Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 24, 2004


LA Times has an analysis by Neal Gabler on Rovism. Even without the religious extremes taking over the Republican party, as has been discussed here in recent threads, the piece finds that the concepts applied by Rove in and of themself constitute a theocratic scheme.

This election is about Rovism — the insinuation of Rove's electoral tactics into the conduct of the presidency and the fabric of the government.

All politicians operate within an Orwellian nimbus where words don't mean what they normally mean, but Rovism posits that there is no objective, verifiable reality at all. Reality is what you say it is, ...

When neither dissent nor facts are recognized as constraining forces, one is infallible, which is the sum and foundation of Rovism. Cleverly invoking the power of faith to protect itself from accusations of stubbornness and insularity, this administration entertains no doubt, no adjustment, no negotiation, no competing point of view.
Americans love toughness. They love swagger. In a world of complexity and uncertainty, especially after Sept. 11, they love the idea of a man who doesn't need anyone else. They even love the sense of mission, regardless of its wisdom.

These values run deep in the American soul, and Rovism consciously taps them. But they are not democratic. Unwavering discipline, demonization of foes, disdain for reality and a personal sense of infallibility based on faith are the stuff of a theocracy — the president as pope or mullah and policy as religious warfare.

Boiled down, Rovism is government by jihadis in the grip of unshakable self-righteousness — ironically the force the administration says it is fighting. It imposes rather than proposes.
All administrations try to work the system to their advantage, and some, like Nixon's, attempt to circumvent the system altogether. Rove and Bush neither use nor circumvent, which would require keeping the system intact. They instead are reconfiguring the system in extra-constitutional, theocratic terms.

Posted by b on October 24, 2004 at 13:24 UTC | Permalink


I'm convinced that Rove is a minor-league player from Texas, someone who's in over his head and can't really rise to the challenge. This is generally the case, as I see it, with Bush's political advisers--not only with Rove, but also with Bartlett, Evans, Hughes and Albright (the guy who used to run FEMA). They can't carry the blue states: they don't know the language of blue, and so they can only draw on the votes of red voters in the blue states--red voters being Republican churchgoers who do as their ministers tell them to do. And so I doubt that they'll carry the day. One example: Kerry has captured the blue-state IRA contingent with his frequent waving of guns from the podium, and his gleeful blasting of the goose that got in the way. The president of the IRA is quoted as saying that Kerry has played the situation brilliantly, where (for reasons unclear to him) Bush has blown off support that he had in 2000. He has no difficulty supporting Kerry for President.

Posted by: alabama | Oct 24 2004 15:25 utc | 1

Was it Albright, or Albaugh? I'm having a senior moment.....

Posted by: alabama | Oct 24 2004 16:01 utc | 2


Do you perchance mean the NRA?

Melanie over at Bump in the Beltway has some good commentary on this too, combining Gabler and John Dean.

Posted by: Leslie in CA | Oct 24 2004 18:00 utc | 3

Right, Leslie. Another senior moment....

Posted by: alabama | Oct 24 2004 18:58 utc | 4

Bernhard -- and others who understand finance -- is there any truth to the rumour going around that the Russians no longer support the US dollar? or the rumour that China is dumping dollars and buying gold (and oil shares or futures or something else too abstract for peasants like me)?

What does "support" mean in the first case? I know what the second case means -- it means the Chinese are smarter than I am (I shoulda started shifting money to Canada or Euroland some time ago, it's a bit late now).

What the heck is this doing in the Rovian thread? well ummm, Rove's fantasies about controlling or creating reality, or hiding all the naughty bits with a huge thick slather of spin, just don't work to cover up something as serious and real as the devaluation of the dollar. As I understand it a lot of the US economy is "owned" by foreign investors (same is true of many countries around the world since finance is international in a big way) -- and since the US is badly in debt and shows signs of serious mismanagement, investors may decide to dump their "stock" in the US and invest elsewhere. Nothing Rove and his spinmeisters can do to prevent investors from bailing on a bad risk, is there? Other than threaten to nuke the HQ of the first transnat company that sells its US holdings...

I don't know whether I totally hate this line of thought -- i.e. how much power the transnat's wield, that they are bigger and more powerful than governments etc -- or whether it's dimly reassuring, as in "there are players that BushCo cannot own, suborn, or intimidate, and at least some of those players are in touch with some kind of reality." Rove can fool some of the people -- about half of Americans apparently -- most of the time, but he can't fool the entire world banking and business community for very long. I hope.

Posted by: | Oct 24 2004 21:01 utc | 5

oops that was me 05:01, I'm out of town on a hotel LAN.

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 24 2004 21:21 utc | 6

is there any truth to the rumour going around that the Russians no longer support the US dollar? or the rumour that China is dumping dollars and buying gold (and oil shares or futures or something else too abstract for peasants like me)?
Russia and China both said thay have to many US$ in their reserves and need to "rebalance" their reserve, i.e. change the mix of US$/Euro/Yen included, so that it refers to proportions of their real economic relations. Both have expressed the desire to have more gold reserves.

