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The Tightening Grip of Karl Rove

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Posted on Sep 20, 2012
Moyers & Company

Craig Unger, author of the new book “Boss Rove,” spoke with Bill Moyers about the Bush-era GOP operative turned “undisputed maestro of the politics of plutocracy.”

Rove got his start in mainstream politics with the Texas Republican Party in the late 1970s. He wrested political control of the state from Democrats by forming alliances with big business and cultivating sympathy for corporations in the state Supreme Court by persuading businesses to donate millions to candidates of his choosing in return for the protection of billions of company dollars from product liability lawsuits. He put George W. Bush in the Texas governorship and the White House, and is scheming, Unger says, to make Jeb Bush the Republican presidential candidate in 2016. Likewise, he’s destroyed the careers of politicians that did not show absolute loyalty to his policies.

But Rove’s powers extend far beyond the ability to make or break individual political careers. “He’s building institutions that have enduring power and can have real consequence for the future,” Unger told Moyers.

“I think if you look at some of his campaigns, like voter suppression, there are movements in dozens of states to require voters to have IDs and so forth that will suppress the vote among pop, among groups that are largely Democratic. That can have an effect for many elections to come.”

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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