Watching Keith Olbermann tonight, I learned that Karl Rove said something nauseatingly dishonest when asked about the decision to go to war in Iraq. When asked whose idea it was to launch a preemptive war in Iraq, Rove replied - and I'm not making this up - "I think it was Osama bin Laden's."
OK. I wish that I had made that one up, but I can't honestly say that it really surprised me. Rove has revealed, time after time, that he has absolutely no scruples when it comes to pushing his point of view. It's clear to even the most casual of observers that Rove has at most a passing acquaintance with the concept of "truth." Rove has become a symbol of everything that is wrong with politics in America, and there is a very, very, good reason for that.
OK. Claiming that invading Iraq was Osama's idea is a bald-faced lie. It's the kind of thing that you really don't expect to hear from anyone with an IQ that's higher than the refrigerator temperature. Coming from someone in the White House, it's inexcusable. The idea that someone who works for the Commander in Chief would still be using that argument is an insult to the intelligence of every American listening, and it's completely disrespectful to every servicemember who is - or has - been deployed in Iraq.
But we are talking about Karl Rove. Rove is so outrageous that it's very hard to be surprised by anything he does. Disgusted, yes. Outraged - honestly, that gets harder and harder every time he opens his mouth. But there's nothing left that could be a surprise, and as long as it's coming from Rove, no reason for a statement like that to have any emotional effect. So why do I say that hope has been dashed?
That's the part that I just don't get. How could anybody applaud that? How could Americans - the people who get to decide who runs this country of ours - be so miserably uninformed that they would not know that Rove's statement was a disgusting, despicable lie? More to the point, what does it say about the state of our nation that my first reaction was to be stunned and surprised that the audience applauded, and not to be stunned and surprised that this guy is still taking home a government paycheck?
Good grief. How did we get here?