The Karl Rove School of Sanctimony

Karl Rove Lecturing

When I read about Todd Akin’s unfortunate comments to Charles Jaco, my first thought was uncharitable.  “I could just kill him.”

Karl Rove Lecturing

“I could kill him,” is an idiom. Its cousins include “wring his neck” and “poke his eyes out.” Idioms hyperbolize our emotional reaction to an event.

I was angry because Todd Akin gave the left a great talking point in the infamous interview. I like Todd Akin. I voted for him.  I want him to beat Claire McCaskill, and, if not him, someone. So his hideous PR failure Pissed. Me. Off. In fact, I’m still feeling a bit uncharitable, but that’s my problem at this point.

Karl Rove attacked Akin almost immediately.

Karl Rove, who directs a lot of campaign money through Crossroads GPS, vilified Akin. Rove promised to pull Crossroads funding from Missouri. He predicted that Akin would lose his race against Claire McCaskill for the US Senate by largest margin in modern history.

All fair and good. Akin put a safe Republican Senate pick-up at risk by his failure to check his tongue. Akin’s error put at risk four years of hard work by millions of Americans and jeopardized Todd’s favorite causes, including pro-life.

Rove Gone Wild

But at the Republican National Convention, Karl Rove drove right off the rhetorical Chappaquiddick Bridge.

“We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!”

Roves comment was not an idiom. It was an original thought. He said “murder,” not “kill,” indicating intent and planning.

Even more malevolent,  “we should,” which Rove said, is not “we could.” Could implies ability; should implies duty.  Karl Rove essentially said, “We are obliged to murder Todd Akin.”  Or at least to defeat him in November.  (Todd Akin has since accepted Rove’s apology, for which I tip my cap to both men.)

So much for Karl’s sanctimonious excoriation of Todd Akin.

But he was joking of course.

Or was he?

In charity, we assume Rove isn’t plotting Akin’s physical assassination. But he might be plotting Akin’s political assassination.

Rove implied he prefers Claire McCaskill to Todd Akin.  That’s fine.  He’s entitled to support whoever he wants for the US Senate.

What irritates me most about Rove’s comment, though, is exactly what irritated me about Akin’s.  In a world where Republicans are held to a God-like standard by the media, saying idiotic things in public hurts the cause.

Rove committed precisely Akin’s sin.

He said something stupid that reached public ears.

For that, Rove deserves the same excoriation he’s advocated against Akin.  My guess is, though, Karl’s wealthy friends will protect him.


6 thoughts on “The Karl Rove School of Sanctimony”

  1. I happened to be watching the Akin interview that Sunday morning and wasn’t taken aback by his “notorious comment”. I understood Akin was meaning to say forced rape, as opposed to statutory rape.

    And as a woman myself, I understand the complex female reproductive system and am aware that stress and, most certainly, trauma CAN (can, not will) cause impending ovulation to be delayed or halted. No ovulation means no pregnancy. Does that mean pregnancy will not occur in case of rape? Of course not! If ovulation has already occurred shortly before unprotected intercourse, rather it is rape or consensual sex, pregnancy is likely to occur.

    Todd Akin’s gaffe was not worthy of destruction of his political career. He did not do anything illegal or immoral or malicious. He did not deliberately disparage women who were impregnated by rape. His words were sadly misconstrued by some people and deliberately distorted by political operatives in efforts to sway the November election.

  2. Great article. Here again is the double standard even within the Republican party. Rove is an establishment guy sort of the like Dems who can say anything and they are not held accountable. In Rove’s case, Republicans as a whole give him a pass. The same was not true in Akin’s comments as everyone (especially the establishment Republicans) went after him. True to Todd Akin as a human being, he didn’t make much out of it but instead said ‘He accepted Karl Rove’s apology.’ Here again, actions speak louder than words.

  3. It is ironic that Rove condemns Akin for giving the Democrats ammunition to use against Republicans since it was his advice to President Bush and the policies that ensued that have made the Republicans most vulnerable.

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