Monday, August 13, 2007


Bush started his statement by pushing the official line about Rove leaving the White House to "spend more time with Darby and Andrew," his wife and son. Rove followed up with a pack of lies about Bush's legacy. Then, a bunch of people applauded. I hope they were White House staff and not White House reporters.

Rove's explanation for resigning is obvious nonsense. Suddenly, after being absent for much of his son's childhood, he's resigning to spend more time with him? Just as he is leaving home for college? Yeah, that's what every college-age man is yearning for. It doesn't even make sense by the usual "I want to spend more time with my family" standards. How rushed was this decision that they didn't have time to come up with something more believable? I almost expect to hear news of his arrest within days, if not hours.

Deconstructions of Rove's official reason for resigning here, here, and here.

As for what Rove leaves behind, Andrew Sullivan has a great take.

The man's legacy is a conservative movement largely discredited and disunited, a president with lower consistent approval ratings than any in modern history, a generational shift to the Democrats, a resurgent al Qaeda, an endless catastrophe in Iraq, a long hard struggle in Afghanistan, a fiscal legacy that means bankrupting America within a decade, and the poisoning of American religion with politics and vice-versa. For this, he got two terms of power - which the GOP used mainly to enrich themselves, their clients and to expand government's reach and and drain on the productive sector. In the re-election, the president with a relatively strong economy, and a war in progress, managed to eke out 51 percent. Why? Because Rove preferred to divide the country and get his 51 percent, than unite it and get America's 60. In a time of grave danger and war, Rove picked party over country. Such a choice was and remains despicable.

Rove is one of the worst political strategists in recent times. He took a chance to realign the country and to unite it in a war - and threw it away in a binge of hate-filled niche campaigning, polarization and short-term expediency. His divisive politics and elevation of corrupt mediocrities to every branch of government has turned an entire generation off the conservative label. And rightly so. It will take another generation to recover from the toxins he has injected, with the president's eager approval, into the political culture and into the conservative soul.