Our former colleague Jon Chait ran a sideline business these last few years calling Karl Rove on the various forms of projection he practiced when it came to criticizing Obama. But if Chait were still on this beat today, I’m sure he’d concede that he actually no idea how pathological this Rove-ian tick was back when he wrote all those blog items.
Rove’s column in today’s Wall Street Journal, about the dishonesty of the recent Obama campaign documentary, is a true thing of beauty. You have to read it all to appreciate the full cinematic intensity of Rove’s mental projector, but the closing flourish tells you most of what you need to know:
As for the killing of Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama did what virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation. Even President Bill Clinton says in the film "I hope that's the call I would have made." For this to be portrayed as the epic achievement of the first term tells you how bare the White House cupboards are.
Uh, for starters, the upshot of the Clinton statement is that he’s not at all sure he would have made the same call. Not that it was a no-brainer.
More importantly, if memory serves, Bush ran for re-election on a set of foreign policy achievements that summed to far less than the dismemberment of Al Qaeda and the assassination of the world’s most notorious fugitive. Is Rove suggesting that, had W. slayed bin Laden, the Bush re-election camp would have stayed mum about it?
Oh, and there’s also this beaut:
There's nothing [in the documentary] about the crumbling situation in Afghanistan, strained relations with allies like Israel, Mr. Obama's unpopularity in the Islamic World [emphasis added]. ...
Well, I’ll give Rove this: He knows a thing or two about unpopularity in the Islamic World.
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