Craig Unger on Boss Rove

Monday, September 10, 2012

Investigative reporter Craig Unger discusses the comeback of GOP boss Karl Rove, the brilliant political operator whose partisanship earned him the moniker “Bush’s Brain.” Unger’s book Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power is detailed account of how Rove has quietly become the greatest Republican power broker in the country, able to mobilize immense sums through the SuperPAC American Crossroads and similar organizations, and channel that money on behalf of Republican candidates.


Craig Unger

Comments [11]

gene from NYC

I have to disagree with you, T&B.

By "filtering out the real fruitcakes," Rove is making his nefarious cause (a Permanent Republican Majority, still, imo) seem more acceptable to the general public, therefore more likely to be voted for. Note that he doesn't really take these fruitcakes out of the party--he needs _everyone's_ votes--he only makes them less visible, less demonstrably influential.

Rove's function may be to slather lipstick on a pig, but we'd still be electing a pig (the Repub agenda, in this rather strained metaphor).

It does remind me how Papen, Hindenburg, et. al., thought they could control the nutjob they were installing into office.

Sep. 10 2012 03:53 PM
John A

Checking up on the gay claim, Atwater's successor for GWB the son, Ken Mehlman, may be the name that Leonard was confusing. He was said to be gay.
This article seems to place Lee as a womanizer:

Sep. 10 2012 01:32 PM
Max from Northern NJ

Sorry, I meant "far easier"

Sep. 10 2012 12:40 PM
Amy from Manhattan

"Unpaid positions," huh? Lemme guess: the people named to those positions don't really need the amount of additional income that kind of position would give them if they *were* paid, & the positions carry a lot of power...maybe the kind of power that brings the people in them more money than a salary would.

Sep. 10 2012 12:39 PM
Mary from Connecticut

Isn't destruction of emails illegal (spoliage)? Someone could be charged -- why isn't that happening?

Sep. 10 2012 12:39 PM
Max from Northern NJ

Ballot rigging is yet another argument in favor of abolition of the antiquated Electoral College. Tweaking a swing state in favor of one candidate over another, and thereby winning the Presidency, is far, far more difficult than rigging an election in which the winner is the candidate with the most votes.

Sep. 10 2012 12:39 PM
jon from bensonhurst from 86th Street Brooklyn

Ditto, Ben...Leonard's confused as ever. Atwater wasn't gay, although he was a gay-baiter in political terms.

Sep. 10 2012 12:33 PM

Lee Atwater was not gay, unless Leonard knows something everyone else doesn't.

Sep. 10 2012 12:28 PM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

Since Rove (clearly) believes in winning and not ideology, why did he choose the Republican Party over the Democrats? While I know he has been in the Republican establishment since starting "whisper campaigns" in his '70s-era college years, that doesn't explain why he decided on the Republicans.

Besides the fact that there are only two parties, I would presume that also likes money a whole lot which is something he shares with many Republicans, a sentiment that is even stronger with them than with Democrats, who we all know love money just like the majority of Americans.

Sep. 10 2012 12:25 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

It seems to me that what your guest is saying is that despite how obnoxious Rove is, he is at least filtering out the real fruitcakes in the GOP, which does serve a positive function. There are lots of very strange conservatives out there and if someone is catching the worst of the lot up front, that can't be all bad. Rove, himself, is quite dangerous, but it seems that he is performing one useful function.

Sep. 10 2012 12:23 PM
Bob from Pelham, NY

Rove calls his group a "social welfare organization" because that is the definition of a Section 501(c)(4) non-profit organization under the Internal Revenue Code, and such groups don't have to disclose the names of donors (unlike other non-profit like charitable organizations). I think the Orwellian irony of the language suggesting that Koch brothers and their ilk need a "social welfare" group to protect them is a happy coincidence from Rove's point of view.

Sep. 10 2012 12:23 PM

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