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Commentary Last Updated: Mar 13th, 2007 - 01:23:40

The rise of the Rove Reich
By Mike Whitney
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Mar 13, 2007, 01:20

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Politics is the art of destroying one�s enemies and rewarding one�s friends. By this standard, the Bush regime is the most capable administration in American history. Bush and his fellows have shown time and again that they have sharp elbows and can be cold-blooded political street fighters.

The �Swift-boating� of John Kerry, Dan Rather and Joseph Wilson are just a few of the more familiar examples. Each was singled out as a potential rival by high-ranking members of the administration and summarily drawn-and-quartered by assassins in the far-right media.

The unexpected sacking of eight US attorneys is another example of the administration�s astonishing proficiency at destroying its enemies, although the attorneys in question were not the �real targets� per se. The purpose of the firings was to use the justice system to conduct personal attacks on members of the Democratic leadership, either by indicting them prior to elections or challenging the results of recent balloting. The intention was to strengthen the �one party� system of Karl Rove�s dreams.

This, of course, is a much more serious charge than �outing� a CIA agent (Valerie Plame) or slandering a decorated veteran. (John Kerry) It is a direct attack on the two-party system and the foundations of democratic government.

Paul Krugman gives a good explanation of how this works in his latest column, �Department of Injustice.� Krugman recalls how New Jersey�s US attorney �issued subpoenas in connection with allegations of corruption on the part of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, two months before the 2006 election.� The news of the subpoenas was quickly leaked to local news media. It was a deliberate and obvious attempt to manipulate the upcoming election by putting Menendez under a cloud of criminal indictment. If it had worked, Republicans would have held the majority in the Senate and the same trends in authoritarian legislation would have persisted for the next two years.

Congressional investigations last week indicate that other US attorneys have experienced similar �politically motivated� meddling designed to crush the Democratic Party by decapitating the leadership. It�s clear that the administration�s maneuverings are an essential part of their strategy to maintain a permanent GOP �lock on power.�

This is serious business. Watergate pales in comparison. Karl Rove is actively sabotaging the democratic process by stacking the US Attorneys office with Bush foot soldiers.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has denied charges that politics played any part in the recent firings, but Krugman proves otherwise. Since Bush took office in 2000, US attorneys across the nation have investigated 298 Democrats, but only 67 Republicans. Clearly the office is being used to carry out personal vendettas to remove Democrats from power and fortify a one party system: the Rove Reich.

Krugman also adds this revealing detail from the Rovian chronicle, which further strengthens his theory: �Let�s not forget that Karl Rove�s candidates have a history of benefiting from conveniently timed federal investigations. Last year Molly Ivins reminded her readers of a curious pattern during Mr. Rove�s time in Texas: �In election years, there always seemed to be an F.B.I. investigation of some sitting Democrat either announced or leaked to the press. After the election was over, the allegations often vanished.��

Over the years, Rove has perfected the politics of personal destruction and transformed it into an art form. It�s clear now that the Gonzales 8 were tossed overboard because they clung to their standards and refused to become political henchmen for the gangsters at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We can assume that the new appointees are neither true conservatives nor traditional Republicans but, rather, party loyalists who will faithfully execute directives from the Bush Politburo.

Alas, the Bush regime is not in the business of governing at all, but politics. And, once again, they�ve proved that they�re damn good at it.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at:

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