Karl Rove gave a speech when he was awarded the Charles Edison Memorial Award. Some of what he said has become a topic of discussion on the news and on blogs.
One of my favorite lines that I haven't seen quoted anywhere yet was about the successes of Conservatives and the Bush administration - Once again, they misunderestimated what you and he could do.
Bush has been ridiculed for using the word "misunderestimate" but I like the word. I know "underestimate" means about the same thing but when we aren't supposed to criticize the use of double negatives in vernacular speech (done to show emphasis) then why criticize the addition of "mis-" when it's done to emphasize how much he was underestimated?
Rove went on to compare Conservatives and Liberals:
Conservatives believe in lower taxes; liberals believe in higher taxes. We want few regulations; they want more. Conservatives measure the effectiveness of government programs by results; liberals measure the effectiveness of government programs by inputs. We believe in curbing the size of government; they believe in expanding the size of government. Conservatives believe in making America a less litigious society; liberals believe in making America a more litigious society. We believe in accountability and parental choice in education; they don't. Conservatives believe in advancing what Pope John Paul II called a "culture of life"; liberals believe there is an absolute unlimited right to abortion.
But perhaps the most important difference between conservatives and liberals can be found in the area of national security. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban; in the wake of 9/11, liberals believed it was time to… submit a petition. I am not joking. Submitting a petition is precisely what Moveon.org did. It was a petition imploring the powers that be" to "use moderation and restraint in responding to the… terrorist attacks against the United States."
...Conservatives saw what happened to us on 9/11 and said: we will defeat our enemies. Liberals saw what happened to us and said: we must understand our enemies. Conservatives see the United States as a great nation engaged in a noble cause; liberals see the United States and they see … Nazi concentration camps, Soviet gulags, and the killing fields of Cambodia.
So far I haven't seen any comments about the first paragraph of the quotation about taxes, government programs, lawsuits, accountability and education, and abortion. The national security part has gotten a lot of attention. What I have read about that is that Democrats think that Rove should apologize. Nancy Pelosi said, "He knows full well, as do all Americans, that our country came together after 9/11."
Yes, and that togetherness lasted until it was time to take action. That's the point. Different political philosophies, different ideas about what to do. The things that Rove accuses the Liberals of may not be part of the "official" Democratic party philosophy but if you've followed the news and discussions of the subject over the last few years it sounds like a pretty clear summary of what was said. Google it if you don't think that's true, it's still out there.
I remember being rebuked for saying we need to understand our enemy until I made it clear that it wasn't to sympathize with them but that understanding motivations may help us fight them better.
No one's said it yet (that I've heard) but I think that the thing that set off the controversy over the speech wasn't just the comparison between Conservatives and Liberals but the last line of Rove's speech - Thank you very much for your attention, for your support of this President, and above all, for your devotion to this country. If you see this as questioning your patriotism, your devotion, then perhaps the comparisons made earlier are more on target than you want to admit.Posted by marybeth at June 24, 2005 01:27 PM Politics