Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Taibbi to press (on Rove) - "What took you so long?"

A persistent feature of the Rove profile is the reporter's close proximity to Rove in a casual, intimate setting (i.e., Elisabeth Bumiller astride the "bombastic, deceptively cherub-faced" Rove on the campaign plane as he "playfully withholds news of recent polls from the president"). Rove made sure to invite every reporter in Washington for a one-day private tour of his world of dirty jokes, harried cell-phone calls and ad-hoc strategizing. And every hack that took the tour came away with stars in his eyes, primed to make Rove into the larger-than-life villain role he had been fitted for.

The result of all this was to obscure the basic fact about Rove, which is that he's not a genius at all. He is a pig, and the only thing that distinguishes him is the degree of his brazenness and cruelty. It doesn't take a genius to send out fliers calling your opponent the "fag candidate." It doesn't take a genius to insinuate that your opponent's wife is a drug addict. There's nothing cunning or clever about saying your opponent came home from a war too fucked in the head to govern (particularly when your own candidate was too much of a coward to fight in the same war), or about whispering that that same candidate may have an illegitimate black child. And there's nothing clever about calling the followers of the opposition party traitorous and un-American, and claiming that they all want to coddle and appease the murderers of our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters.



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