Rovian Tricks

It would be unlike the Master of All Things Evil to say something as outrageous as he did without some diabolical reason lurking beneath its just plain old reckless and offensive veneer. So I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop, and so it has. Thud.

Wednesday night on Hardball, guest host David Gregory asked Rove about the Downing Street documents (emphasis mine):
GREGORY: As you well know, critics of this war have seized on what’s being called now the Downing Street Memo, based on meetings that Britain’s Chief of Intelligence had with American officials about the war. One issue that comes up in that memo and subsequent memos is British concerns about the fact that the White House in their view wasn’t adequately thinking about what happens after the regime falls.

ROVE: I'm glad you brought that up because I want to put that in context. First of all that is the British — a Brit making a comment about what he perceived to be U.S. policy. But remember the time frame, it is months and months and months before the balloon goes up in Iraq. And in those intervening months there was plenty of time planning for post-war efforts, vast amounts of planning. You never know exactly how a war is going to plan out. Napoleon once said, 'vast numbers of refugees enormous problems with food aid'- did not happen. Vast uprising- didn't happen. That we would see a vast uprising by hundreds of thousands of Iraqis- didn’t happen. War is ugly, but a lot went very well with this effort and in part it was because the United States government and our coalition partners used the months to plan for any eventuality.

GREGORY: But if you're talking about the number of troops necessary, the level of American casualties, the force and intensity of the insurgency…did the president mislead the American people about the cost of the war or was he just simply surprised by what happened?

ROVE: I would go back to the president’s statements over the last several years and I would defy you to find one speech which he talked about Iraq where he doesn’t say there would be difficult times ahead, that we had a long road to hope that a great deal of sacrifice was going to be called for by both the American people and by the Iraqis to achieve this goal. Look, we do not underestimate the ferocity and the anger and the viciousness of the people that we face. We are in a war. Some people may treat it as a law enforcement matter and be worried about indictments from the U.S. attorney from the southern district of New York. But we recognize this administration and the American people we are in a war and the only way you have a successful outcome in the war is to aim for a complete and total victory, which is exactly what we’re doing.
Clearly, he used questions about the Downing Street Documents to set himself up for the comments he made in his Wednesday night speech (to recap):
"Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Rove said Wednesday night. "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."
Today, the RNC issued talking points obviously constructed in support of Rove’s statement, in addition to an attack ad against Dick Durbin based on his Gitmo comments.

And so the red herring is cast ashore for all to admire.

This is their defensive play—deflect all interest in the Downing Street Documents by some controversy and force liberals to defend themselves…again.

It’s nothing but subterfuge, designed to detract from this major issue with their usual disingenuous bullshit. The Good News: This is their last line of defense against something that’s big and bothersome for them, so we’re on the right track. The Bad News: This line of defense has worked for them before and it will work again, if we don’t call them on it.

Whatever you’ve done to push the Downing Street Documents out into the world, redouble your efforts to discredit Rove and the GOP’s obfuscation of the issues raised by the documents.

Rove must resign. His dirty and divisive brand of politics has gone far enough.

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