respond, if they picked this up to claim that he was saying that America would have been better off, if a candidate favoring racial segregation had been elected President, 54 years earlier.
The function and context of Lott's toast (at most a nostalgic quip over an historic election) got lost in an engineered hoopla. It was true that "segregation" had been a major issue for the States Rights Democrats; but so also had opposition to a Socialistic "Civil Rights" bill which, as that finally pushed through by Lyndon Johnson in 1964, denied the right of private employers to their own preferences in whom they hired, if such preferences involved national origin, religion, race or sex. Strom Thurmond has since represented American Conservatism, generally, and can hardly be type cast by the issues in one election. Regardless of their varying individual opinions on segregation, most Conservatives would agree that a Thurmond Administration would indeed have been a very good thing for America.
The President did not need to say anything in this. To anyone with a modicum of common sense, it was a ridiculous, contrived commotion. Thirteen Presidential elections had intervened since Thurmond had run in 13 of the then 48 States. The plan had been to try to throw the election into the House of Representatives, where the South had hoped to have more influence; while the toast had been in honor of the retiring Senator's 100th birthday--no effort to launch a new campaign. Lott, of course, panicked under fire, and fell all over himself repudiating his own heritage, in a classic demonstration of how far the United States Senate has fallen from an honored past. But the President had not even been born at the time of the election in question!
If George Bush felt a need to assure anyone that despite his Texas base, he was not a "segregationist," he could simply have said as much. That would have been a simple statement of his own belief on an old issue, and would have been treated with respect by every faction. Instead, he showed the influence of very bad advice. The Rove hand was evident as the President described America's segregated past as "shameful"--almost endorsing the contrived, smear driven, attack on his foundering Senate Leader, and implicitly insulting Thurmond and many of the former "Reagan Democrats," upon whom his own election had depended. Yet an arrogant need to insult the social views of such Americans as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, etc., was clearly not in this President's interest.
No Republican has been elected President since Thurmond came over to the Republican Party--to support Barry Goldwater in 1964--without strong support from Strom Thurmond, and those other former Democrats--or the sons and daughters of same--who had either supported Thurmond in 1948, or at least voiced similar opinions. No member of the United States Senate, in 2002, was more respected in the circles upon which any Republican President must depend for election, than Strom Thurmond. Calling Thurmond's past "shameful," was neither smart politics, nor warranted by any thing actually requiring Presidential notice. It was offensive to anyone who respects the American past. Yet, note a further clue to Rovian confusion in our next example.
Insulting The Senegalese. It probably escaped the notice of most Americans. The more enthusiastic of the President's supporters were actually complaining about a lack of media coverage. But the President made a speech off the coast of the African nation of Senegal, last year, in which he denounced human slavery in very strong terms. In summary, he treated it as a great crime against humanity. While at first blush, one might ask, "so what," let us try to delve a bit deeper into the purpose and actual effect of the speech. Why in 2003, would a President of the United States go to Africa to make a speech denouncing human slavery?
President Clinton, of course, had done the same thing, apologizing also for the American past. The idea of a sitting President of the United States, going across the ocean to apologize for our country, had not sat well with American Conservatives then. Why would Bush want to copy the action? The whole thing had the earmark of the flawed perceptions of Karl Rove.
We will not speculate, whether Mr. Rove thought that this would be an answer to the absurd demands that White America pay Black America reparations for slavery. It will hardly so serve. The one is about humiliation, the other about money. Did Rove think that the speech would make West Africans love America, and respond with some form of support that would enhance the President's prestige at home? That, not satisfied with the pseudo largesse, discussed above under "Aid For AIDS In Africa," this would provide the frosting on the cake, and guarantee success for the initiative?
We suspect that the Senegalese, who have a quiet dignity which Karl Rove would never understand, did not insult the President, while he was there. Whether out of courtesy, desire for American aid, or both; they probably did not even allow that he had just insulted them. But all of us might have hoped that the President had been better served by his political advisor before he made that speech. Senegal had human slavery long after it was abolished in the United States; and the probability is very high, that many of those who attended the President's remarks, had had grandfathers or great-grandfathers, whom the President was excoriating without ever realizing it. The Encyclopedia of Britannica (Ninth Ed., Vol. XXI, 1886) tells us of the population of Senegambia (including both present day Senegal and Gambia) at that time:
The few Europeans are mainly civil and military officials or traders. White planters are rare. The natives of Senegambia are generally divided into two quite distinct classes,--freemen and slaves. The griots are a kind of bards ... who live at the expense of those whose praises they sing.
