Karl Rove's Campaign Diary: Time for Those
July 14, 2004
By Bernard Weiner, The
On with the cape, the Boy-Genius needs to ride again! I've got
to do SOMETHING to pull us out of the tailspin we're in. It isn't
gonna be easy, given the gross mistakes a lot of us made - and,
yep, I'm thinking primarily of Rummy, and Wolfy, and Dick - and
the fact that we're dealing with a puffed-up airhead at the top
who barely can stumble through the day, let alone take direction
and move the country along. [Note to myself: Don't forget to put
this in my personal vault!]
Here we are less than four months out from Election Day, and it
doesn't look good. Well, yeah, we've got (and we'll hold) our fundamentalist
base; those guys are so gullible, and, thank goodness, so dedicated.
Just throw 'em some raw meat - "abortion," "gay marriage," "family
values," "Michael Moore," "Bill Clinton" - and we can count on them
following us anywhere, even into the bowels of Hell, which is where
I often feel we're living these days.
Sure, we can repair along the edges of our various problem areas
and scandals, and thus get some helpful spin for awhile. But the
spin-effect dissipates quickly, and there we are, just barely better
off, and sometimes worse off, than where we were before our emergency
Take Iraq... please. We were able to engineer the establishment
of a U.S.-friendly interim government, and hoped that the American
people would buy into the convenient fiction of "full sovereignty"
for the Iraqis. (It would have been too much to hope that the Iraqi
citizenry would accept the interim government as truly sovereign;
not much luck there: only 2% of the Iraqi population now regard
us as "liberators.") But, no luck on that front either: the numbers
are rising who think we're on the wrong course in Iraq, to more
than 50%! There's even a 40% slice of the American people who think
we should just pull out of Iraq, stable "democracy" implanted or
Oh my god, but our war in Iraq is a royal fuckup. And the Senate
Committee's report that the war was based on "flawed" intelligence
- in other words, we're getting our young soldiers slaughtered over
there, for phony reasons and lies - isn't going to help matters.
(The good news is that, with the help of our loyal Senate Republicians,
we got that report to pile all the blame on the CIA. Pressure? What
pressure? Hee, hee, hee!)
What do we tell the troops - and the parents - who want to know
why we're still fighting there, if the original reasons were false
and based on lousy intel? Those liberals who smell Vietnam under
every rock may be right on this one - though, of course, we'll never
admit it. Thank God Kerry got sucked in by the bad intel and voted
for the war, or we'd be naked out here.
SNOOKERING THE DEMOCRATS
Somehow we've got to stagger our way through that Iraqi disaster
until November 2. We may just be able to do it. We got the friendly
government in place; on his way out the door, Bremer got the interim
government to accept all those laws and regulations to protect our
corporations and troops; the mass-media most Americans listen to
- radio talk-shows, CNN and Fox News, the cable shows - are still
mostly on board; we suckered the Democrats into waiting until AFTER
the election for the Senate investigation's second report, this
one on our handling of that lousy intel.
Most importantly, we're reducing the number of Americans dying
and getting wounded (well, not really, but that's the goal and our
generals there better meet it if they know what's good for them,
even if they have to fiddle with the numbers). Americans won't care
if more Iraqis get killed and blown up, as long as our troops' deaths
and woundings are going down and it looks like we're turning a corner
in the country.
I just love the way the chattering classes and liberal Democrats
get all hot and bothered by a scandal, rant and rave for a week
or so, and then just go lie down again, content to snooze their
way through the day, feeling they've done their political and moral
duty. That's what saves us time after time as one more scandal erupts.
We ride out the initial frenzy, delay and stonewall requests for
information, tell a few lies and re-direct their attention elsewhere
(Ridge is a good little poodle), maybe seem to be making some of
the requested changes - and, presto, we're back in business, ready
for the next "incoming!"
That's what happened with the torture scandal. I thought we were
done for, cornered by our own memos authorizing the president to
assert dictatorial powers during "wartime." Ashcroft's lawyers and
the PNAC boys at Defense have kept things in hand. But if they get
out of hand, and if it comes down to it, Rummy may still have to
take the fall - like Tenet at CIA; but so far, nobody is taking
any hits except the lowly guards and a few lower-rank officers.
I think we can ride this one out past Election Day.
DEALING WITH THE SPOOKS
And, if we stay united in our stories, we may just be able to
avoid the Plame silver bullet as well. Well, yes, we may have to
throw a few of our staffers overboard - we'll say they got "overzealous"
and discipline them - but no real damage done at the top. But I
think we've fogged up any clear view of the complicated criminal
law about revealing the name of a covert CIA agent, and maybe we
can slide by with no damage at all.
What we won't be able to avoid are the slings and arrows coming
to us from the spooks. Others (like wimpy old Colin) warned us that
we'd have to face a CIA backlash - leaking all sort of dirt to the
press once we scapegoated the Agency for 9/11 and Iraq intel, and
especially after we outed Joe Wilson's wife as a CIA agent - but
we decided that we'd take the risk and lay the problems at the feet
of the CIA. We needed to keep any blame away from the White House.
