I am one of President George W. Bush's gardeners. Mr. George likes to talk to me.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Karl Rove Speaks

Karl Rove doesn't usually talk to me unless there's a mechanical problem with vice-president Cheney, but the other day he came up to me while I was spraying pesticide on the roses and just stood there shaking his head. I got a little nervous, so I asked him how it was going.

MR KARL: It's amazing the kind of stuff we're able to pull off, Lenny. Amazing.

ME: What do you mean?

MR KARL: Let's put it this way — if Al Gore had won in 2000, and if 9/11 had happened on his watch, and if the economy were in the gutter, and if Gore had gotten us into this war in Iraq based on bad intelligence, can you imagine any Democrat getting re-elected? Not a chance in hell!

ME: I don't appreciate that kind of language, sir.

MR KARL: Sorry, Lenny. Not a chance in heck. We'd claim that Gore should have foreseen the 9/11 war based on evidence like, oh I don't know, maybe a memo that says, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in the United States." And then there's all warnings by the Hart-Rudman task force. That was a bipartisan commission doing everything it could to get the word out that thousands of U. S. citizens would die right here on American soil from terrorist attacks. And no one did anything about it! We would have bashed Gore so hard that he wouldn't get nominated by his own chickenshit party.

ME: Language, sir!

MR KARL: Sorry, Lenny. It's just that I'm feeling pretty good right now. I mean, I admire the heck out of myself. If I were running Kerry's campaign, gosh forbid, I'd be all over the oil crisis. We're running out of oil, and China's consuming more and more petroleum, so in a time when we need to be serious about alternative fuel sources, we have an oilman in office! That's hilarious. And we're winning in the polls!

ME: I don't know how you do it.

MR KARL: Two things. First, mini-scandals. There's the Plame affair, where someone in a high place outed a covert CIA agent. There's George using family ties to avoid combat and then going AWOL, there's Cheney's close ties with Halliburton, there's Bush's close ties with Kenneth Lay, there's Chalabi giving our secrets to Iranians while feeding us bad intel, there's — gee willickers, I can't keep it all straight in my head, and neither can anyone else. Nothing is too serious in and of itself, so it just seems like a lot of partisan bickering.

ME: What else?

MR KARL: We attack! And we do it the right way. We get other people to do our attacking so that George can stay above the fray. And here's something. We just make shit up. It's politics! Kerry is the most liberal senator. Kerry voted for 350 tax increases. Kerry was a coward during his brief combat stint in Vietnam, and then he came home and committed treason. Kerry flip-flops. And it doesn't matter that we make shit up because after Rush and Brit and Bill and Sean and the bloggers finish their diatribes, enough people start believing it. And then if the mainstream press doesn't run the stories, we call them liberal stooges and send out the attack dogs. We're working the system, Lenny. We're working it!

ME: It's for the good of the country.

MR KARL: That's right. It's for the good of the country. You know what I'd like to try to do next? I'd like to make Alan Keyes the next president.


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