The Fink and the Turd Blossom

Yesterday, I wrote about a prominent Republican consultant, Arthur J. Finkelstein, who, after spending a lifetime driving the careers of conservatives, demonizing liberals, and supporting anti-gay candidates, recently married another man in Massachusetts, with whom he has adopted two children. Although he was defended by other Republicans as having distanced himself from social conservatives as their anti-gay rhetoric has amplified, he’s still actively engaged in trying to destroy liberals, even as he takes advantage of the progressive laws they alone champion.
Mr. Finkelstein, a longtime adviser to Gov. George E. Pataki of New York, is setting up a political action committee to mount a campaign offensive against Mrs. Clinton in 2006, when she is up for re-election, according to Republicans familiar with his plans.

Mr. Finkelstein, who is known to be reclusive, would not comment for this article. But Republicans who know of his intentions say he is moving behind the scenes to line up donors to help the committee, called Stop Her Now, reach its goal of raising as much as $10 million to finance an independent campaign against her.

His plan includes financing an advertising assault against her similar to the one orchestrated by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group that attacked Senator John Kerry's Vietnam service during the presidential election, according to the Republican officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.


Republicans are warning that Mrs. Clinton will be in a position to run for president in 2008 if she is not defeated in New York next year.


Republicans familiar with the project said that Mr. Finkelstein is just weeks away from publicly launching the committee, having established a Web site and put a direct-mail operation in place.

Republican officials say Mr. Finkelstein is hoping to model his committee after the National Conservative Political Action Committee, a group he helped lead in the early 1980's in its campaign to, among other things, unseat liberal senators.
What possesses a man, the legal structure of whose family is only possible because of liberal policies, to dedicate his time, energy, treasure, and talents to attacking those who would fight for his right for full equality? It can’t possibly be an unyielding support of other conservative principles, such as fiscal conservatism or environmental protection; the GOP has left these ideals behind, and they have become the property of progressives.

As inexplicable as the Fink is, he is only one of many GOP operatives who reap the benefits of liberal policies while simultaneously making their livings trying to undermine the liberals who dedicate their lives to expanding them. It is a peculiar feeling I have about these people. They anger and perplex me, but more than anything else, I feel a sense of betrayal, strangely similar to a broken heart.

Tangentially, last night, I watched the documentary Bush’s Brain, based on the book of the same name, about Karl Rove, in which he is often cited as co-president. (You’ll recall, in February, Rove was appointed as deputy White House chief of staff, and put in charge of coordinating policy between the White House Domestic Policy Council, National Economic Council, National Security Council, and Homeland Security Council, in addition to continuing to advance Bush’s agenda, making him, in fact, closer to an official co-presidency than ever before.) The term limits imposed upon Bush, however, don’t mean we have seen the end of Rove; a man whose life has been darkly dedicated to the pursuit of power is unlikely to rest after reaching such a startling level of influence. The depths to which he has stooped in this endeavor are nothing less than jaw-dropping, and yet, many of those over whom he has trampled, pick themselves up and dust themselves off only to drop back to their knees to service him like ten-dollar whores (see: John McCain).

That Rove’s career does not necessarily end with Bush’s presidency, coupled with the seemingly interminable number of men and women like the Fink, who are unapologetically willing to sell their souls to the GOP machine, is truly depressing. Meanwhile, our strategists are writing love notes to them. I despair for our future.

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