On his Friday show, Bill Moyers examined the resurgence of Karl Rove, who went from being damaged goods during George W. Bush’s presidency to an unparalleled bagman for the Republican party.
“Bush’s Brain has become Boss Rove, virtuoso of what BusinessWeek calls ‘partisan money management,'” Moyers said, before calling him “the undisputed maestro of the politics of plutocracy.”
In an interview with journalist Craig Unger, who has just released a new book detailing Rove’s rise to power, Moyers examined how far Rove’s reach goes within the GOP. Not only is he currently a Fox News contributor, leader of superPACs, he was a force in Texas politics before that. And, Unger said, he is playing the long game.
“He’s building institutions that have enduring power and can have real consequence for the future,” Unger said. “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.”
At one point, Moyers showed clips of Rove speaking up against certain candidates, and even telling Chris Wallace that he had a “pretty good, reliable source” saying current GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney winning the Iowa Republican caucus over Rick Santorum — which turned out to not be true. But in Rove’s position, no one who wants a shot at success would dare cross him.
“He’s brutal, he’s ruthless, he, it’s a scorched earth kind of partisanship,” Unger said. “If you’re not on his side 100 percent, he will destroy you. There are Republican, other strategists who were with him 95 percent and they found their careers destroyed.”
Watch Moyers’ interview with Unger, published on Friday, below.