Thursday, April 2, 2009

Karl Rove Concerned Obama Acting Sleazy?

In an op-ed, Karl Rove expressed concerns over Obama's ethics:

"Don't think we're not keeping score, brother." That's what President Barack Obama said to Rep. Peter DeFazio in a closed-door meeting of the House Democratic Caucus last week . . . .

A few weeks ago, Mr. DeFazio voted against the administration's stimulus bill. The comment from Mr. Obama was a presidential rebuke and part of a new, hard-nosed push by the White House to pressure Congress to adopt the president's budget. He has mobilized outside groups and enlisted forces still in place from the Obama campaign. . . .

Members of Congress should . . . worry about how Mr. Obama is "keeping score." He is steeped in the ways of Chicago politics and has not forgotten his training in the methods once used by Saul Alinsky, the radical Chicago community organizer.

This is a shocking claim by Mr. Rove, whose sense of ethics is so confused that he can't differentiate between hard-nosed politics and shameful, unethical conduct. I would think that putting pressure on Congesspersons and mobilizing political groups -- i.e., the people -- is exactly what a good politician should do.

Conversely, comparing the President to "radical Chicago community organizer[s]" is unproductive, non-substantive, and designed to evoke hate, not rationality. But the hypocrisy that Rove displayed in his op-ed is far worse and clearly unethical, as Rove regularly engaged in conduct identical to that for which he chastises Obama. For instance, as The Washington Post reported, Rove regularly acted in concert with Gover Norquist in pressuring Republicans to join Bush's causes, threatening "punish[ment]" for non-compliance. It is therefore simply shocking that Rove considers Obama's use of much milder tactics "Chicago-style politics," particularly when Rove has engaged in far worse in the name of politics:
Don Siegelman, the former Alabama governor, is asking a federal appeals court to throw out his conviction on dubious corruption charges. His appeal has some surprising backers: a bipartisan group of 54 former state attorneys general has submitted a brief on his behalf. Congress is also investigating charges that Mr. Siegelman was politically targeted.

. . . Congress has uncovered evidence that the United States attorney’s office in Montgomery — with possible White House input — may have decided to prosecute him to undermine his campaign. The former presidential adviser Karl Rove, who has been accused of pushing to have Mr. Siegelman indicted, has been subpoenaed by both the House and Senate, but has refused to testify.

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