THE ORIGINAL KING OF IRONY STRIKES AGAIN…. Have I mentioned lately how much I enjoy Karl Rove’s ironic columns in the Wall Street Journal? Today, the former Bush aide blasts the politics of fear.

On the campaign trail last year, Barack Obama promised to end the “politics of fear and cynicism.” Yet he is now trying to sell his health-care proposals on fear. […]

This is not a healthy way to wage a policy debate.

Yes, Karl “Mushroom Cloud” Rove, after leading a White House political operation that re-wrote the rules when it came to demagoguery, now believes it’s inappropriate to engage in a policy debate by relying on scare tactics. He even feels comfortable blasting others who, he thinks, are using fear to advance an agenda.

At this point, no one does irony quite like ol’ Karl. After all, this is the same Rove who believes President Obama

* will make terrorist recruiting easier by banning torture;

* relies too much on “pre-packaged, organized, controlled, scripted ” political events to manipulate message dissemination;

* is guilty of using hardball political tactics;

* looks at every policy issue “from a political perspective.”

About a year ago, Rove accused the New York Times of having “outed a CIA agent,” which “obviously puts the CIA agent in danger.” Rove added that disclosing the name of a CIA operative represents “a very callous view about our nation’s security and interests.” It was, at the time, one of the most ironic things I’d ever heard.

It’s a reminder that Rove really is the Original King of Irony.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.