Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 19, 2010

ROVE PLAYS VOTERS FOR SUCKERS (AGAIN).... When I describe Karl Rove's presence in American politics as a poison in our democracy, there's a good reason for it. Consider this report from Christina Bellantoni.

Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS this week detailed the "seven public policy initiatives" that will be most important for Congress next year. The group runs ads against Democrats across the country.

On the list at No. 1: "Stop the Obama tax hike time bomb scheduled to detonate on January 1, 2011."

That's not a typo. Rove's group is claiming that Obama set the timer on that so-called "bomb."

No one should be surprised. Rove has been lying to voters, just as a matter of course, throughout his career. For a campaign operation organized by the activist/hatchet-man/media-personality to base its work on playing voters for fools is entirely predictable.

But as Rove's lies go, this one takes some chutzpah. It was Rove's White House, after all, that crafted and approved irresponsible tax cuts -- which failed miserably in their stated goal -- and put an expiration date on them. It wasn't Obama, and it wasn't Democrats -- Rove's White House played a budget game and set the lower rates to expire at the end of 2010.

If it's a "bomb," Rove helped set the timer. He has no reason to whine (or lie) about it now.

And as the "debate," such as it is, proceeds, there are two competing approaches about future tax rates. Democrats' plan leaves the lower rates for the middle- and lower-class in place, while the wealthy would go back to brackets that existed in 2000 -- back when a Democratic president left a health economy and a massive budget surplus for a Republican president to screw up. Republicans' plan, apparently endorsed by the clownish Rove, is to protect massive breaks for millionaires and billionaires, and throw the tab onto the massive deficits they left for Democrats to clean up.

Maybe Rove knows this, and is just counting on voters being dumb. Maybe Rove doesn't know this, and he's just a mindless hack. Either way, this talk of "bombs" is ridiculous.

Steve Benen 10:05 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (32)

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It's the Obama Middle Class Tax Cuts and Largest Deficit Reduction Ever.

Posted by: Todd for Vermont House on August 19, 2010 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Steve - Of course Rove knows this. It's his m.o., and it's all about increasing confusion on facts while pushing emotional buttons (usually "outrage").

Posted by: noogs on August 19, 2010 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

I doesn't matter you fools . It will be repeated by the compliant librul media as a talking point wherein two blathering idiots will discuss like it is valid and those on the periphery of the news will accept it as fact. It's got Luntz stamped all over it . The pushback from the dems will be..... Oh I thought so.

Posted by: John R on August 19, 2010 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Rove "counting on voters being dumb"

-a surer bet than Three Card Monte. . .

Posted by: DAY on August 19, 2010 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

That Karl Rove lies should not come as any surprise to anyone!

To me, it is so unsurprising that it does not add one iota to the pissed off that I already have today toward rethug politicians and their corporate media enabler and message amplifiers.

Today's Washington Post, the beacon of liberal media, has five op-ed pieces today and four of them are hack jobs aimed at Obama. Any day (today) that has op-ed pieces by both George Will and David Broeder is sure to start with me pissed off!

Short George Will: Obama should agree to anything that the Likud Party in Israel wants.

Short David Broeder: Obama and the dumbocraps are unprincipled. Note (I actually agree with parts of this one, but despise it still because it is Broeder)

Posted by: AngryOldVet on August 19, 2010 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

It's like selling someone a car with no brakes and then bitching when they run over your child with it.

Posted by: chrenson on August 19, 2010 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

It is just following Rove's playbook. Take your greatest weakness, and portray it as your greatest strength. Take your opponent's greatest strength and portray it as their greatest weakness. Then attack, attack, attack. It is Rove's one move. Look at any campaign he has done, and that is his move. Dems just have to counter it.

Posted by: newtons.third on August 19, 2010 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe Rove knows this, and is just counting on voters being dumb.

Ya think? That's how he won 2000 and 2004. Plus it's misdirection--by calling it the Obama tax bomb, Rove is hoping people will forget that it's really the designed sunset of the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on August 19, 2010 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

President Obama wanted the keys to the economic car, now it is time for him to be a big boy and drive it in the right direction. He can always give the keys back and go play golf.

Posted by: Eric Blair on August 19, 2010 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

and with the Appellate Court for the 9th District saying it's okay to lie now, we will NEVER be able to hold Rove and his ilk accountable for their bullshit. The public will get overwhelmed with so much false data and commentary that informed decisions will never get made again.

