The longtime critic of the Bush family levels his guns at today’s most notorious political consultant.
Just in time for the 2012 election, along comes Vanity Fair contributing editor Unger (The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America Today, 2007, etc.) to remind liberals that Karl Rove did not depart the scene with his patron, the reviled W. The “Evil Genius” has been very busy attending to his long-term project of capturing all three branches of government for the Republican Party. From prestigious perches at Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and Newsweek, Rove has been preparing the public battle space for the coming election. Behind the scenes, contemptuous of the amateurish tea party and circumventing the ossified GOP apparatus, he’s strung together his own SuperPAC network. He has taken full advantage of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, and he’s seeded the Romney campaign with any number of close associates and acolytes. If Romney prevails with the help of Rove’s hidden hand, Unger insists, the consequences for the nation promise to be “monumental,” none of them good. To support his ominous prediction, he marches through Rove’s career scandals, none of which bear the hard-nosed operative’s fingerprints—he’s too smart for that—but they all reek of the master manipulator’s sulphurous odor. Unger discusses Rove’s role in the outing of Valerie Plame, his effort to manipulate Ohio’s 2004 election results and his use of the criminal justice system to target political opponents, along with his part in the Swift Boat ads that drowned John Kerry and his orchestration of the takedown that ended Dan Rather’s career. For the conscienceless Rove, issues—tort reform, voter fraud—matter only insofar as they advance the Republican cause. But, then, power has always been his objective, a 30-year effort “to game the American electoral system by whatever means necessary.”
An unrelenting critique of the bogeyman of liberals who refuses to go away.