Some reactions from 'round the web:
"Rove's a hack. His strength comes from his immorality. There are no barriers." -- Glenn Smith
"I actually think Rove's rant should be seen as a somewhat encouraging sign. Rove and his idiot chorus aren't roaring at the top of their lungs to try to drown out the liberals... No, Rove's hate rally is aimed squarely at suppressing the growing doubts of the great silent majority -- and even, to a certain extent, those of the conservative true believers, some of whom are showing ominous signs of war weariness.
" ... So Rove is falling back on his classic strategy of rallying the base. What's more, he's mainlining it a much rawer and more savage version of the conservative message than the White House usually permits itself... But, like fellow psychopath Mike Tyson, Rove isn't just telegraphing his punches, he's also displaying the depths of his fear. The rhetorical ear chewing and head butting is a clear sign the champ doesn't have the juice any more, and knows it. Rove is trying to get by on sheer intimidation. He's pushing as many primordial conservative buttons as he can -- leaning on them, in fact -- in hopes he can once again make the dreaded liberals the story, not the march of folly currently sinking into the Iraqi quicksands." -- The always astonishing Billmon (who adds more sarcasm here). (Update: yet more from Billmon here.)
"The Democratic Party had better realize that these people declared war today in a big way. We do not let this issue go until Karl Rove resigns. There IS no other issue in town, until Karl Rove resigns." -- John Aravosis, who is on a roll on this topic; he adds more here, here, here, here, here, here and here -- for starters!
"It IS really worth spending time on. Take it from an ex-marine. If someone hits you, you got to hit back harder. If you don't, you look like a wimp and nobody likes wimps (on the right or the left)... Also go on the offensive and push for accountability for the Iraq war, etc. Also point out all their failings over and over again. Americans are waking up to what the Whitehouse is doing and the Bush team is scared." -- Commentator at AMERICAblog
[to Karl Rove]: "You were NOT there on 9/11. I was. I was standing in the street watching when the towers went down. I inhaled those buildings and those dead people for weeks afterwards. ... YOU saw 9/11 as an opportunity to sleaze every unctious, despicable plan you and your cronies had on the back burner into American life. YOU saw 9/11 as a way to play on America's fears to attack the wrong country. YOU saw 9/11 as a way to keep Americans afraid, obedient, and ready to look the other way while you destroyed everything that America stands for." -- Shakespeare's Sister (more here)
"I've seen more bloodshed, war, and violence, and shot more guns than most of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists combined. I wouldn't presume to question the strength or dignity of a stranger, and I pity those who blithely push the right=strong, left=weak rhetoric. It says far more about their inadequacies than it does about the target of their scorn. Today, Karl Rove took that rhetoric to a new, filthy low." -- Peter Daou
"The Republican party stands for nothing if they aren’t demonizing the Democratic party as anti-American.... That is what they’re doing now. They’ve got nothing more than passing legislation that does nothing to actually help America, preferring instead to gin up the slack jawed folks who are their most ardent supporters with a neverending river of bigotry, hate, and bile. To date the left has become their enablers, preferring to play to some form of mythical “moderation” while these idiots defecate on our national foundations. Many Democrats (including myself in the past) have preferred the path of least resistance, trying to appeal to the mythical center while at the same time ignoring our core values. We have to stop this now. In order to preserve this nation, we must stop giving in to the Republicans and their hatred of America’s diversity of race, thought, ideology, and values... We have to stand up for the right things, even if you’re in the minority, even if you’re not doing the politically expedient thing, because standing up for what’s right is the moral thing to do. To the Hillary Clintons, Harry Reids, John Edwardses, Joe Bidens, and other leaders of our side - it is time to draw a line in the sand. It is time, at long last, to cease with the smiles and the well-wishes and to make clear that the time to declare open political warfare on these people is long past due." -- Oliver Willis (more here, here and here)
"I'm pissed as hell at Rove. I am a democrat and have been forever. (I'm 54) ... my two kids who just happen to be in the US Army serving are also democrats. My son and daughter both joined as soon as they possibly could after 9/11... My son and daughter both emailed me last night wanting to know just who in the hell the Rove guy is. They both want to plaster his face everywhere around the bases they are stationed. It seems that Rove didn't know that a good percentage of enlisted folk were Democrats." -- Email to DailyKos
"Some people are misunderstanding the nature of the backlash against Karl Rove and his latest attack against fellow Americans. There's nothing planned about it. It is real, and it is huge. Karl Rove, widely described as the most corrupting, immoral, "pathological" political hack in a nation awash in immoral political hacks, has taken it upon himself to attack a broad and deeply patriotic swath of Americans, including troops in the field, New Yorkers who lost loved ones in the towers, and anyone else who might actually have issues with the incompetent manner in which George W. Bush has cowboyed around the world roundly making a mess of the war on terror." -- Hunter at Dailykos; see also here.
