Karl Rove, shown here on Stephen Colbert’s TV show, has taken aim at Elizabeth Warren, perhaps to prove his filthy mind is still as nimble as in 2004, when he destroyed John Kerry’s presidential hopes by portraying him in campaign ads as a traitor rather than a war hero.
First Rove’s people aired an ad presenting Warren — she’s running for the Massachusetts Senate seat currently held by Scott Brown — as a wild-eyed radical, a sort of godmother to the Occupy Wall Street crowd. When that didn’t work, Rove veered 180 degrees with a new ad that tried to paint Warren as a crooked Washington insider:
The ad blames Warren for “bailing out the same banks that caused the financial meltdown, bailouts that helped pay big bonuses to bank executives while middle class Americans lost out.” It closes by imploring the viewer to “tell Professor Warren we need jobs, not more bailouts and bigger government.”
The accusation that Warren is responsible for TARP, bank bailouts, or huge executive bonuses is beyond absurd. TARP and the bank bailouts were Republican ideas that began under President Bush. As Simon Johnson notes, Warren “has also been a strong supporter of all efforts to rein in Too Big To Fail banks, including by breaking them up.”
In fact, her work creating and heading up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau involved advocating directly on consumers’ behalf, a key check on the power of big banks. She also ran the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP, where her role was to track the money that was given to the banks. She was extremely critical of both the banks’ and Washington’s inability to accurately account for TARP money.
Rove’s style of propaganda is so bold it often stuns people. Poor Kerry was such a stiff that he didn’t bother rebutting the Rove ads until it was too late. He thought voters couldn’t possibly believe such big lies.
I think Warren knows better than to underestimate Rove. She’s more of a fighter than Kerry, and probably quicker to recognize a truly malevolent foe. Here’s something from a sharp satirist who posits a direct connection between Rove and master propagandist Joseph Goebbels. both of whom “grappled with childhood hostilities that demanded revenge”:
We’ll never know how much damage has been wrought by the countless kids who got their egos kicked and went on to seethe in anonymity. We do know about the calamities caused by two mental cripples whose misfortunes turned them into experts at manipulating the damaged psyches of other troubled souls. Goebbels compensated for his inadequacies through writing. Rove became a master debater. One can only imagine the two reprobates licking their lips, Joker style, when they realized that dirty tricks and right-wing politics added up to a license to kill.
Read the whole piece here.