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Karl Rove and Lazy Journalists

Ed Morrisey comments on Howard Kurtz' latest on Karl Rove with an interesting post about how Rove's elevation to the role of Bush's brain by many journalists was partially the result of lazy reporters not doing the work to get past their preconceived ideas about Bush.

Ever since then, and ever since the book Bush's Brain got published, Rove has served as the center of all misery for the Democrats. The news media simply got lazy and followed suit. To some extent, it helped Bush to have a lightning rod for the lunatic fringe, but instead of people recovering their senses, the madness spread. Everything became all about Rove, and even Kurtz still hasn't recovered enough to quit connecting the Harriet Miers debacle to Rove rather than George Bush himself.

The President sets policy. He has close advisors, such as Rove and Dick Cheney, but in the end he has the authority and the choices are his...

Rove's brief dabble in policy matters lasted less than two years. For the most part, Rove focused on electioneering. He built a Republican realignment that only collapsed when voters got tired of the corruption and free spending of consecutive Republican-led Congresses. Rove got an inordinate amount of blame for 2006, perhaps because he remained defiantly optimistic when all indications of a major loss could be seen, but Rove didn't lose that election -- the Republican incumbents lost it themselves.

Rove has been an easy target, and the media and Bush critics have elevated him to the level of puppetmaster. Now he's gone, and Bush will continue to be President. It may turn out to be Rove's revenge on lazy journalists and paranoid conspiracy theorists.


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Comments (30)

If Rove gets blame for the ... (Below threshold)
Dirk:

If Rove gets blame for the 2004 Congressional election losses,shouldn't he get credit for the 2002 and 2004 gains too? Seems like they should cancel out or at least give him a small advantage.

So what you are saying Lori... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

So what you are saying Lorie, is that the politicization of the Justice Department, the quagmire Iraq, that's Bush's doing, that's the Decider's fault; hardly any of the blame, if any, can be laid at Karl Rove's door...I would remind you that though 'Bush's Brain' was the sobriquet coined by Texas journalist James Moore, it was Bush who chose the name 'Boy Genius' for Rove. The influence of the politically consumed Rove on the habitually incurious Bush was enormous. I wouldn't underestimate it.

True about politically cons... (Below threshold)
kim:

True about politically consumed. Untrue about habitually incurious. Bush is a lot more engaged than you imagine. Bush is CEO of the world and adding value daily for all stakeholders, even the disbelieving and the sullen. Cheney is his COO. If the Board of Directors fails to find adequate replacement, sell.

Now speaking of consumption; is the appetite sated? Is the faggot burnt to exhaustion?
===========================

Actually Steve, what I was ... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Actually Steve, what I was saying was exactly what I said, "Ed Morrisey comments on Howard Kurtz' latest on Karl Rove with an interesting post about how Rove's elevation to the role of Bush's brain by many journalists was partially the result of lazy reporters not doing the work to get past their preconceived ideas about Bush."

Do I really have to interpret that for you? I thought it was pretty clear, but I can dumb it down if need be. I did not say that Rove did not have enormous influence. Notice, I didn't say that. What I do believe, and Ed gets at this in his post, is that the caricature that many lazy and/or biased journalists created of the dumb chimp Bush being controlled by the omnipotent Rove was not accurate and did not convey the true nature of the relationship between the two.

Bush may be intellectually ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Bush may be intellectually incurious but he is far from dumb. In a feral, streets smart way he's got it. But Is that whom we want to lead the free world? I would have hoped not. What Rove and he did together was fool some of the people some of the time. They tried (together) to fool all of the people all of the time and the chicken has come home to roost. Only the henhouse is almost destroyed and there are only a very few chickens left who are interested. And someone is going to have to clean up behind them.

Do any of you wonder why Bush's name is anathema to the Repubs running here in Iowa. They're running from the henhouse as fast and as far as they can.

One of Bush and Roves' bigg... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

One of Bush and Roves' biggest mistakes was to over estimate the importance of the 2004 election.

"Let me put it to you this way: I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it."

