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Wed Nov 7, 2012, 01:50 PM

Goodbye, Mr. Rove. [View all]

There are a lot of things I love about how this election went down. But there's one particular piece of it that's close to my heart. This is the end of the end for the last of the Mayberry Machiavellis. Romney lost, and of course that's most important. But Karl Rove lost too. And it was a big, crazy, humiliating, awkward, career-ending and damnatio-memoria inducing loss.

Mr. Rove, I have been keeping your political eulogy on ice for years now, waiting for the moment when I coudl finally and definitively say: you are done. And glory hallelujiah, the moment has arrived.

I say the end of the end because Rove has been on a downward slide for years now. His particular brand of evil magic was at its most potent in 2004, when the post-9/11 shock that swept the American media left them peculiarly receptive to his siren song. The 2004 election, as many of us will remember, was "lost" in Ohio, though "lost" under circumstances suspicious enough that it took Kerry and Edwards a while to decide whether or not to concede it. Then, as now, the state government of Ohio was controlled by Republican operatives with close ties to Rove and friends, and then as now it was widely rumored that Rove had arranged with some of his buddies to steal it--one way or another--for George W. If you were not around here, or not interested in presidential politics, in 2004, you can find my account of what it was like watching this disaster unfold here. Briefly, here's what happened, according to the BBC:

Early exit polls quoted by media seemed to give Mr Kerry the edge, but colleagues said Mr Rove indicated right away that they did not tally with his information.

He used his own data to put Ohio and Florida in the Bush column - bringing cheers from the president and his family when he went into the Roosevelt Room and told them.

And when the TV networks gave either Ohio or Nevada to Mr Bush but not both - which would have led him to be declared as the winner - Mr Rove was one of the president's aides who got on the phone to news chiefs to try to pressure them to change their minds.

"He used his own data." That tells the sad, enraging, corrupt and gut-wrenching story of 2004 in a nutshell. It's painful looking back on that.

But you know what? I LOVE knowing that in 2012, he sat there on FOX News and tried to pull the same stunt...and nobody listened to him. Not even the delusional bastards at FOX News. Instead, they basically laughed at him...or thought, as one of their newscasters said as they cut back to McCormick Place, "AWKWARD!"

I guess Rove never made it back into the reality-based community after 2004. He was evidently unable to accept the idea that citing his secret Ohio data would not be enough to swing this one. And do you know why, Karl? Because after eight years of Bush and four years of Obama there were just not enough people left in America who were dumb enough to sign up for four years of Romney. No, not even in Ohio. No, not even after voter suppression and whatever other shenanigans your pals organized out there.

Because after Katrina and Sandy and Iraq and Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and Mission Accomplished the media are finally awakening from their stupor. Corporate owned still, yes, of course. Blind to many long-term disasters in the making, sure. But they have witnessed some of the results of your boy's governing, Karl, and these W-made disasters--Katrina especially--appear to have reminded many of the individuals responsible for producing the news that they were still human and still had hearts and brains.

Because, after four years of a president who has something to offer besides humiliation, greed, and contempt, Karl, the American people no longer love the way you lie.

Because the number of bigoted white men willing to believe any bullshit as long as it makes them feel like they're king of the world is no longer a large enough percentage of the population to swing an election. Or even to swing Ohio.

It's true that I have in the past prononuced Karl Rove's demise somewhat prematurely. He may be back. But he can never be recalled to political life. If he ever returns it can only be as a zombie, as the leader of the walking undead who were buried under this landslide.

So goodbye, Karl. I wouldn't say it's been fun, though it's true you inspired some of my favorite journals. You even inspired my first and thank God so far only rap. But though you generated excellent material, I have always hated what you did to the American public sphere. I have always hated the way you exploited and fomented the absolute worst aspects of human nature. I have always hated the way you used your powers, Karl, and though there is much to celebrate today, I thought I would take some time to point out how much I love what we all got to see last night: That now and henceforth, Karl, you have no power at all.


The Plaid Adder

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