While the French, British and Portuguese were present, mostly to man or defend trading posts, the vast hinterland of the respective protectorates of Senegal and Gambia remained generally outside the European influence. Slavery was a native institution, no fault of any European. What did it profit any American interest, for the President to go over there and insult the history of both our people and their people? Was he set up to look foolish? Or was he answering some strange need, deep within the dysfunctional mind of his chief political advisor?
Dysron, mole or quack? What drives or explains Karl Rove?
Meddling In Local Politics. The Bush Administration is certainly not the first to try to meddle in local politics, to try to dictate which candidates shall receive a nomination to run under their party banner; not the first to try to dictate local political choices. (For example, Roosevelt attempted to purge a number of Democratic Senators from his party in 1938, failing miserably in some cases.) But recent Rovian Republican attempts to do so, certainly put the idea of "outreach" into a new perspective!
Roosevelt's 1938 purges were the start of the road downhill from the apparent, virtually invincible, political clout he had displayed in winning the 1936 election by over 11,000,000 votes--carrying every State but Maine and Vermont. By 1940, his margin was just under 5,000,000 in a larger turnout. By 1944, despite moving closer to the center, he was down to 3,500,000. But there is a significant difference between Roosevelt, who took America dramatically to the Left during the first 100 days of his Administration, trying to purge Conservatives, and George W. Bush, who claims to be a Conservative, allowing a dysfunctional political advisor to shut Conservatives out of Republican nominations. The idea hurt Roosevelt. It could absolutely destroy the Bush Administration, which did not win by 11,000,000, even if one eliminates the documented double voting and illegal voting for Al Gore, in some States.
The significant thing, which Roosevelt chose to ignore in his lurch to the Left, and which Karl Rove, perhaps, does not even understand, is that American parties at the Federal level, have always been coalitions of State and local political factions. They have never been monolithic in structure. America is not Nazi Germany, and the idea of one people, with one agenda and one Leader, is not our goal--has never been our goal. Is Rove, an obvious foe of the Spirit of '76, trying to introduce the "Spirit of Nuremberg" into Republican politics? That seems far fetched; but so too does any argument that offending those local factions, pushed aside, will not harm the Administration and Republicans, generally, in contesting Federal elections. Again, all of this puts "outreach" into a new perspective!
Dysron, mole or quack? Whatever! Republicans cannot afford to have Karl Rove directing their political fortunes.
Confusing The Issue In Iraq. We would never have suspected that Karl Rove even had a hand in the formulation of policy for post-war Iraq, until we saw an article, recently posted at a Conservative web site, which discussed his role in steering the President to the theories of Bernard Lewis, an 87 year old British Historian. Lewis attributes most contemporary problems in the Near East to a form of social stagnation, and has been quoted, perhaps unfairly, as suggesting that imposing Democracy would be beneficial (Peter Waldman article on Sowing Arab Democracy, Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2004). The obvious flaw in such a theory, is that it confuses cause and effect.
As suggested in our own argument for a quite different approach to Iraq (see "Tactical Folly, Strategic Madness," below), the evolution of social and political institutions, and the state of progress in a society, bear not the relationship of cause and effect, but that of parallel effects from a common cause. The cause of stagnation in Mesopotamia is not a lack of "Democracy." Consider rather the effects of genocidal massacre--by Tamerlane or one or another Mongol leader--of the entire dominant group, after the great flowering of Islamic culture at Baghdad; factor that into the equations, and one may begin to understand reality. If you murder a nuclear scientist, the void is not filled by moving one of his former neighbors into his house. Forcibly trying to change a people's culture is an act of cruelty. The practical results are never worthwhile. For more on previous failed experiments, see "Democracy In The Third World," linked below.
Put another way, you will not recreate the Athenian age of Pericles in modern Baghdad, nor the level of culture and innovation that obtained in that city before 1400; anymore than those Mestizos, pouring over our Southern border, will ever recreate the Aztec civilization. Whatever benefit we have obtained from two centuries of treating others with respect, as any obtained by our show of military prowess in early 2003, are alike threatened by a continued indifference to the actual values and norms of conduct of the Near Easts' peoples. Just as the centuries long, British effort to Anglicize Ireland, only antagonized the Irish; so the concept of being reformed by an alien culture, can only earn lasting hatred in the Moslem world.
