(AP Photo 09-17-03)
Karl Rove's memoir doesn't "drop" (as all the cool kids say) until Tuesday, but unembargoed copies have already been secured and hastily read by several news outlets. The Washington Post got a copy, and they've already posted a hurried review in addition to a funny quick-scan by Dana Milbank. It looks like this one is going to keep the fact checkers busy for weeks:
Although he concedes that Congress would have balked if it knew that no Hussein stockpile existed, he still slams Democratic leaders for insisting that Bush lied about the weapons to lead America into war. The Democrats, he says, earlier were just as outspoken about the danger of secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons in Iraq. "Those who accused Bush of sending America's military into harm's way on a bald-faced lie knew that their accusation was not true," he writes, adding that it was a "disgraceful game they were playing."
Nonetheless, Rove realizes that the accusation was corrosive to the administration's credibility and its prosecution of the war, and he regrets that he didn't swat back more determinedly. "Our weak response in defense of the president and in setting the record straight, is, I believe, one of the biggest mistakes of the Bush years," he writes.
Here, let me translate that into English for you: Rove says that Democrats were at fault for the Bush's mistaken launching of a disastrous war because they fell for the administration's lies, and his biggest regret is that they didn't sustain those lies more convincingly.
"As his loyal servant (and, not insignificantly, as his kingmaker)," the Post's Steven Levingston concludes, "Rove has fashioned a portrait of the Bush presidency that aims to shape history in his boss's favor."
I bet you never saw that coming.