Who's Your Daddy?
Howard the Duck Fineman pens, on bended knee, another Rove puffer in this week's Newsweak. The Duck rehashes all of the genius mythology while omitting the truth above Rove's dirty tricks past. Fineman does appear to confirm, the veracity of one Rove nickname, Fat Bastard:
Rove's father was an oil geologist, and it was perhaps from him that Rove got both his sense of history and his almost manic love of detail. You measured time in eons, but you found evidence with a magnifying glass. One of five kids, a voracious reader with a vaulting sense of ambition, Rove wanted to be president -- or at least be able to debate like one. Nixon and Jack Kennedy had squared off dramatically in 1960. Karl was only 9 but eventually became a mainstay of the debate team, carrying a box full of notecards of "research." To intimidate his foes, Rove would arrive with what looked like thousands of notecards, most of which were blank. The real ones were carefully chosen, and Rove knew how to use them.
Like an entire generation of baby-boom conservatives, Rove's political boot camp was the College Republicans, which, in his case, was something of a misnomer, since he dropped out of the University of Utah to join them in the late '60s. They were under the aegis of the Nixon White House, a tie that may have augmented the usual adolescent urge to dabble in dirty tricks. Rove did his share -- stealing campaign stationery and inviting the world to a Democratic beer bash was one -- but the CRs were important to him for other reasons. They gave him a sense of order and belonging, which he may well have needed. His dad walked out in 1969; in 1970, he learned that he and a brother had been fathered by someone other than the man he had called Dad. (Eleven years later, his mother committed suicide.)
The slobbering Duck's fawning prose doesn't indicate whether the geologist was the sperm donor or the nominal father; most likely neither would want credit for the unfortunate spawn.
And, yes, stolen stationery and phony fliers is as far as Fineman goes with respect to Rove's sleazy and illegal conduct. Fineman portrays Rove's "dirty tricks" as an "adolescent urge," thus minimizing Rove's crimes both substantively and chronologically. Newsweak will remain weak as long as it continues to publish Rove's reports under the Fineman byline.