That is a statement of arrogance and partisanship. When Bush should had been the "uniter" he became the "divider" and then the "decider".

"...free spending of consec... (Below threshold)
Yogurt:

"...free spending of consecutive Republican-led Congresses..."

Did I miss something? Where did you look to find conservatism in Congress?

Yogs

Do any of you wond... (Below threshold)
Heralder:
Do any of you wonder why Bush's name is anathema to the Repubs running here in Iowa. They're running from the henhouse as fast and as far as they can.

I don't wonder why. It makes good political sense to do so. President Bush has been relentlessly smeared and lied about since he took office and it's only gotten worse. Not all of the scapegoating took hold, but some of it did.

For those of us who can clearly see where President Bush has made mistakes, and where he hasn't, this character assassination campaign has been all the more annoying.

Where did all the frogs<... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Where did all the frogs go?

Heralder:Come now,... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Heralder:

Come now, you really over simplify why the candidates are running from Bush. But lets, for the sake of argument, assu?e you're correct about the candidtaes. What does that say about them. Masses of republican candidates, including Bush, have been willing to invoke the memory of Raegan in the past. But not Bush?

"Let me put it to you this ... (Below threshold)
RobLACal.:

"Let me put it to you this way: I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it."

Barney, President Bush was trying to explain it in a way you dumb babbling bed wetters could understand. After nothing but obstruction and lies and since you failed to prop up your traitor dead horse face Fraud Kerry.


"They tried (together) to fool all of the people all of the time and the chicken has come home to roost."

Who is they? The 85% voting democrat media right?

"They tried (together)" = Democrats and their partners in the media, as I mentioned above. Only this time in 2006 with they and their Media teamed up with our terrorist enemies and were successfull enough with the help of some Rhino's to to lie their way into the majority.

Barney and JFO hope to keep that winning tactic alive , lies lies and more lies. Fake it till you make it. Vote democrat, it's easier than thinking.

"Masses of republican candi... (Below threshold)
RobLACal.:

"Masses of republican candidates, including Bush, have been willing to invoke the memory of Raegan in the past. But not Bush?"

How stupid can you be. It takes years to clean up all the crap democrats fling around. All the lies democrats have throw back in their face so that they haveto reinvent themselve and call themselves Progressives. Let's just call democrats what they are , a bunch of incompetant lying frauds.

"Masses of Repulicans...." LOL.. what a loser.

David Frum is a former spee... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

David Frum is a former speech writer ('axis of evil' genesis) and still a huge fan of Bush called him 'incurious' and as a result often 'ill-informed'. His wife Laura Bush: "George is not an overly introspective person. He has good instincts, and he goes with them. He doesn't need to evaluate and reevaluate a decision. He doesn't try to overthink. He likes action."...Rove was the guy who was interested in the nuts and bolts, the minutiae of politics.

Bush had lived an amazingly charmed life until recently, and people who live charmed lives, don't have alarm bells ringing inside their heads ..Heralder, character assassination on Bush? Well it was Bush, after all who chose Rove and his well-publized 'dirty tricks' brand of politics..so Bush is perhaps just being 'hoisted by his own petard.'

JFO:What ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

JFO:

What does that say about them. Masses of republican candidates, including Bush, have been willing to invoke the memory of Raegan in the past. But not Bush?

Like I said....

And no, of course it's not that simple, but I do believe it's the crux of it.

'dirty tricks' bra... (Below threshold)
Heralder:
'dirty tricks' brand of politics

Steve, you know enough to know there is no other type of politics.

But, now that I mention it, there is another type of politics...what would you call wanting your country to lose a war because it'll be bad for the opposing political party?


If the MSM hadn't been so d... (Below threshold)
Rance:

If the MSM hadn't been so damn lazy, they would have uncovered the real skeleton in Karl's closet. Now it comes out.

From an interview he gave in Waco, TX, he talks about mistakes made:

"I remember having a conversation with a colleague -- I want to say not only a colleague, but a very close friend -- and responding out of frustration at the end of a seemingly long, continuing dialogue that turned into an argument, and saying something unkind, and it was the worst I ever felt at the White House. I later apologized to him for it."

