I have already achieved greatness. I’m the inventor of the phrase “Roots Of The Turd.” (Copyright © 2013 Tom B. Taker Video Productions. All rights reserved.) I googled it so it must be true. It’s mine. All mine! The phrase would not exist if I did not exist. My work here is done.
I’m not one to rest on my laurels, though, so I’ll expand on the phrase just a teensy bit.
The Wikipedia page on Karl Rove does not contain the word “turd.” True story! And yet, somehow, I know that “Turd Blossom” was the affectionate name given by George W. Bush to the man that made his presidency a reality.
Wikipedia does come through with a definition of the term itself:
“Turd Blossom” (or Sand Turd) is a Texan term for a flower which grows from a pile of cow dung.
Source: Wikipedia – Turd Blossom
As we will see, the name is fitting in more ways than one. It’s time to take true facts and get the Guru’s opinion of them. This is first in an ongoing series I’m going to call Roots Of The Turd.
When younger, Rove was a self-admitted “geek.” But in high school there was something he wanted. He wanted to be elected.
Interview excerpts courtesy of PBS.org – Interviews – Wayne Slater | Karl Rove — The Architect | FRONTLINE | PBS
One day he found himself a candidate. He was encouraged by a teacher and some others to run for president of the Student Senate, and he was intrigued by the idea. … He was running against a blond, attractive Mormon kid who was very popular in school. And so what Karl did was understand the essentials of politics. He began to politic in earnest: put up posters of himself, put together a little team that would work with him, had a campaign with some ideas and so forth. And what he did in the end, though, was to understand that ultimately the election of the president of the Senate was going to be all about popularity. Who did the kids like? Oh, they liked the other guy. Karl figured out a way to make them like him in a self-deprecating way, [by] poking fun at the very process of running for office.
When it was time for him to come out and both he and his opponent to talk about their two candidacies, his opponent went out and made a great speech, and all the kids cheered. It was absolutely wonderful. At one point it looked clear that the opponent was going to win. Karl then enters. And instead of walking in, he comes into the gymnasium in a convertible Volkswagen Bug with two attractive girls, like on either arm, as he sat there waving, like the classic, archetypal politician.
Kids loved it, first because you had a car on the gymnasium floor, for which he later got in trouble for, but also because clearly Rove was poking fun at himself and at the idea of politics. This is what classical politicians do. They appear on the back of convertibles with beautiful women. And so he was doing that. He won over these students, and they elected him Senate president. He was a very effective president, too.
Inciteful Guru Analysis
Origins indeed. Here we see the ultimate focus on “winning” and that the ends justify the means.
Moral of the story? He won the election. By cheating and flimflam. He broke the rules. He “got in trouble” for driving a car into the auditorium. Who gives a flying shit? A rule broken did not mean that he still wasn’t the president.
Fact: Appearing in public with “two attractive girls” added nothing substantive to the debate or the issues at hand in an election. That’s the flimflam. Distract them with magic and they will love you for it. (A fitting quote from the movie Gladiator.)
Rove learned well the lessons of this experience and he was still only in high school. To the cheaters go the win.
Still during high school, Rove was also known as a skilled debater.
He would bring in one [box]; the other side would have a box. So he’d bring in two. The other side might have two. And over time, he’d bring in four. Ultimately he and his colleague would bring in on a dolly, on a hand cart, a giant box of thousands and thousands of debate cards as if to scare and intimidate the other side, thinking, my gosh, this is a debater of enormous reputation, a debater who is obviously well prepared and better prepared than I am. Rove would put these boxes in front of him on the desk and then start out on the debate. Well, [what] nobody knew until years later was that almost all of these cards were blank. It was a show of intimidation, and Rove usually won.
Inciteful Guru Analysis
Once again we see Rove pulling a quintessential Rove (for lack of a better word).
What’s the best part of politics? I doubt most people would answer, “bluffing” (or even intimidation). Poker is a game where bluffing is an effective play. By definition, it’s a way for the weaker, losing hand to win.
To extend this to politics, we could say that poker hands represent solutions to difficult issues. Bluffing is a way for the weaker solution to “win.”
If you maintain the belief that winning is more important than anything else, like the best solution being flushed down the toilet, then you understand, like Rove does, the importance of bluffing in politics.
At the end of the day Rove is a man who can bring win but he’s holding the losing hand. Just empty cards. That’s the legacy of Karl Rove.