The most loathsome, destructive political figure of the past decade coming to Tustin tomorrow morning. Thanks, OC GOP!

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KARL.  ROVE.  Two words that sum up the worst of the Bush and Cheney years in the public mind, and rightly so, as he was their architect.  Few people – not even Republicans – look back fondly to those dark days;  most Republicans like to pretend now that they never supported Bush.  And yet Karl Rove – known commonly as “Bush’s Brain” – is the creature the Orange County GOP has chosen to headline the Grand Opening of their new headquarters in Tustin tomorrow morning. How interesting.

Rove’s misdeeds and lies have filled books and movies already.  He should be in jail for treason.  Yet he sits his doughy buttocks regularly in the FOX studios lecturing Democrats on how they’d better do what the Republicans want, and flits across the country getting hefty speaking fees from saps like the OCGOP.  I’ll skip most of his political misdeeds and slanders to focus on what I think are his two most egregious crimes, his ramming through of the invasion of Iraq, and his leaking of the undercover status of CIA agent Valerie Plame.  Many of us may have forgotten, or never realized, what a grave and harmful act of treason that was.

Why did we invade and occupy Iraq back in 2003 anyway?  A variety of overlapping reasons – and not the ones they told us to get us scared or enthusiastic.  Cheney had his reasons, Rumsfeld his, the Israel-centric neocons theirs, young W his own, the naive humanitarian liberals who gave it bipartisan cover theirs.  But for Karl Rove it was for pure domestic political power – he had seen how populations flock to the support of their leaders in times of war (at least for a while) and correctly discerned that a good war or two would get his boss a second term, while winning more Congressional seats for the GOP.

It was purely Rove’s doing that the vote on the AUMF (Authorization to Use Military Force) was rammed through Congress shortly before the 2002 midterms – in STARK contrast to the insistence of Bush’s father back in 1990 to postpone debate on Desert Storm till AFTER those midterms so as to have a more reasoned discussion.  Rove knew that, less than a year after 9-11, many Democrats who would normally be skeptical about launching a second huge war over such flimsy intelligence would be terrified to be labeled “soft on terror” by their opponents that Fall.  So the AUMF passed overwhelmingly and to this day, a–holes can correctly say, “Hey, Democrats voted for it too!”

But the CIA, whose job is to give objective intelligence to the President (in this case Dick Cheney) were just not giving him what he wanted.  They just kept insisting (correctly) that Saddam had no ties to Al Qaeda or 9-11, likely had no WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction), and even if he did have a small stockpile of them hidden somewhere, was only likely to use them if attacked.  This was SO not what Cheney, Rove and Rumsfeld wanted to hear.  So they started to go about the task of creating their own scary intelligence.

One unreliable tip they managed to wangle out of some paid scumbag or other was that Saddam, in order to pursue his dream of nuclear weapons, was trying to, and maybe succeeding in, buying “yellowcake” uranium from Niger.  Cheney excitedly asked the CIA to send someone to investigate this claim, and they picked probably the most highly qualified guy – Joe Wilson (No, not the “You lie” Joe Wilson.)

Husband of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame, Wilson was very familiar with both Iraq and Niger, spoke French as they do in Niger, and was knowledgeable in the processes involved in weaponizing uranium.  He’d been ambassador to Iraq in 1991, at the outbreak of Desert Storm, and had heroically and theatrically secured the release of US hostages by striding up to Saddam with a noose around his own neck.  In Niger he talked to the officials who would have been involved, examined all documents, and concluded that it was highly improbable that Saddam had even tried to acquire uranium there, and that even if he had, it would have been impossible.  He returned to the states and filed his report.

Joe Wilson was somewhat upset to subsequently hear the President and other officials repeat the discredited claim in their march-to-war speeches:  “Saddam has been known to seek high quantities of weapons-grade uranium from Niger.”  Shortly after the bombs began falling and the troops had invaded, Wilson penned a column in the New York Times called “What I Found in Niger,” one of the earliest and clearest bits of proof that the war was based on lies.

All hell broke loose at the White House;  Cheney and Rove determined that Joe Wilson must be punished.  Hey – isn’t his wife an undercover CIA operative?  We can punish both Wilson AND the CIA by destroying her career – and that is done by revealing her CIA job to the world through friendly journalists.  Matt Cooper at Time (who testified that Rove was his source) wouldn’t print such sensitive material;  neither, amazingly, would neocon-stenographer Judith Miller at the Times.  The only journalist to take the bait was the “Douchebag of Liberty” Robert Novak, who in retrospect was probably in the beginning stages of his brain tumor that later took his life.  And then the fact that Joe Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, was an undercover CIA operative, became public knowledge across the nation and the world.

We know now that Valerie worked for a front company named Brewster Jennings, which kept tabs on the development of weapons of mass destruction in many nations including Iran and Libya.  The outing of Valerie Plame resulted immediately in the compromising of Brewster Jennings, all the work that had been done under its cover, and everybody else – CIA and foreign – who was involved with it.  We have no idea how many foreign assets were executed or tortured in the wake of this debacle, and how many intelligence opportunities we missed thanks to this unimaginably destructive scheme of Cheney’s and Rove’s.  Iran to this day gets closer and closer to their nuclear goal; and all this so the Bush/Cheney/Rove crowd could have their War against a paper tiger.

[I wrote all this quickly off the top of my head, and will correct any errors pointed out to me; but more likely I’ll be arguing with you, and I’ll be right.]


So – this is the man, this traitor, that the Orange County GOP has chosen to headline the Grand Opening of their new headquarters.  What are they thinking?  I’ve been saying for a while that the Republican Party still has no ideas that are not Bush and Cheney ideas, and this is why we can never let our fellow Americans forget what those years were like.  Feting Rove, the OCGOP signals their nostalgia, and their longing to return to:

  • more executive lawlessness
  • another unnecessary illegal war or two
  • further transference of wealth from poor to rich
  • political expedience over the public good
  • erosion of privacy and civil liberties
  • denial of science and the environment for the benefit of short-term corporate profits
  • state-sanctioned torture and rendition
  • a corrupt crony-staffed government incapable of dealing with crises
  • What else am I missing?  This is getting too long and I need to wrap it up.

If you wanna go see Karl tomorrow morning, for whatever reason:

Time: March 27, 2010 from 8am to 11am

Location: OCGOP New HQ

Street: 1422 Edinger Ave

City/Town: Tustin

Website or Map:

Phone: 1-714-453-0900

Event Type: party

Organized By: OCGOP

Latest Activity: 1 day ago

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About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.