San Francisco Columnist Wins Rove Derangement Syndrome Contest

There was a lot of competition in the category of Rove Derangement Syndrome last week inspired by the resignation of Karl Rove from the White House. Many of the entrants in the RDS contest were chronicled by NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard last Tuesday. He declared the winner in the highly competitive RDS contest to be Joe Garofoli, a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. However, I respectfully beg to disagree. Just a few days later, on Friday, Garofoli's colleague on the Chronicle, columnist Mark Morford, submitted what I believe to be by far the winning RDS rant.  Morford begins his submission to the RDS contest, Thank God You Are Not Karl Rove, in full rabid drool mode:

Yep, you've done some horrible things in your life. Embarrassing things. Stupid. Mean. Violent, even. Eaten dirt. Smacked a baby. Kicked a kitten. Stomped some flowers. Stole. Lied. Cheated. Beat up a tree. Spit instead of swallowed. Drank bad wine. Voted Republican. Shared a needle. Promised to call and then didn't. You know, the usual.

From that low point he falls off the edge of sanity with a typically San Franciscan fantasy tangent of which I shall mercifully present only a brief excerpt:

...In the midst of all this consciousness review and energy sifting, you pause. You take a karmic time-out. You lift your head from the hardscrabble tumult of your cosmic computations and look around, maybe read the papers and take in the recent headlines and suddenly it hits you like a dominatrix spanks her evangelical preacher in the hot fetish dungeon of cosmic irony: The stuff you've done?

By now one probably has no difficulty conjuring up that Gary Larson cartoon panel of a shrink with a patient on a couch in his office. The shrink is writing on his pad, "Just plain NUTS!!!" However, Morford is just starting to work himself into a full barking at the moon frothy lather as the object of his derangement finally works its way to Karl Rove:

Because now perhaps you are reading up on the rise and fall and much-desirable end of this one particular man, this dank, sweaty, adipose embodiment of a sad political caricature, this shockingly powerful force of darkness and cruelty and pure, unfiltered iniquity known to the world as Karl Rove.

And somehow, looking at him, seeing the glistening, pallid face of true contempt as he finally, blessedly exits the main political stage, you feel better. Much, much better. In fact, somehow you feel like falling to your knees and offering sincere thanks, hot heaps of glorious gratitude to the gods of fate and time and love that you are not Karl Rove.

It is, in its way, a simple acknowledgment, a supremely fundamental idea. But trust me when I say, it holds tremendous power.

You are not Karl Rove. You are not, so far as you know, the master orchestrator of what is increasingly recognized as the most disastrous, divisive, scandal-ridden, secretive, abusive, warmongering, hate-inspiring, homophobic, morally debilitating neoconservative administration in modern American history.

Whew! Talk about someone needing to enter an Anger Management Program! While awaiting the arrival of Dr. Buddy Rydell for emergency therapy, Morford continues unecumbered by any thoughts of appearing even slightly rational:

This is not you. This is not your life. You did not put into power the most embarrassing, bumbling, ethically dangerous leader the modern free world has ever known, and that includes Dick Nixon and Warren Harding and that guy from the 1800s who beat his kids and drank paint thinner and died after two weeks in office.

You did not work like a feral dog to rally the most narrow-minded and intolerant and easily terrified segment of our society, the hardcore evangelical Christian right, to support your candidate and his childish, good vs. evil worldview by employing an insidious message of hate and fear and homophobia, all rife with a rather shocking misunderstanding of God and sex and love and complex foreign policy. This, you can be assured, is not you.

Can you feel the prayer start to roll? To gain momentum and brighten your dreary day and illuminate your very soul? You bet you can.

You did not steer the nation so far to the hard right the wheels broke off, thus causing the rest of the world to look at America with a wary, mistrustful eye. You did not intentionally commit treason by leaking the name of a CIA agent to reporters in an insidious attempt to silence critics of your boss' horribly failed war.

You did not help forcibly reconfigure, to the brutal detriment of the nation's core values, the Justice Department, or the Supreme Court, or the General Services Administration, among others. The Patriot Act, the Department of Homeland Security, the gutted U.S. Treasury do not bear the stain of your devious perfidy. You did not, in short, maul the Constitution the way a vulture mauls a sick rabbit in an attempt to create a totalitarian GOP regime that was, at least in your giant gleaming head, designed to wreak moral and political havoc for another 50 years.

But wait, is this perspective a bit too unforgiving? Is this sort of talk, in its own way, just as spiritually corrupt and of equally low, repulsive vibration as Rove's own? Is it, in other words, somehow karmically wrong to see another's choice of sad, destructive path and be so deeply thankful you will never come anywhere near that quotient of pure, clear vileness? Could be, could be.

Committed treason for leaking the name of Valery Plame? Oh yeah, that must have been why Karl Rove was indicted by Patrick Fitzgerald on May 12 of last year. Or was that Richard Armitage who really did leak that name but which the left has conveniently tossed down the memory hole? No matter. Facts are no hinderance to Morford as he continues screeching insane hate against the image of Karl Rove on the big view screen and finally seals the deal in his attempt to win the RDS contest with this concluding gem:

But in this case, let us just say, no. Because this is the here and now. This is the moment we are in and this is the one that matters and it is just too delightful to repeat: You are not Karl Rove and I am not Karl Rove and therefore we can join hands right now, you and I, we can connect across this vast media chasm and via these very wires and we can, together, find a deeper understanding, a shared universal truth, a more profound coming together over the fact that, no matter how bad things might get, we will never have to be Karl Rove.

Hey, what's more karmically delightful than that?

I'll tell you what is more karmically delightful than that. You are not Mark Morford (except for you, Mark) and I am not Mark Morford and therefore we can all join hands right now, you and I, we can connect across this vast media chasm and via these very wires and we can, together, find a deeper understanding, a shared universal truth, a more profound redundantly overwritten coming together over the fact that, no matter how bad things might get, we will never have to be Mark Morford.

Hey, what's more karmically delightful than that? So let us now all sing kumbaya together as that San Francisco dominatrix spanks her Chronicle columnist in the hot fetish dungeon of cosmic irony. 


San Francisco Chronicle Journalistic Issues Mark Morford
P.J. Gladnick's picture