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Karl Rove: George Bush's hatchet man

Review by Cindy Beringer | September 3, 2004 | Page 9

Bush's Brain, a documentary by Michael Paradies Shoob and Joseph Mealey.

HOW DID this happen? This is the question posed by the documentary Bush's Brain. How did someone who looks and acts so stupid get to be president of the United States?

The film is based on the book by James Moore and Wayne Slater whose search for intelligent life in the White House led them to "Turd Blossom"--Bush's nickname for his brilliant, malicious White House Senior Advisor Karl Rove. The story of Rove's, and Bush's, rise to power is told through a series of interviews which are horrifying and entertaining at the same time.

Rove made his mark on the Texas political scene during the 1986 governor's race between Bill Clements and Mark White. Rove planted, and later exposed, a listening device in his own office to discredit Democrat White. Republican Clements won.

Gossip and rumor are Rove's chief tactics. Once the information gets out there, the damage is done, and the media can be counted on not to spoil his game. Whispering campaigns, sliding literature under car windshields in the parking lots of fundamentalist churches, and calls to talk radio programs spread the rumors.

Rove has invested 30 nasty years in helping out the Bush family. Dubya's successful race against popular Ann Richards for governor of Texas was helped along by the spread of rumors that Richards was a lesbian who would appoint gays to public office.

The most disgusting slander was used successfully in the racist South against fellow Republican John McCain during the 2000 presidential primaries. A dark-skinned girl in a McCain family photo was said to be McCain's "love child" from an interracial relationship. She was McCain's adopted daughter from Bangladesh!

Rove and the Bush White House are known for swift revenge for anyone who crosses them. Just ask former Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia who lost both legs and an arm in the Vietnam War. He voted against the Homeland Security Act. His patriotism was questioned in an ad featuring his picture alongside bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

Pundit commentary has it that the Swift Boat veterans running the recent ads against Kerry's war medals are a Rove creation. Still, more people will see the ads than hear it refuted. But don't bother feeling sorry for the victims of Rove's attacks. Party loyalist McCain is busy stumping for Bush's re-election, and Kerry is trying to make political points by touting his Vietnam war crimes.

There are no "good guys" in this viper pit. No matter which side wins, the lies and schemes of the political power brokers mean real tragedy for workers.

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