Politics/Law/Government

A Karl Rove Quotabull

I don’t see Dick Cheney’s leadership in running a construction and oil service company to be a problem at all when compared to [the Clinton] administration’s failure to have a comprehensive energy policy.

— Karl Rove, July 25, 2000, after Dick Cheney accepted the vice presidential nomination.

Karl Rove’s idea was that you only need 50 per cent plus one voter in order to govern. He was wrong. That’s about winning elections. To govern is quite a different matter.

— Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Aug. 13.

The GOP’s progress during the last four decades is a stunning political achievement. But it is also a cautionary tale of what happens to a dominant party — in this case, the Democrat Party — when its thinking becomes ossified; when its energy begins to drain; when an entitlement mentality takes over; and when political power becomes an end in itself rather than a mean to achieve the common goal. … We need to learn from our successes and from the failures of others.

— Karl Rove, Jan. 20, 2006, to members of the Republican National Committee.

There are vessels that come from ports operated by Dubai World Ports in Australia, in Africa, in Latin America and Europe and Asia, coming to the United States. And they are, according to the officials at the Department of Homeland Security, one of our best and most eager partners in the Container Security Initiative to assure that those containers, as they come to our shores, are secure and safe.

— Karl Rove to Tony Snow, then host of a Fox News Radio program, Feb. 23, 2006.

The purpose of the terrorist-surveillance program is to protect lives. The president’s actions were legal and fully consistent with the 4th Amendment and the protection of our civil liberties under the constitution.

— Karl Rove, Feb. 16, 2006, at the University of Central Arkansas.

You cannot have domestic search and seizure without a warrant.

— Republican Sen. Arlen Spector, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, at a forum at Georgetown University Law School, Feb. 16, 2006.

But many of us feel it’s our duty — our obligation as Americans — to get the word out that, certainly in domestic policy, there has been almost no meaningful consideration of any real issues. It’s just kids on Big Wheels who talk politics and know nothing. It’s depressing. Domestic Policy Council meetings are a farce. This leaves shoot-from-the-hip political calculations — mostly from Karl’s shop — to triumph by default. No one balances Karl. Forget it.

— A senior White House official quoted by Ron Suskind in a January 2003 Esquire article.

We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!

— Karl Rove, quoted by Ron Suskind in a January 2003 Esquire article.

[Rove] ultimately, by the early 1990s, was the single most powerful political figure in Texas in determining who was on the ballot and who was not. … Karl’s imprimatur was absolutely needed. Because unless you had the okay from Karl … then it was clear to the rest of the Republican Party that you would not have the money you needed to run a successful campaign.

— Wayne Slater, author of “Bush’s Brain,” quoted by PBS, April 12, 2005.

Shows him not to be a genius, but to be a real failure as a political strategist.

— Conservative writer Andrew Sullivan, Nov. 12, 2006, on Karl Rove after Democratic triumphs during the mid-term elections.

From everything that I’ve heard, Karl will be around till the end. The reason is simple: People who view him as a campaign operative whose usefulness ends when the last vote is counted are wrong.

— Michael J. Gerson, a former White House adviser, Nov. 12, 2006, on Karl Rove after Democratic triumphs during the mid-term elections.

To retreat before victory would be a reckless act — and this president and our party will not allow it. This is worthy of a public debate.

— Karl Rove, Jan. 20, 2006, to members of the Republican National Committee.

There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. … There’s just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.

— President Bush to business leaders at a meeting at the University of Chicago, Sept. 30, 2003.

Republicans said Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and Mr. Bush’s chief political adviser, was in charge of the reconstruction effort …

— from a Sept. 15, 2005, New York Times story previewing President Bush’s address to the nation from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

Rove’s leadership role suggests quite strikingly that any and all White House decisions and pronouncements regarding the recovery from the storm are being made with their political consequences as the primary consideration. More specifically: With an eye toward increasing the likelihood of Republican political victories in the future, pursuing long-cherished conservative goals, and bolstering Bush’s image. That is Rove’s hallmark.

— from a Sept. 15, 2005, commentary by Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin.

4 replies »

  1. …”it is also a cautionary tale of what happens to a dominant party — in this case, the Democrat Party — when its thinking becomes ossified; when its energy begins to drain; when an entitlement mentality takes over; and when political power becomes an end in itself rather than a mean to achieve the common goal….”

    The use of the term “Democrat Party” to demean the opposition is a perfect example of that thinking from Rove. He couldn’t even make what for him is a philosophical observation without stooping to a slur on his opponents….He had to be a political animal even then

    The quote itself is a perfect example of the lack of self-awareness that seems to characterize the Busheviks and their adherents….

  2. Jim,

    I wouldn’t even say lack of self-awareness. It’s simple egomania. Rove came from the Nixon world of power and loyalty at all costs, and he was one of the true believers that engineered what he thought would be a permanent GOP majority. He never even countenanced the idea that the policies he advocated were unworkable, that the people he worked with were morons, and that they might actually fail.

    Even now, Rove probably thinks the Dems’ power in Congress is a blip on the radar, and given how badly they’ve rolled over on Iraq and FISA, I can’t say as I blame him.

  3. Next stop for Karl Rove — the artist development department of Def Jam Records. (Remember him, er, rapping at the Washington Correspondents Dinner?)

    After some practice, he can soon issue his first CD, “Straight Offa the Beltway,” under the nom de rap L’il Babyhead.

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