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He Said It, Or Didn't, But Here's What He Meant

by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

From Cheney's "last throes" of the Iraq resistance to Karl Rove's claim that only conservatives have the guts to fight back when attacked, it was quite the week for the Lords of Loud.

Even members of the Bush Administration helped spin the spin. On this Sunday's "This Week," when George Stephenopolous asked Donald Rumsfeld if there was a disconnect between Vice President Cheney saying the Iraqi insurgency was "in its last throes" and U.S. Persian Gulf commander General John Abizaid's appraisal the insurgency had, in fact, grown. The Secretary said that "last throes" could also mean "violent last throes." You could almost see Rummy pull a muscle as he pulled that interpretation out of his butt. Though, to be honest, Rumsfeld had help as Cheney did some heavy lifting previously on ABC Radio's "The World Today: "..if you look at what the dictionary says about throes," re-explained the Vice President, "it can still be a violent period." Listen for that to become a LOL talking point this week.

Honorary Lord of Loud, White House spokesmouth Scott McClellan, fought off pesky reporters by helpfully suggesting they should check Cheney's remarks to see what he actually said. And when the venerable Helen Thomas -- thank you God for her continued existence -- told him she was there when Cheney said what he had said, Scott basically told her to check what she had heard. Ya gotta love McClellan; he just calls black white, and if the press persists in asking if black wasn't in fact black, he just calls on "Steve." I don't know who in the White House Press Corp is named Steve, but I'll bet dollars to deceit that there is no actual reporter by that name. "Steve" is just a signal for one of Scotty's loyalists to toss up a softball to get him out of the line of fire.

Karl Rove brought down the house at the annual New York Conservative Party dinner by saying that -- allow me to paraphrase -- after 9/11, conservatives put on Superman's red, white and blue cape and took on them bastards, while the liberal pussies placed Osama on the therapist couch. McClellan explained that Bush's Brain was only making a comparison of ideological viewpoints on the war on terrorism. Scotty had no idea who was making claims that this was an attack on Democrats. I'm guessing McClellan, like his boss, does not read the papers...or listens to radio...or watches TV...or has ears or eyes, because everyone is making that claim.

Everyone, that is, except for the Sultan of Spin, Sean Hannity, who feigned exasperation over the reaction to Rove's remarks, incredulous that anyone believed Rove was alluding to "Democrats." Sean said that no one had looked into the entire speech by Rove, which would show that Karl was only speaking about liberals, not the Democratic Party, nor individuals in said party, and for God's sake, he never did say "Democrats," and anyone who read the entire speech would know that.

Now, let's make believe for the moment that Rove did not mention Democrats (which he did), but only nameless "liberals." Does it matter?

For the past 15 years, Sean and every right-wing pundit who has ever taken a breath has made their livelihood using the codeword "liberal" to smear anyone left of Randall Terry. Kennedy, Pelosi, Reid, Daschele, Cleland, Durbin, Shumer, Clinton (all of them), etc, etc, best regards. I believe some of them may be of the Democratic ilk. Other than Lieberman and Zell Miller, anyone putting on a Democratic suit has been deemed a liberal by the Lords of Loud.

And in case there was a liberal who wasn't on the terrorist's side after 9/11, on his Thursday radio show Sean used his smooth sleight-of-mouth to say that Karl actually said "some" liberals. He placed "some" in there with so little enthusiasm that you almost detected a modicum of integrity stabbing at him. I said "almost."

How absurd the defense of Rove's remarks? On Fox News Sunday, in the face of Brit Hume claiming that the Democrats made their reactionary statements without reading the full context of Rove's speech (not a hint of fact behind Hume's assertion), none other than one of the rightest of the right, Bill Kristol, said that what Rove said was wrong.

Y'kind of wonder when the audiences are going to start taking note that their Lords of Loud have a habit of making the truth disappear. Thankfully, looking at the President's poll numbers, it looks like most of America has finally figured out the trick.

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Albion Monitor June 23, 2005 (

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