Rove Story, or never having to say you're sorry

It’s official; by month’s end, Karl Rove will be out of the White House. And it will be of his own accord, not indicted and, most importantly, without having to ask his admired boss, and close friend, for a presidential pardon. It’s time for the maestro directing the Washington Busharmonic to lay down the baton; take a midlife break; rest a bit; write a book; and, who knows, maybe even finish those few credits he still requires to get a long-postponed Bachelor’s in Political Science. Let someone else direct the funeral music still being composed at the White House: Bush’s “Mess in B Minor.”

One gets the feeling that this astute political machinator purposely never finished all the requirements to graduate from college so that he can be considered the eternal campus prankster that can be forgiven if suspected of political foul play, or even gets caught. Passing for the unlikely combination of prankster-nerd gives him the perfect cover-up.

His rate of success as primary strategist in statewide, congressional and national races would be a major fete in any sport, his 6 to 1 win-loss ratio in more than 40 races should be accepted as a reliable statistical sample to reach that conclusion. However to many of us that doesn’t make him a political genius, or a great strategist, or even a dedicated idealist to a cause – in this case conservatism of the many shades and forms. He’s just the ultimate scoundrel, always operating under cloudy skies but never rained on; often suspected but seldom caught in this unhealthy and undemocratic dirty tricks climate that permeates American two-party politics, bringing our much-touted democracy to the level of a routine in a comedy club.

Our “Rove Story” really got its start at about the same time as “Love Story” hit the movie screens in America circa 1970. Americans were then being introduced by Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal to a tearjerker, while in Illinois Rove was enjoying his baptism of fire in the political big leagues with his first “youthful prank” (his self-portrayal) in that race for State Treasurer. Political criminality that started then and never came to a halt.

Rove’s innate abilities in adult political trickery and deceit may have started in 1970, but it wasn’t until Richard Nixon’s 1972 Presidential Campaign that he came of age, literally and politically, under the tutelage of Donald Segretti (convicted Watergate conspirator).

This “Rove Story” may be politically long, but it really isn’t that complicated. He spares nothing or no one to achieve his end which in the past decade has been to get “his find,” George W. Bush, to the White House and keep him there. His background with the College Republicans, followed by his involvement in Texas politics, and Bush Padre… before the Son, has been widely commented for three decades in the press, with some authors giving us some interesting and at times illuminating insights, such as David Kuo, James Moore and Wayne Slater.

To investigative reporters he was an enabler, a source… but for the most part, seldom a target. And that allowed Rove to get away with murder, of the moral and ethical variety. Whether or not his exit from the White House will permit him to continue hiding evidence on the most recent and highly flammable issues involving the White House (such as the Plame affair, firing of US attorneys, and disappearance of emails) remains anybody’s guess, but his affaire with Lady Luck is not likely to end now. Of course, one can hope!

Karl Rove has been neither Bush’s brain – a good topic of conversation and book title – nor has he made Bush presidential, for this administration has shown a total lack of gray matter in everything it has done, and the embarrassing man occupying the White House has never looked presidential to those with some education and a reasonable IQ. As for Rove’s architectural skills, we all build houses of cards that irremediably have to come down. Trickery and deceit are no replacement for architectural CAD skills.

Unfortunately, America has had to endure that horrible mixture that takes place in politics when an unscrupulous schemer meets a fool, and a chemical reaction takes place. “Huge amounts of charisma, swagger, cowboy boots, flight jacket, wonderful smile, just charisma – you know, wow”, Rove recalls. And for that Burns-Smithers relationship (“The Simpsons”) Americans are paying, and will continue paying, dearly.

And, just as in “Love Story,” Karl Rove will never have to say he’s sorry.