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Tilting at Windmills

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July 30, 2009

THE ORIGINAL KING OF IRONY STRIKES AGAIN.... Have I mentioned lately how much I enjoy Karl Rove's ironic columns in the Wall Street Journal? Today, the former Bush aide blasts the politics of fear.

On the campaign trail last year, Barack Obama promised to end the "politics of fear and cynicism." Yet he is now trying to sell his health-care proposals on fear. [...]

This is not a healthy way to wage a policy debate.

Yes, Karl "Mushroom Cloud" Rove, after leading a White House political operation that re-wrote the rules when it came to demagoguery, now believes it's inappropriate to engage in a policy debate by relying on scare tactics. He even feels comfortable blasting others who, he thinks, are using fear to advance an agenda.

At this point, no one does irony quite like ol' Karl. After all, this is the same Rove who believes President Obama

* will make terrorist recruiting easier by banning torture;

* relies too much on "pre-packaged, organized, controlled, scripted " political events to manipulate message dissemination;

* is guilty of using hardball political tactics;

* looks at every policy issue "from a political perspective."

About a year ago, Rove accused the New York Times of having "outed a CIA agent," which "obviously puts the CIA agent in danger." Rove added that disclosing the name of a CIA operative represents "a very callous view about our nation's security and interests." It was, at the time, one of the most ironic things I'd ever heard.

It's a reminder that Rove really is the Original King of Irony.

Steve Benen 10:40 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (24)

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The word you're looking for is 'hypocrisy.'

Posted by: Paul Avery on July 30, 2009 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

It's not "ironic" for a lying sonofabitch to do what Rove is doing. As Paul Avery says above, it is hypocrisy.

Republican Hypocrite - an oxymoron if there ever was one.

Posted by: TCinLA on July 30, 2009 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

It's the Republican playbook: utter shamelessness. Accuse others of things that you yourself are guilty of. When people point out your hypocrisy, shrug and laugh. It's why George Bush is a great war hero and John Kerry is a lying dishonored opportunist.

I'm guessing that most people are on to their game by now. So there's hope.

Posted by: Q on July 30, 2009 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

It's a reminder that Rove really is the Original King of Irony.

Actually, he's just a dick.

Posted by: David Bailey on July 30, 2009 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Why isn't the traitor Rove in prison yet?

Posted by: wab on July 30, 2009 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Steve - your post comes across as suggesting that Karl Rove's sin was that he played the politics of fear too. I would argue that his claim that President Obama is playing the politics of fear with respect to the health care debate is simply this: pure BS.

Posted by: pgl on July 30, 2009 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Republican Hypocrite - an oxymoron if there ever was one. - TCinLA

I think you mean redundancy.

Posted by: Michael W on July 30, 2009 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

"Republican Hypocrite" - an oxymoron if there ever was one.

TCinLA, your dictionary must be different. I understand oxymoron to mean use ofcontradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence

Posted by: Johnny Canuck on July 30, 2009 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

BS watch:

"A Fox News Poll from last week shows that 84% of Americans who have health insurance are happy with their coverage. And because 91% of all Americans have insurance, that means that 76% of all Americans will be concerned about anything that threatens their current coverage."

Faux News poll? Please! Most of us are happy with the status quo? How absurd. And to suggest that the Obama proposal threatens our current insurance coverage is plainly put - A LIE!

Posted by: pgl on July 30, 2009 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Republican / Thought process

Posted by: FRP on July 30, 2009 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe Karl should have a chat with his buddies who are claiming the president's health care plan will kill their grannys and force them into government health care with rationing.

Scare tactics?

Posted by: Atlliberal on July 30, 2009 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

It amazes me that it was the Right Wing that fully embraced post modernism (albeit a bastardized version) and understood, embraced, and adopted Foucault's ideas on language.

see also Greenwald's recent piece on Kristol, Strauss, and the "big lie". Also I suggest tracking down "The Power of Nightmares" which is I believe freely available across the intertubes.

Posted by: grinning cat on July 30, 2009 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Must be tough for Karl Rove too be walking around with two faces. Did he mention how his buddies in the GOP and on conservative radio and Fox News are pushing the meme that Obama's healthcare reform is designed to ration care, and starve and deny healthcare to the elderly to kill off the elderly in America? How's that for the politics of fear, Karl? What a hypocrite!

Posted by: Carol All on July 30, 2009 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

It's a reminder that Rove really is the Original King of Irony.

No, it's a reminder that he is King of the Jack Asses. I am becoming very cynical of any news programs of late. That cable networks don't point out this hypocracy is nausating enough, that people like Lou Dobbs and Wolf Blitzer don't point out the irony makes me long for the cartoon network where one finds more reality...

Posted by: stevio on July 30, 2009 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Not so much irony as pathological cynicism.

Posted by: sadsadsad on July 30, 2009 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

The word you are looking for is PROJECTIONIST!!! And, add delusional to that as well...but here's the truly sad thing...IT WORKS...Bill Maher is right about the STUPID in America...poor old founding fathers must be shriveling in their graves...and they had such a good idea too...

Posted by: Dancer on July 30, 2009 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

That Karl Rove is given a soapbox to me is profoundly depressing.

It's as if Richard Nixon was given a weekly commentary on the Nightly World News in 1973.

Posted by: inkadu on July 30, 2009 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

That would be Karl ""We will f**k him. Do you hear me? We will f**k him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever f**ked him!" Rove, one presumes.

The hypocrisy is so blatant and egregious that you can't help thinking he gets off on it, much like a Borgia pope might have written a homily on chastity using the posterior of his mistress as a lapdesk.

Posted by: kth on July 30, 2009 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Kth - We have a winner. To Rove, the whole world is just something to fuck with while you pass the time.

Posted by: Scott F. on July 30, 2009 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

It's a reminder that Rove really is the Original King of Irony.

Irony would be Rove getting run over by an ambulance carrying a wounded Hispanic veteran to a public hospital for treatment paid for by Medicare.

This 'king' is the King of Hypocrisy. The sole difference between Rove and the rest of his Republican Hypocrites is that he hasn't been caught in bed with his mistress.

If there is any irony involved, its that such a powerful man with such a powerful platform is so utterly lacking in self-awareness.

Posted by: GuyFromOhio on July 30, 2009 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

I agree, it's not irony...it's hypocrisy. The man cannot open his mouth without lying and smearing. He belongs in prison. It shows the CIA/Gov influence through fear that he is allowed to be on TV and write op-eds for a major Media. There is no other reason as he is not insightful and is a gutter political tactician...a real slime ball.

Posted by: bjobotts on July 30, 2009 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

If Obama used the Rove playbook it might just be the thing we need to push Health Care Reform: "If we do not pass reform now, your next pandemic could be a mushroom cloud! Diseases do not wear military uniforms, nor do they abide by normal rules of conflict, Health Care Reform is a matter of national security!! We have information that certain diseases have had training in Pakistan, and that some of them may have met with Saddaam Hussein in the 90s. We have evidence that some diseases may have tried to purchase yellowcake in ...AFRICAHHHHH!!! We must act now and pre-emptively strike without hesitation at those who would stand in the way of Health Care Freedom!!!!"

Posted by: Capt Kirk on July 30, 2009 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

It ain't irony, it's propaganda. Rove knows exactly what he's doing. He's catapulting.

Posted by: beep52 on July 30, 2009 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: Romase on October 4, 2009 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK
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