Friday, July 15, 2005

Talking points

Think Progress has done all the work for you: How To Talk To A Conservative About Karl Rove (If You Must).

UPDATE: Paul Waldman comes at the story from the opposite direction, explaining how the GOP has perfected the art of damage control in four easy steps. The first is the big one (emphasis added):

Step 1: It’s not really about us, it’s about them.
This is one of the fundamental divides between the two parties today, something Republicans understand and Democrats don’t: If the controversy is about you, you lose; if it’s about your opponent, you win. So when Democrats responded to Karl Rove’s slander about their response to 9/11 by saying that they supported the war in Afghanistan, they were making the mistake of arguing about whether they were or weren’t a bunch of wimps. Every time one of these controversies erupts, the Republicans always make it about Democrats: Who they are, what they’ve said and what they’ve done.

So must we focus in return. This controversy is about Rove. It's about Bush. It's about Republicans endangering national security for petty political gain. It's about neocons fixing the facts around the policy so they could invade Iraq.

Waldman's other three steps are perfectly straightforward:

Step 2: Lie through your teeth. . . .
Step 3: Argue the semantics, or, it depends on what the meaning of “identify” is. . . .
Step 4: It’s all partisan politics. . . .

For good measure, he goes on to remind us just how unprincipled Rove is and always has been - the raw grabs for power, shady tactics, filthy whispering campaigns, personal and professional destruction of opponents, and now possibly treason in his quest to win at any cost.

Best is this quote from Ron Suskind, writing two years ago. Though he's referring to Rove, for my money his words could serve as the epitaph for the entire Bush Administration.

For Karl Rove, it’s all and only about winning. The rest—vision, ideology, good government, ideas to bind a nation, reasonable dissent, collegiality, mutual respect—is for later.

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