Where’s Karl Rove when Bush really needs him? There has to be a media strategy out there that effectively blames anyone other than Bush for the problems arising from Hurricane Katrina. Yeah, they tried saying “they should have left” before the storm, but when it was pointed out that most of these folks either had no way to evacuate or didn’t have the money for sustained motel rooms plus expensive gasoline, they kind of gave up on that argument. Oh sure, a few of the hard core radicals still try to say this, but noone believes it. There is a lot of really poor people in this country, and most everyone knows it. And it doesn’t work to just try to blanket demonize someone for being poor. There’s a much stronger connection between wealth and priviledge. It just isn’t an effective message to just say it is all of those people’s fault for not leaving the hurricane zone when they had a chance. Where was the governmental transportation for those that didn’t have any? It wasn’t there.
But that kind of argument isn’t very “Roveian” anyway. It’s too raw and full of truth. Rove has this knack of finding a way to destroy you personally that some Americans can swallow as “reasonable” for the express purpose that you are telling the truth. That’s quite a skill! And there are a lot of people of priviledge that are looking for such reasons to not have to worry about why they have so much while so many have so little.
Bush sure don’t that kind of skill. But he needs that kind of skill to succeed as a politician. Oh sure, everyone from Rumsfeld to Chertoff to Brown has gone on and on about how things are OK, but that isn’t good enough under these circumstances. No, Bush needs the “Rove Jugular” to beat back this problem. Some way to make everyone else believe that any problems are the fault of the victim, not the President. But it isn’t working with the American people, and it isn’t working with me. It seems obvious that Bush is screwing up. Either he doesn’t like black people cause they didn’t vote for him, which shouldn’t even be discussed because of how outrageous and criminal that would be, or he is just incompetent. Either way is bad. There isn’t any good in this. So Bush is going down from a really low pre-disaster rating. If he is going to be saved, he needs help. In the past, Rove has been his “go to” man.
Unfortunately, Rove is predisposed. And his predisposition is caused by his own loose lips. We all know that loose lips sink ships, and Rove’s is helping to sink the ship of this administration. His loose lips let go of words, that according to some press accounts, were repeated from the lips of Judith Miller, the not so noble jailbird who won’t tell the truth so that the nation can know what is really going on, that Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife was a CIA agent. Unfortunately, one political hack to another (in this case Rove to Novak) spells publication. And there it went – for the whole world to see – Joseph Wilson’s wife, who would soon become known to us all as “Valerie Plame,” put right in print as a CIA agent.
It was classic Rove. But in this case the truth hurt. Rove was right, but unfortunately for him, it wasn’t legal for him to say it. He knew it with his giveaway words to Cooper, the Time reporter – “I probably already said too much.” For a couple of weeks a couple of weeks ago, Rove was repeatedly in the news as a potential indictee. Some reporters called him a traitor, and Bush’s own credibility was on the line.
Bush has a way of drawing disasters at a key time that takes the news away from his problems. I guess he couldn’t have planned Katrina though, cause while piling a lot of responsibilities in his lap, didn’t provide him with a lot of personal sympathy like the 9-11 attack did. His totally incapable management has become apparent to the entire nation. With his approval already low from the other disaster in Iraq, which has, at least for Bush’s temporary relief, been overshadowed by New Orleans, the faith of nation in him to make the right decisions has disintegrated about as much as civilation has in New Orleans.
Bush needs Rove and needs him badly. If only he had him to come up with a strategy to blame this all on other people in way that makes sense. But nope, Rove is no where to be seen. He’s wounded and off licking his wounds. He’s a political liability that Bush can’t afford to have seen in this environment. But, in the absence of Rove and his cut-throat, stay – afloat strategies, Bush is floundering. But Karl can’t be found. And that is the irony of all of this. While the people of New Orleans and Southern Louisiana, Mississipi, Alabama and Florida are desperate, so is Bush. It’s just too bad for him that his buddy of so many years isn’t there to bail him out – like he has been in the past.
With ABC, NBC and other private interests acting as the government, one has to wonder how long Bush has left. Can Bush lose the Ted Koppel’s, the Charlie Gibson’s, the Brian William’s, the Matt Lauer’s, etc etc and still maintain any credibility? I don’t think so. I think Bush is toast. The question now is whether or not he should continue to serve. I would rather see him go. But before he goes, let’s have a real investigation into whether or not he ever honestly won a presidential election. Personally, I doubt if he did.
MARK DONHAM lives in Brookport, Illinois. He can be reached at: email@example.com
ALEXANDER COCKBURN, JEFFREY ST CLAIR, BECKY GRANT AND THE INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF JOURNALISTIC CLARITY, COUNTERPUNCH
We published an article entitled “A Saudiless Arabia” by Wayne Madsen dated October 22, 2002 (the “Article”), on the website of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity, CounterPunch, www.counterpunch.org (the “Website”).
Although it was not our intention, counsel for Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi has advised us the Article suggests, or could be read as suggesting, that Mr Al Amoudi has funded, supported, or is in some way associated with, the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.
We do not have any evidence connecting Mr Al Amoudi with terrorism.
As a result of an exchange of communications with Mr Al Amoudi’s lawyers, we have removed the Article from the Website.
We are pleased to clarify the position.
August 17, 2005