Carol Platt Liebau: Karl Rove's Kool Aid Stand

Friday, August 31, 2007

Karl Rove's Kool Aid Stand

This is guest blogger Wile E Coyote.

An OpEd by Karl Rove in the National Review Online extols the Bush administration's achievements.

Now, for those bloggers who take a less laudatory view of the Bush Administration, this is your chance to provide facts, figures and analysis to counter Rove's assertions. No ad hominem attacks or bombast. As they said in Dragnet, "Just the facts, ma'am."

Have at it.


Blogger Earth to Carol said...

I'm not going to read it. Rove has lied enough for me not to believe anything he says or writes. Same goes for Bush and those in his administration.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

I read the piece, and it is astounding in its wild claims. I suspect, along with a great many historians, that Mr. Bush is the worst President in US history. I don't have the time to refute every falsehood and distortion offered there, but I'll address a few:

1. The disaster in Iraq. Here we have an unnecessary war of aggression launched on false pretenses. Even had it been successful in terms of direct US interests, its long-term effects on US geopolitical interests would surely have been negative. But on top of that, Mr. Bush succeeded in losing the war he started! This disaster is far more damaging to US interests than Vietnam was. Iraq will go down in history as a blunder greater than the Soviet invasion of Iraq. The closest historical parallels I can think of are the invasion of Poland in 1939 , the Arab attacks on Israel in 1948, and the French declaration of war in 1870.

2. Mr. Rove's suggestion that Mr. Bush's budgetary policies were beneficial is jaw-dropping. Mr. Bush created the largest deficits in American history, far, far exceeding anything ever done before.

3. The "new tools against terrorism" that Mr. Rove lauds have not been shown to have had any benefit whatsoever. The intelligence successes that we can trace have all been accomplished without recourse to any of those tools -- and a number of those tools have been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

That's just for starters. There's lots more -- I find the claim that Mr. Bush has made progress on environmental issues too absurd to address. In any case, I regard the entire Rove article to be a tissue of lies.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...


Nice dodge. You da man!

Chepe Noyon,

Could you name just a few historians that rate Bush as the worst? As Rove states at the beginning of his piece, other presidents were not regarded highly during or directly after their terms. Later, when historians review objectively, detached from the sentiments of the time, is when they can truly judge.

Wile asked for facts, figures. You've given the bombast. You've given your opinion of the war, but we knew that already. Yours is not a universal opinion.

Considering our low unemployment figures, the rise in home ownership by minorities, the rise in the percentage of poor to middle class amongst blacks (the preceding often cited by Michael Medved), and other indicators refute your opinion of the economic situation. I've also read that the deficit has been halved since he's been in office. Perhaps you're referring to the debt, which has risen some, but the economy has expanded at the same time (sorta like a guy getting a big raise, then buying a new car or house. His debt's higher, but so is his income.)

As for the "tools against terrorism", are you privy to every incident, or are you referring only to those that got press? How do you know exactly what has been accomplished all together?

Like ETC, you rest on the assumption that Rove lies, as if you have any evidence that he is known for lying. Yeah, yeah, I hear it all the time how Bush & Co lies all the time, but every time someone deigns to provide "evidence", I've found it to be something far removed from speaking that which one knows to be false, which is what a lie is. So, it is still incumbent upon you to provide facts and evidence to support your accusations, or to refute the Rove statements. Good luck with that.

9:45 PM  
Blogger The Very Sane Woman Who Points Out the Obvious said...

I'll just cover the environmental section of Rove's oped. He says that Bush's policies reduce the absolute amount of CO2 emissions by 1.3 percent. The CO2 emissions have come down by that amount, but according to a report by the DOE, those emissions came down because of higher gas prices, not because of anything George W. Bush did.

Nitrogen Oxide emissions, known to cause smog and exacerbate asthma will rise from 1.25 million tons to 2.1 million tons under Bush's "Clear Skies" act. Similarly sulphur dioxide emissions, that cause acid rain, will be allowed to double.

His administration has rewritten papers to reflect policy, not scientific findings.

During his entire administration 35 species have been listed as endangered. During his father's four years in office over 230 species were listed. The Clinton administration listed over 500.

There is more, but I'm getting depressed thinking about it.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Marshall Art challenges me to name historians who have declared that Mr. Bush is the worst President in history. I have no such names, for I made no such claim. I claimed that many historians suspect that he will be rated as the worst President in US history. I am not at home and so do not have my references at hand, but I can supply you with some links on this question upon my return if you are serious about learning what people think. However, I fear that you will dismiss all such material as merely opinions, so I doubt the effort is worth the candle.

You're quite right that we won't really know until the fullness of time. We'll need a few decades to see exactly how Iraq works out. Of course, that doesn't mean that we can ignore what's happening in Iraq now.

BTW, you chastise me for citing opinions instead of facts. Very well, on the matter of Iraq I offer the two recent government reports on Iraq declaring that the situation there is quite serious and that we are most definitely NOT winning the war. Surely you've seen them?

Ironically enough, after chastising me for failing to cite facts and figures, you turn right around and make claims without any evidence. You cite a rise in home ownership -- just how great is this rise? And tell me, how many of these new homeowners do you expect will still be homeowners in two years, once the subprime mortgage fiasco sorts itself out?

You cite improvements in black economic status, but offer no figures. I'll give you this one, because even if you're wrong it's not terribly important.

However, you then claim that the deficit has been halved. This is true if you fudge your numbers. here is a chart of the US budget deficit since 1960. Mr. Clinton inherited a budget deficit of $290 billion from Mr. Bush. When Mr. Clinton left office, the budget was $236 billion in surplus. Mr. Bush very quickly converted that surplus into a deficit of $413 billion. In the last two years, he has reduced that deficit to $260 billion. So, yes, if you compare Mr. Bush's current deficit to his worst case, he's done better -- but if you look at the graph as a whole, you can see that Mr. Bush has had the most destructive effect on the US budget of any President in American history.

Your comments on the national debt are similarly miscalculated.

On the tools used against terrorism, you suggest that there have been "secret successes" that the government won't tell us about. If there's no evidence, then there's no evidence -- period. You are welcome to offer your own fantasies about secret successes that we haven't been told about, and I will counter with my own fantasies about disastrous failures that we haven't been told about, and we can have a demolition derby of fantasies -- which means absolutely nothing in the end.

I could write more but this post is already too long. I await your response.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

OK, here it is:

You said, "I suspect, along with a great many historians, that Mr. Bush is the worst President in US history." You said "IS", not "will be". Forgive me for taking you at your word. But I concede that I WILL view any links as opinions, because even after 50-60 years, such things WILL be opinions. All a historian can do is to give his reasons for believing so and then it's for the reader to decide based on the words of others.

Next, it is not encumbant upon me to provide anything, since Wile asked for facts by those who insist that Rove is wrong. I don't. I was merely responding to your comments in kind. I did at least give a source for some of my info (Medved).

If you insist the "new tools" haven't been a factor, then you must be aware of cases where they've been employed without effect. Yeah, that sounds wacky, but my point was that you statement implies a deeper knowledge of all the various aspects of the war on terror. The fact that you've never seen proof of the successes by means of the "new tools" only means that you've not seen it. It doesn't negate Rove's statement in the least. It would have been better had you simply said that he offers no support for his statements.

Your original post also makes a lot of assumptions concerning what the war's effects will be later. How can you use that to refute Rove's column? I don't think you can.

All in all, the point I was hoping to make was that you were not providing that which was asked for by Wile in the first place. Really doesn't matter what MY comments were.

3:46 PM  

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