Karl Rove's Diary: "Things Aren't Going So Well"
Satire by Bernard Weiner, The
Things aren't going so well. We were on a good two-year
roll there after 9/11. Our in-your-face hardball politics
had so frightened and flummoxed the opposition that it looked
like we were going to get everything we wanted, not the least
another term in the White House.
Now there's: Iraq imploding on us; the economy still in
the tank, with 2,500,000 who've lost their jobs since we took
over; investigations proceeding on the 9/11 coverup, and maybe
also on our outing of Wilson's wife as a CIA agent and our
lying about the air-quality in Lower Manhattan for nine months
after the WTC collapsed; and a pack of mean Democrat dogs
out there yapping away at our domestic and war policies.
The total control we've exercised over the mass media -
conglomerate ownership sure has paid off for our side - is
beginning to crack. We hear that even some conservative GOP
stalwarts are beginning to see vulnerabilities in our approach
and are wondering whether to hedge their bets and start looking
for others to lead the fight.
Granted, President Dim Bulb isn't what we would have wished
for - someone with some brights who can articulate our vision
and not mess up all that often - but he's a nice enough guy
who still thinks Cheney and I are geniuses, so he does what
Dick and I tell him.
The problem is that Rummy's nice, tidy Iraq scenario that
the neo-cons had worked out (in their heads!) isn't playing
out that way on the ground. They told us what the Iraqi exiles
told them: that the U.S. forces would be greeted as liberators
and that the Iraqis would cooperate with us in getting Iraq
back on its feet in joint projects with our American corporate
But Rummy and the boys made a few miscalculations: They
thought we could win the war and the peace with the small
army we sent in - but, since they anticipated an easy post-war
period, they didn't plan for an alternative transition. For
chrissakes, we've got 150,000 combat troops over there trying
to nation-build while riding around in heavily armored vehicles.
And the natives are restless, with nightly guerrilla attacks
and sabotage and mass-bombings. The press-sharks are starting
to smell the blood of Vietnam in the Persian Gulf waters.
I'd never admit this out loud, but, diary, I guess we should
have listened more to Powell and the diplomat boys, who said
we shouldn't do this all on our own. Instead, we took all
our cues from the PNAC playbook, which said that in order
to maintain our superpower dominance and total control, we
had to keep everyone else out of our way. The result was that
we so humiliated and insulted our would-be allies before the
war that now, when we need them, they don't want to come in
and help us run the place. Or, more importantly, help pay
the cleanup bill.
Neo-con strategy works in theory - "we big superpower, you
no stop us, get out of way" - but apparently not always in
practice. Now the U.N. won't go in without a new Security
Council resolution and without the U.S. agreeing to share
some of the authority. The allies won't cough up the bucks
needed to reconstruct Iraq, and are delighting in reminding
us that we shouldn't have deconstructed it in the first place.
If we don't get the troops and money we need, it means we
have to do it all alone, everything. Well, the Brits will
help a bit, but that assumes Tony Blair keeps his job and
moral authority in England - ha! good joke, that - and that's
no sure thing. He ate all the bullshit pie we served him on
his WMD plate - just like our gullible Americans - and it's
no wonder he's suffering from political indigestion.
Now, granted, we want to bankrupt the social programs the
Democrats have established for decades, and we have a good
excuse that permits us to do that: "The Treasury has no extra
money because we're fighting a war on terrorism and reconstructing
Iraq; protecting the homeland is expensive." But jeezus, we're
going into a half-trillion-dollar deficit next year and, while
it'll be great fun slashing-and-burning Head Start and privatizing
Social Security and Medicare, we won't be able to pay for
any of the programs WE want, and the economy will keep going
further into the toilet.
There's even serious re-thinking among some conservatives
about the huge tax cuts we gave ourselves and our friends.
I couldn't believe our luck when the Democrats didn't stop
us; thank God the populace is scared silly and doesn't care
what we do as long as there are no al-Qaida attacks inside
our borders. But that acceptance can't cancel the criticism
about us being incompetent bunglers, with the economy, the
war, the veterans, whatever.
The scary thing is that it's not just the Democrats making
those charges; a lot of Republicians are starting to voice
doubts about how we're handling the war and the economy -
and even some traditional, small-government conservatives
are looking at Ashcroft's Patriot Act with amazement and anger.
A lot of GOP politicos look at Bush's re-elect numbers,
around 40% now, and the likelihood that Wesley Clark will
jump into the race, and they're scared they'll lose their
own re-election bids in 2004. Hell, even the new Clinton,
Dean, might be able to beat Bush. (Oh, diary, this is good!
I'm salivating at the idea of secretly helping Kucinich get
I keep trying to tell our GOP scaredy-cats that we've covered
all the bases. We'll take care of the Democrats in California
and Texas and Florida and Colorado and elsewhere. There still
isn't a lot of mainstream agitation about our friends in the
computer-voting industry - but why in hell did that Ohio computer-voting
executive get caught promising to deliver the vote to the
GOP in that state? And we can arrange for a good ol' patriotic
surprise that will reinforce the support-the-president-during-wartime
mood before the 2004 election.
The problem is that even though the Cheney-Rummy-Wolfy agenda
calls for another big move in the Middle East - using our
leverage in Iraq to get the other Arab leaders to do what
we want or there may have to be another "regime change" scenario
- we may be so bogged down in Iraq that we won't be able to
initiate it with the required force behind our threats. And
then there's that crazy midget in North Korea that could upset
all our apple carts with his nuclear chessgame.
The result of all these things going wrong is that I'm having
to use up a lot of my political ammunition and threats way
too early. But The Genius will just have to do what I know
works: When on the defensive, get on the offensive as quickly
as possible, by hook or by crook. Take the heat and attention
off the scandals. Get Schwarzenegger into the race. Report
some more terror alerts. Trot out some heart-tugging 9/11
stories. Have Bush visit a few more national parks to counter
his environmental record. Denounce gay marriage and cry over
the Ten Commandments case to lock up the South. Whatever it
And I mean that "whatever." We've got to get the Man-Child
re-elected, and I don't much care what we have to do to accomplish
that end. If we don't get the next four years, we can't fulfill
our domestic or foreign goals - and set it up for Jeb - and
we'd open the door for the liberals and pinkos to re-enter
and ruin things. If we truly want to destroy the Democrats
and prepare the way for the one-party rule that will make
our program fully possible, we can't afford to lose any of
the big electoral-vote states in 2004.
Given Bush's, how shall we say, intellectual limitations
when dealing with the fibs that he's told, and the scandals
that cling to our administration - and to such vote-magnets
as Schwarzenegger - it might not be as easy as it seemed some
But, as I say, we'll do what we have to do to win (for sure
keeping those voting-machine software codes secure in the
corporate vaults). And if the voters don't like our victory
results, then they'd better get used to the New World Order
- or hasta la vista, baby.
Bernard Weiner, a playwright and poet, has peeked into numerous
other diaries - including those of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld,
Powell, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and others - which
are available at The
Crisis Papers, which he co-edits.