Friday, June 24, 2005

Democrats call for Rove to resign; WH stands behind him

The White House jumped to the defense of presidential advisor Karl Rove as he continues to take criticism over a statement he made on Wednesday about the Liberal’s response to the September 11th attacks.

White House communications director Dan Bartlett tried hard to spin Rove’s comments into an attack on, a liberal group identified with Michael Moore.

"It's somewhat puzzling why all these Democrats ... who responded forcefully after 9-11, who voted to support President Bush's pursuit of the war on terror, are now rallying to the defense of, this liberal organization who put out a petition in the days after 9/11 and said that we ought not use military force in responding to 9/11," Bartlett said on NBC's "Today" show. "That is who Karl Rove cited in that speech ... There is no need to apologize."

Appearing on CBS's "The Early Show," Bartlett said that Rove was "just pointing out that is a liberal organization that didn't defend or accept the way that we prosecuted the war in the days after" the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington.

Bartlett told interviewers that he didn't understand why Democrats "are throwing up such a huff."

Barlett has a point. Democrats shouldn’t be so quick to defend Moveon. The organization is out of step with the majority of the Democratic party that responded forcefully to the terrorist attacks on our country.

However, I find it very difficult to believe that, of all people, Karl Rove was not purposefully vague in his comments. Here are his words again:

"liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." Conservatives "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."

If Rove was specifically referring to, it’s not clear in his remarks. And, if he is speaking about the Democrats as a whole his remarks are no less offensive to America than Senator Durbin’s were. The difference is Sen. Durbin's remarks were not designed for partisan advantage (but rather to call out the hypocracy of US treatment of detainees.... yes, there is partisan advantage to be gained here, but I don't believe that was his intent) and, more to the point, Durbin realized that he went to far to prove his point and appologized – something I’m not sure this WH has ever done.

On a related note, isn’t it about time Democrats stop responding so negatively when the Republicans refer to them as Liberals – there is nothing wrong with standing up for your beliefs (and it’s been the Republican strategy to embrace “Conservative” while making “Liberal” into a swear word). The first rule of politics is not to let the opposition define you – and here, the Democrats have failed.


At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i do feel that karl rove's words divide and weaken america. that can do nothing, except tell osama bin laden that we are a weaker country because of people like rove. that will embolden him to attack a weaker country and it certainly shows karl rove's words have aided al qaeda immensely.

At 4:56 PM, Blogger Tom - doubts and all said...

I posted a while back on why I'm proud to be a liberal. My heart breaks everytime one of our troops or citizens is hurt or killed in service to our country.

1) What should lead me to believe Karl wasn't talking about me?

2) Karl is just wrong.

At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calling out for what it is does not come close to comparing some soldiers as Nazis.

May I remind everyone that Al Jeezra had Durbin's comments splashed on the front page. Comparing our soldiers to Nazis undermines EVERYTHING we are trying to do and merely pours fuel on the fire.

I see no comparison between Rove's jabs at Moveon and Durbin comparing troops to Nazis during war time no less!

- Vet, independant, VA

At 5:16 PM, Blogger Joe Weedon said...

Yes, Al Jeezra used Durbin's comments to further its cause. That's likely a major reason why he apologized. I saw his apology on the Senate floor, and it was clear that he was sorry that the comparison took off like he did. I do not believe his intent was to disparage the great work of our troops, but rather to point out that we should hold ourselves to a higher standard in everything that we do - including how we treat our captured enemies. His point, and it’s fairly clear from the text of his original statement, is to say that the conditions in the detention camps are not much better than those run by some of history’s most oppressive regimes. I don’t agree with that assessment of the conditions – detainees at GITMO for example have better medical care, food, and amenities than many individuals in US prisons – but he’s within his rights to call for improved conditions.

Durbin's use of rhetoric was wrong and it hurt him and our country. But, he did apologize, and I believe he was sincere in his apology.

