FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Apres Rove

by MIKE WHITNEY

 

Can Bush survive in a post-Rove world?

Not likely.

The Bush persona is mainly the invention of its author Rove; a careful stitching together of religious and western imagery, of pious moralizing and cowboy “straight-talk”. Originally, Bush was a formless glob of clay that uber-advisor Rove tenderly sculpted and brought to life. In many ways Bush is nothing more than the political vehicle for the aspirations, ambitions, and objectives of his constituents. He wasn’t chosen as a presidential nominee for his abilities, but for his for his willingness to follow orders and carry out the corporate agenda without question. His utter lack of curiosity about anything beyond the range of his immediate experience has proved to be a real godsend in his new assignment. In fact, Bush may be the perfect candidate; a self-absorbed malingerer who flawlessly reflects the identity of the person whispering through his hidden ear-piece.

Rove is the stardust that animates the vacuous executive; the transformer that pumps a steady stream of electricity into the severed presidential-cortex. He’s not so much a puppet-master as he is an alter-ego; a Texas Cyrano creating the illusion of sincerity, warmth and moral conviction where none exist. Simply put, he’s a magician; turning a lumpen mass of protoplasm into a fully-operable world leader with moveable parts. Without the wily-professor Rove behind the curtain, the Bush façade would quickly dissipate and vaporize into thin air.

The system simply doesn’t work without Rove. It goes beyond the symbiotic relationship between the two; it’s the marriage of mind and muscle. Bush likes to play dress-up, and Rove, who has a keen grasp of American folklore, is forever extracting new, iconic identities from his bag-o-tricks. One day Bush appears as a “Mission Accomplished” action-figure in a shiny jumpsuit on the flight-deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, then he’s hammering man with rolled up sleeves and a contractor’s nail-belt, and finally, its basic flannel for the requisite Ronald Reagan chain-saw photo-op. Whatever the occasion, our Betsy McCall president is always at the ready to slip on a costume, coif up the hairpiece, and take center stage. Rove’s job is to ensure that Bush looks presidential whether waltzing with a plastic turkey in Baghdad or gadding about in a Navy flight-jacket surrounded by Marines.

The greatest tribute to Rove is the fact that 38% of the American people still believe that Bush is running the country. This is a remarkable feat, especially since the public relations smokescreen that traditionally shelters Bush from criticism has gotten increasingly threadbare.

In the last few weeks a number of articles have pointed out that Bush is totally outside of the policy making loop in his own administration. Apparently, the Pentagon’s OSP (Office of Special Plans) and Cheney’s WHIG (White House Iraq Group) made all of the major decisions related to the upcoming war in Iraq. Bush was either too busy developing a softer look for his scripted video-conferences or frolicking in the Crawford outback on his customized mountain bike. Wherever he was doing, his circumscribed role as performer-in-chief has never really been in doubt. He was enlisted to put a smiley-face on vile policies of torture, repression and war; and, he has done just that.

But, now, the system is teetering from the threat of indictments. If Rove goes down, the cracks and fissures in the White House parapets will appear fairly quickly. Bush depends on his podgy confidante more than people realize. He’s the anchor that keeps the petulant president from drifting off into a post-alcoholic miasma. Without Rove, the country faces the prospect of an embattled executive left to his own devices, his jittery hands inching ever-closer to the Big Red Switch.

Not a pretty picture.

The Bush administration really isn’t built on its high-minded ideology as many seem to believe. That stuff is pure mumbo jumbo. The regime rests entirely on the strengths and talents of a few key people, without whom the whole mechanism would grind to an abrupt standstill. Rove, Rumsfeld and Cheney are the indispensable cogs in the imperial jalopy. If any one of them is carted off to prison, the entire operation will unravel like a ball of yarn.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

 

 

 

 

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
May 26, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Swamp Politics, Trump Style: “Russiagate” Diverts From the Real White House Scandals
Paul Street
It’s Not Gonna Be Okay: the Nauseating Nothingness of Neoliberal Capitalist and Professional Class Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
The ICEmen Cometh
Ron Jacobs
The Deep State is the State
Pete Dolack
Why Pence Might be Even Worse Than Trump
Patrick Cockburn
We Know What Inspired the Manchester Attack, We Just Won’t Admit It
Thomas Powell
The Dirty Secret of the Korean War
Mark Ashwill
The Fat Lady Finally Sings: Bob Kerrey Quietly Resigns from Fulbright University Vietnam Leadership Position
John Davis
Beyond Hope
Uri Avnery
The Visitation: Trump in Israel
Ralph Nader
The Left/Right Challenge to the Failed “War on Drugs”
Traci Yoder
Free Speech on Campus: a Critical Analysis
Dave Lindorff
Beware the Supporter Scorned: Upstate New York Trump Voters Hit Hard in President’s Proposed 2018 Budget
Daniel Read
“Sickening Cowardice”: Now More Than Ever, Britain’s Theresa May Must be Held to Account on the Plight of Yemen’s Children
Ana Portnoy
Before the Gates: Puerto Rico’s First Bankruptcy Trial
M. Reza Behnam
Rethinking Iran’s Terrorism Designation
Brian Cloughley
Ukraine and the NATO Military Alliance
Josh Hoxie
Pain as a Policy Choice
David Macaray
Stephen Hawking Needs to Keep His Mouth Shut
Ramzy Baroud
Fear as an Obstacle to Peace: Why Are Israelis So Afraid?
Kathleen Wallace
The Bilious Incongruity of Trump’s Toilet
Seth Sandronsky
Temping Now
Alan Barber – Dean Baker
Blue Collar Blues: Manufacturing Falls in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania in April
Jill Richardson
Saving America’s Great Places
Richard Lawless
Are Credit Rating Agencies America’s Secret Fifth Column?
Louis Proyect
Venezuela Reconsidered
Murray Dobbin
The NDP’s Singh and Ashton: Flash Versus Vision
Ron Leighton
Endarkenment: Postmodernism, Identity Politics, and the Attack on Free Speech
Anthony Papa
Drug War Victim: Oklahoma’s Larry Yarbrough to be Freed after 23 Years in Prison
Rev. John Dear
A Call to Mobilize the Nation Over the Next 18 Months
Yves Engler
Why Anti-Zionism and Anti-Jewish Prejudice Have to Do With Each Other
Ish Mishra
Political Underworld and Adventure Journalism
Binoy Kampmark
Roger Moore in Bondage
Rob Seimetz
Measuring Manhoods
Edward Curtin
Sorry, You’re Not Invited
Vern Loomis
Winning the Lottery is a State of Mind
Charles R. Larson
Review: Mary V. Dearborn’s “Ernest Hemingway”
David Yearsley
The Ethos of Mayfest
May 25, 2017
Jennifer Matsui
The Rise of the Alt-Center
Michael Hudson
Another Housing Bubble?
Robert Fisk
Trump Meets the New Leader of the Secular World, Pope Francis
John Laforge
Draft Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Unveiled
Benjamin Dangl
Trump’s Budget Expands War on the Backs of America’s Poor
Alice Donovan
US-Led Air Strikes Killed Record Number of Civilians in Syria
Andrew Moss
The Meaning of Trump’s Wall
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail