Irony watch

IRONY WATCH…. Karl Rove, this week:

The top priorities for the Senator who will raise his right hand on January 20, 2009, and say “I do solemnly swear” are obvious: keeping America safe and growing the economy. Less obvious is how to create a White House where forceful debate can take place. Plain speaking, straight talk, and dissent must be encouraged….

Newsweek, 2005:

It’s a standing joke among the president’s top aides: who gets to deliver the bad news? Warm and hearty in public, Bush can be cold and snappish in private, and aides sometimes cringe before the displeasure of the president of the United States…. Bush can be petulant about dissent; he equates disagreement with disloyalty.

I’m also reminded of a Time interview with a “youngish” White House aide, described as a Bush favorite, who said, “The first time I told him he was wrong, he started yelling at me. Then I showed him where he was wrong, and he said, ‘All right. I understand. Good job.’ He patted me on the shoulder. I went and had dry heaves in the bathroom.”

Go ahead, Karl, tell us another one about the importance of “forceful debates,” in which “dissent must be encouraged” in the White House.

I had no idea he had such a sense of humor.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.