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

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

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.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

July 24, 2017
Patrick Cockburn
A Shameful Silence: Where is the Outrage Over the Slaughter of Civilians in Mosul?
Robert Hunziker
Extremely Nasty Climate Wake-Up
Ron Jacobs
Dylan and Woody: Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad
Dan Glazebrook
Quantitative Easing: the Most Opaque Transfer of Wealth in History
Ellen Brown
Saving Illinois: Getting More Bang for the State’s Bucks
Richard Hardigan
The Media is Misleading the Public on the Al-Asqa Mosque Situation
Matthew Stevenson
Travels in Trump’s America: Memphis, Little Rock, Fayetteville and Bentonville
Ruth Fowler
Fire at Grenfell
Ezra Kronfeld
The Rights of Sex Workers: Where is the Movement to Legalize Prostitution
Mark Weisbrot
What Venezuela Needs: Negotiation Not Regime Change
Binoy Kampmark
From Spicy to the Mooch: A Farewell to Sean Spicer
Wim Laven
Progress Report, Donald Trump: Failing
Weekend Edition
July 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Kevin Zeese
Green Party Growing Pains; Our Own Crisis of Democracy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Red State, Blue State; Green State, Deep State
Paul Street
“Inclusive Capitalism,” Nancy Pelosi, and the Dying Planet
Anthony DiMaggio
Higher Education Fallacies: What’s Behind Rising Conservative Distrust of Learning?
Andrew Levine
Why Republicans Won’t Dump Trump Anytime Soon
Michael Colby
Ben & Jerry’s Has No Clothes
Bruce Dixon
White Liberal Guilt, Black Opportunism and the Green Party
Edward Hunt
Killing Civilians in Iraq and Syria
Matthew Kovac
Is the Flint Water Crisis a Crime Against Humanity?
Mark Harris
The Revolutionary Imagination: Rosa for Our Times
David Rosen
America’s Five Sex Panics
Robert Fisk
Saudi Arabia: the Kingdom Whose Name We Dare Not Speak At All
Jack Heyman
Class War on the Waterfront: Longshore Workers Under Attack
Kim C. Domenico
Marginalize This:  Turning the Tables on Neoliberal Triumphalism
Brian Cloughley
Trying to Negotiate With the United States
John Laforge
Activists Challenge US Nukes in Germany; Occupy Bunker Deep Inside Nuclear Weapons Base
Jonathan Latham
The Biotech Industry is Taking Over the Regulation of GMOs From the Inside
Russell Mokhiber
DC Disciplinary Counsel Hamilton Fox Won’t Let Whistleblower Lawyer Lynne Bernabei Go
Ramzy Baroud
The Story Behind the Jerusalem Attack: How Trump and Netanyahu Pushed Palestinians to A Corner
Farzana Versey
The Murder of Muslims
Kathy Kelly
At Every Door
David W. Pear
Venezuela Under Siege by U.S. Empire
Maria Paez Victor
Venezuelan Opposition Now Opposes the People
Uri Avnery
Soros’ Sorrows
Joseph Natoli
The Mythos Meme of Choice
Clark T. Scott
High Confidence and Low Methods
Missy Comley Beattie
Glioblastoma As Metaphor
Ann Garrison
Organizing Pennsylvania’s 197: Cheri Honkala on Frontline Communities
Ted Rall
What Happened When I Represented Myself as My Own Lawyer
Colin Todhunter
Codex Alimentarius and Monsanto’s Toxic Relations
Graham Peebles
Europe’s Shameful Refugee Policy
Louis Proyect
Reversals of Imperial Fortune: From the Comanche to Vietnam
Stephen Cooper
Gov. Kasich: “Amazing Grace” Starts With You! 
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail