Wednesday, July 13, 2005


When did "spite" become an admirable virtue? When did American citizens start admiring tough political dirty tricks and name-calling? When did anger and vindictiveness become the American Way? When Bob Dole told John Kerry..."This is hard ball!", was he admitting to admirable and upstanding behavior....or was he describing the pitiful depths of degradation American politics have blundered into?

To the naked eye, Karl Rove looks like everyone's favorite uncle. Plump, smiling, he waddles along at the President's side like a funny little sidekick, the Lou Costello of the comedy team. But, there is no doubt about it, this man is as crafty and cunning as a fox eluding a herd of hounds. That plump, pleasing exterior hides a political veteran, one advising the President on his every move.

Karl Rove is described as the mastermind behind the Bush rise to power. And he seems to be vigilant in striking out at enemies, real and imagined. Bush, it is said, is the figurehead obeying the commands of his "Brain". But, is this brain functioning at a level that is leading America into disaster? I think so, as do many others. The "Moral Majority" defends Rove, but if this is morality, I will eat my father's old felt fedora, the sweat-stained relic of many hours in the hot sun walking behind a team of mules.

Somehow, it seems that America has gotten off the track of political wisdom and blundered onto a path leading to the land of chaos. Our electorate devours, digests and believes such drivel as the "Swift Boat Ads", which were rumored to have been dreamed up by friends of Karl Rove. Pure nastiness, name-calling and defamatory rhetoric! But the American people ate it up with the same gusto that they feel when reading about Tom Cruise arguing with Matt Lauer! God, we are hungry for scandal, like two old women leaning over a fence to discuss the adulterous behavior in the neighborhood!

Karl Rove's lawyer, discussing the role Rove played in the "outing" of Valerie Plame, said that his client is innocent, simply trying to clarify matters, doing his duty in setting the record straight. The fact that Rove called Joseph Wilson's wife "fair game" was ignored by this lawyer at this time, but this is the remark that convinced me that Rove should be fired.

No woman should be "fair game" simply because she married a man who angered someone powerful. No family should be punished because one member enraged a politician. It is hard enough for any woman to rise to any reasonable heights in a job that could be described as a "man's world", and as a covert agent, Valerie Plame held the lives of many people in her hands.

"Fair Game" to Karl Rove in a political bashing could have meant life or death to any of Valerie Plame's contacts. For the President's top consultant to make a remark like that is inexcusable. If he did nothing illegal, he is certainly giving his permission and admiration to anyone else deciding to commit the crime.

Why is it that this Congress never seems to look into any of the corruption revealed in this administration? Is political power so important that common decency is ignored? The Republican Party bills itself as the party of "moral values", yet it seems that, politically, morality is hitting a new low. Some of the corruption, like Tom Delay's pleasure trips, seems to be blatant. Using corporate money to finance political campaigns when Texas law clearly prohibits it seems to be blatant. Calling political enemies "friends to terrorists" and "cowards" may not be illegal, but it sure is dirty pool. And twisting intelligence to start a war is clearly reprehensible.

I don't expect Karl Rove to be removed from his position. I don't expect Karl Rove to be indicted, or called on the White House carpet to explain his actions. I don't expect it because corruption has become the norm. The Born Agains accept it as a path toward their goal. The Republicans, so morally outraged at Clinton for his sleazy little affair, have forgotten their standards of decency, it seems, and lowered their banner of morality. It has hit the basement floor with a resounding thump!

Just as Richard Nixon's actions were upheld by many and he eventually became the "grand old man" of Republican politics, the actions of George Bush, managed by Karl Rove, will be applauded and excused by the Zell Miller types who consider him sent by the Deity to ride a White Chariot through the Middle East. And the political ugliness will continue in a country so polarized it may someday lead to the demise of a great experiment.

For, the truth is, it is the American public that is being shortchanged. Fed a diet of lies, cunningly made fearful of terrorist attacks, and ignoring the corruption of those they pay to lead them honorably and well, they will pay a heavy price. No American should be "Fair Game", and if even one American is allowed to be treated in this way, we will all be in terrible danger of suffering the same fate.