Even as we write, the President's Administrator, overseeing Iraqi reconstruction, is reported to have announced that a new "Democratic" Iraq, will not be permitted to base its written Constitution on Islamic law! If true, it appears that the definition of "Democracy" is changing, or that we have adopted the old Bolshevik interpretation. Yet there is no confusion in the endless hostility and conflict, which this myopia invites--nor the eventual "benefit" to the Republican party. And it would be well to bear in mind that the differences, between the English and Irish, are far less extreme than those between Americans and Iraqis--and that both English and Irish had versions of a "High Church" Christianity. Perhaps Professor Lewis would explain all of that to Karl Rove. (For our view as to how a "War on Terror" should be fought--with respect for every nation--see the article linked below.)
The Wall Street Journal article, referred to, offered a further insight into Professor Lewis. He apparently ingratiated himself with the Turkish and Israeli Governments, by providing each with a convenient rationalization on a subject pregnant with emotional implications. He may, in fact, have devolved into more the academic spin doctor than the dispassionate scholar, which he apparently started out as. These particular spins, in the Turkish case trying to justify the slaughter of Christian Armenians during World War I, and in the Israeli, offering to justify a denial of a Palestinian ethnic identity, would hardly qualify the Professor as a peacemaker in the Near East, nor win him many plaudits for fairness or objectivity. We have great respect for both the Turks and Israelis. But their leaders are no more entitled to a license to deny truth than are our own American politicians.
The report that Karl Rove was the one who actually introduced Lewis into the President's inner circle, raises more questions than it answers. It is the one thread, in all of this, which might indicate devious purpose, rather than some form of stupidity, at play here. Even a dysfunctional Karl Rove has to realize what a political disaster it would be for the Republicans to be perceived as the party that involved us in endless warfare, with Americans dying to prove academic theories that deny reality.
We have not addressed the President's signing of the Campaign Finance Reform Act--which has infuriated some Conservatives--nor the ridiculous sudden shift to the rhetoric of economy, after his expensive innovations and arm twisting to drive those innovations through Congress, precipitated the huge deficits, the sharp fall in the Dollar exchange rate, and the inevitable economic consequences that these portend. Nor have we addressed the failure to employ the full leverage of the Office, to secure the confirmations of his judicial appointees. We do not think these illustrate the Rove phenomenon so clearly. We believe that Rove has been a factor in the President's near silence on the farce going on in San Francisco, in pandering to the feminists, and in the watered down discussion of other issues important to Conservatives, such as firearms, abortion and school prayer. But we believe that we have cited enough to make our point with rational Conservatives.
A common aspect in most of our examples is a cynicism, a contempt for the values of honor and integrity, which have driven better men. There is not even the hypocrite's pretense, which the merely cynical pragmatist would have feigned under these circumstances, rather than surrender the Republican advantage, after the public exposure of Clinton's prevarication and duplicity. Republicans, rightly disturbed, and seeking a cause for the decline in public trust in the President, need look no further than his chief political adviser, Karl Rove. In the real world, honor and integrity are essential to a true pragmatism.
We do not believe that Karl Rove is a mole. We do not believe that, planted in the Bush camp, he has managed to seduce the perceptions of the former Governor and his allies, or that he has suddenly been activated to deliberately betray the President's interests. We believe that he suffers from a form of tunnel vision, which regardless of any innate intellectual ability prevents his having any sense of proportion, or any real empathy as to how various issues will impact the thinking or future of the various and diverse interests of Americans; that he has no realistic clue as to the effects of policies, that he has promoted within the Administration, on the voting patterns of any substantial group of Americans. Put another way, if he were a mole, his handlers would certainly have him do something "smart," once and a while, so as not to blow his cover.
Whether this blindness to essential political reality is the result of the fears or compulsions that have converted others into dysrons, as we have defined the term, or whether there is some other obscure cause, or he is simply suffering from an undefined mental defect; to allow him to continue to lead a Republican Administration along paths, certain to result in one disaster after another, is incredibly dangerous, not only to immediate and longer term Republican interests, but to the American future. It has been as though, to borrow a characterization from the successful Lord Of The Rings trilogy, George Bush has trusted Gollum as his political guide. And whether that guide is suffering from tunnel vision, a dysfunctional intellect, or driven by actual malice; he has led the Administration into a very long and very dark alley, with endless muggings just ahead.
As the inevitable unraveling of the Rovian initiatives takes place, Republican candidates at all levels will be compromised. And because the party has, in recent years, been associated with Conservatism, the fall out will hurt some of us who had no part, whatsoever, in the undermining of our most cherished values.
You cannot base successful policy on a lie. No matter how many sycophants surround you, there is such a thing as reality. And sooner or later, as in the story, an honest little boy, or his equivalent, is going to announce to all the world that you are intellectually naked. For us, at this Conservative resource center, we cannot think of Karl Rove but with echoes of the refrain from that well remembered song of the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, "If I only had a brain."