Posted by: PaulW on August 19, 2010 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Rove's tactics are legendary and awe-inspiring. But there's a point where the reality inversions and fake outs begin to exact a toll. Republicans are not polling particularly well as a brand and Rove helps explain this problem. Call it the Eddie Haskell problem. Eventually people catch on, particularly when Eddie is as butt ugly as Rove, Mitch McConnell, Charles Krauthammer, or Glenn Beck. The Republican Party is ugly in a way that transcends notions of physical attraction. It's metaphysically ugly. It's truly Rove's party now.

Posted by: walt on August 19, 2010 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Based on the unemployment claims this week, I think the Dems better start playing defense. Rove's bs is not going to have any effect on the tidal wave that is going to hit in November and I am truly pissed off that we are going to turn Congress back over to the GOP because of a lack of courage by Obama and a good portion of the Democratic caucus.

Posted by: Terry on August 19, 2010 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

This ain't helping.

Obamas to begin sixth holiday of the year
The Obama family will begin their sixth holiday of the year today, an 11-day sojourn in Martha’s Vineyard, the island destination of the wealthy and well-connected American elite.

Posted by: Eric Blair on August 19, 2010 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

When Karl Rove calls it the "Obama time bomb," perhaps he means the time bomb that he and Bush set FOR Obama, or whoever might be Bush's successor. That's been Bush's modus operandi all his life -- make a mess, walk away and hand it off to someone else. In this case, the handing off has the added benefit that the President who has to decide what to do about that ticking time bomb will get the blame for whatever decision he makes. A great way to get yourself a legacy as a good President (or at least a not-completely-disastrous one) is to be succeeded by somebody who will be considered worse. A good way to make sure he will be considered worse is to leave him a few messes to clean up. Bush 41 did the same thing when he started a war in Somalia in the closing weeks of his term, with no exit strategy, and tossed it into Clinton's lap.

Posted by: T-Rex on August 19, 2010 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Eric, give it a rest. 11 days is a lot more modest than the full month of August that Bush used to help himself to. And a lot of those Presidential "vacations" are working trips. This is as silly as pretending that Obama is the first President ever to use a Teleprompter.

Posted by: T-Rex on August 19, 2010 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Karl Rove will emit any collocation of linguistic vocalizations that he believes will help 'conservative' or 'Republican' politicians. The quaint notion that these various vocalizations have 'meanings' is entirely irrelevant.

Posted by: MattF on August 19, 2010 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

"But as Rove's lies go, this one takes some chutzpah. It was Rove's White House, after all, that crafted and approved irresponsible tax cuts -- which failed miserably in their stated goal -- and put an expiration date on them."

True, but wasn't the sunset date merely a maneuver to disguise how costly the tax cuts would be? And isn't it likely that the creators of the tax cuts understood that, should anybody contest the future extension of the cuts, they would be able to argue exactly as they have? Knowing who the president or majority of the House and Senate would be would not be particularly necessary. Isn't all of this just the next play in a long, long game?

Or am I just a wacky conspiracist and Rove , et al., are simply playing the hand dealt them?

Posted by: Perspecticus on August 19, 2010 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Karl Rove is either a sociopath, or just plain evil. The only reason he can still surprise us is that the depths he inhabits are unimaginable by normal people, those with some capacity for feelings, principles, and shame.

Posted by: karen on August 19, 2010 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Karl Rove is either a sociopath, or just plain evil.

Why choose? He is both, and the easiest proof of that might be that if he read those remarks, it would make him smile.

There is a reason even Bush called him TurdBlossom. Think about it.

Posted by: jcricket on August 19, 2010 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Americans ARE dumber than a corn filled turd. Just talk to a few strangers to find that one out. They don't even have to be so stupid and weak as to believe in a cosmic jewish zombie nailed to a stick, although it sure helps the low I.Q. factor. And Rove? Why pull punches? I just wish somebody would put a bullet in his head so I can watch his brains leak down the wall behind him. Be nice to prop up Darth Chaney right behind him as to maxamize the shot too.

Posted by: No longer care about most of the human race on August 19, 2010 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

"Maybe Rove knows this, and is just counting on voters being dumb."

Yes and Yes

"Maybe Rove doesn't know this, and he's just a mindless hack."

He knows it and is a mindless hack.

I wish that wherever this despicable fuck goes for the rest of his life, some average citizen would walk up and slap him silly, jsut for being such a miserable lying scumbag and for all the damage he's done....

Posted by: marty on August 19, 2010 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

The Bush tax cuts had to expire to satisfy the then-existing deficit-reduction law. There is no reason to think Rove and the Republicans would not have made them permanent if they could have.

Posted by: skeptonomist on August 19, 2010 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Karl Rove is a dick.

