Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential by James C. Moore and Wayne Slater (John Wiley & Sons), 395 pages, $39.95 cloth. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
james c. moore and wayne slater have written a gripping and troubling profile of the puppet master behind President George W. Bush. Karl Rove, as the title states, is Bush's Brain.Rove always wanted to win. And if that meant cheating, lying or threatening, well, fine. In fact, that was the fun part.
Moore and Slater begin their dissection of Bush's Brain with a tale of political intrigue involving the bugging of Rove's office in the middle of Bill Clements's tightening 1986 race for Texas governor. The discovery of the bug became the lead story in Texas. Suspicion about who masterminded this Nixonesque escapade fell on the man challenging Rove's candidate, Democratic candidate Mark White.
The book makes a good case that the whole event was a set-up, a dirty trick to smear the opposition and derail White's campaign. It worked. Rove's man won.
In 1972 Rove was a part of the vast Nixon constellation of political espionage and sabotage operatives. He'd taught campus Republicans the fine art of dirty tricks since 1970. In the wake of Watergate, George Bush Sr., who chaired the Republican party at the time, hired him as his special assistant.
And so began a destructive career that would ruin reputations and in the end make George Bush Jr. the 43rd president of the United States.
This is an extremely important book about the cynical pursuit of power by two men, Rove and Bush Jr., and the empire they have built, whose opponents, whether in Baghdad or Dallas, are not just beaten but annihilated.
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