Here's a response to this Salon article, which is about how bad Karl Rove's legacy is.
We can denounce Karl Rove all we want, but he did his job for the short term, which is win elections.
I'd hazard to say that the political operatives of both the left and right have about as much responsibility for their "talking points," coded wordings, and misleading/lying rhetorical constructions as does a writer or poet. The responsibility lies with shallow politicians who went along with the lies and let the more or less mercenary political operatives lead the country.
In other words, we can denounce a rapper for saying something about our culture we don't like, but said rapper has found a "soft spot," so to speak. An utterance is only as offensive as the truth it describes. What offends is the degree to which people go along with the sentiment.
Interpreted in this manner, Karl Rove was a genius at capitalizing on the fear, paranoia, and tolerance for violence already inherent in our current American cultural moment.
So, does the artist reflect life, or does life reflect on the artist?
This is no defense of Karl Rove as "an artist," but it should be said that Karl Rove didn't create the fearful American cultural milieu that we currently suffer in. We may blame Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rove for disastrous wars, the torture and killing of innocents, the mincing of our Constitution, and the "sunset" of the rule of law. More scary to me is the how easily the American public has allowed itself to be manipulated into countenancing evil -- yes, evil -- committed in our name.
While the GOP is in dire straits, the same polling indicates the American public has become radicalized. Many, many people would support torture without limit, endless occupation in the Middle East, and nuclear war on our "enemies." The Iraq War, after all, is a pre-emptive, unjustifiable, immoral war.
No political genius or Architect could have made those things happen from scratch. Karl Rove is more like a weather vane than a Great Man who changed American Sentiment and History. His machinations have unearthed the ignoble soul of America that exists alongside its noble soul.
No profanes - sacred