Karl vs. Karl

September 15, 2005

"Republicans said Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, was in charge of the reconstruction effort..."

--Elisabeth Bumiller and Richard W. Stevenson, "Bush to Focus on Vision for Reconstruction in Speech," The New York Times.

March 1, 2009:

Is it any surprise that the collapsed house of cards that is our nation after the Bush years was built by this "architect"? "The government official who is responsible for managing Katrina...is the governor of Louisiana."
--Karl Rove, "Rove Blames Louisiana for Katrina Response," "ABC News: This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

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    No shame. Republicans (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 02:24:01 AM EST
    have no shame.  They lie with a perfectly straight face and pass the buck at every opportunity.

    Accountability is evidently not a conservative value.

    Accountability is a conservative value.... (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:20:29 AM EST
    Its just that the Republican party believes accountability is for everybody except the Republican party and their cronies on Wall St., the banking industry, and in the boardrooms across America.

    Shorter version, the Republican party is not a conservative party, and hasn't been for sometime.


    Point taken. (none / 0) (#14)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 11:46:41 AM EST
    Well (none / 0) (#17)
    by cal1942 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 12:48:40 PM EST
    today's Republican party is the worst version of 2 parts of it's former self.

    The conservative part: Not just resistant to change but rolling back change. Mindless subordination to authority. Mixing state and religion. Suspicion of foreigners. Self only, anti-community, no investment in public goods, etc.

    The business part: Business interests to the exclusion of all others.  This was formerly the part that invested in infrastructure; now this part wants to sell public infrastucture to private business. And by all means finance over everything else.

    The two fit very well together. They are natural allies.


    Both parties have no shame (none / 0) (#29)
    by Matt in Chicago on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:25:47 PM EST
    Face it, both parties want to blame each other for the failings in LA... and neither one wants to admit that they are at least partly to blame.

    Neither party is interested in actually fixing the problem... they just want to score political points.

    If Nagin had done any part of his job... the buses would have been used to evacuate... hell, the levees might have be built to even the marginal specs they were originally designed to...

    If Blanco had done her job... there would have been a statewide response rather worrying about what suit to wear and delaying acceptance of federal aid.

    And as for the feds... what the hell didn't they screw up?  FEMA is supposed to act as a facilitator to provide materials and guidance... yeah that worked.  They provided the wrong materials and couldn't guide anything.


    Katrina vanden Heuvel (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by BernieO on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 07:02:05 AM EST
    told Karl off pretty effectively yesterday on ABC's This Week, IMO. She let George Will have it, too.  even chastising him for using his usual baseball metaphor. They clearly did not like it and seemed a little off their game. After all they are not used to being challenged, particularly not by a woman. Juan Williams also stood up to Brit Hume's right wing blather, too.

    As for accountability, why be accountable when you can blame everything on Bill Clinton?

    I think she did a terrific job (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:42:50 AM EST
    Reality based to the nth degree.  Wish more lefty heads could get their heads around the situation, how we got here and where we need to go, who did what when and where and how the Republican arguments are infantile where they aren't insane.

    If I recall correctly, however, (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by BernieO on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 11:34:39 AM EST
    Katrina is one of those liberals who disliked Bill Clinton for being too centrist and does not give him credit. Doing this takes away the left's strongest argument in defense of Obama's tax increases (among other things) because he showed that raising taxes on upper income people does not ruin our economy and in fact can be a good thing for all income levels.

    I am frustrated by how often liberals point to the good economy of the 90's under Clinton when debating with Republicans. They should point this out at every possible opportunity the way Republicans hail Reagan's (distorted) legacy.

    I'll take Clintonomics over Reaganomics anyday. Granted Clinton went along with too much deregulation, but I find it hard to believe that he - or Gore - would have ignored the clear-cut evidence of the extreme level of risk that resulted and taken steps to correct the problem. Both of them live in the fact-based, pragmatic world, not the world of blind ideology.


    I tend to be the sort who uses what is usable (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 02:12:39 PM EST
    and in spite of her Clinton hate she has some aspects of our current situation nailed when sitting across the table from Karl Rove.  Perhaps if I'm willing to give her credit where credit is due she can bring herself to do the same.

    This will now be a water-cooler fact (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by ricosuave on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:05:29 AM EST
    Expect all of your Republican officemates to know for a fact that Gov. Blanco was in charge of everything.  They will insist that Katrina is a media generated story, that the federal government supplied all kinds of things that the state didn't use properly, and that this proves that ____ (fill in with Government, Democrats, Poor People, Black Louisianans, etc.) cannot do anything right.  Expect to hear Bill Clinton mentioned in some derogatory fashion as well.

