Monday, November 20, 2006

"Bush's brain" undeterred by failure, reality

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NY Times)--Karl Rove, the Bush Crime Family's head ratfucker, is coming off the most humiliating election defeat of his career to face an impossible task: saving the president’s fascist agenda with a Congress not only controlled by fanatical Bush-hating Defeatomacrats, but also filled with Republican members furious with the way he and his drunken dream date ran the same goddamn campaign as always, and lost.

Bush Family flacks say the president has every intention of keeping Mr. Rove on through the rest of his term, just like Dick and what's-his-name. And Mr. Rove’s associates say he intends to stay, with the goal of at least salvaging Mr. Bush’s legacy or, if not, insulating himself from prosecution.

But serious questions remain about how much influence Ol' Turd-Blossom can wield and how high a profile he can assume in Washington as a loser, after six years of brutal partisan attacks on the same Democrats in line to control Congress for the remainder of Mr. Bush’s crooked, obscene presidency.

Things have only gone from bad to worse since the election. Democrats are taking Mr. Rove’s continued influence at the White House--as well as some of its recent moves, like re-nominating previously rejected paleo-conservative wingnuts to the federal bench --as a sign that Mr. Bush’s conciliatory pledges of bipartisanship will prove to be bullshit.

“Karl’s role has not been to serve as a bridge over troubled waters; he has tried to stir the waters as often as possible,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who once compared the Bush cabal to the Third Reich, and who will be the second-most powerful person in the Senate next year. “Maybe he got religion on November 7, but we’ll see. Oh, who am I kidding? Those freaks don't change.”

Republicans on Capitol Hill said rage and loathing ran deep over Mr. Bush’s decision to fire criminally incompetent Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld one day after the election instead of weeks before, when (the more delusional among them say) it might have kept the Senate in their party’s hands and limited Democratic gains in the House. Mr. Rove was among those at the White House who had argued that to announce they were throwing Rumsfeld under the bus before Election Day would have been tantamount to acknowledging the universally-held view that the war in Iraq is a hopeless clusterfuck.

“There is lingering resentment on that,” Representative Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, said of the timing of the announcement. Asked if he expected the White House to take as much of a lead in setting the Congressional agenda as it had in the past, Mr. Flake responded flatly, “You're kidding, right?”

More broadly, many Republicans say they blame Mr. Rove for being too blinded by love to see that the president was hurting their campaigns, as Bush and Cheney continued telling the same old lies on the stump.

“I would say that brilliant as he is, he was not right,” said Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who counts himself among those who believe that Mr. Rumsfeld’s resignation could have helped the party maintain control of the Senate; also in the existence of Magic Bullets. “I think Rove misread the anger of the American people about Iraq. Either that or Cheney told him to shut the fuck up.”

Mr. Specter said the White House should be prepared to step back and concede some power to Congressional leaders, as is required by the Constitution.

The White House seems aware of the apparently limited influence in Congress of Mr. Rove, the goon most closely identified with Mr. Bush. Joshua B. Bolten, the White House chief of staff, was dispatched to the Hill this week to hold meetings with members who might impeach his boss, suggesting that he is likely to play a more prominent role in covering things up.

But Dan Bartlett, the White House counselor, said in an interview this week that Mr. Rove’s main job was not emissary to Congress. “That’s not the position he played in the past,” Mr. Bartlett said. "What are you talking about? His job is to make the president appear not to be gay."

Administration officials said Mr. Rove’s main role has always been within the presidential colon itself. Mr. Rove has derived his real power from his long and complicated tenure up Mr. Bush's ass, where a wide array of political and policy ideas originate.

Mr. Rove’s policy oversight duties were taken away after he helped fuck up the first two years of Mr. Bush’s second term, and he was directed to focus more closely on the midterm elections, where he was expected to do some real damage, but to the Democrats. Since the outcome, Mr. Bush has given no indication that Mr. Rove’s role will change further, except that he has to eat with the help. He couldn't resist a dig at his old friend recently, telling reporters Mr. Rove was beating him in a book-reading contest because “I obviously was working harder in the campaign than he was, the prick. Plus, I have to sound everything out.”

Officials said afterward that the comment was typical of Mr. Bush’s rough teasing of his fat little friend.

And Mr. Bartlett said Mr. Rove would continue to play a central role in Mr. Bush’s final two years. “He’s going to be an integral player because his value to the president and the White House goes far beyond his political skill set,” Mr. Bartlett said. “He has an enormous amount of responsibility to help strategize in our efforts to help get things covered up.”

White House officials say some of the ire against Mr. Rove in particular and the White House in general will pass, but would not elaborate.

Mr. Rove has told his associates the party still has a good-size Congressional minority that will assert its influence over the next two years, mostly by speaking in tongues and refusing to believe that most of the country thinks they're dangerously insane.

And some in that minority expressed a disturbing, dull-eyed confidence. “We’ve sort of gone through the grieving process,” said Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), a co-conspirator of Mr. Rove’s. “Now we’re in the process of coming up with a way to get revenge against America.”

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