Well, here's a shock - Scott McClellan says the White House won't ask Rove for an apology over his slurs, and Ken Mehlman states "what Karl Rove said was true". Pretty much what we expected, so let's see how the right/Republicans are handling Rove's remarks and the flak raised by them.
1.)One of the memes circulating around some right blogs is that Rove never said "Democrats". He said "liberals". Therefore, the Democrats have misunderstood and are making much ado about nothing. (this seems to be a favorite tactic of the right, to twist and turn language into positions it wasn't meant to be in. See "Fixed means something different in Britain than it does in America" in reference to the Downing Street Memos.)
BUT: Look at his entire speech. Here's some excerpts, from the transcript at The Carpetbagger Report.
Let me end where I began. Forty years ago, Lyndon Baines Johnson, a proud liberal, won the Presidency in a landslide. His party held 68 Senate seats; 295 House seats; and 33 governorships.
These facts underscore how much progress has been made in four decades. It has been a remarkable rise. But it is also a cautionary tale of what happens to a dominant party Â in this case, the Democrat Party Â when its thinking becomes ossified; when its energy begins to drain; when an entitlement mentality takes over; and when political power becomes an end in itself rather than a means to achieve the common good. We need to learn from our successes Â and from the failures of the other side and ourselves. As the governing movement in America, conservatives cannot grow tired or timid. We have been given the opportunity to govern; now we have to show we deserve the trust of our fellow citizens.
For decades, liberals were setting the agenda, the pace of change, and the visionary goals. Conservatives were simply reacting to them. But times change, often for the better Â and this President and today's conservative movement are shaping history, not trying to stop it. Together we are articulating a compelling vision of a better world Â and I am grateful to all of you who are making that better world a reality.
(the last two are at the end of a compare and contrast section b/t liberalism and conservatism and all italics were added)
It appears Mr. Rove is equating Democrats with liberals. Therefore, the shots at liberals are indeed shots at Democrats. There may be an argument that he didn't come out and say it, but I'm sorry, that's the level of "It depends on what the meaning of "is" is." It is reasonable to infer from his statements that he meant Democrats and liberals as one term. If he didn't, don't blame the listeners, blame the speechwriter - and has he SAID he was misunderstood?
Here's another quote that's more explicit in the co-mingling of terms:
Has there been a more revealing moment this year than when Democratic Senator Richard Durbin, speaking on the Senate floor, compared what Americans had done to prisoners in our control at Guantanamo Bay with what was done by Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot Â three of the most brutal and malevolent figures in the 20th century?
Let me put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts to the region the words of Senator Durbin, certainly putting America's men and women in uniform in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.
No matter how you cut it, Mr. Rove's remarks were not as separated as his groupies try to claim. He directly connected liberals and Democrats - explicitly in the case of Senator Durbin.
2.)"There must be something to the remarks, or else they wouldn't be so upset!" Please. I thought only stunted bullies in grade school resorted to this line of argument - or perhaps they forgot how defensive they were about Bush's National Guard service?
3.)"Why are the Democrats defending MoveOn.org, Michael Moore, etc.?" Well, two points - again, the connection was implicitly mostly, explicitly in one case between Democrats and liberals, so he was attacking much more than the names mentioned.
But more importantly, why shouldn't people defend MoveOn.org, Michael Moore and etc.? What's the underlying argument here - people who disagree with what we believe are putting soldiers in danger, are weak, are wimps? What kind of cement brained logic is this? The Democrats should defend these people for the fact that, last time I checked, you were allowed to hold different opinions from the government and not be accused of putting soldiers in danger!
4.)"It's just politics, and didn't Dean do the same thing?"
Dean did a pale imitation of the same thing, for one thing. And some Democrats came out and voiced their problems with his comments. Has any Republicans come out and said anything against Rove?
And this isn't politics - it's rabidness. What Rove said and what Joe Wilson said are only set apart because Wilson explicitly said "Democrats." Again, the face of the Republican party.