11/13/2004

Rove's Revenge

Their new health care plan will probably be a return to leeches he, he, he looove it! - law ;-)

Rove's Revenge

WASHINGTON — Just how much did Karl Rove hate not being one of the cool guys in high school in the 60's? Enough to hatch schemes to marshal the forces of darkness to take over the country?

Oh, yeah.

A supporter of Nixon against Kennedy at 9, the teenage Karl was, in his description, "a big nerd," a small guy with a pocket protector, briefcase, and glasses almost as big as his head.

Even as a high school debater in Salt Lake City, "Rove didn't just want to win; he wanted the opponents destroyed," write James Moore and Wayne Slater in "Bush's Brain." "He would defeat them, slaughter them and humiliate them."

The Boy Genius, as W. calls him, the "architect" who helped him get the second term he dearly wanted to surpass his father, is happy to crush the liberal elites inspired by Kennedy's New Frontier under the steamroller of 19th-century family values.

Like the president, vice president and defense secretary, General Karl wanted to wipe out the gray, if-it-feels-good-do-it, blame-America-first, doused-in-Vietnam-guilt 60's and turn the clock back to the black-and-white Manichaean values of the 50's.

W. and Karl played up western movie stereotypes. After 9/11, the rugged frontier myth, the hunter/Indian-fighter hero in a war of civilization against savagery worked better than ever. But this White House's frontier is not a place of infinite progress and expansion, stretching society's boundaries. It doesn't battle primitivism; it courts primitivism.

Instead of the New Frontier, Karl and W. offer the New Backtier.

Even as a child, I could feel the rush of J.F.K.'s presidency racing forward, opening up a thrilling world of possibilities and modernity. We were going to the moon. We were confronting racial intolerance. We were paying any price and bearing any burden for freedom. We were respecting faith but keeping it out of politics. Our president was inspiring much of the world. Our first lady was setting the pace in style and culture.

W.'s presidency rushes backward, stifling possibilities, stirring intolerance, confusing church with state, blowing off the world, replacing science with religion, and facts with faith. We're entering another dark age, more creationist than cutting edge, more premodern than postmodern. Instead of leading America to an exciting new reality, the Bushies cocoon in a scary, paranoid, regressive reality. Their new health care plan will probably be a return to leeches.

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