    Welcome to the post-Bush world of Republican cognitive dissonance.

    This is how they really feel (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:18:00 AM EST
    If you recall, when the tsunami hit, our gov't was quick to respond with the smallest financial assistance of all...it took pressure to get them to raise the amount of help they were offering.

    The Bush family has a very deep belief that people who are poor and helpless are that way by choice. Barbara is especially cold and judgmental. Not sure how Bill Clinton managed to get George HW to join him, but you sure don't see him working in the field like Bill does.


    George HW was just doing damage control (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:20:42 AM EST
    for the family name that his son was busy demolishing. Don't expect to see much of him in the future, between his advancing age and dubya being out of office.

    It's not just the Bushes (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by BernieO on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 11:49:17 AM EST
    who believe that the poor are that way by choice. This is a deeply ingrained belief of many, many conservatives, particularly those who live in elite enclaves and go to private schools.

    I grew up in Appalachia and went to school with kids that lived in unbelievable poverty. Almost all of them dropped out at 16, never having gotten past grade school or junior high (no social promotion and extremely poor attendance)and no one cared. Their families either wanted them home to help or were too dysfunctional and the truant officers ignored them. Few got out. You can't tell me they have chosen to live like that.

    It is a very seductive to believe that the poor deserve their lot. It implies that you are superior - either innately better or self-made (I have never met anyone who is). It also justifies keeping all your money to yourself and not paying higher taxes to support those "lazy bums". Reagan capitalized on this with his Welfare Queen schtick and Dems have not been effective at challenging it.


    Challenging it? Heh.... (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 12:08:28 PM EST
    For whatever reason, poverty was far down the list of the Democrat's priorities during the Bush years...and far down the list of the public's as well as polls continually showed.  Two wars, of course, overshadowed everything else.

    It was clear that Edwards had mistaken the public mood by choosing such a low priority as his banner issue in the primaries.  Perhaps he thought he'd revive the "Bobby Kennedy goes to Appalachia" schtick, casting himself as the reincarnation of the fallen hero.  How shocked he must have been to see Teddy 'pass the torch' to Obama instead of to him.

    Now that so many formerly middle-class Americans will be joining the poverty-stricken, perhaps Democrats will have to pay attention once again.

    I'm not holding my breath.


    The reasons are simple enough (none / 0) (#24)
    by jondee on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 02:05:48 PM EST
    1. The poor dont make campaign donations

    2. Few, if any, candidates from either major party have personally ever been poor.

    3. Discussing the problem of poverty in America is "class warfare" ( as opposed to things like outsorcing and downsizing, which isnt ).

    aren't (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by jondee on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 02:25:11 PM EST
    BernieO (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by cal1942 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 12:59:48 PM EST
    for this parenthetical statement:

    self-made (I have never met anyone who is)

    You should get a flock of 5s.

    My experience also. NO ONE is self-made.

    Self-made is the enduring crock of Horatio Alger myths.


    Yep. No one is, literally, "self-made." (none / 0) (#22)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 01:18:10 PM EST
    You get what you want out of life by helping enough others get what they want.

    True (none / 0) (#18)
    by daring grace on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 12:50:28 PM EST
    But not just in privileged enclaves. You'll find it pretty strongly expressed in middle class and working class people too.

    You remind me of the arguments I used to have with my brothers--neither of whom was particularly Repub or conservative, but both of whom routinely used to rail to me against the 'lazy' poor etc.

    Years ago, my brother who was working two jobs and whose wife also worked, complained to me about someone in front of him at the supermarket who was using food stamps but then paid for a birthday cake with cash, as if somehow this was a major crime, a cheat on the system that should be reported somewhere.

    I responded with examples of the rich and powerful being subsidized by the gov't to a much more costly degree than one (or even a million) lousy store bought birthday cakes. But I don't think I ever got through. My rejoinder of "So your idea is DON'T let them eat cake, right?" probably didn't help.

    What floored me recently was hearing more than one privileged acquaintance express the view that having wealth and power and privilege IS proof of your superiority, morally and otherwise. That the poor are poor because they are undeserving, maybe a little tainted in some way, and really, well, maybe not too smart... They got annoyed at my expressive disbelief after a few minutes, but I just couldn't BELIEVE they were serious. I kept glancing around for the reality tv show camera that was part of the set-up for these fantastic opinions, but no...

    I figured this kind of mentality still existed. I just didn't realize how close (in age and education and proximity) it existed to me. Wow...


    Some Protestants (none / 0) (#19)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    Methodist and Calvinist believe in god's natural selection.  Rich are rich because god favors them.  And poor are poor because they are poor in gods eyes.

