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Whatever His Job Is, Fire Him

January 31, 2010

Along with Michael Steele, Karl Rove continues to lead the ranks of Republicans who need to shut their respective pie-holes.  Veronique de Rugy:

…[Rove] writes: “So discretionary domestic spending now stands at $536 billion, up nearly 24 percent from President George W. Bush’s last full year budget in fiscal 2008 of $433.6 billion.”

Here, Rove conveniently omits the last fiscal year of President Bush’s second term (FY2009). He defines the two terms as lasting seven years instead of eight. That’s wrong. To be sure, Bush had a Democratic Congress that year and some of the spending for FY2009 was added by Obama after he took office. Yet, the bulk of the FY2009 spending was Bush’s responsibility.

Besides, as Chris Edwards writes this morning in a letter to the WSJ: “Well, overall nominal spending jumped 60 percent during that period, or more than twice the 27 percent increase under Democrat Bill Clinton.”

As much as I hate finger-pointing about double standards (a predecessor’s error does not justify a successor’s repeating that mistake), Karl Rove undermines the conservative case for limited government on the regular.  He was an integral part of an Administration that expanded federal spending faster than any President since LBJ—and that’s with six years of a Republican House.  Edwards again:

My letter pointed to two prior op-eds by Rove, but he was at it again yesterday in the Journal. He said that his former boss “cut in half the growth of discretionary domestic spending from the sizzling 16 percent rate of President Bill Clinton’s last budget.” Call me crazy, but I don’t think supporting domestic spending growth of 8 percent during a time of very low inflation is an acheivement to crow about.

You.  Don’t.  Say.  There’s no reason that conservatives should have to defend Karl Rove from criticism if he’s going to continue pretending that he’s a conservative.  It’s pretty easy to sit around lambasting the Administration for advocating controversial policy during a terrible recession—it’d be more productive to get our criticism from somebody who has at least a shred of credibility left.  As a bonus, we wouldn’t even have to listen to the (factual) responses from the President’s army of apologists pointing out Rove’s hypocrisy.  It’s a win-win.

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