Incredible as it may seem Karl Rove and others still insist on talking about who sent Joe Wilson to Niger or continue to celebrate political victories that have left the country divided and in profound distress. Even as he resigns “to spend more time with his family” Rove deposited little nuggets of extraneous and disingenuous information on “Meet the Press” and other Sunday talk shows over the weekend, making it abundantly clear why Bush nicknamed him Turdblossom even if it isn’t nearly as clear why he is often referred to as Bush’s brain.
Sticking to the well-established cover about a (non-existent) yellow-cake/Saddam Hussein connection ‘the brain’ rehashed the familiar propaganda that British intelligence always maintained the validity of its findings – – that is until it was learned they had been gamed by forged documents and the whole story collapsed under its own weight. In similar fashion he stood by his recollection of a conversation with columnist Robert Novak that is at odds with what Novak recalls – – that Rove said, when contacted as a secondary source for his story about Valerie Plame, ‘oh you know that too’.
Rove maintains he learned about Plame by chance from scuttlebutt being bandied about in the corridors of the White House. Although it is hard to believe that, with his access to the top echelons of power and vast number of insiders, he was essentially out of the loop and came by this information casually, that’s what the man said. And despite the fact that the president was advised by our CIA that claims of a yellowcake connection were unreliable and it would be best if he did not allude to them in his State of The Union Speech, folks at the White House just couldn’t resist making use of such juicy propaganda so into the speech it went.
It was those dubious claims that triggered the NY Times op ed from Joe Wilson and the rest, as they say, is history. The charge that Wilson lied by saying he was sent to Niger by the vice president was simply administration spin – – the fact is that the vice president wanted verification of the yellowcake story by the CIA, and the agency elected to send Wilson, who had had experience in Niger. It really doesn’t matter if his wife, Valerie Plame, suggested him or merely agreed with his choice or whether any number of good, bad or indifferent characters at CIA headquarters decided he was the man for the assignment. The fact is Joe Wilson was right; the intelligence was flawed and should not have formed the basis for military action by the US or Britain.
Elsewhere, former House Speaker DeLay was speechifying about the exploits of the Republican majority during its congressional wonder years – – such marvels as ensuring, legislatively, that no-one could ever again question in court the right to include “God” in the pledge of allegiance, and working to thwart the ‘liberal’ ninth-circuit court, by withholding operating funds thereby impeding its ability to conduct business and render decisions with which right-wingers like DeLay disagreed. Turning the whole notion of checks and balances on its head he stated that Congress had to rein in the courts, ignoring the fact that judicial oversight of the other branches of government has always been a clearly defined feature of our constitutional form of government.
Adding to the bizarre nature of political discourse in the country a new gambit on the right is to blast female commentators who oppose the war or the administration by telling them they’ll look great in a burka. Although these same people maintain we have the greatest military and the most advanced weaponry in the world they suggest, in something of a non-sequitur, that if opponents of the war in Iraq have their way we’ll be overwhelmed by an Islamic juggernaut. Having heard this particular charge once on “Hardball” from Melanie Morgan, it came as something of a shock to hear it repeated on another show by a different mouthpiece. It rather appears that the burka mantra is to be incorporated into all the other mindless rants that pass for discussions of serious issues.
Melanie Morgan, for example, is a co-host on San Francisco’s KSFO 660 AM morning show, but appears on shows like “Hardball” as well. It is astonishing, not to mention alarming that people of such diminished intellectual capacity are able to voice silly and uninformed points of view on air. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing and thankfully it is part of our national birthright. It would be refreshing, however, if radio and TV outlets employed honest-to-goodness reporters and provided regular time slots for people who actually knew stuff and engaged in thoughtful observations rather than invective laced with rampant stupidity.
What seems to pass for clever repartee these days is often about as intelligent as school-yard taunts from kids who haven’t learned how to behave. Poison-tongued advocates pounce on those who disagree with them spewing vitriol-laced, truth-deficient diatribes, apparently not having progressed much beyond their early school years. Karl Rove was a hard worker but in his machinations and underhanded operations he wasn’t all that different from the less sophisticated and insultingly stupid advocates of hate speech and double talk who have come to claim so much time on the public airwaves.

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