"But, now that I mention it... (Below threshold)
RobLACal.:

"But, now that I mention it, there is another type of politics...what would you call wanting your country to lose a war because it'll be bad for the opposing political party?"

They put steve on hold. I'll tell ya kind of politics that is .....

"SAY ANYTHING" "DO WHATEVER IT TAKES"

LIE YOUR ASS OFF OBSTRUCT, COMMIT TREASON ,
............ DIVIDE THE COUNTRY

Bush had lived an ama... (Below threshold)

Bush had lived an amazingly charmed life until recently, and people who live charmed lives, don't have alarm bells ringing inside their heads ..

What motivates you to that kind of remark? A charmed life? I'm not sure any President, at the end of his term(s) would describe the experience as charming.
He bootstrapped a struggling oil business in Texas and sold it for a profit. He bought a failing sports franchise, turned it around and sold it for a profit. He has admitted he is an alcoholic and continues his recovery to this day. He won two elections for the governor's office in Texas, defeating in one of those elections a Democratic Party icon, Anne Richards. Are we up to recently yet? He won two presidential elections and led our country's recovery against the most devastating attack on our soil in history. He has led the War on Terror, made changes in tactics and strategy as required, and stands his ground.

And all you have to offer is Frum? What are Frum's motives, if they even mattered. Reagan had his Stockman, Bush has Frum.

Personally, I don't want a president with alarm bells ringing in his head. I want steadfast leadership and reasoned responses.


Hugh, those businesses were... (Below threshold)
jim:

Hugh, those businesses were handed to Bush. As the saying goes, he was born on third base, and thought he hit a triple.

http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/05/13/president.2000/jackson.bush/

Bush started in the Texas oil business...Wealthy family friends and others invested millions with him, but with poor results...Investors got back only 45 cents on the dollar, but few complained.

Investors also got tax deductions averaging more than 80 cents on every dollar invested. Those early Bush ventures were mainly tax shelters.

...Bush takes credit for conceiving The Ballpark at Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers baseball team, which he bought in 1989 with a wealthy group of investors....Bush invested just over $600,000, but Arlington taxpayers invested a lot more.

"It was $135 million worth of sales tax money," said attorney Glenn Sodd. "The city donated a good bit of land to the project. They got a sales tax exemption on all the items that were purchased for the stadium. We have a property tax in Texas and they were given as part of the deal a property tax exemption." A total of at least $200 million, according to Sodd.

And there's more: Sodd sued the Rangers on behalf of two families whose property was seized for stadium parking. A jury found they were paid about one-seventh of what the land was worth.

...So Bush the businessman did prosper. But not by his bootstraps -- with help from wealthy friends and taxpayer subsidies.

JimThe CNN imprimatu... (Below threshold)

Jim
The CNN imprimature means nothing....note that it is dated prior to the 2000 election CNN so desperately wanted to go to Gore. Bush didn't get the tax money for the stadium. He made his profit on selling the team. The city of Arlington has made a fortune on the Stadium. Bush sold his energy business to Harken Energy. CNN cites no source for its statement. Where did the 45 cents on the dollar....oh, wait a minute, there were tax benefits that made the investments profitable. That happened a lot in Texas pre 1986, Jim.

And....A jury found they were paid about one-seventh of what the land was worth. Who condemned the property, Jim? George Bush? Did the sales tax money turn the team around? If so tell George Steinbrenner. Why should I believe an attorney who sued the Rangers? Why would CNN use him as a source? HMMM?

Rob and others. I hear you... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Rob and others. I hear your point of view alot, so I will give you my general response. If Bush really wants to win the war (in my opinion)in the 'Middle' of the Middle East he has got to to a number of things blah, blah. Alot of them would be very unpopular with his core constituency, perceived as very risky and psycholgically impossible for him and Cheney to contemplate...Normally in a parliamentary situation,with the way the war in Iraq has gone, the government might consider resigning or calling a new election. In this case with a fixed presidential term there is going to be little change..Hey I can home my team wins the Super bowl,(Al Queda and Muslin funtamentalism make every other ism look like a tea party) but I would still like our side to change coaches or strategy (again) otherwise the consequences and casualties will continue to mount. Bush was a sport owner so he knows alot about Monday quarterbacking...The fans have patience, but not enough to give any coach a ten year rebuilding contract without some positive short term results..Let's wait til September for the Petraeus report.

