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 Rove's Campaign Diary:

"Time for Those 'Surprises'!"

Bernard Weiner 
Co-Editor, The Crisis Papers

July 12, 2004

Mid-July 2004

Dear Diary:

On with the cape, the Boy-Genius needs to ride again! I've got to do SOMETHING to pull us out of the tailspin we're in. It isn't gonna be easy, given the gross mistakes a lot of us made -- and, yep, I'm thinking primarily of Rummy, and Wolfy, and Dick -- and the fact that we're dealing with a puffed-up airhead at the top who barely can stumble through the day, let alone take direction and move the country along. [Note to myself: Don't forget to put this in my personal vault!]

Here we are less than four months out from Election Day, and it doesn't look good. Well, yeah, we've got (and we'll hold) our fundamentalist base; those guys are so gullible, and, thank goodness, so dedicated. Just throw 'em some raw meat -- "abortion," "gay marriage," "family values," "Michael Moore," "Bill Clinton" -- and we can count on them following us anywhere, even into the bowels of Hell, which is where I often feel we're living these days.

Sure, we can repair along the edges of our various problem areas and scandals, and thus get some helpful spin for awhile. But the spin-effect dissipates quickly, and there we are, just barely better off, and sometimes worse off, than where we were before our emergency fix-'em attempts.

Take Iraq...please. We were able to engineer the establishment of a U.S.-friendly interim government, and hoped that the American people would buy into the convenient fiction of "full sovereignty" for the Iraqis. (It would have been too much to hope that the Iraqi citizenry would accept the interim government as truly sovereign; not much luck there: only 2% of the Iraqi population now regard us as "liberators.") But, no luck on that front either: the numbers are rising who think we're on the wrong course in Iraq, to more than 50%! There's even a 40% slice of the American people who think we should just pull out of Iraq, stable "democracy" implanted or not.

Oh my god, but our war in Iraq is a royal fuckup. And the Senate Committee's report that the war was based on "flawed" intelligence -- in other words, we're getting our young soldiers slaughtered over there, for phony reasons and lies -- isn't going to help matters. (The good news is that, with the help of our loyal Senate Republicans, we got that report to pile all the blame on the CIA. Pressure? What pressure? Hee, hee, hee!)

What do we tell the troops -- and the parents -- who want to know why we're still fighting there, if the original reasons were false and based on lousy intel? Those liberals who smell Vietnam under every rock may be right on this one -- though, of course, we'll never admit it. Thank God Kerry got sucked in by the bad intel and voted for the war, or we'd be naked out here.


Somehow we've got to stagger our way through that Iraqi disaster until November 2. We may just be able to do it. We got the friendly government in place; on his way out the door, Bremer got the interim government to accept all those laws and regulations to protect our corporations and troops; the mass-media most Americans listen to -- radio talk-shows, CNN and Fox News, the cable shows -- are still mostly on board; we suckered the Democrats into waiting until AFTER the election for the Senate investigation's second report, this one on our handling of that lousy intel.

Most importantly, we're reducing the number of Americans dying and getting wounded (well, not really, but that's the goal and our generals there better meet it, if they know what's good for them, even if they have to fiddle with the numbers). Americans won't care if more Iraqis get killed and blown up, as long as our troops' deaths and woundings are going down and it looks like we're turning a corner in the country.

I just love the way the chattering classes and liberal Democrats get all hot and bothered by a scandal, rant and rave for a week or so, and then just go lie down again, content to snooze their way through the day, feeling they've done their political and moral duty. That's what saves us time after time as one more scandal erupts. We ride out the initial frenzy, delay and stonewall requests for information, tell a few lies and re-direct their attention elsewhere (Ridge is a good little poodle), maybe seem to be making some of the requested changes -- and, presto, we're back in business, ready for the next "incoming!"

That's what happened with the torture scandal. I thought we were done for, cornered by our own memos authorizing the president to assert dictatorial powers during "wartime." Ashcroft's lawyers and the PNAC boys at Defense have kept things in hand. But if they get out of hand, and if it comes down to it, Rummy may still have to take the fall -- like Tenet at CIA; but so far, nobody is taking any hits except the lowly guards and a few lower-rank officers. I think we can ride this one out past Election Day.


And, if we stay united in our stories, we may just be able to avoid the Plame silver bullet as well. Well, yes, we may have to throw a few of our staffers overboard -- we'll say they got "overzealous" and discipline them -- but no real damage done at the top. But I think we've fogged up any clear view of the complicated criminal law about revealing the name of a covert CIA agent, and maybe we can slide by with no damage at all.

What we won't be able to avoid are the slings and arrows coming to us from the spooks. Others (like wimpy old Colin) warned us that we'd have to face a CIA backlash -- leaking all sort of dirt to the press once we scapegoated the Agency for 9/11 and Iraq intel, and especially after we outed Joe Wilson's wife as a CIA agent -- but we decided that we'd take the risk and lay the problems at the feet of the CIA.

