Borrowing a page from Mitt Romney, former Bush strategist and current Fox News analyst, Karl Rove, is claiming that history will look favorably upon President George W. Bush. In his upcoming memoir, the conservative mastermind defends the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq and its handling of Hurricane Katrina, and even refers to Bush’s achievements as “impressive, durable, and significant”.
Rove also blames himself for not offering a more robust defense of the Bush administration’s Iraq War strategy, stating that while the President was wrong about the lack of weapons of mass destruction, he did not take the nation to war under false pretenses. To be completely fair, in Rove’s defense, virtually all the intelligence agencies around the world believed Saddam Hussein’s regime possessed weapons of mass destruction. (Have we considered this possibility in Iran?)
However, the uncomfortable truth is that Iraq didn’t possess any weapons of mass destruction, it didn’t possess any semblance of a legitimate military threat, and Saddam Hussein was never linked to Al-Qaeda. In fact, Al-Qaeda entered Iraq only after the US invasion.
Rove also seems to forget that what was supposed to cost about $60 billion has now cost over $750 billion and counting. What was supposed to be a quick cakewalk has now morphed into a 7 year war that has taken the lives of over 4,000 brave men and women, and led to a PTSD epidemic and record suicide rate in the US military. And now, some experts are concerned about another outbreak of bloody, civil war in Iraq this year.
Regarding Hurricane Katrina, it’s baffling that Rove would praise President Bush when this natural disaster has become the poster child of a pathetically bureaucratic, inefficient, and ineffective federal government (as well as state & local as Rove correctly points out).
What really takes the cake is Rove’s characterization of Bush’s achievements as “impressive, durable, and significant”. Problem is, the Bush administration and a largely Republican Congress added trillions of dollars to the national debt, the US Dollar lost about 20% of its value, and Bush presided over the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression.
America was unable to declare victory in Afghanistan and Iraq, the federal government exploded in size and power, and the US government bailed out the banks, AIG, Goldman Sachs, Chrysler, GM, GMAC, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and others with trillions of dollars of taxpayer money. Is this what Rove was referring to as “impressive, durable, and significant”?
He does, however, in classic partisan form, take a potshot at President Obama, which is ironic, since Obama is following most of Bush’s policies: huge deficit spending, massive debt, a weak Dollar, continued bailouts, and a gargantuan military budget. On foreign policy, Rove should be especially thrilled considering the fact that Obama spends more money on the military than Bush ever did, and Obama has expanded the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. Obama has continued the policy of ‘prolonged detention, kept Guantanamo Bay open, and just extended the Patriot Act with a Democratic majority in both chambers of Congress.
In reality, I would argue that Karl Rove is merely a symptom of what’s wrong with American politics these days: blind partisanship, a stunning lack of accountability, and incompetent governance.
That’s my take, what’s yours?