Let’s be clear about what is happening here. On this and other blogs, we are seeing the successes of the Karl Rove playbook. It’s working. Phenominally. You bought it, I bought it and of course, Senator Menendez bought it. Make no mistake – Menendez’s vote yesterday was unjustifiable, period. But this vote had one purpose and one purpose only – to put Menendez, Stabenow, Ford and Brown in a position with two seemingly difficult choices.
On the one hand, he could have voted against the bill, in which case the GOP would have run ads showing Menendez and bin Laden high-fiving each other while sharing margaritas on the beach. On the other, he could have voted for it, and suffered the wrath of a furious base. He made the wrong choice, both policy-wise and politically.
The fact is that no matter what he does, we know that the GOP will call him a traitor, a “cut and runner”, a terrorist coddler, and worse (they already have). We should never forget that we face a party so full of hate that they morphed bin Laden’s face into that of a veteran who lost three limbs fighting for his country. There is nothing, NOTHING Menendez could do to avoid a similar fate, yet he fell into their trap.
What we’re seeing today are the rightful cries of anger and distress over losing something so fundamental to our democracy. That’s exactly what Karl Rove was hoping for, and Tom Kean Jr is loving it. It’s perfect timing because his campaign all along has been a lie – a clumsily staged production of astroturfing and deception where “Democrats” had supposedly lost faith in Menendez and were turning to Tom Kean Jr. Their story is still a fairy-tale, but the media may now report it as truth and through a revisionist sleight of hand, it will have been true all along.
Everyone has a right to and should be angry, sad and jaded because of this vote. I am. But after the dust settles, I’m not going to give Karl Rove the pleasure of desecrating my country any more than he already has.