Some Legacy; Rove Resigns

A part of me, a very large part of me mind you, wants to strip off all of my clothes and go singing and dancing through the streets, “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead!”   Though there is a more reserved part of me that feels as though this is inappropriate somehow.  Perhaps it’s taking such sheer joy at the end of the career of a rival so hated, so vile, so disgusting…  No, dancing and singing is fine there.

Oh, right, the naked part.  Yeah, that would be the inappropriate bit.

Considering I’m not much of a singer nor a dancer, I will simply just revel in the glow at the news that come the end of this month, Karl Rove will retire.  Man, that feels good, just kinda slips off the fingertips…  Karl Rove is retiring.  MMMmmmm… It’s like having hot fine oils rubbed down your…

Oh… um… sorry.

Hatred is rarely a good thing, but it is sometimes deserved, and in the case of the current administration it is pretty easy to change that “sometimes” to often.  In honor of the extremely good news of Karl Rove’s retirement, I think it’s fitting to take a look at some of the contributions he has made over his career, contributions that have helped mold the political discourse so many Americans despise today.

-As a burgeoning young GOP attack dog wannabe, pre college Rove stole the letter head of the Democratic candidate for Illinois State Treasurer and printed out a flier promising, “Free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing.”  He then distributed these fliers to rock concerts and homeless shelters in order to disrupt a campaign rally.

-Back in the 80’s, during a race for the Alabama Supreme Court, Mark Kennedy was running heavily on his reputation of aiding and championing the cause and rights of victimized and abused children.  Karl Rove sought to paint Kennedy as a pedophile.

-Rove, prior to his role as the “Architect” in both of George W. Bush’s presidential elections had also bugged his own office on the day of a vital debate in order to make it look as though the opposition had done it.

-As part of Bush’s gubernatorial bid, Rove employed what was quickly becoming one of his most potent weapons, the whisper campaign, to paint the incumbent, Ann Richards, as a lesbian.

-South Carolina, 2000.  The race between John McCain and George W. Bush was rough, that is until hordes of South Carolinian Republican primary voters were asked this question in a particularly nasty push poll:  “Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain for president if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?”

I say particularly nasty because the push poll was granted a modicum of validity due to the fact that McCain and his wife had actually adopted a dark skinned Bangladeshi girl, Bridget.

Since then what have we seen? We’ve seen “Run on the War,” we’ve seen Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, we’ve seen Rove looking ridiculous in hunting gear.  We’ve seen Valerie Plame, and US Attorneys dismissed for political reasons.  We’ve seen every attempt at reasoned debate turned into a referendum on Democrats and liberals on how unpatriotic they were, or how anti-military we were, or how much we wanted to hand the country over to terrorists.

We’ve seen Kerry’s campaign get tagged as wanting to ban the bible and legalize gay marriage, and we’ve seen the Democratic candidate lambasted for “outing Mary Cheney” while on the very same night Bush get away with lying about whether he ever said he didn’t think much about Osama bin Laden.

We’ve seen this country polarize itself disastrously in the political sphere only a handful of years after we were the most united we had been in recent history; the coming together of a nation after a horrendous tragedy that marred the New York skyline, scarred the Pentagon, and saw the death of over three thousand American citizens.

If anything, Rove has been the champion of politics of destruction and division, and the seeds he has sewn have done little but to drive our country downward.  He leaves behind him a legacy of hate and lies and misdirection, and through his “slash and burn” style of politics, it is possible that he has tainted the political discourse in this country for years to come.

While I often hold people in disdain for their actions, for the most part, I limit that disdain to their actions, and recognize that all people err.  Only for a very small few does my hate penetrate to the man.  Rove is one of these.

As he prepares to leave the White House, one can only hope.  One can only hope that as his greatest political success, the making of a president, has turned into a catastrophic failure, the private sector will see this failure, and reward him thusly.

He exits the stage as a winner, but only just.  His dreams of a Republican ran government for decades to come has already been dashed by the winning back of the Democratic majority.  His politics of division are already showing that they are beginning to ebb; a key moment of this occurring in the fall of 2005 in notoriously conservative Virginia where Democratic candidate Tim Kaine beat out the socially conservative, anti-tax, mud slinging Jerry Kilgore.

