Rove beschimpft "die Liberalen", mischt sich aktiver öffentlich ein

--- Bushs Ober-Spindoc Karl Rove mischt sich in der zweiten Amtszeit seines Herrn und Meisters verstärkt offen in die Politik ein, schreibt die Washington Post. Anlass ist ein auch in der US-Blogosphäre -- natürlich z.B. beim konservativen Instapundit -- heftig diskutierter rhetorischer Streich Roves gegen "die Liberalen" und ihre Antiterrorpolitik:
even as he has morphed from political operative to policy adviser, Karl Rove retains the instincts of the direct-mail specialist he once was in Texas. The verbal strike he aimed at liberals and liberalism during a speech to the New York Conservative Party on Wednesday night came straight out of the direct-mail manual: pithy, provocative and designed to energize one side by torching the other. Rove's flamboyant remarks -- in which he roused conservatives by saying liberals prefer "therapy and understanding" for terrorists instead of retaliation -- has put President Bush's top strategist back on stage. It's a place where he has seemed increasingly comfortable of late. ... the president's reelection victory liberated Rove and marked the beginning of a new chapter in his career. ... In his new role, Rove has become more visible and somewhat more accessible. He has made himself available to White House reporters and has appeared more frequently on television. ... Rove has become a bona fide celebrity within the Republican Party and one of the most sought-after speakers by GOP audiences. A White House official said Rove now can attract about as much money for a candidate or the party as Vice President Cheney, behind only the president -- an unprecedented capability for a White House staff hand. ... Congressional Democrats, most of whom supported Bush after Sept. 11, 2001, denounced the speech as deceitful and typical of the low-blow tactics they say have marked Rove's career. What is still unclear is how deliberate Rove was being in prompting an uproar with his comments. With public opinion on Iraq at an ebb and the president preparing to deliver a major speech Tuesday on the subject, Rove's remarks seemed in part an effort to redraw lines to how they were in last year's presidential campaign. Bush succeeded then by casting himself as the embodiment of strength and resolve, and portraying Kerry as the symbol of weakness and vacillation. ... The White House reaction to the uproar also bore the indelible stamp of Rove: no apologies and no retractions, and all engines in the GOP spin machine churning in concert. White House press secretary Scott McClellan and Bartlett defended Rove from the briefing room and on several morning television programs, and Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman jumped in with customary aggressiveness. ... "I don't think anybody knows yet [whether] what he said the other night is a mistake," said Tad Devine, who was a top strategist in Kerry's campaign. "I will say it is calculated and deliberate. Karl for a long time has tried to position the Democrats as liberals, and liberals as weak, who don't want to defend America."
Und sonst: Bush's Credibility Takes a Direct Hit From Friendly Fire. Cheney's remark on the Iraqi insurgency's 'last throes' undercuts a calibrated message. For months, President Bush has struggled to maintain public support for the war in Iraq in the face of periodic setbacks on the battlefield. Now he faces a second front in the battle for public opinion: charges that the administration is not telling the truth about how the war is going, LA Times.

Reporters Await Fallout of Not Naming Sources. Two journalists facing jail time are to find out whether the high court will hear their case, LA Times.