    Part of the deregulation or lack enforcement of the money sector, relates to this idea. The rich are ethical as they shine in gods eyes. They don't need regulation because they will do the right thing.

    So much for that idea, now after 8+ years of that nonsense we know that the rich are not to be trusted.


    squeaky (none / 0) (#21)
    by cal1942 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 01:17:07 PM EST
    let's not start a religious war here.

    You may have an axe to grind regarding Protestants but you should keep in mind that all religions are a mixed bag.


    That is For Sure (none / 0) (#26)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 02:18:39 PM EST
    But the current ethos in BushCo america is clearly protestant based where some are rewarded because they are in gods favor with riches. It is unquestionable in my mind that Bush and many of his cronies believe that they were chosen.

    Historically (none / 0) (#23)
    by daring grace on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 01:29:04 PM EST
    I realized this was the case.

    I was amazed to hear it spoken by 21st century secularists. But maybe they learned it at someone's knee and it has been a legacy belief from the old days...

    Because I know many Methodists who don't for a moment embrace this twaddle today.


    So very true (none / 0) (#33)
    by Amiss on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 01:36:08 PM EST
    Because I know many Methodists who don't for a moment embrace this twaddle today.

    Count me among them. I have never heard such "twaddle" preached in the local Methodist Church, and believe me, I used to have to go to church many times a week, as my Mother was the church secretary, so I was there daily.


    this is exactly what it is: (none / 0) (#32)
    by cpinva on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 02:39:32 AM EST
    the calvinist theology of "pre-destination"; your descent to hell, or ascent to heaven is determined, before you're even born. nothing you do can change that, and no one knows where their ultimate afterlife landing will be.

    however, the theory goes, your level of material success in this life is an indication of your "destination" in the next. the more successful, the higher the likelihood you're going to heaven, the less, not so much.

    whether that theology is still propounded by any modern-day protestant faith, i have no clue, but that's the source of the current conservative mentality, with respect to those less well off then they, whether they're conscious of it or not.


    Cokie did it for me too (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by cotton candy on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:02:10 AM EST
    I was done after her "Hawaii is exotic" line. I clearly took that to be code for: Obama stop acting black with your black family and go vacation with some good ol' white folks in SC.

    I'm glad to hear that Katrina slapped down Karl Rove and his nonsense.

    Never a Palin Fan (none / 0) (#34)
    by daring grace on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 01:44:19 PM EST
    But I think we saw similar attitudes toward Alaska as this kind of not-quite-a-real-American-state when she was running.

    It's amazing we in the lower 48 still exhibit such mainland chauvinism.


    Those who thought that the (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:16:56 AM EST
    media darling treatment that was accorded to Obama for the last two years was going to extend to Democrats now that Dems are "in charge" were kidding themselves in a very big way.

    The script that the media are now reading from is one in which, whether it is the budget, the housing plan, the stimulus, the bailout, or the Iraq plan, the intro is that people are up in arms over it, and Republican after Republican then get air time to state why the budget/the stimulus/the housing plan/the bailout/the Iraq war plan is untenable; there is no time given to anyone from the Democratic party to discuss the positive.  There is not even a throwaway line from the news anchor that "Dems say the plan will..."

    I go back to a long-held belief that the media love disaster - they love anxiety and fear - and they are milking this to a fare-thee-well now that there is a new administration calling the shots.  They can't wait to tell us how badly the stock market did, and tie it to something Obama or the Democrats did or said.

    This is a game for them, and for the Karl Roves of the world - these people do not care how the things they do and say affect the people who hear them.

    Karl Rove should be completely irrelevant to any discussion, about anything; I wouldn't even trust him to be able to talk about the day, the date or the time.  

    I'm not sure I believe him (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Radix on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 11:42:33 AM EST
    when he says his name is Karl for Gods sake, let alone anything else.

    What I'd like to know is, (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by jondee on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 11:43:32 AM EST
    why isnt he in a cell playing hide-the-pet-mouse with his backstairs buddy Abramoff?

    So we all agree Rove is horrible. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Matt in Chicago on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:19:41 PM EST
    Now the question remains, does Louisiana, Nagin and Blanco deserve any blame for the response?  It is easy to blame the guy you hate... but let's face it people Blanco and Nagin are about the biggest screw-ups going...  Defending them because they have a D after their name does a disservice to the party.

    And yes, for those of you who do not understand Federalism... Blanco is ultimately in charge of Louisiana...  The State is sovereign and cannot be told what to do by the Federal government.  So once federal resources reach (or reached LA) they are under the control and direction of the State... which was clearly incapable of managing the task... as was the Federal government.

    I guess what I am saying is there was plenty of blame to go around... and Rove is an a$$ (more of an a$$) for at least not admitting that.