We see hope elsewhere, in the meteoric rise of Senator Barack Obama who touts the very opposite of Rovian politics, and even the entire Democratic field who are leading the way in substantive debate vice the old Rovian standbys displayed by Republican candidates like Rudy Giuliani who with no candor or respect for his own recent history has taken to the very fear tactics that Rove excelled in.

No, we’re not out of the woods yet.  There’s still a lot of question marks to be resolved out there, many of which surrounding the idea of whether Democrats are ready to stand up and lead or not.  But one thing is certain, the absence of Karl Rove from the political sphere is an opportunity of hope, an opportunity that we can eschew his tactics and slowly reconstruct the nation’s political debate.

Finally, as for the man himself.  Bush, many believe, will be judged very harshly by history.  Even historians are already willing to line up and say he will be seen as one of the worst presidents in our history.

What fate can history hold for the man who made the worst president in history?

(UPDATE: As is to be expected, there is a HUGE amount of response to this news, so I encourage you to check out all the rest of the folks writing on the subject:


Discussion: Attytood, The Newshoggers,, Captain’s Quarters, BBC,, Outside The Beltway, MyDD, MSNBC, Comments From Left Field, Middle Earth Journal, Daniel W. Drezner, QandO, the talking dog, No More Mister Nice Blog, Macsmind, On Deadline, Atlantic Free Press,, Examining Presidential …, A Blog For All, The Sundries Shack, Iowa Voice, Blue Crab Boulevard, UrbanGrounds, Seeing the Forest, The Glittering Eye, The Democratic Daily, Jules Crittenden and Gateway Pundit


Will / Attytood:   Mission accomplished  —  The news was released in the pitched blackness …

Cernig / The Newshoggers:   Rove To Quit  —  Karl Rove has told the WSJ that he’s going to quit at the end of August.

Michelle Malkin:   WSJ: Karl Rove to resign

Ed Morrissey / Captain’s Quarters:   Rove Hits The Road

BBC:   Top White House aide Rove quits

Hugh Hewitt /   When Is The Band Getting Back Together?

Chris Lawrence / Outside The Beltway:   Karl Rove Resigns, Effective August 31st

Psericks / MyDD:   BBC/WSJ: Karl Rove to resign in August

Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:   The Bush administration  —  NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell notes …

Kyle E. Moore / Comments From Left Field:   Some Legacy; Rove Resigns

Jazz / Middle Earth Journal:   Rove to Spend More Time With his Family

Dan / Daniel W. Drezner:   KARL ROVE’S LEGACY


Tdog / the talking dog:   King Rat announces departure from sinking ship


Macranger / Macsmind:   Ready for Rove II?

Mark Memmott / On Deadline:   Karl Rove leaving the White House

Chris Floyd / Atlantic Free Press:   Panic Attack: Rove Packs Bags in Big-Time Bushist Bug-Out

Bob Fertik /   Why Did Karl Rove Resign?

Examining Presidential Politics:   Rove To Resign  —  Karl Rove, President Bush’s longtime political …

Lawhawk / A Blog For All:   Darth Rove To Resign End Of August

Jimmie / The Sundries Shack:   It’s Like the Emperor Just Quit Man!

Brian / Iowa Voice:   Rove To Leave At End Of August

Gaius / Blue Crab Boulevard:   Rove Resigning  —  An obligatory post on the hot topic of the day …

Robbie / UrbanGrounds:   Karl Rove’s Work is Done

Dave Johnson / Seeing the Forest:   Rove Resigning  —  Karl “Party over Country” Rove is resigning …

Dave Schuler / The Glittering Eye:   Ho-hum  —  I can’t get too excited about Karl Rove’s imminent departure …

Hart Williams / The Democratic Daily:   Rove To Resign (Says Rove)  —  The Wall Street Journal just broke this story.

Jules Crittenden:   Rove Gone  —  Our Dark Lord Rove, exiting stage right.

