“He has definitely changed the tone in Washington”

In a recent newspaper interview, Karl Rove said:

“Take a look at the language of this president and how he has treated political opponents and compare it to previous administrations — particularly his most immediate predecessor,” says Rove, senior advisor to the president and the guy who runs Bush’s political operation.

“You will find that he treats political opponents with dignity and respect,” says Rove, who visited El Paso earlier this week for a Bush fund-raiser. “You will not see the kind of personal vindictiveness and vicious comments that came out of the previous administration.”

When Bush needles a political opponent, he usually does so with “a bit of good humor,” Rove says.

“He has definitely changed the tone in Washington,” he says. El Paso Times, 4/10/04

Personal vindictiveness? Not us!

A senior White House aide told NBC News on condition of anonymity this week that Bush personally ordered his aides to launch the counteroffensive against the book, which the aide said Bush saw as a political assault. MSNBC, 3/25/04

Vicious comments? Never!

President Bush’s top aides launched a ferocious assault on the former White House counterterrorism official who accused Bush of failing to act on the al Qaeda threat before Sept. 11, 2001, and strengthening terrorists by pursuing a misguided focus on Iraq.

… Vice President Cheney, on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, said the counterterrorism coordinator “wasn’t in the loop, frankly, on a lot of this stuff.” Cheney suggested Clarke did not do enough to prevent three attacks during the Clinton administration and said “he may have a grudge to bear there since he probably wanted a more prominent position.”

… In addition to Cheney’s radio appearance, Rice was a guest on all five network morning shows, and by 11 a.m. the White House had booked more than 15 interviews on cable news channels, as well as numerous talk-radio appearances, over the next nine hours. White House press secretary Scott McClellan spent much of both of his briefings yesterday arguing that Clarke’s book was politically motivated and timed. “This is Dick Clarke’s ‘American grandstand,’ ” McClellan said.

“His assertion that there was something we could have done to prevent the September 11th attacks from happening is deeply irresponsible, it’s offensive, and it’s flat-out false,” McClellan said. He said Clarke had interviewed to be the deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, then left the administration after being turned down. McClellan said Clarke was repeatedly absent from Rice’s daily morning meeting for her senior directors after being told to attend.

McClellan sought to tie the book to Sen. John F. Kerry’s presidential campaign by saying that Clarke’s “best buddy” is Rand Beers, who resigned as a top counterterrorism official at the National Security Council after the invasion of Iraq and later became Kerry’s coordinator for national security and homeland security issues.

Rice, on Fox News, said: “Dick Clarke was counterterrorism czar for a long time with a lot of attacks on the United States. What he was doing was — what they were doing apparently was not working. We wanted to do something different.” Washington Post, 3/23/04

Dignity and respect for political opponents? Absolutely!

In their effort to undermine Clarke, Bush’s aides departed from some of their most cherished practices. They invited reporters into West Wing offices where they rarely tread, for on-the-record interviews with top officials. They released an e-mail from Clarke to national security adviser Condoleezza Rice that they say is at odds with the account Clarke gave during his testimony to the independent panel investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. They said he was disgruntled because his application to be deputy director of the Department of Homeland Security had been rejected.

An official also read reporters an e-mail that Rice had sent Clarke chastising him for skipping several of her morning staff meetings.

Perhaps most surprising, aides who routinely spar over such distinctions as “White House official” and “senior administration official” allowed Fox News to unmask Clarke as the anonymous briefer in an August 2002 White House conference call that highlighted the administration’s efforts in the war on terrorism. The administration’s allies say Clarke’s statements that day conflict with allegations in his book. Washington Post, 3/26/04

Thanks for setting us straight on this, Karl – I’m sure Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson are still chuckling over their encounter with the Bush administration’s “bit of good humor.”


Comments: 8


As it was pointed out on DailyKos some time ago, Rove no long appears to be a brilliant political strategist after Republicans lost access to Democrats’ secret strategy memos on Capitol Hill.


I often wonder if they actually believe their own fantastic hallucinogenic lies, OR are they merely profoundly cynical and malevolent. Go figure.

Meanwhile, Little w manages to be both a cynical, lying bastard while *simultaneously* acting like a stupid dumbass. Wow.

I guess that’s why he’s the boss.


These assholes will say anything at all, even if it’s the exact opposite of the truth, which it usually is.


“You will find that he treats political opponents with dignity and respect,” says Rove.

Yeah, he’s the prince o’fricken peace. Add the strategy of making Kerry responsible for isolated anonymous commentators on blogs but setting up a buffer zone around the vindictive little shit in the Oval Office so even his own offensives (and I do mean … ) can’t be pinned on him.

Frankly, if they’re going to keep whining about two anonymous contributors to MoveOn org and connect them with Kerry, they should also hold Bush PERSONALLY responsible for material like what’s on this report card.

(Hmmm … a future post.)


Uniter, divider – what’s the difference?


Hey, Peanut, why didn’t you give the secret handshake? Anyway, glad to see that you are a fellow Whiskey Bar patron!

Satan luvvs Repugs

I don’t know why the left-blogosphere forgets what Bush said during the 2000 campaign: that he would “restore honor and *dignitude* to the white house” (emphasis added). And that he would “change the tone” in washington.

Well, he *didn’t* say that the tone would be changed _for the better_, now did he? Hunh? Did he? You can’t say the tone hasn’t changed, can you?

And it wasn’t “dignitY” that he promised, but “dignitUDE”. VERY different. Can’t you tell? Bush has dignitude out the wazoo!

It’s all part of his strategery.


You will not see the kind of personal vindictiveness and vicious comments that came out of the previous administration.

Yeah, really. I got so tired of the Clintons randomly accusing their opponents’ wives of being lesbians or comparing them to Hitler, and I really got fed up when they started circulating those videotapes insinuating that the Republicans secretly called out a hit on Vince Foster. That really…

What? Who did that? With the what now? Sorry, let me go back and re-check my notes…


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