Part of George W. Bush’s problem

Watching Fox News Sunday this morning I heard Carl Rove agree to the fact that, “his hero is William McKinley.”

Oh my.

Can that really be true?

Does Rove admire a rube and a liar?

I know saying that makes you want to immediately stop reading and think I am just engaging those type of ad hominem attacks I so detest. But it is not a personal attack.

In case you don’t know a rube is an awkward, unsophisticated person or a naive or inexperienced person. And to be a liar one must make an untrue statement with intent to deceive or create a false or misleading impression.

Here’s a brief but relevant case in point.

When our presidents ready the country for war they often flat-out lie. When you take a even cursory view of our history, the pattern is evident.

In 1898, President William McKinley, having been goaded by muscle-flexing advisers and jingoistic journalists to make war on Spain, sought divine guidance as to how he should deal with the Spanish possessions, especially the Philippines, that US forces had seized in what ambassador John Hay famously described as a “splendid little war.” Evidently, his prayer was answered, because the president later reported that he had heard ‘the voice of God,’ and ‘there was nothing left for us to do but take them all and educate the Filipinos, and uplift and Christianize them.’

In truth, McKinley’s motivations had little if anything to do with uplifting the people whom William H. Taft, the first Governor-General of the Philippines, called ‘our little brown brothers,’ but much to do with the political and commercial ambitions of influential expansionists such as Captain Alfred T. Mahan, Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and their ilk. In short, the official apology for the brutal and unnecessary Philippine-American War was a mendacious gloss.

The Catholic Filipinos evidently did not yearn to be “Christianized” in the American style, at the point of a Springfield rifle, and they resisted the US imperialists as they had previously resisted the Spanish imperialists. The Philippine-American War, which officially ended on July 4, 1902, but actually dragged on for many years in some islands, cost the lives of more than 4,000 US troops, more than 20,000 Filipino fighters, and more than 220,000 Filipino civilians, many of whom perished in concentration camps eerily similar to the relocation camps into which US forces herded Vietnamese peasants some sixty years later.”

And if Rove holds this type of a man as a hero what does that say about him and his support for the current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

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