Rove's intent is to divide the nation by painting a picture that Democrats are "liberals" who do anything to have prevented the war. His remarks were an attempt to drive a wedge between those who support the war and those who do not, pushing all those who support the war into the Republican column next year.

I believe he owes those Democrats who support the war and were outraged by the attacks on our country an apology. If and when he apologizes, I'll be the first to change my stance. Till then....

At 5:45 PM, Blogger JimmyZ said...

What really gets me is that the term "Free Trade", which the Republicans seem to be all for is defined as "Liberal Capitalism" in economic terms. That being the case, what then is the issue with Liberalism?

At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's try a thought experiment. Envision the following exchange:

Mr. L "Conservatives cook human babies in microwaves and make their mothers watch"

Mr. C "That comment is outrageous and untrue"

Would you chide Mr C for responding negatively when called a conservative? Should Mr C have said:
"Yes, that's true and they taste delicious with a cream sauce"?

At 6:48 PM, Anonymous E.W., independant, CA said...

Even if Karl Rove was saying that all liberals are soft on terrorism, that still does not come anywhere near comparing American soldiers to Nazis.

At 6:52 PM, Anonymous e.w., independent, CA said...

re: anonymous comment at 6:42pm

Your hypothetical comment about conservatives eating babies is blatantly untrue. Rove's comment about liberals, however, is only moderatly untrue. Quite a few (not most but a significant minority) of my liberal friends were spouting that "But we have to consider what we did to cause them to attack us!" crap directly after 9/11. It is not an uncommon sentiment.

Your comparison is way off the mark.

At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In your Rush to be offended you've missed my point. My baby eating rhetoric was intentionally inflated and it had nothing to do with the appropriateness of Mr Rove's remarks.

It was intended to address the "related note" above. If a member of a group takes issue with being falsely characterized, they are not denying their beliefs, nor are they allowing others to define them. They are simply decrying the false characterization.

Since you raised the "moderate truth" of Rove's comments, we need to get into parsing. Rove said "Liberals saw ...". To me this implies "All liberals saw ...". At the very least it means that "A mojority of liberals saw ...".

If taken to mean "More than zero liberals saw ..." then it would "moderately true" about conservatives. I know more than one who believe that understanding our enemies motivations might be a good idea.

Actually, if you've read "The Art of War" you know that understanding your enemies is essential, but that discussion is for another time.

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Robert Rouse said...

Does anyone read the actual text or do they all just spout the party line? Durbin never said our troops were like Nazis. For heaven's sake, if you read it, then you can spread it!

Durbin said if someone didn't know any better they MIGHT think the abuses were happening in a (insert oppressive society prison of your choice), Is it too much to ask you guys read first?

Yes, what Durbin said was wrong, but don't add to what he did with spin from your favorite conservative talk show host.

At 7:53 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

By neglecting to say he was only refering to a very small, very far left minority, Rove told a lie of omission. By taking his analogy to ridiculous extremes, Durbin told a lie of exageration.

Both lied. But Durbin's lie was a very stupid mistake made while trying to make a legitimate point (that we shouldn't be treating prisoners inhumanely). Rove's lie serves no purpose but to intentionally divide people (for why else say it?). In that regard, Rove's lie was malicious while Durbin's was just stupid.

And Robert is 100% right. Durbin did not EVER compare our troops to Nazis. He compared our treatment of prisoners to how prisoners were treated by Nazis (and other tyrants). An innapropriate remark that needed an apology, but he never defamed our troops and to say he did is to willfully ignore what he actually said in favor of what someone else wants to make you believe.

At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

Liberals (Democrats and other liberals) are in real trouble thanks to the successful tactics Rove and other conservatives have perfected. Lying means nothing to them.

We liberals define ourselves as people who take the high road. Take Durbin's appology, for example; that is something liberals do and conservatives do not -- unless their career is already over.

