As John Murtha tries to set limits in Iraq, Karl Rove will be unleashing his rabid attack dogs to swift-boat the former Marine.
Rove’s method is political assassination: Don’t debate issues, destroy opponents. Murtha is only the latest on his hit list. In 2004, John McCain, John Kerry and triple amputee Senator Max Cleland were attacked with distortions and lies by an Administration of draft evaders turning men who suffered for their country into objects of suspicion and scorn.
When Rove leaves, the White House will have to be fumigated. Carrier of the worst Washington plague since Joe McCarthy, Rove is even more pernicious. The Wisconsin Senator spread fear and suspicion, the man called Bush’s Brain is deadlier.
In the shadows of the Scooter Libby trial, his fingerprints are all over the outing of Joe Wilson’s wife, but casual defamation is the least of Rove’s weapons.
Nixon brought shadowy plumbers and tricksters into the fringes of his White House. Bush has taken it further, putting the man he calls “the architect” into the heart of the Oval Office.
Those with the stomach for a fuller picture of the President’s chief of slime can start with Wikipedia and follow the links through a lifetime of rooting through opponents’ garbage, putting out fake fliers in their names, inventing new ways to slander and libel them.
Rove has outdone Joe McCarthy in damaging America. What’s needed is a latter-day Joe Welch to confront him and ask, “Have you no sense of decency at long last?”
Last summer, when Rove accused Democrats of cutting and running, Murtha noted he was “in his air-conditioned office on his big, fat backside saying stay the course. That’s not a plan…that’s a political statement.”
Not vintage Joe Welch, but it’s a start.