I guess one could hardly expect the departure of Karl Rove from the Bush machine to mark any departure from his slimey, skewed take on issues. In an appearance on Hannity and Colmes the other night, Karl showed off his skill as a spin-meister and overall sack of shit as he held the BushCo party line on the Iraq war and twisting Barack Obama's words into meanings that obviously weren't there.
In one segment Rove attempted to show how Obama's clear denunciation of Louis Farrakhan's anti-semetic statements and views wasn't "really" a denunciation because he didn't go far enough by merely saying he denounced him instead of that he "disavowed" him. I'm sure Obama would sigh at the same word games he accused Senator Clinton of using on the same subject and would use a similar reply of "But if the word 'disavow' Karl Rove feels is stronger than the word 'denounce,' then I'm happy to concede the point. And I would disavow and denounce," as the audience would laugh at Karl's pettiness.
Another point where it seemed Karl was stretching things was:
ROVE: Look, after 9/11, when he said true patriotism did not consist of wearing a lapel pin - - an American flag lapel pin on your lapel, but instead speaking out on the issues, he was basically, with the back of his hand, being very dismissive to millions of Americans who thought it was a patriotic act to put a flag pin on their lapel.
COLMES: Does he lack patriotism because he does not wear a lapel pin? Is he basically saying, patriotism isn't about a pin? That is his point of view.
ROVE: Alan, I didn't say that. What he said was that people -- he was implicating that people who did wear a flag on the lapel were not true patriots. My point is not -- in America, you get to decide whether you want to wear a flag lapel pin or not. What he did though was say, it was true patriotism to speak out on the issue, not to wear a flag lapel pin. He was the one questioning the patriotism of people with flags on their lapels.
COLMES: I didn't get that from what he said. What I got --
ROVE: Read the statement carefully. He said, true patriotism -- quote, true patriotism consisted of speaking out on the issues, not wearing a flag lapel pin.
COLMES: He wasn't questioning people who wore it. He was questioning the war.
ROVE: No, he was questioning the patriotism of those who did put a flag on their lapel. Admit it. I'm not questioning his patriotism. But he certainly questioned the patriotism of millions of people who felt the simple gesture of putting the flag on their lapel was a patriotic act, and it was.
Wow, he sure worked hard at twisting that one, didn't he? For me (and probably everyone else with a brain) it is obvious that Obama wasn't saying that people who put on flag lapel pins are not patriotic. He simply was saying - correctly - that being patriotic to this country is more than just the gesture of wearing a pin on a lapel. Or waving a flag. Or singing "I'm Proud to be an American", for that matter. It's getting involved in the issues that effect our country. It's not just blindly saying "America - love it or leave it" and letting the government do whatever it wants without question. It's realizing that democracy means debate and discussion over the right course the country should be taking. To just put a flag pin on a lapel and then say "well, I did my part" isn't the true meaning of patriotism. But I guess it is in the Rove vision of the current government where secrecy rules the day and the less questions asked about what BushCo is up to behind closed doors, the better.
Then there was his response to the videotape of Barack's response to John McCain:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: I am told that Senator Obama made the statement that if al Qaeda came back to Iraq after he withdraws -- after the American troops are withdrawn, then he would send military troops back if al Qaeda established a base in Iraq. I have some news; al Qaeda is in Iraq.
OBAMA: I have some news for John McCain. And that is that there was no such thing as al Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLMES: That was Barack Obama and John McCain gearing for what many are expecting to be a general election dog fight. We now continue with former Bush adviser Karl Rove. Does Obama not have a point? Iraq is now invaded by al Qaeda because the borders were porous. We didn't protect the borders when we went in there. And the al Qaeda in Iraq is not the same that was in Afghanistan, but re-branded itself that way to align itself with that al Qaeda?
ROVE: Alan, you are wrong. Al Qaeda in Iraq was organized by Zarqawi, one of the top deputies of Osama bin Laden, who was sent from Afghanistan in the aftermath of the fall of the Taliban to Iraq. Al Qaeda in Iraq pledges its allegiance to Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri his number two. And the operational control, day to day, is in Iraq, but the strategic control and the big decisions are by their top leadership. Al Qaeda is in Iraq. They came there because they understand the importance of defeating the west in Iraq and stopping the formation of a Democratic Iraq that would be an ally in the war on terror.
COLMES: It has been reported that they took that name because they wanted the association. But also, how did they get in there? Did we not do a good enough job protecting the borders to allow al Qaeda to invade or get into the country after we went and did an occupation?
ROVE: It has very porous borders. As you know, at least two of the borders with Syria and Iran are borders with enemies, or adversaries of the United States, who are encouraging the threat to the United States in Iraq. Now you can be critical of the ability of the Iraqis and the Americans and our coalition partners to secure the border, but that adds to the necessity of us defeating al Qaeda in Iraq, not add to the argument that Senator Obama was making, which was, as long as al Qaeda is there, get out.[....]
COLMES: As long as you are bringing that up, let me just ask you, McCain said the other day, he has to defend the war and the Bush policies to get elected. How is that going to sit with the American people who pretty much don't agree with that?
ROVE: The question is do the American people want to win or do they want to lose?
Oh yes. It's as simple as that. Just keep throwing billions and billions of dollars into Iraq and victory is assured. Though it would seem that "victory" is in the eye of the beholder, and in the eyes of this administration it has more to do with self interest than what the Iraqi people may or may not want. All we have to do is keep using general buzzwords like "freedom" and "support the troops" and "war on terror" and stay away from talking about how Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11, had no WMDs, and how poorly things were handled after the fall of Saddam. No one thought about guarding against looting or even guarding massive stockpiles of ammunition (of which the insurgents are still using against our troops, thank you very much), and the borders were left unprotected which is what allowed in the stampede of outside insurgents. Rove points to the border as being porous, but all those folks didn't come rolling on into Iraq until AFTER we invaded, so if it was porous, it was our poor planning that made it so.
The game they all play is to attack others for being against fixing the mess in Iraq and bypassing talking about how this administration MADE it a mess in the first place.
To me, the whole Iraq fiasco is like someone setting a house on fire and when someone else speaks out against that they counter with "My god, man, this house is on FIRE! We have to stay to put it out. Are you in favor of it burning down?" Completely sidestepping the point that the only reason that house is on fire is because that someone set it on fire in the first place.
And in the case of Iraq, Bush/Rove/Cheney/Ashcroft et al foolishly put the match to it, and left the collective fingers of America burned as a result.