Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What Rove left us: a broken government

Rove went after the quiet professionals that used to keep America running. He eliminated many of them ...
The rise and fall of Turd Blossom (Sidney Blumenthal, The Guardian)

.... Rove's merger of politics and policy was an effort to forge a total one-party state. While he is acclaimed as a political strategist, his true innovation was in governing. He sought to subordinate the entire federal government to his goal of creating a permanent Republican majority. Every department and agency has been subject to an intense and thorough politicization. Indeed, Rove's ambitious plan was tantamount to a nascent Stalinism. Even science has been suppressed in the name of the party line, recalling the flawed biology propagated in the Soviet Union by Trofim Lysenko. Cheney and Rove acted as the pincers of the unitary executive. While Cheney sought to concentrate unaccountable power in the presidency, Rove brought down the anvil of politics on the professional career staff.

Rove's radicalization of government was early described by the first member of the administration to quit in disgust, John DiIulio, a University of Pennsylvania professor and the first director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. He discovered that "compassionate conservatism," Rove's slogan for Bush's 2000 campaign, was little more than a sham. "What you've got is everything - and I mean everything - being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis," said DiIulio....
Rove would have been most content in a totalitarian state.

Update 8/15/07: Fallows points out that the occupation of Iraq was staffed with young republican Rove clones. Good point.

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