Posted by: David Bailey on August 19, 2010 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

The depressing part of Rove playing the voters for suckers? It works. The cons will make huge gains in November because the voters are suckers.

Posted by: CDW on August 19, 2010 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

What rove knows that any lie he tells no matter how outrageous will never be fact checked or refuted by the corporate media, he has a blank check to willfully lie anytime he wants to.

Posted by: grandpajohn on August 19, 2010 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

I think Democrats should be trumpeting the fact that ALL those who voted for the Bush tax cuts ALSO voted for the tax hikes due in 2010. If you voted for the cuts, you voted for the hikes! Simple, isn't it?

So the entirety of the Republican Congressional contingent at the time voted for tax hikes. That's it. And if they claim they never expected the lower taxes to end, ask them "Then why did you vote for them? If they admit it was to keep them under budget, ask, "Why should we bust the budget now, if that's true?"

Don't get fancy. The Bush Tax Cuts include the Bush Tax Hikes!


Posted by: ed drone on August 19, 2010 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Arguments are won through appeals to emotion, not reason. See "The Limits of Reason, Why Evolution May Favor Irrationality" in the August 16th, 2010 issue of Newsweek.

"tax bomb" is classic Rove. Truth or reality play no part. The message is crafted to push the human limbic system's panic button.

Posted by: FC on August 19, 2010 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Karl Rove is a traitor. Why is he not in prison.

What a great country we live in. Traitors are free to make bundles of money while lying and inciting fear.

Posted by: Hannah on August 19, 2010 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Ed, good point.

Posted by: Hannah on August 19, 2010 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

"It's like selling someone a car with no brakes and then bitching when they run over your child with it."
Posted by: chrenson on August 19, 2010 at 10:24 AM

I humbly and respectfully disagree with part of this simile.
In the reality being referenced, no child has yet been run over -- but the children in harm's way are those of the car's purchaser. (Rove would never knowingly put his own interests at risk in any way.) The car salesman then calls the cops to warn them that the car-buyer and spouse have stated an intention to run over the children, and need to be pre-emptively jailed to prevent such a catastrophe.
Then the car salesman sells the effectively orphaned kids to child-labor-abusers in south Asia, and uses the proceeds to book a flight to the Dominican Republic with his pal Rush.

Posted by: smartalek on August 20, 2010 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Ed Drone, that's the best, smartest thing I've read all day.
Too bad the Dem's in power don't have your intelligence. And even if they did, far too many lack the spine to do anything about it, and another significant number want to keep the tax cuts for the wealthy -- and give them even more (while raising aggregate taxes on everyone else, of course).

Plus -- I'm surprised nobody's yet pointed out that there's another reason for Rove's use of the specific term "time bomb."
It's a reinforcement of the Publican / teabeggar / conservative / corporatist narrative of Obama as closet Muslim 5th-column terrorist, out to literally destroy our country.
Two targets, one bullet. And even as it reminds us that Rove is pretty close to the most evil force in the world today, you do gotta admire how effective he can be at times. (Obvious caveat: he couldn't do any of it without the eager participation of the corporate media -- our "liberal media".)

I wish all a wonderful weekend.

Posted by: smartalek on August 20, 2010 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

I am so very disenchanted with the Senate, Congress, the President and Corporate America.

You have allowed companies like Intel, Oracle, Coca-Cola, Halliburton, Accenture, Foster Wheeler Ltd, Ingersoll-Rand Co. Ltd., Tyco International Ltd., Cooper Industries Inc., Noble Drilling Services Inc., IBM, Caterpillar, Proctor & Gamble, Cisco, GE, DuPont and Eli Lilly, Global Crossing, Seagate Technology LLC, Nabors Industries Ltd., Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Bank of America, Altria Group Inc., Dole, Chiquita, Fresh Del Monte and God knows how many more, to move their headquarters out of the US to avoid paying taxes, while they profit from American consumer dollars. Notice I did not refer to these firms as US companies. They are traitors to the American people!!!

You allow the wealthiest of our nation to pay little or nothing in taxes and social security yet still reap all the benefits.

If you are lacking in intelligence, courage or ideas on what to do about this situation, perhaps you need to hire Michael Moore and Donald Trump as Consultants.

Will you continue to do nothing about this situation and allow the American middle class and poor to grow yet evermore disenfranchised and poor? Or will you continue to do nothing and hope there is no Hell?

I have become aware that in this country, we have freedom of choice: Do you prefer to be raped by a Republican, or pillaged by a Democrat?

Posted by: LMK on November 13, 2010 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK



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