The campaign’s latest scare doc takes its title, Bush’s Brain, and much of its argument from the portrait of political operative and bogeyman Karl Rove published last year by a pair of Dallas newsmen. An ambitious mind-bender since his undergraduate days, Rove studied dirty tricks with the late Lee Atwater and went to work for George H.W. Bush as early as 1973. A faithful family retainer (although fired for his antics during the 1980 election), Rove recognized Dubya as a potential Manchurian candidate, organizing the four-talking-point campaign young Bush would use to defeat Governor Ann Richards.
Rove’s recent triumphs include the 2000 whisper job against John McCain, the grotesque attacks on Georgia senator Max Cleland’s patriotism, and most likely, the outing of former ambassador Joseph Wilson’s CIA wife. With his customary realism, Rove understood the Iraq war as a marketing device, “something we can run on.” Some believe that the evil genius behind our unelected maximum leader is Dick Cheney. The filmmakers argue that it’s “co-president” Rove (installed, we learn, in Hillary Clinton’s old office). If Cheney is dumped for McCain, we’ll know they’re right.