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The Word on "Turd Blossom"

By Dr. Gerry Lower, Eugene, Oregon  Posted by Rob Kall (about the submitter)     Permalink
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Do an innocent Google search for the term "Turd Blossom" and you will be treated to 61,500 results, literally page after page, with not a thing about "turd blossoms." No, its all about Karl Rove. The implications of this outcome are not good when America's favorite search engine can't come up with word definitions because it can't get around all the references to Karl Rove.

That term, "Turd Blossom," of course, is not some liberal putdown, but the "affectionate" nickname coined by George W. Bush in referring to his left brain and chief political strategist, his Karl. Helen Thomas traced the origins of the term to "several years ago when he [Rove] started getting accolades from political writers as the mastermind behind Bush ... the president is known to have bristled."

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According to Thomas, Bush "once told a journalist that he did not like his aides getting 'star treatment.' So, he started calling Rove 'Turd Blossom.'" Thomas suggested that the term "refers to the so-called cowpie splat made by bovine waste when it hits the ground" (Turd Blossom to Ride Again!, January 14, 2003) (1).

Those who lack honest and intelligent comprehension typically make their sales through glad-handing, with one hand over your shoulder and the other hand down in your pants, Bush's signature approach. Adding insult to injury, Bush tops that off by being jokingly self-deprecating. He doesn't mean it at all, of course. After all, he is the "war president." But, as a result, when being upstaged or criticized, Bush has no problems with deprecating others. It runs in the family.

The Bush administration's relationships with the English language and with empirical reality, however, are not only mindless but legendarily so. Cheney announces that the Iraq insurgency is in its "last throes." Rove rewrites history by announcing that "liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." It makes one's head spin, but then that is what "spin" is designed to do, so that the people stick with the party line. It is the Rovian basis for government of, by and for Rovians.

In other words, one can never be sure just what the Bush administration means because it so seldom knows what it is talking about, its outreach being laced with conjecture and concoction. As a direct result, the Bush administration seldom knows what it is doing (Eugene Robinson, Syntax, Disassembled, Washington Post, July 12, 2005) (2). Theses people are, after all, not experienced diplomats and learned statesmen, but more a conspiracy of businessmen trying to make a sale.

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Bloggers and columnists alike have attempted to more precisely define Bush's oxymoronic term for Rove. One suggested that "the use of Mr. Rove's nickname is probably due to his [Rove's] ability to make something very unappetizing (cow patties) into something attractive (a flower)" (Dick Brandlon, Lotus Media, July 13, 2005) (3). Julian Borger, with the Guardian, suggested that a turd blossom is "a Texanism for a flower that blooms from cattle excrement" (Boy Genius or Turd Blossom, Guardian, October 2, 2003) (4).

Out on barren Texas rangeland, perhaps a turd blossom splatter of cow pie on the ground or a flower growing out of a cow pie could be considered a thing of lonesome beauty. In the woodlands and dairy farmlands of the midwest, however, the term more commonly used is "Fart Blossom," defined as "a producer of particularly redolent farts" (5).

Applied to Karl Rove, the term "fart blossom" is a good deal more descriptive. Fart blossoms enter this world and diffuse outward to contaminate an area much larger than that occupied by its producer. Karl's reach is global. Turds, on the other hand, enter this world and remain a lump in Karl's undies.

It is the widespread diffusion of Karl's gaseous effluvia, his skatolic fouling of the collective air, that urges remedial action. Because it is intellectually impossible to separate Karl from his boyish "get-away-with-it-while-you-can" attitude, there is simply "no moral case for keeping Karl Rove on the government payroll" (Timothy Noah, Turd Blossom Must Go, Slate/MSNBC, July 11, 2005) (6).

All of this ought not be surprising, coming from moral, God-fearing men who promote unprovoked war, humiliating torture and "family values" all in the same breath. Certainly, the Bush administration must know the certain truth, that "He who farts in church sits in his own pew" (5).


1) Helen Thomas -
2) Eugene Robinson -
3) Dick Brandlon -
4) Julian Borger -,13918,1165126,00.html
5) The Fart Poem -
6) Timothy Noah -

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Dr. Gerry Lower lives in Eugene, Oregon. His website is at and he can be reached at


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