The reconstruction effort is going to be massive. The White House is pulling out all the stops. The heavy machinery is being brought in, and the money needed is going to be substantial. The overall strategy of the reconstruction will be impressive, and the specific tactics of it will be complex. All the necessary people will be employed in this monumental job. The White House knows where it must place its resources, and how to best use them. General Karl Rove has been put in charge.
Unfortunately, I am not talking about the reconstruction of the Gulf region, but rather the reconstruction of George Bush.
When I was told, a few days ago, by someone, who heard it from someone else, that Karl Rove has been put in charge of reconstruction in Katrina's aftermath, I thought it must have been something passed on from some political satire in The Onion. You know, some farcical, nonsensical piece about the "boy genius" Karl Rove being called to the rescue with all of his vast experience in emergency relief and recovery, perhaps something zany like The Onion story about Bush appointing a third-trimester fetus to the Supreme Court.
But no, I was wrong. And it has taken several days for it to really sink in. I have struggled with disbelief, digested the reality, and now, fearfully and with growing understanding, I think I see the light. Maybe others figured this out earlier than I, but I was so dumbfounded by the possibility, it simply didn't sink in.
My initial reaction was that I thought I had seen pretty much the lowest depths of incompetence and unmitigated gall from this administration, that Rove as Reconstruction Czar was a result of Bush having slipped into some early form of dementia. But what I see now is that it is probably a stroke of brilliance, albeit a stroke of last resort.
Forget the actual reconstruction. Halliburton engineers will handle that. Forget paying the poor victims of Katrina who are being hired to help in the reconstruction effort. Halliburton has already been given a pass on paying them any kind of fair wage. Forget rebuilding the homes of all of the tens of thousands of working poor in New Orleans. Different, more profitable, kinds of construction will take their place. And besides, those people are being diffused and scattered around the country. Whatever unified voice, whatever shared victimization, whatever horror they experienced is being dissipated. The last thing Rove wants is for them to unite in one voice of outrage. And lastly, watch for the unrelenting smear of local Democratic leaders. Rove will light so many fires under the asses of Democrats they won't know what hit them.
Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove has been unleashed to put the most colorful, beautiful, shiny blossom on this hurricane turd possible. Karl Rove's mandate? Damage control, propaganda spin, rewriting history, guaranteeing GOP success at the polls in 2006, assigning blame elsewhere, reinvigorating the Bush base, and making sure none of the accountability for this huge Bush failure is actually assigned to him. Short-lived lip service about how "we all share the blame" is fine, but, if Karl Rove can do anything about it, the truth of it will not outlive a few days.
This storm brought has almost brought down Bush's house of cards. It slammed head-on into the White House. It has wrecked havoc with Bush's image and jeopardized Bush's place in history. His ratings are at the lowest ever. Placing Rove at the epicenter of the reconstruction effort is further proof that Bush is not so much concerned with the victims, as he is with his own survival. Who better, than the man himself, to take control of what is really a reconstruction of Bush, not America?