Democrats are not saints -- many politicians with weak character have made their way up the ranks of the Democratic party, but in general, we simply will not lie and cheat the way conservatives do. The people of the Democratic party hold the Democratic politicians to a higher standard. And we will not stand by our leaders with blind faith as so many people are standing by Bush.

I don't really see any way out of this. Conservatives are very, very good at what they do. They have made "liberal" a dirty word, and it is not going to come clean any time soon.

At 12:01 AM, Blogger AubreyJ said...

Sunday, May 22, 2005
My Views -- (Welcome to my first Post)

No better way to start off than with a quote...

"In time, perhaps, we will mark the memory of September 11 in stone and metal. Something we can show to our children as yet unborn to help them understand what happened on this minute and on this day. But for those of us who lived through these events, the only marker we'll ever need is the tick of a clock at the 46th minute of the eighth hour of the 11th day...”
President George W. Bush
December 11, 2001

My answer to this is from my remarks on the homepage of my website at It goes as follows: No matter what your political views might be... One thing is for certain. In these days of fast news and even faster life styles, we all seem to have forgotten those moments in history that so abruptly and tragically changed this beloved Country of ours.
911- How soon we forget.

Now don’t get me wrong… I know all of us have not forgotten 9-11. Yet I do feel that most of us have forgotten the magnitude of the day and the repercussions that soon followed afterwards. Even to this day the repercussions can still be felt.

I came to this conclusion back in July, 2004 during the time when all the hype on the Presidential election was in full swing. My god… All of the crap that was going on during this time was just beyond belief.

You remember??? All the mean hearted ads that were coming out one behind the other. All the one sided columnist and most of the news media, negatively hammering away at anything and everything the President had done or was trying to do. They never once mentioned any of the good things GW had achieved during his first 4 years in office. Made one think we were back in the old Vietnam days again. At least that’s where all the ads and news rhetoric was trying to take us.

My first thought on this was, “Hello out there… Has everyone forgotten the horrors of 9-11?” Seemed to me they had. Think about it. All events, the economy, jobs +/-, (and the list goes on,) all come back to this one day in history. You can spin it anyway you would like but it will always come back to 9-11, one way or the other.

Another thought that came to mind was, “what in the world did Vietnam have to do with anything that was going on, at this moment, on this day?” NOTHING!!! It surely had nothing to do with 9-11 or with any of the mess that followed afterwards. It had nothing to do with the war on terror, the economy, job gains, Social Security, Medicaid or even with Welfare.

The way I saw it, the Bush Administration performed very well considering all the abnormal circumstances that so abruptly fell into their laps after 9-11. By itself, just trying to keep this country heading forward and staying on the right path would have been a hard enough task for any administration. Yet Bush did it well and with the backing of most Americans too.

Were there mistakes made during Bush’s first 4 years? Of course there were. Our great country had never been put into a situation like the one 9-11 brought onto us. NEVER!!! It was the first time in our history that I think we ever had to, “learn as you go.” And we had to learn at a very rapid pace at that… But if you were to listen to all those Left Wing folks out there, they seemed to have forgotten all of that. All they wanted to do was to give you a mile long list of spin on all the wrong doings they thought the Bush Administration had done.

Just another case of Monday morning quarterbacking. They couldn’t help it. They couldn’t come up with a better plan for nothing. Unless you think going back to the old days of thinking, as it was before 9-11, was a good plan. NOT!!!

Anyway... As you can tell by now, I had no likings for John Kerry or his Party. Well… We’ll just say for the way his Party had become. It’s not my fault. The Democratic Party did at least once stand for something. But not now a day. All they stand for now, as before the election, is a bunch of rhetoric and who can hate President Bush the most. Maybe they can get their act together over the next year or two. This country and the war on terror would surely run a lot smoother by them doing so. But if they don’t, we’re going to take a lot of them out of office in the 2006 elections and god help them in 2008. Time will tell I guess.

Oh well… The bottom line for me is my man won. Right man for the right job, George W Bush. And yes, I truly do believe that history will soon enough prove this fact out...



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