THE ORIGINAL KING OF IRONY KEEPS HIS CROWN…. It’s easier to stomach Karl Rove’s political commentary if one thinks of him as some kind of performance artist.
Today, for example, Rove writes an entire column about the Obama White House releasing discouraging news on Friday afternoons.
Every modern White House has put out news on contentious issues late on Friday in the hope that doing so will bury it, or reduce the amount of critical scrutiny it would otherwise receive. What is unusual is the degree to which this White House has relied on this tactic.
I nearly fell out of my chair reading this. It was, after all, Karl Rove’s signature move — release bad news late on Friday afternoons, in the hopes it would generate less attention. Rove is going after the president’s team for occasionally using the same media trick Rove personally perfected while helping run the White House.
What we are seeing with the White House’s timing in releasing its decision on KSM and other terrorists is a presidency clinging to campaign tactics that aim to dominate the 24-hour-news cycle. The problem is that ploys that work in a campaign don’t work nearly as well when you’re in charge of the executive branch. Once in office, you have to live with the consequences of a policy decision.
Seriously? Karl Rove is lecturing the White House on appreciating the consequences of policy decisions? Did Rove ever have to deal with the repercussions of his own misconduct?
At least, however, the almost farcical column is in keeping with Rove’s general m.o. Rove ran a White House that embraced a “permanent campaign,” so he’s accused the Obama team of embracing a “permanent campaign.” Rove embraced the politics of fear, so he’s accused Obama of embracing the politics of fear. Rove relied on “pre-packaged, organized, controlled, scripted ” political events, so he’s accused Obama of relying on “pre-packaged, organized, controlled, scripted” political events. Rove looked at every policy issue “from a political perspective,” so he’s accused Obama of looking at every policy issue “from a political perspective.” Rove snubbed news outlets that he considered partisan, so he’s accused Obama of snubbing snubbed news outlets that he considered partisan.
A lesser hack may find it difficult to launch political attacks that are ironic, hypocritical, and examples of projection, all at the same time, but Rove is a rare talent.