"The remarkable thing about the excuse-making for Karl Rove is how intellectually dishonest so much of it is.... On a broader point, rhetoric such as this is simply unbecoming to a White House that purportedly seeks to lead the whole of America." -- Hunter (no relation) on the conservative website RedState.org. (via)
Americablog suggests some phone numbers; Steve Gilliard seconds the idea.
"Junior got less than a quarter of the New York City vote last November, as I recall. Yeah, the people most closely affected by 9/11, who are most intimate with it, are less than impressed with Junior and his war on terra. You have to go away from New York City, to places where people barely remember watching the towers collapse on television, to find people still willing to listen to the crap that spews out of Karl's mouth. All 9/11 means to them is an excuse to advance their hard right agenda and pound the stuffing out of Muslims. And any Muslims will do. Justice for the dead of 9/11 went on the back burner as soon as Bush decided to invade Iraq. (9/12?) I want Karl to apologize. Hell, I want him to apologize to me. Personally." -- Mahablog
"Rove spoke at Washington College in Maryland in April and urged respect in political discourse. He said, 'Commentators should answer arguments instead of impugning the motives of those with whom they disagree.' ... Republicans and conservatives succeeded in forcing Durbin to apologize and admit a wrong that had not transpired. Once they had done that, Rove still found it useful to kick Durbin further and accuse him of harboring anti-US motives and engaging in traitorous conduct. Rove is not merely a hypocrite. He's a thug." -- David Corn
"Bush administration clearly believes that creating this controversy will result in turning down the heat on Iraq and boosting their prospects on other issues. I think they are counting on the press and the distracted public to see "partisanship" running amuck, which is how the Republicans have already positioned themselves for the '06 elections. Bush and his speech condemning the Democrats as the "party of the stop sign" has already laid out the roadmap. But the immediate agenda is to rile up the base with red meat attacks on "liberals," re-brand Democrats as wimps on national security and intimidate ... wavering Republicans.
"There are two ways we can play this. We can step back in the hopes that the Republicans will look like slavering beasts, or we can slug it out and see who comes out on top. The first is probably the instinctive reaction of the Dems because we keep relying on the public to "wake up" and realize what crazy fuckers we have running the country. But I think that works against us --- they may look like slavering beasts but we look like a bunch of wilted pansies. No matter how crazy the Bushies are, wilting pansies aren't an appealing alternative. I don't think we have any choice but just keep pounding away. The Democrats really have one meta-issue that they must contend with --- wilting pansy-ism. Everything else flows from that.
"We need to stop worrying about Karl and play our own game. And right now that's keeping the heat on Iraq, stifling any SS plan (it's important that Bush gets NOTHING) and continuing to fight back with fury and authority when we are unfairly attacked. The only way Rove's plans ever work is if the opposition rolls up. Let's not do that."
-- Digby, who has more here, here and here.
"Two hours [after the attacks], while Mr. Bush was scurrying around the country, “trying to get out of harm’s way”, 343 men from the NYFD would be dead, along with 60 NYPD and Port Authority officers, and 2,420 other people, as WTC1 and 2 collapsed. Thousands of people - New Yorkers - labored to clean up the smoldering ruin, and to remove the bodies, and pieces of bodies, of their family, friends, and neighbors. Three days later, Bush showed up at Ground Zero with a megaphone, and vowed to get those responsible. He didn’t." -- Thepoorman
Kristen Breitweiser, 9/11 widow, address Karl Rove: "It was only after your invasion of Iraq, that Bin Laden's goals were met. Because of your war in Iraq two things happened that helped Bin Laden and the terrorists: al Qaeda recruitment soared and the United States is now alienated from and hated by the rest of the world. In effect, what Bin Laden could not achieve by murdering my husband and 3,000 others on 9/11, you handed to him on a silver platter with your invasion of Iraq - a country that had nothing to do with 9/11." (via)
"This is how Republicans play the game. Ignoring it and calling it a bullshit distraction will not make it go away. If, immediately after Durbin backed down and apologized, Democrats were to do nothing about Rove's comments, we will have gone a long way toward further branding ourselves as the party and the ideology of wimps and cowards. ... Yes, of course we want to get back to the failure of Bush's policies. But no one is either going to like or admire someone who whines out that line when a bully has them pinned down on the playground. If we don't keep fighting back, for the zillionith time we will have lost this sort of battle. When has ignoring this sort of "bullshit distraction" ever worked for us? When has backing down ever worked for us? ... If we don't fight back against this sort of bullying, and fight back openly, publicly and with the courage of our convictions, we are in a lot of trouble. Not three days ago we all criticized Durbin for backing down. Now, when its our turn, we cannot back down. We need to put a fist in their mouths, and we need to do it now." -- Chris Bowers; more here.
" This is all to do with the bottom ratings of the Bush administration. Whenever this happens the wingnuts look for an external enemy which can be used as a scapegoat, which can be used to redirect the anger of the population. And now the American left is an external enemy. We have come far in a few years of this administration." -- Echidne of the Snakes
Sign the petition to fire Rove. (via)
Update: More quotes added. There may be more to come depending on time and mood...