This Week Rove Must Revise Reality about Last Week’s Worst Performance Yet by Nation’s Worst President Ever
FEMA screwed up. The aid was demonstrably not forthcoming when it was needed. The buck stops at the top. Period. Game and match.

Predictably, the Bush message-meisters are launching a trademark hardball, all-politics-all-the-time campaign to rewrite the events of last week to so that the administration’s worst week becomes someone else’s fault, and someone else’s problem.

The first wave of the campaign is a discussion generated about a “blame game” between federal and local officials. This is bogus. There is no blame game. The buck stops at the top – or at least it used to in this great country.

There are Republicans in the Congress who are leery of the Rove method as it is being applied to the administration’s failures in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and their aides have leaked information about the White House rewriting reality campaign to the MSM:

Under the command of President Bush’s two senior political advisers, the White House rolled out a plan this weekend to contain the political damage from the administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina.

It orchestrated visits by cabinet members to the region, leading up to an extraordinary return visit by Mr. Bush planned for Monday, directed administration officials not to respond to attacks from Democrats on the relief efforts, and sought to move the blame for the slow response to Louisiana state officials, according to Republicans familiar with the White House plan.

The effort is being directed by Mr. Bush’s chief political adviser, Karl Rove, and his communications director, Dan Bartlett. It began late last week after Congressional Republicans called White House officials to register alarm about what they saw as a feeble response by Mr. Bush to the hurricane, according to Republican Congressional aides.

Team Rove uses three tactics for changing reality:

  • Spin: Message is carefully crafted to change reality with bumpersticker phrases that fit neatly into sound bites. All spokespersons stay on message, repeating the bumperstickers in interviews – media plays along because they need the sound bites. This is why we’re hearing about a “blame game.” It isn’t a game. The buck stops at the top in this great country.
  • Stage management: Photo ops, carefully chosen backdrops and people as props are presented to bolster the spin campaign. Rove took a hit yesterday when, in a helicopter flyover, Sen. Mary Landrieu showed George Stephanopolous the “lonely” crain working on the levee where there had been a hive of activity during the president’s stage managed visit last week.
  • Smears: Rove uses whispering campaigns carried out by surrogates. His team spent much of last week doing opposition research on New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco. Whatever they discovered that can be cast as unsavory or salacious will be released to the public through Rush, Hannity and the rest of the goons. If they found nothing they can use, they’ll simply make something up.

These tactics are only effective when the media are complicit. What remains to be seen is whether the MSM is going to go for the bait they way they always have in light of A) the demonstrable fact that federal assistance was absent and/or bungled in the first 72 to 96 hours of the crisis and B) their having been burned by the administration’s lies and ineptitude in Iraq.

Of course, if the media refuses to be supine to Rove’s campaign, he can use the trustiest arrow in his quiver of dirty tricks – the old bromide of liberal media bias. Ascribing criticism in the media has worked reliably for the GOP for two decades because the myth has become gospel to millions of Americans.

But the media have a weapon on their side that they have been reluctant to use against the GOP barrage – and maybe they’ll be motivated this time to bring this powerful force to bear. The weapon is the facts in the case. FEMA screwed up. The aid was demonstrably not forthcoming when it was needed. The buck stops at the top. Period.

Game and match.

9 Responses »

  1. [...] September 4th, 2005 at 4:10 pm by Jon

    RELATED STORIES What Happened to FEMA This Week Karl Rove Must Revise Reality WaPo Forced to Retract Story [...]

  2. RogerARTcom September 5, 2005 @ 7:33 am

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  3. bob the nihilist September 5, 2005 @ 8:08 am

    Let’s be Rovian:
    John Roberts is a devout Catholic. He married one — late. What sexual shenanigans did he engage in to prior to his marriage? Has he had sex before this union despite his strong Catholic beliefs? Has his wife? Were they both virgins when they got married? This is the kind of stuff Karl would bring up? Why not us?
    The time for politesse has long past — Let’s start kicking some ass.

  4. Roy Frisvold September 5, 2005 @ 8:33 am

    Let’s apply a little right-wing spin to
    a script some Democrat pol can read as
    statement:
    “I don’t see how we can proceed on any
    confirmation of Judge Roberts until these
    rumors of sexual misconduct have been disproved.”

  5. donna September 5, 2005 @ 8:48 am

    I think enough people have seen the reality play out in front of them that their opinion won’t change. Those who are always fooled by the Rovian tactics have already drunk the Koolaid. The rest of the nation won’t.

    This is the government Republicans want, and now, everyone knows what it is like. If people still vote for it, then they deserve it.

  6. mo ritz September 5, 2005 @ 9:26 am

    Why is everyone so appauled? So surprised?

    You have mafia like thugs running this country.

    You have a alcoholic, coke junkie, C student (the C was a gift) boy-man running this country. His chief adviser never attended college and is nothing more than a street thug.

    This country got the government it asked for and now when our own, regular folk, good ole Americans are in harms way and they receive no response except SMEAR from their government they are outraged and surprised.

    Get over it Bible belt, get over it godless North, get over it Green Westies, YOU HAVE SAT BACK AND LET THIS WHITE HOUSE STEAM ROLL A THEOCRACY UPON THIS NATION, STEAM ROLL A WAR UPON THIS NATION, STEAM ROLL ANTI PATRIOTISM UPON ANYONE WHO QUESTIONS THE METHODS, THE MODE, THE DIRECTION, THE LIES.

    How about everyone break ranks and live in reality for a change, how about the main stream media shove it up the butts of the White House, don’t give ROVE a break, don’t give Bush any favorable air play, leave it to FOX for that, how about IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS

  7. dws September 5, 2005 @ 11:01 am

    How about this.

    If we have become a third world country under Bush’s leadership, why not act like one. If the congress insists on any confirmation hears, votes on tax cuts before we fix the problems caused by Katrina AND investicate the failings, or the repugnicans hold their war rally on 9/11, we hold a nation-wide strike on 9/12. No one works, buys or does anything that would help Bush’s rich friends. That should wake them and the MSM up!!!

  8. Roberta Kelly September 6, 2005 @ 7:54 am

    we are mailing hundreds of post cards that have been created by master eclectic artist Donald P. Wilson, and these works depict this gang of thugs so remarkably that people can hopefully see the souls of these unconscionable losers.
    http://www.atelier3151.com/donald
    http://www.godsmadmen.com

    write letters, send anything on paper. snail mail is now one of the best ways to speak our minds.

    roberta kelly
    http://www.atelier3151.com/roberta

  9. been there September 6, 2005 @ 9:31 am

    Subject: The ‘Big Lie’

    The use of Bush’s historical predecessors arouses debate when we talk about victims. But on the use of deceit and lying, there is no reason not to point out the similarities. His blatant dishonesty, shown again in this Rove story, is unprecedented in US history.

    “… Stalin had a profound understanding of the possibilities of what Hitler approvingly calls the Big Lie. He knew that even though the truth be readily available, the deceiver need not give up. He saw that flat denial on the one hand, and the injection into the pool of information of a corpus of positive falsehood on the other, were sufficient to confuse the issue for the passively uninstructed … audience, and to induce acceptance of the stalinist version by those actively seeking to be deceived. …” — Soviet Historian Robert Conquest, Harvest of Sorrow, Oxford University, 1986 p 308

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