But the heat has been intense. And if the CIA agent called "Anonymous"
is any indication what we can anticipate between now and November
- his goddam book, "Imperial Hubris," is spilling the big beans!
- then we may have more to fear from the CIA than we do from the
media and the Democrats. It's a long four months until the election
and they can dump a whole lot of manure on our heads with their
In short, though we're going to have to take some hard knocks
in the press and from the Dems, we may just get away with these
and the other scandals. Never ceases to amaze me how quickly the
public forgets what it learns, and goes back to its torpor. They
just want to get by and concentrate on their families. And, thanks
to our policies, we've made damn sure the great bulk of Americans
have to struggle just to stay afloat economically, so they won't
have much energy, or time, left over to bother about faraway little
A PLAN TO TURN THE TIDE
Now, if Kerry and his prettyboy Edwards will just continue soft-pedaling
their criticisms, we may just be able to climb back into play in
the toss-up states, and, by hook and by crook, wedge our way into
victory in November.
Sometime in the next several months, we'll be able to announce
that we've captured or killed one of the big Bad Guys, to demonstrate
how well our "war on terrorism" is going. I hope it will be Osama,
but - as we've told the Pakistanis - any big-name lieutenant or
associate of bin Laden will do. See, we're winning the war on terrorism!
(Then we have to hope that nobody notices, or cares, that we let
al Qaida and the Taliban regroup while we were preparing for and
invading and occupying Iraq.)
Then there's likely to be a major terrorist attack here
in the U.S., which should give Bush a big electoral boost, as the
old fright-factor works its magic again. The American public will
rally around the Administration as the best qualified to protect
them, and not want to change electoral horses in the middle of the
battle. At least, that's the plan. We've dared al Qaida to come
get us, so they'll probably take the bait, which means it's likely
to be deja 9/11 all over again. We probably can even ram Patriot
II provisions through the Congress, just like before, and so be
able to clamp down on our opposition as offering "aid and comfort"
to the enemy. Ashcroft will love it.
Can't believe the electorate is going to permit us to use
computer-voting machines in most states, so I think we can count
on a few "special victories" there as well. True, some states have
caught on and are demanding verified-voting backups and paper receipts
in case of recounts, but I think we can squeeze by those objections
in enough of the toss-up states to give us the margin of victory
in the Electoral College. I'm told that it's so easy to manipulate
the software and not provide any evidence that anything has been
tampered with. Getting a bit more difficult to remove thousands
of likely Democrat voters from the rolls - Jeb had to backtrack
on that one in Florida, though he pulled the old bait-and-switch,
since he's got worse ones nobody's heard of yet - but we'll find
a way to get the election won.
And, last, if necessary, we may just have to "postpone"
(nod, nod, wink, wink) the election - or, if we are required to
have one and Kerry wins, to "postpone" the inauguration - because
of a terror attack or increased terror threat. Ridge already has
started moving to prepare contingency plans in this regard, and
so far, at least, there hasn't been a great rebellion in the population.
I think we can probably get away with it, spinning that we're doing
this to protect the rights of voters. Lovely how our fright psyops
can produce a confused and docile citizenry. If Osama didn't exist,
we'd have to invent him. Oh dear, what have I said?
TIME TO ROLL OUT THE SURPRISES
But those devices will only work if we can stay relatively even
with the Dems in the national and key-state polls, otherwise it
will be a bit obvious what we're doing. (And we probably can't count
on our Supreme Court compatriots helping us out this time; they
really are pissed that we basically declared them irrelevant in
those goddamn torture memos.)
But we're losing more and more traditional conservative voters
as they get the message - from all those respected diplomats and
generals and former Reagan/Bush1 officials - that we're too "extremist"
for the good of the party and the country and it's OK to dump our
Administration. And word of our big-time support of Nader's candidacy
is getting out to the public.
No, it doesn't look good. The economy isn't really taking off
(unless, of course, you're real good friend$ of ours; the good-paying
jobs still aren't coming along as we'd like; Kerry and Edwards are
starting to catch the imagination of the public; some of our former
friends are turning hostile; our scandals are barely under control
and could unravel quickly if the opposition develops critical mass
anytime soon; the war in Iraq is still an albatross around our necks;
and Cheney, under great stress, is losing it and revealing his true
face (and his scandals are barely containable).
We've floated a few trial balloons about replacing him, and we'll
see how that goes; McCain is waiting in the wings, which is why
he's been such a good little boy after all the dirty tricks we've
pulled on him.
So, I guess it's July, August, September, October "surprise time".
Take the leashes off them dogs, we're going right up in their faces
again. Watch 'em blink. God, I love this job!
Bernard Weiner, Ph.D., co-editor of The
Crisis Papers, also has peeked into the diaries
of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden
and others. He is a contributing author to the recently-released
Big Bush Lies book, available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com
and local bookstores.