I shoulda started shifting money to Canada or Euroland some time ago, it's a bit late now
The US$ will devalue at least another 25% and has just last week started the next move down. It is not too late, but you should start moving away from US$ pretty soon. How about tomorrow?

What the heck is this doing in the Rovian thread?
It fitscompletely: From a Paul Volker, ex chairman of the Fed, interview in this weekends Financial Times:

Volker has raised eyebrows this year by claiming that there is a 75 per cent chance of a financial crisis hitting the US in the next five years, if it does not change its policy.
"I think the problem now is that there isn´t a sense of crisis," he declares. "... but there is no sense of crisis, so no one wants to listen."
Volker thinks that Rovian "realism" is at work in the financial world. Denial of the facts and dangers - pure believe in self constructed "realism".

Posted by: b | Oct 24 2004 21:27 utc | 7

Forgot the full discloser:

I am "long" (I bet they will rise) - gold (physical and options), silver options, oil options
These are "investments" which I plan to keep for years.

I am also "long" oil shares
I am "short" (I bet they will tank)- Dow Jones Industrial Index options, US bonds options
I plan to go short on the NASDAQ-Index tomorrow
These are "speculative positions" but I think they will work quite well over the next year

There are "Stop Loss" orders on all my positions, so if something turns agains my bets, I may loose a bit, but only a bit.

Posted by: b | Oct 24 2004 21:42 utc | 8


Interesting discussion of economic theories and the economic future going on over at BOP News in posts by Stirling and Ian.

Posted by: Leslie in CA | Oct 24 2004 21:43 utc | 9

Unwavering discipline, demonization of foes, disdain for reality and a personal sense of infallibility

If I invoke Godwin's Law now, do I violate Godwin's Law on a sugestive level?

Posted by: MarcinGomulka | Oct 24 2004 22:22 utc | 10


Not in my book. Whoever points out that Godwin's Law applies to the thread is also considered to have "lost" the battle: Godwin´s law
As you have not battled, you cannot have lost.

Posted by: b | Oct 24 2004 22:33 utc | 11

a really nice one "reality": Bunning unaware of Iraq story

U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning said yesterday that he was unaware of reports that a unit of Army Reserve soldiers in Iraq had refused an order to deliver fuel for reasons including that their trucks were lightly armored.
When reporters told him that the unit's refusal was a national news story and involved a soldier from Louisville, Bunning said, "Let me explain something: I don't watch the national news, and I don't read the paper. I haven't done that for the last six weeks. I watch Fox News to get my information."

Told that Fox News broadcast the report, Bunning said, "Not the times I watched it. So the fact that somebody was from Louisville, I know about that."

Just one of a hundred Senators... we know this guy is of his meds but you can diagnose his party, which supports him, by such events.

Posted by: b | Oct 24 2004 23:18 utc | 12

Gabler's bk. on Jews & Hollywood was outstanding, but he's out of his league here. World Series going on, so my attention diverted....

Most obviously he throws theocracy in at the end, probably carrying on from comments Suskind made acceptable last wk. He makes no case for why it's theocracy, rather than dictatorship w/all it's irrational elements that's at work.

No discussion here or in Suskind that Rove is merely the vile, ruthless psychopathic servant of a radical right-wing agenda whose designers are not being outed. In fact, this discussion so unfocused that even one of the most prominent leaders of the Theocrats, Pat Robertson, could pretend to be part of the reality-based community!!!!
I'll try to find time to develop this later. The long & short is that Rove, Bush, theocrats & reactionary economic & foreign policy agendas all being conflated into a convoluted mess....

Posted by: jj | Oct 25 2004 0:21 utc | 13

OT, but not, since Rover's bitch Bush is the architect of our national mess...

can someone in Euroland tell me what's going on in the currency market? I'm dealing in rumor these days, it seems, and the rumor I've heard, to coincide with DeAnander's post about Russia, is that there is a massive selling off of the dollar going on.

And if so, will Japan buy?

Posted by: fauxreal | Oct 25 2004 2:54 utc | 14


Some official at the Bank of Japan said that it will start buying dollars if it slips below 100 yen (sorry, can't remember where I read it). But if a full-scale panic starts, who knows what might happen.

Posted by: Harrow | Oct 25 2004 3:34 utc | 15

Thanks, Harrow.

Of course, panic is just another word for being the first one out of the selfish gene pool...

Posted by: fauxreal | Oct 25 2004 4:43 utc | 16

You can not beat this chutzpah:

using national security as an excuse to censor a quotation about using national security as an excuse to stifle dissent

Posted by: MarcinGomulka | Oct 25 2004 9:25 utc | 17

There once was genius named Rove

And 'twas W's electoral car that he drove.

They both thought voter perception

Best shaped by deception.

'Til this year, when over the cliff they both dove.

Posted by: Jim Montgomery | Oct 27 2004 2:57 utc | 18

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