Gateway Pundit:   Rove: Hillary Is Tough, Tenacious & Fatally Flawed Candidate

» All Related Discussion


Paul A. Gigot / Wall Street Journal:

‘The Mark of Rove’  —  These are the days of Republican doubt, with President Bush fighting an unpopular war, Congress in opposition hands, and a 2008 presidential field trailing Democrats in nearly every poll.  But don’t tell that to Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s political alter ego …

Discussion: Captain’s Quarters, Shakespeare’s Sister, Althouse, The Moderate Voice, The Next Hurrah, Power Line, The American Scene, Betsy’s Page, Political Punch, Firedoglake, Let Freedom Ring, Wizbang, The BRAD BLOG, TIME: Swampland, Outside The Beltway, Tammy Bruce, Political Radar, Patterico’s Pontifications, Obsidian Wings, TIME, Donklephant, Fausta’s blog and Pam’s House Blend


Ed Morrissey / Captain’s Quarters:   Democrats: We Fear Hillary

Mustang Bobby / Shakespeare’s Sister:   Rove Resigns  —  Karl Rove is resigning from the White House …

Ann Althouse / Althouse:   “They are likely to nominate a tough, tenacious, fatally flawed candidate.”

Shaun Mullen / The Moderate Voice:   End of an Era: Karl Rove To Resign

Emptywheel / The Next Hurrah:   “At 56 years old says he is done with political consulting”

The Big Trunk / Power Line:   A-ROVEING HE WILL GO  —  Paul Gigot reports that Karl Rove …

James Poulos / The American Scene:   Karl Rove: Half Right, All Wrong

Betsy Newmark / Betsy’s Page:   Karl Rove is resigning

Zzaki / Political Punch:   Farewell to the “turd blossom”

Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:   Rove to Resign  —  Paul Gigot of the WSJ is reporting that Karl Rove is resigning:

Gary Gross / Let Freedom Ring:   A Giant Exits The Stage

Kim Priestap / Wizbang:   Karl Rove Set to Resign at the End of August

Jon Ponder / The BRAD BLOG:   Rove to Resign Effective Aug. 31

Ana Marie Cox / TIME: Swampland:   His Long National Nightmare Is Over

James Joyner / Outside The Beltway:   Paul Gigot and the Far Right


Jake Whitman / Political Radar:   Karl Rove to resign at end of August

Patterico’s Pontifications:   Rove Resigns  —  The Wall Street Journal reports that Karl Rove …

Hilzoy / Obsidian Wings:   So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

Blake Dvorak / TIME:   Gigot on Rove  —  Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot …

Justin Gardner / Donklephant:   Video: Goodbye Karl Rove

Fausta / Fausta’s blog:   Rove resigns, Fred’s a low-rent name, and today’s items

Pam / Pam’s House Blend:   Rove abandons ship

Jim Rutenberg / New York Times:

Karl Rove, Top Strategist, Is Leaving the White House  —  Karl Rove, the political adviser who masterminded President George W. Bush’s two winning presidential campaigns, is resigning, the White House confirmed today.  —  In an interview published this morning in The Wall Street Journal …

Discussion: The Hill, Associated Press, Firedoglake, Guardian, Central Sanity, The American Street, The Mahablog, culturekitchen, AMERICAblog, Althouse, PoliBlog (TM) and TPMCafe blogs


A.B. Stoddard / The Hill:   Speaking in Code  —  Now we know that President Bush himself wants …

Associated Press:   Rove resigning from Bush administration

Scarecrow / Firedoglake:   Morning Cuppa Benign Neglect

Guardian:   Rove quits White House

Pete Abel / Central Sanity:   Daily Three  —  (1) Goodbye, Karl Rove.  Michael graciously …

Kevin Hayden / The American Street:   I’m not buying the Rove spin on his departure

Maha / The Mahablog:   Karl Quits  —  This deserves a banner headline –  —  Karl Quits

Michael Bouldin / culturekitchen:   White House confirms Karl Rove to resign

Joe Sudbay / AMERICAblog:   Rove is quitting for his family — after helping to destroy …

Ann Althouse / Althouse:   Rove goes.  —  Karl Rove is leaving the White House.

Dr. Steven Taylor / PoliBlog (TM):   Rove Leaving  —  Via the NYT: Karl Rove, Top Strategist, Is Leaving the White House

Slcathena / TPMCafe blogs:   Good Riddance  —  1 of 1 people recommend this blog entry.