Mr. Crickmore:I of... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Mr. Crickmore:

I offer you the same challenge I offered to another person denigrating the war effort.

Find me, in history, the number of times an Islamic terror group, such as the Chechens in Russia, has been quelled in less than 10 years.

Then look up how long it took us to re-establish democratic forms of government to nations that already had a history of it--Germany and Japan--following a war.

Then, when you have all of that information (and please post it so I know you have it), please explain how we are supposed to both put down Islamic terrorists and introduce democratic government to a nation that has never known it in less than five years. Please note that any attempt to answer this question without the research above will result in being told to research the above. It is necessary to do the research first so as to properly understand this question.

I eagerly await your spin attempts, because I know darned good and well that even if you do the research above, you'll never post the results, nor answer my final question.

Come now, you real... (Below threshold)
Come now, you really over simplify why the candidates are running from Bush

You mean like how Gore ran away from Clinton?

Bush may be intellectually incurious but he is far from dumb. In a feral, streets smart way he's got it. But Is that whom we want to lead the free world?

Better that than a vacillating narcissist like Bill Clinton. And I'm not all that enthralled with the overly introspective.

Of the several books I've read on Clinton, one of the things that have stuck with me is his tendency to over analyze things.

I've know people in my life who are very smart. Who know every detail of an issue or problem. Yet, they struggle to come up with a decision, if they ever do. I've heard it described as paralysis by analysis.

Screw that.

I suspect Newt Gingrich is the same way. Too smart for his own good. That's why I'm not a Newt for Prez boomletter.

So, yeah, give me someone like Bush over Clinton any day of the week. At least when I see Bush or hear him speak, I don't feel like I should check my pockets or run and take a shower.

CCG another thread I will t... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

CCG another thread I will try and respond properly, but Petraeus, you and I agree this is going to be a long battle, if we are going to win, but that doesn't make it any likelier than we win? Is it worth the candle and the costs?

Hughs, I know you want to n... (Below threshold)
jim:

Hughs, I know you want to not believe the CNN article. However, you haven't offered any alternate citation; you just state that you don't want to believe it because it's CNN.

And "tax investments that make the venture profitable" is the same thing as saying "paid out of the taxpayers' pocket." Did the taxpayer see a return on their investment? If not, then it's just feeding at the public trough. That's not what I call visionary leadership.

Which is why I find it hard to see Bush as a smart and competent independent thinker and leader.

JimI'm not going to ... (Below threshold)

Jim
I'm not going to argue with you. You are the same Jim who cited a budget estimate as a real budget number. And that's the least of the comedy you offer here as serious argument.

jim, do you have any idea w... (Below threshold)
kim:

jim, do you have any idea why our tax code is incomprehensible, even to experts?
==================================

Fine, Hugh. That's your rig... (Below threshold)
jim:

Fine, Hugh. That's your right not to deal with my argument or my citations.

But I wish you would leave an argument if you don't have any backing for it.

I think it's because paying... (Below threshold)
jim:

I think it's because paying for governing, security and services for 300 million people in a 6.6-billion plus world, with risks and possibilities our forefathers never dreamed of, is complicated.

Not that it couldn't be simplified.

But people differ greatly on how things should be simplified. For instance, I think the Cayman Islands tax dodge employed by US companies should be closed. That'd go a long way to fixing our bridges and roads, right there.

Jim, your article does not ... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Jim, your article does not have the factual basis for what you want to claim it says. But more importantly it is completely irrelevant.

This is not a surprise, as we've had a long pattern from you of you not even understanding your own citations, not to mention pulling things from the exit end of your alimentary canal.




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