Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Return of Dr. StrangeRove

Known in some circles as Bush’s Brain, Karl Rove has escaped indictment in the on-going leaking/outing case, to do with CIA agent Valerie Plame. At least for the time being he has. Apparently Rove, who has made his living as a partisan dirty trickster since the 1970s, knows how to play the game without getting busted a little better than does poor Scooter Libby. Some readers may remember when a younger version of the ever slippery Rove was a behind-the-scenes presence for the GOP in Virginia politics, briefly, in the late-70s.
Dr. StrangeRove gasped, "It would not be difficult, Mein Führer! Nuclear reactors could easily provide, heh... I'm sorry, Mr. President."
'Toon by F. T. Rea
That Rove is back at his White House desk was evident with George Bush’s unusual remarks on Veterans Day. When I say “unusual” that means I can’t remember another president using his obligatory Veterans Day speech to savage his political opponents. It would seem that for one day Bush could have forgotten about his sinking approval ratings and just honored the contributions and sacrifices of American veterans.

But Rove, the Brain, doesn’t let opportunities go by unused. So instead of a humble and grateful Commander in Chief, we got an angry politician.

Rove's has openly acknowledged that a key inspiration for his career in politics was Ohio political boss Mark Hanna, who was President William McKinley’s brain in the day. Writing for Slate, Jacob Weisberg penned a nice piece on Rove and his revealing fascination with Hanna on Nov. 2:

“...McKinley was an affable, none-too-bright former congressman when Hanna helped elect him governor of Ohio. In 1896, Hanna raised an unprecedented amount of money and ran a sophisticated, hardball campaign that got McKinley to the White House. One could go on with the analogy: McKinley governed negligently in the interests of big business and went to war on flimsy evidence that Spain had blown up the USS Maine. The key to McKinley's political success was the alliance Hanna forged between industrialists like himself, who provided the cash, and workers, who provided the votes. In Rove's alliance, the rich provide the cash, and religious conservatives provide the votes.”

What Karl Rove believes in, or wants in the long run -- other than raw power itself -- is anybody’s guess. The Hanna link is a nice piece of history, but when I think of Rove, I imagine him sitting behind the president in meetings, speaking in the campy German accent Peter Sellers used in the title role of "Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)." Then I can almost hear Dr. StrangeRove whispering warnings in Bush’s ear about a “mine-shaft-gap.”

1 comment:

curmudgeon said...

As I recall in Strangelove, neither the former Nazi nor the President was the problem, it was wacko General Jack T. Ripper..maybe you should use your analogy on off-the-reservation General Clark