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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

It's a sad day for our country today, not only because of another attack in Iraq (which occurred while soldiers were handing out candy to children!), but because of Karl Rove's problems. I don't know whether Karl Rove did anything illegal when he talked to reporters about Joe Wilson's wife, but I do know peddling dirt on a man's wife because he disagrees with you politically is reprehensible, and there's no doubt that Karl Rove has done that.

Of course, one man's dispicable actions are not enough to make it a sad day for this country. The sadness comes from the Republican machinery, loyal to a fault, lining up behind Rove, issuing lame defense after lame defense. First it's "he didn't use her name," then it's "he was trying to warn Cooper off a bad story." The defense would be absolutely absurd if it wasn't so pathetic.

Karl Rove is the one who stated that Valerie Plame was "fair game" and why? Because of some misconduct or incompetence in her role as a CIA agent? Because she had spoken out against the Bush Administration? Nope. She was "fair game" because she was married to a guy who disagreed with the president's misinterpretation of available intelligence. Yes, being married to one of Rove's political enemies was enough to have her slimed.

In a moral, principled world this kind of behavior would not be condoned. In this world, it's celebrated. Rove is routinely called a genius. Though his tactics have literally ruined lives (don't believe me? Look it up), Rove is seen as the architect behind this decade's Republican ascension. You don't expect the GOP to just cast him out, as if they were shamed by his methods, do you? Secretly, they applaud him.

The politics of personal destruction is how the GOP operates. If you're on their team, you can get away with a lot (Karl Rove, Jeff Gannon, Jack Abramoff, Tom Delay) but if you're not in the gang, watch out (both Clintons, Kennedy, Kerry, McCain, Dean). You don't even have to do anything wrong or unethical. (Think about it. McCain was tarred for adopting a dark-skinned child. Dean made a silly noise and lost decades of credibility because it was looped endlessly in the media.)

Sometimes all you have to do to earn a Republican whiplashing is be married to the wrong person.