"(N)o political operative before Rove arguably had so much influence within a White House. As senior adviser overseeing political affairs and strategy, Rove controlled an inordinately influential power center in the White House. There were other influential power centers, but none had as much impact on White House governing, policy and operations. Unlike Karen Hughes, whose goal was to help the President shape his message in ways that would appeal to ordinary Americans, particularly those in the vital center, and unlike Andy Card, the chief of staff who served as an honest broker among various political points of view, Rove was a central player who was anything but neutral in his political and ideological views.
"Rove's role was political manipulation, plain and simple, which explains the machinations within the White House and their consequences, whether beneficial or detrimental."
And this from page 125:
"In the fall of 2002, Bush and his White House were engaging in a carefully orchestrated campaign to shape and manipulate sources of public approval to our advantage. We'd done much the same on other issues -- tax cuts and education -- to great sucess. But war with Iraq was different. Beyond the irreversible human costs and the substantial financial price, the decision to go to war and the way we went about selling it would ultimately lead to increased polarization and intensified partisan warfare. Our lack of candor and honesty in making the case for war would later provoke a partisan response from our opponents, that, in its own way, further distorted and obscured a more nuanced reality. Another cycle of deception would cloud the public's ability to see larger underlying truths that are critical to understand in order to avoid the same problems in the future.
"And through it all the media would serve as complicit enablers. Their primary focus would be on covering the campaign to sell the war, rather than aggressively questioning the rationale for war or pursuing the truth behind it. The White House knew the national media would cover its arguments for war even if the underlying evidence was a little shaky. Questions might be raised, but the administration had the biggest platform, especially when something as dramatic and controversial as war was at stake. And the public is generally inclined to believe what the White House says, or at least give it the benefit of the doubt until the watchdog media proves it is unreliable.
"But in this case, the media would neglect their watchdog role."
Want more of the same? Vote McCain