Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rove's Handiwork in McCain Campaign
And the Nauseating
Line of Succession
In Republican Party Slingers of Sleaze

'Ever since the nomination of Sarah Palin, Washington has been abuzz with rumors that Rove has been invited to help plot campaign strategy for McCain. His rise from the ashes is the scariest story of an already scary campaign season. Presidents come and go; they sit in a place where the law can still touch them, and they're subject to the vote once every four years. But Karl Rove is a revolutionary, a man who can't be stopped by anything except death and maybe — maybe — prison. Rove is trying to finish the work of Nixon and Bush: to achieve the supremacy of a peculiarly American form of Leninism, one that involves the drowning of the electoral process in idiot witch hunts and dirty tricks, the handing over of all policy to anyone with a dollar more than the next guy, and the total aggrandizement of incumbent power at the expense of an entire system of checks and balances. With Rove back in the mix, there's now a hell of a lot more at stake this November than there was when a batty, battle-scarred old poll-chaser like John McCain was the darkest figure on the ticket. Not to sound too alarmist, but Election Day now becomes a referendum on democracy itself.'
--Matt Taibbi, writing in the current issue of Rolling Stone. He notes the central irony: that McCain has handed over his campaign strategy to the same slimy folks who only eight years ago slimed him out of the presidential race. Meanwhile, the New York Times takes note of the tarnished but still active Rove legacy. Steve Schmidt, the man who has been leading McCain's campaign into a ditch, is a one-time acolyte of Rove's (Schmidt & Rove absurdly argue he's not a Rove protege, but no one takes that seriously). Even more interesting is the godfather of it all, the first generation of Republican sleaze operatives: the late former Republican party chairman Lee Atwater, who spawned Rove. A devastating documentary of good ole boy Atwater's life is now playing at the Cedar-Lee, and I recommend you go see it. Its appearance on the scene, just a few weeks before the election, is a bit of exquisite timing. As long as you're at it, please consider reading this splendid, recently published Jeffrey Toobin New Yorker profile of Nixon dirty trickster Roger Stone, who also makes an appearance in the documentary. We hope you'll find all of this germane when you step into the voting booth next month.


At 10:31 PM, Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

Nice title John.

; )

At 11:01 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks, our headline writers slave around the clock around here to bring you those sparkling titles. Even as we speak, two dozen of them are banging away at their Royal typewriters, working on the next one.

At 12:23 AM, Anonymous stan said...

Wish you'd just stop beating about the Bush and let us know how you feel about things, John!

Always love to hear someone who not only has the courage of their convictions, but does their homework as well. That's what I would say to the young writer who is timid. Live long and full enough to discover those things that are important enough to sign your name to. Use your head, not just your emotions, but remember the best writers are whole people who acknowledge their humanity and inspire the rest of us to remember ours.

At 7:31 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Wonderfully said, Stan--thanks. That's quite a bracing sentiment with which to start my day.


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