A term that dates back to dirty political tricks of the Nixon era, but has most notably used of late by David Brock in his book "Blinded By the Right" to describe the Richard Mellon-Scaif funded Arkansas Project, a massive finanical legal and journalist effort devoted to the destruction of Bill Clinton - as well as high profile Democ-Rats in general.
Besides Karl Rove, it would hard to find a more instrumental and effective rat-f*cker in the Bush administration than his former chief campaign strategist in 2004, Matthew Dowd.
The chief strategist for President George W. Bush's 2004 reelection campaign wrote an editorial that said Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry was right in calling for a withdrawal from Iraq -- "Kerry Was Right" -- but never submitted it, according to an article to be published in Sunday's New York Times.
From the NYT.
In a wide-ranging interview here, Mr. Dowd called for a withdrawal from Iraq and expressed his disappointment in Mr. Bush’s leadership.
He criticized the president as failing to call the nation to a shared sense of sacrifice at a time of war, failing to reach across the political divide to build consensus and ignoring the will of the people on Iraq. He said he believed the president had not moved aggressively enough to hold anyone accountable for the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and that Mr. Bush still approached governing with a "my way or the highway" mentality reinforced by a shrinking circle of trusted aides.
"I really like him, which is probably why I’m so disappointed in things," he said. He added, "I think he’s become more, in my view, secluded and bubbled in."
In speaking out, Mr. Dowd became the first member of Mr. Bush’s inner circle to break so publicly with him.
For someone whose worked so closely with the President, going all the way back to Texas in 1999 - Dowd's rebuke of the Bush administration is stunning even in the wake of inner-circle revelations made by David Kuo that the Bush Administration had used it's Faith initiatives to further political ends.
And especially since Dowd was a principle "architect" of the flip-flopper meme which helped sink John kerry's presidential aspirations.
Mr. Dowd, a crucial part of a team that cast Senator John Kerry as a flip-flopper who could not be trusted with national security during wartime, said he had even written but never submitted an op-ed article titled "Kerry Was Right," arguing that Mr. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat and 2004 presidential candidate, was correct in calling last year for a withdrawal from Iraq.
"I’m a big believer that in part what we’re called to do — to me, by God; other people call it karma — is to restore balance when things didn’t turn out the way they should have," Mr. Dowd said. "Just being quiet is not an option when I was so publicly advocating an election."
As most of us here realize, Kerry was clearly sandbagged. The claim that he had "Voted for the Troops before he voted against them" was clearly bogus. Simply put: There were two different versions of the bill - one included a way to pay for the funding of the war and the other (the one he voted against) did not.
Needless to say, the White House couldn't let Dowd's remarks go unchallenged. Dan Bartlett on Face the Nation this Sunday via Thinkprogress.