We needed to keep any blame away from the White House. But the heat has been intense. And if the CIA agent called "Anonymous" is any indication what we can anticipate between now and November -- his goddam book, "Imperial Hubris," is spilling the big beans! -- then we may have more to fear from the CIA than we do from the media and the Democrats. It's a long four months until the election and they can dump a whole lot of manure on our heads with their revelations. Traitors!

In short, though we're going to have to take some hard knocks in the press and from the Dems, we may just get away with these and the other scandals. Never ceases to amaze me how quickly the public forgets what it learns, and goes back to its torpor. They just want to get by and concentrate on their families. And, thanks to our policies, we've made damn sure the great bulk of Americans have to struggle just to stay afloat economically, so they won't have much energy, or time, left over to bother about faraway little scandals.


Now, if Kerry and his prettyboy Edwards will just continue soft-pedaling their criticisms, we may just be able to climb back into play in the toss-up states, and, by hook and by crook, wedge our way into victory in November.

  • Sometime in the next several months, we'll be able to announce that we've captured or killed one of the big Bad Guys, to demonstrate how well our "war on terrorism" is going. I hope it will be Osama, but -- as we've told the Pakis -- any big-name lieutenant or associate of bin Laden will do. See, we're winning the war on terrorism! (Then we have to hope that nobody notices, or cares, that we let al Qaida and the Taliban regroup while we were preparing for and invading and occupying Iraq.)

  • Then there's likely to be a major terrorist attack here in the U.S., which should give Bush a big electoral boost, as the old fright-factor works its magic again. The American public will rally around the Administration as the best qualified to protect them, and not want to change electoral horses in the middle of the battle. At least, that's the plan. We've dared al Qaida to come get us, so they'll probably take the bait, which means it's likely to be deja 9/11 all over again. We probably can even ram Patriot II provisions through the Congress, just like before, and so be able to clamp down on our opposition as offering "aid and comfort" to the enemy. Ashcroft will love it.

  • Can't believe the electorate is going to permit us to use computer-voting machines in most states, so I think we can count on a few "special victories" there as well. True, some states have caught on and are demanding verified-voting backups and paper receipts in case of recounts, but I think we can squeeze by those objections in enough of the toss-up states to give us the margin of victory in the Electoral College. I'm told that it's so easy to manipulate the software and not provide any evidence that anything has been tampered with. Getting a bit more difficult to remove thousands of likely Democrat voters from the rolls -- Jeb had to backtrack on that one in Florida, though he pulled the old bait-and-switch, since he's got worse ones nobody's heard of yet -- but we'll find a way to get the election won.

  • And, last, if necessary, we may just have to "postpone" (nod, nod, wink, wink) the election -- or, if we are required to have one and Kerry wins, to "postpone" the inauguration -- because of a terror attack or increased terror threat. Ridge already has started moving to prepare contingency plans in this regard, and so far, at least, there hasn't been a great rebellion in the population. I think we can probably get away with it, spinning that we're doing this to protect the rights of voters. Lovely how our fright psyops can produce a confused and docile citizenry. If Osama didn't exist, we'd have to invent him. Oh dear, what have I said?


But those devices will only work if we can stay relatively even with the Dems in the national and key-state polls, otherwise it will be a bit obvious what we're doing. (And we probably can't count on our Supreme Court compatriots helping us out this time; they really are pissed that we basically declared them irrelevant in those goddamn torture memos.)

But we're losing more and more traditional conservative voters as they get the message -- from all those respected diplomats and generals and former Reagan/Bush1 officials -- that we're too "extremist" for the good of the party and the country and it's OK to dump our Administration. And word of our big-time support of Nader's candidacy is getting out to the public.

No, it doesn't look good. The economy isn't really taking off (unless, of course, you're real good friend$ of ours; the good-paying jobs still aren't coming along as we'd like; Kerry and Edwards are starting to catch the imagination of the public; some of our former friends are turning hostile; our scandals are barely under control and could unravel quickly if the opposition develops critical mass anytime soon; the war in Iraq is still an albatross around our necks; and Cheney, under great stress, is losing it and revealing his true face (and his scandals are barely containable).

We've floated a few trial balloons about replacing him, and we'll see how that goes; McCain is waiting in the wings, which is why he's been such a good little boy after all the dirty tricks we've pulled on him.

So, I guess it's July, August, September, October "surprise time". Take the leashes off them dogs, we're going right up in their faces again. Watch 'em blink. God, I love this job!

Copyright 2004 by Bernard Weiner


Crisis Papers editors, Partridge & Weiner, are available for public speaking appearances