Yesterday, I sent a fellow political malcontent and skeptic a link to a Washington Times article titled “Tea party candidate wins in Texas GOP runoff” with the following question attached: “Wonder how many of these it will take to awaken the Establishment GOP? If ever, that is!” Her reply: “The Establishment GOP can’t be living in a cave. Cheney ripped Sarah Palin apart over the weekend. If they can publicly turn on their own, there must be something else going on.” Indeed, there must, but what? I can’t answer that question, but I can tell you that my skepticism regarding the GOP began in the summer of 2001 even before the Twin Towers came a-tumbling down.
One thing that struck me as odd was Karl Rove’s insistence at the time on carrying water for the Democrats regarding the closing of the naval gunnery range on the island of Vieques just east of Puerto Rico. This went directly against the grain of many Congressional Republicans who felt that the range was a vital adjunct to our military preparedness and a key training facility. Progressive Democrat Hillary Clinton, a freshly minted Senator from New York in 2001, along with the all-around utility race-baiter and Vieques-protester jailbird, the Reverend Al Sharpton, had, since the death of a range guard in a bombing accident, fanned leftist Puerto Rican flames calling for the closing of the range. A number of alleged but ludicrous health issues for Vieques residents were concocted in an effort to justify the closing of the range. And closed it was, even after the events of 9/11. A few years later the closing of the naval base and air station at Roosevelt Roads, located at the eastern end of Puerto Rico itself, was accompanied by much Puerto Rican wailing and gnashing of teeth at the loss of thousands of jobs associated with the facility, as well as to the gleeful cheers of Puerto Rican Communists. As a result, the Navy had to lease landing rights in non-U.S. territory in order to continue operating the Caribbean patrols that had previously flown out of Roosevelt Roads.
Now, Karl Rove has always been branded as a political guru and go-to guy for winning your next election. So I must assume that the Vieques and Roosevelt Roads decisions were basically politically motivated and not defense policy decisions. But why help your political opposition? How many New York Puerto Ricans would become card-carrying Republicans because you close an important defense facility at the behest of Senator Hillary and the no-longer-quite-as-Big Al? Maybe it was a campaign promise:
Other factors may have come into play. Later this year Rosewood Hotels & Resorts of Dallas plans to open a luxury resort on Vieques. The company, which last year gave $100,000 in soft money to the Republican National Committee, is half-owned by Caroline Rose Hunt, whose half brother was Bush’s Texas Finance chairman. According to one source intimately familiar with the Vieques dispute, the Navy’s bombing “had raised concerns” about development plans on the island. But a Rosewood spokeswoman insisted that the company had not spoken to anyone in the administration about the project.
On Vieques, No Hispanic Is an Island
Banding together, Latino muscle forces W to cave
By Arian Campo-Flores and Michael Isikoff
NEWSWEEK, June 25, 2001 issue
“Latino muscle forces W to cave”? Good job, Karl.
So, when Rove’s telling of his W-Administration adventures was published, I went and bought a copy to satisfy my curiosity regarding the Vieques brouhaha. What did I learn? Nothing. Nada, naught, nil, zip, zero, zilch is to be found in the book’s index regarding Vieques, Puerto Rico or even the Caribbean. The only Chavez therein is Linda, not Hugo; despite the latter having noticed the Devil’s smell of sulfur while addressing the U.N General Assembly in 2006 the day after President Bush had spoken to the opening session. Nor is there any mention of Panama and how the Chinese were doing two years after their operational takeover of the Canal when we decided to militarily bail out of Puerto Rico. Latin America was now an historical curiosity and the Monroe Doctrine shredded.
Next time I’ll check the index prior to purchase. Anyone care to buy a copy of Karl’s opus? Cheap?
P.S. Via HotAir: “Rick Warren: Chick-fil-A’s owner told me they set a new world record in sales today.” Must be something else going on.