Karl Rove to leave White House  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Karl Rove, President Bush’s senior political adviser, will voluntarily step down from his White House post at the end of the month, senior administration officials said Monday.  —  “Obviously it’s a big loss to us, said deputy White House press secretary Dana Perino. “

Discussion: The Carpetbagger Report, Crooks and Liars, Hot Air, Happy Furry Puppy Story … and The Bilerico Project


Carpetbagger / The Carpetbagger Report:   Karl Rove to resign

Bluegal / Crooks and Liars:   BREAKING: Karl Rove Resigns

Allahpundit / Hot Air:   Open thread: The obligatory “Rove resigns” post

Happy Furry Puppy Story …:   THANKS FOR EVERYTHING!  —  Boy, a 35-year career of evil …

Bil Browning / The Bilerico Project:   Karl Rove is resigning!

Washington Post:

Karl Rove, Adviser to President Bush, to Quit  —  Karl Rove, chief architect of the Bush presidency and the premier Republican strategist of the last decade, will step down as White House deputy chief of staff Aug. 31.  —  Rove revealed his plans to the Wall Street Journal …

Discussion: Firedoglake, The Moderate Voice, Prairie Weather and Obsidian Wings


Christy Hardin Smith / Firedoglake:   Toxic Failure  —  Britney Spears’ Toxic — seemed like the …

Robert Stein / The Moderate Voice:   Bush’s Brain is Going  —  They can start disinfecting the White House now.

Prairie Weather:   Slipping away from Congress, ducking indictments…

Publius / Obsidian Wings:   Best Morning Ever

Emptywheel / The Next Hurrah:

My Guesses on Why Rove Resigned  —  By now you’ve heard the news: Rove is stepping down.  So here’s my treatment of possible reasons why he’s leaving, in reverse order of their likelihood:  —  Time with the Family  —  As he said to the WSJ, he wants to spend more time with this family.

Discussion: Prairie Weather, DownWithTyranny!, The Atlantic Online, Lawyers, Guns and Money and Open Left


Prairie Weather:   In the end, Bush and Rove brought each other down


The Atlantic Online:   A Chinese perspective on Karl Rove

Scott Lemieux / Lawyers, Guns and Money:   The Big “L”  —  Marcy Wheeler lays out some theories for why Rove is leaving.

Matt Stoller / Open Left:   Rove Resigns and a Coming Government Shutdown?

The Politico:

Analysis: Rove bows out despised and deified  —  Karl Rove will leave George Bush’s side this month one of the most controversial political figures in living memory.  —  The verdict on his legacy will be similarly conflicted: He can claim credit for political victories of historic proportions …

Discussion: Washington Wire


Washington Wire:   Presidential Hopefuls’ Reaction to Rove?

Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Why Don’t Journalists Just Tell Us What They Know?

Discussion: The Atlantic Online


The Atlantic Online:   Blinded With (Political) Science

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés / The Moderate Voice:   Karl Rove Resigning: ‘The Symbolic Quit’ (for the family’s sake)

Pajamas Media:
M.C. Rove Rappin’ No More — Karl Rove To Quit, He Tells WSJ:

Discussion: The Moderate Voice, and Blogs of War

All courtesy that lovely news aggregator: memeorandum)

4 Responses to “Some Legacy; Rove Resigns”

  1. xranger says:

    One side of me says you’re jealous that Rove was better at politics than your side. An ugly business at best.

    The other side of me says that Rove was good at getting a candidate elected, but horrible in the day-to-day of advising a governing body. He had worn out his usefulness long ago, and I felt for some time now that you guys could have Rove – it didn’t matter to me.

    All the hearings, all the smeer, and nothing was accomplished by the Dems. Rove wins by resigning on his own.

  2. All the hearings, all the smeer, and nothing was accomplished by the Dems. Rove wins by resigning on his own.

    Kyle will corroborate the fact that this is the same thing I said to him not an hour ago.

  3. yeah he did. And I’m not looking at this as a victory for democrats, I’m looking at it as a much needed bit of first aid for our political discourse really. i don’t care how he’s gone, he’s just gone.

    And good riddance!

  4. Macswain says:

    All the hearings, all the smeer, and nothing was accomplished by the Dems.

    dranger conveniently ignores – as does the liberal media – the record number of filibusters played by the Repugs that have turned the Senate into a supermajority body on virtually every bill.

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