Rove scary?: "'Yes, I am. I change constitutions, I put churches in schools ...'"
by Steven Jonas
Many political obituaries have been written on Karl Rove. This is not one of them. When Dick Cheney is around, one cannot say of any other person "he is the most dangerous man in America," but Rove comes in a close second. He is hardly finished. He is simply taking a bit of a rest. But even that will not last too long. Karl Rove is too central to the success of the central forces in charge of the current incarnation of the Republican Party for him to be put out to pasture and this driven man will not willingly go into the good (or bad as the case may be) night anytime soon.
Either out-in-front or behind the scenes, Karl Rove will play a pivotal role in the 2008 election as he drives to create the Permanent Republican Presidency, his chosen political successor to the Permanent Republican Majority that he was unable to achieve. The former, however, is very much a possibility. Even for these folks who so easily convert improprieties into "proprieties," he could hardly play an active role in any Republican Presidential Campaign while still holding the title "Deputy Chief of Staff" at the White House. To be active in 2008, he had to leave now. Just like virtually everything else that goes on in the BushCheney Administration, this one was most likely fully stage-managed among the three of them (and maybe Josh Bolton).
He would likely go to the potentially highest bidder. That would be Romney, who has tons of his own money and also has JEB Bush's finance team working for him (or at least he did the last time I saw something on the matter). However, while he was the early Fox "News" Channel choice, and does have those Bush family operatives, he is a) unlikely to win the nomination and b) if he does, he is unlikely to win the Presidency regardless of whom the Democrats put up.
No, Rove will likely go with the current choice of the Republican Right, Rudy Giuliani, who also happens to have a real chance of winning in 2008, regardless of whom the Democrats put up (and especially if it is Hillary). A) Giuliani needs Rove to do all the political plastic surgery he needs to have done on his image, and who better? If the man could sell George Bush, he can sell anyone. B) Giuliani is Rove's kind of guy. Yes, he does have a strong fascist streak (and I am hardly the only one to have said that he is a candidate in search of a balcony overlooking the plaza in front of the Vittorio Emmanuel II monument in Rome --- yes, that would be Mussolini's favorite talking perch). Fits right in with Rove. And it is Rove's political philosophy, not his political tactics (as reprehensible as they are) that presents the biggest danger to our nation and its future.
In The Guardian (UK) of November 25, 2004, political analyst Sidney Blumenthal had a column "One gulp and Bush was gone" about the opening ceremonies for the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, AR.
In reference to Karl Rove, Blumenthal noted that "offstage, beforehand, Rove and Bush had had their library tours. According to two eyewitnesses, Rove had shown keen interest in everything he saw, and asked questions, including about costs, obviously thinking about a future George W. Bush library and legacy. 'You're not such a scary guy,' joked his guide. 'Yes, I am,' Rove replied. Walking away, he muttered deliberately and loudly: 'I change constitutions, I put churches in schools ...' "
One does not have to look at Cheney and Addington and Yoo and Gonzales for the source of the Bush approach to amending the Constitution (although they have certainly been at the center of it as well): who needs Congress and the States; do it on your own. Either simply ignoring the Constitution, as the Bushies have done, or legally in the first instance changing it beyond recognition, as Hitler did to the German Weimar Constitution, is at the center of establishing fascism in an existing Constitutional Democracy. And here is Karl Rove, at the center of the Georgite Revolution, not only on the tactical side, but on the strategic side as well. Look out for him, folks. He is hardly done yet.
Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY), a weekly contributing author for The Political Junkies, and contributing editor for The Moving Planet Blog.