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What Are They Reconstructing?
Dan Froomkin writes in the Washington Post about Bush's speech:

"Republicans said Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, was in charge of the reconstruction effort."

Clearly, it's a massive effort to reconstruct Bush's image, with the some side benefits for the flood victims he forgot until the nation gave a collective gasp at his behavior:

Rove's leadership role suggests quite strikingly that any and all White House decisions and pronouncements regarding the recovery from the storm are being made with their political consequences as the primary consideration. More specifically: With an eye toward increasing the likelihood of Republican political victories in the future, pursuing long-cherished conservative goals, and bolstering Bush's image.

That is Rove's hallmark.

Rove, Bush's long-time political adviser and the "architect" of Bush's ascendancy, was rewarded after the 2004 election with a position at the White House with overt policy responsibilities. But whereas in some previous White Houses, governance took precedence over campaigning once the election was safely over, Rove has shown no sign of ever putting policy goals above political ones. (See my Rove profile .)

Tonight's speech promises two classic features of the Rove approach.

Bush will take advantage of powerful imagery -- the Associated Press reports the speech will be held in historic Jackson Square, with the famous St. Louis Cathedral as a backdrop -- and he won't risk having anyone around who might disagree with him or ask an impertinent question. In fact, the AP says, there won't be a live audience at all. (And even the journalists covering the event are being told they won't be allowed to stray from their press vans.)

As for the speech itself, it will inevitably seek to answer any naysaying about Bush by recasting him in the heroic, leadership role he played after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks -- while advocating a range of measures that are dear to the conservative political agenda.

Politics as usual! What a surprise that Bush didn't speak before a live audience -- lest flood victims "give him a Cheney" -- a verbal wedgie like that Cheney got from the doctor whose house was destroyed (who told him to fuck off). No, but how do you really feel about the Bush-Cheney golf-while-you-lose-your-house response? And most depressingly, how many people will be fooled into thinking he cared and does care -- about more than spinning his approval rating back up -- just because Karl Rove paid somebody to write him a moving speech?

Posted by aalkon at September 16, 2005 9:24 AM

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Comments

Amy, the URL I emailed you says it all.

http://www.snopes.com/photos/katrina/disaster.asp

Posted by: Patrick at September 16, 2005 6:20 AM

Karl Rove! Karl Rove! Karl Rove!

Puppeteer! Bush's brain! Mastermind! RUTHLESS... Manipulator! *LIAR!* Control, crush opponents, strategies. Politics... connivance... influence, connections, cronyism. Bald. White. Fat. White. Appearances, perceptions/reality.

RoveRoveRove.

Posted by: Crid at September 16, 2005 11:19 AM

Wow. For once, Crid, I actually agree with you.

Posted by: Patrick at September 16, 2005 1:58 PM

Evil neo-con scientists created Katrina in a lab at Bob Jones University in order to provide a pretext for giving no-bid contracts to Halliburton. Pass it on.

PS: Bush is Hitler!

Posted by: Richard Bennett at September 16, 2005 9:58 PM

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