Thursday, June 01, 2006

Why Carl Rove worries me

As I was listening – on NPR – to ordinary Americans speak movingly about what our country means to them, a mental picture of Carl Rove, Counselor to President Bush, came to mind. I imagined him sitting and smirking as he contemplated how the speakers’ cherished beliefs and values could be manipulated to serve the one goal that seems to animate him, WINNING. The man worries me because, as best as I can judge, a moral compass is completely absent from his make up, at least when it comes to politics.

I reached this conclusion first when I read in Time Magazine some years ago how he had apparently orchestrated a rumor campaign in South Carolina alleging that Senator John McCain’s adopted daughter, from Bangladesh, was the product of an illegitimate liaison between the Senator and an African American woman. This played well in South Carolina where George Bush rebounded to win a critical primary that helped secure him the presidency. But it wouldn’t have played with me, even if I had not been a McCain supporter. I have an adopted South Indian granddaughter.

I worry about President Bush’s surveillance programs. They may well be useful weapons in the “war” on terrorism. But the results of surveillance are then also available to Mr. Rove and his minions. I have no doubt that he would use the information for political purposes and then dissemble artfully if called to account. He would not believe this is wrong, it seems likely, because the concepts of ‘right” and ‘wrong’ only exist to be manipulated.

I even worry a bit about writing this blog, On the off chance that Mr. Rove might read it and be angered by it, would I need to fear a telephone tap, tax audit, visit from the FBI or an ‘accidental’ listing on an airline watch list when I next travel internationally. Fortunately, Dormgrandpop operates far below Mr. Rove’s radar screen, but I grieve for those who do not. On Memorial Day I said a prayer that America would survive the remaining years of Mr. Rove’s time in power, without further compromise of its political institutions – and of the values that many Americans can speak of on Memorial Day, without smirking.


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