From President Bush to the supine, sycophantic mainstream media the kudos can’t stop coming about Karl Rove the supposed “political genius” as the person behind the Republican Party’s rise to power. But no amount of wax paper will obliterate the fact that long before his public decision to demit office at the end of August Rove’s shine was badly scuffed and sullied and his political career was in already in decline. But spin is spin and depending on which side of the political fence that you sit on you might agree with President Bush that Mr. Rove is a “boy genius.”
Me? I can’t as yet wrap my arms around these oozing flowery salutations to a man who will be remembered more for his foibles than for his political skills. Indeed, Rove’s raison d’etre – the reason for his existence – winning elections for his party sustained a serious crack in the armor when he failed to halt the Democratic juggernaut last November that resulted in the Republican Party losing both house of Congress. That was hardly the work of a political genius but the dithering blundering of an incompetent.
Then came the Alberto Gonzales saga that thrust Rove in a less than flattering light smack dab in the middle of the sordid melee. The embattled US Attorney General admitted that on at least two occasions he had conversations with Rove about sacking eight federal prosecutors. Democrats claimed that Rove’s meddling amounted to a perception that the attorneys were fired for political reasons. In the ensuing political fracas President Bush intervened and used his executive privilege to prevent Mr. Rove from answering questions before a Congressional committee that had grilled Mr. Gonzales good and proper.
Even today the controversial 2000 presidential elections is still the stuff of debate all across America. But the essential point here is that for all his political genius, something spun and built by a pro-Republican mainstream media and sundry talking heads, that election will go down in United States and world history as a colossal screw-up. Al Gore won the popular vote after running a very bad campaign in which he avoided the immensely popular former president, Bill Clinton, as the plague. After all the votes were counted Gore won by 500,000 votes – the popular vote - and had it not been for the chicanery in Florida he would have been the President of the United States today.
Eventually the election was decided by the United States Supreme Court and there Bush won most of the popular vote – five of them. So in the end it was not the genius of Karl Rove but the decision of a Republican-leaning US Supreme Court that decided who was going to be the President of the United States. In 2004 when Rove’s supposed political genius was on display again when Bush won the elections by 3 million votes against another Democratic candidate who ran the worst campaign in recent history.
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