Friday, June 24, 2005

Rove's Rewrite of History

Remember the unity that swept over this country in the wake of the 9/11 attacks? Remember that stirring video of every member of Congress, on the Capitol steps that night, Democrat and Republican, side by side, singing "God Bless America?"

Karl Rove doesn't.

Speaking to the New York State Conservative Party, President Bush's top advisor claimed liberals tried to obstruct a quick response to the terror attacks.

In his rewrite of history, Mr Rove sought to erase the record of bipartisanship that existed in Washington in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and paint a picture of a divided Washington while the nation was under attack:

"Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war . . . 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."
--Karl Rove, June 22, 2005

Democrats demand an apology. The White House refuses to apologize.

Rove Rewrites History

But historians should demand an apology as well. The record clearly shows a different picture from the one Mr Rove tried to paint. Just look at roll call votes on anti-terror measures in the aftermath of 9/11.

  • Senate Joint Resolution 22 stated in part: "[Congress] supports the determination of the President, in close consultation with Congress, to bring to justice and punish the perpetrators of these attacks as well as their sponsors..." -- Passed 100-0 on September 12, 2001
  • House Joint Resolution 61 -- the House Version of SJ Resolution 22 -- Passed 408-0 on September 13
  • House Joint Resolution 64 -- "To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States." Passed the House 420-1 on September 14, 2001
  • Senate Joint Resolution 23 (the Senate version of HJR 64) -- "To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States." It was sponsored in the Senate by noted liberal Sen Tom Daschle. And Passed the Senate 98-0. The two Senators who didn't vote were both Republican
  • Senate Bill 1426 committed $40 billion to the War on Terror -- Passed 96-0 on September 14. Four Senators failed to vote, three of them Republicans, one a Republican turned Independent
  • The Patriot Act -- Passed the Senate 98-1. Passed the House 357-66

All pretty lopsided votes taking aggressive stands against the people who attacked America on 9/11. Not exactly the division that Mr Rove remembers.

A Political Disaster for Mayor Bloomberg

Mr Rove was supposed to be in New York helping Mayor Michael Bloomberg's (R-NY) re-election. It's created a new problem for the Mayor. Mr Bloomberg's office has put out a statement in sharp disagreement with Mr Rove:

"9/11 was an attack on all of America. In the hard days and weeks that followed, we came together as a City and as a country, united in our resolve not only to defeat terrorism but also to rebuild Lower Manhattan. Ever since, we have tried to keep politics out of the discussion."

Once again, the White House tries to muddy the waters -- trying to make it appear that opponents to the Iraq War also oppose the War on Terror. It comes as polls show public support for the war in Iraq -- and for the President's handling of it -- dropping to all time lows:

"The latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey finds a majority of Americans oppose the war with Iraq -- a substantial change from March when the public was evenly divided. President George W. Bush's overall approval rating remains at 47%, while a majority of Americans, 51%, disapprove."

--DavidW. Moore, Gallup

The Rove comments were simply spin -- from an administration in a tailspin.

[Crossposted at]


Anonymous said...

Rove was 100% right.
Moveon.Org Petition 1 9/13/2001: "We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of the United States of America and of countries around the world, appeal to the President of The United States, George W. Bush; to the NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson; to the President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi; and to all leaders internationally to use moderation and restraint in responding to the recent terrorist attacks against the United States. We implore the powers that be to use, wherever possible, international judicial institutions and international human rights law to bring to justice those responsible for the attacks, rather than the instruments of war, violence or destruction."

Or did Rove mean these quotes:

Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), 10/1/01, Roll Call: "I truly believe if we had a Department of Peace, we could have seen [9/11] coming."
Al Sharpton, 12/1/02, New York Times, on the 9/11 attacks: "America is beginning to reap what it has sown."

Rep. Marcy Kaptur, 3/1/2003, Toledo Blade: "One could say that Osama bin Laden and these non-nation-state fighters with religious purpose are very similar to those kind of atypical revolutionaries that helped cast off the British crown."

Senator Joe Biden, 10/22/01: ‘How much longer does the bombing campaign continue?’ Biden asked during an Oct. 22 speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. ‘We’re going to pay every single hour, every single day it continues.’ (Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 10/26/01)
Senator Joe Biden, 10/22/01: “The Bombing Campaign, [Biden] Said, Reinforced Existing Stereotypes Of The United States As A ‘High-Tech Bully …’” (Ibid.)

Representative Dennis Kucinich, 9/30/01: Sitting In His Capitol Hill Office Last Week, Near A Window Where He Could See The Smoke Rising From The Pentagon On Sept. 11, Kucinich Insisted He Is More Optimistic Than Ever That People Worldwide Are Ready To Embrace The Cause Of Nonviolence.” ... “Afghanistan May Be An Incubator Of Terrorism But It Doesn’t Follow That We Bomb Afghanistan …” [Cleveland, OH] Plain Dealer, 9/30/01)

Senator John Kerry, 4/19/04: "I will use our military when necessary, but it is not primarily a military operation. It's an intelligence-gathering, law-enforcement, public-diplomacy effort," he said. "And we're putting far more money into the war on the battlefield than we are into the war of ideas. We need to get it straight." (Washington Times, 4/19/04)

Bill Clinton 11/7/01 speech: "Those of us who come from various European lineages are not blameless. Indeed, in the first Crusade, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with 300 Jews in it, and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was Muslim on the Temple mound…with blood running up to their knees. ..This country once looked the other way when significant numbers of Native Americans were dispossessed and killed to get their land or their mineral rights or because they were thought of as less than fully human and we are still paying the price today… So terror has a long history."

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) “(Osama bin Laden) He’s been out in these countries for decades, building schools, building roads, building infrastructure, building day care facilities, building health care facilities, and the people are extremely grateful. He’s made their lives better.”

Susan Sontag:“Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a ‘cowardly’ attack on ‘civilization’ or ‘liberty’ or ‘humanity’ or ‘the free world,’ but an attack on the world’s self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions?”

Michael Moore: “We abhor terrorism – unless we’re the ones doing the terrorizing. We paid and trained and armed a group of terrorists in Nicaragua in the 1980s who killed over 30,000 civilians. That was OUR work. You and me.…Let’s mourn, let’s grieve, and when it’s appropriate let’s examine our contribution to the unsafe world we live in.” (Michael Moore Website Archive, “Death, Downtown,” Posted 9/12/01,

Are these not liberals? Didn't they say these things? Seems to me Rove should not be apologizing for the truth.

Anonymous said...

Carefully selected and taken out of context. Kinda like that list of Democrat quotes about Iraq...all from before 1998.

Look at the Congressional Record like Terry Turner's post.

All sides came together. Liberals have led the charge against the war on terror.

They've been calling on Bush to get out of Iraq and get back to stopping terrorism.

Though, Poster, you did make a good effort at further dividing the U.S. and attacking your own countrymen. Osama bin Laden would be proud of you...just like he's proud of Rove tonight!