Reviewing Karl Rove's Role

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It is ironic that Michael Barone in "Verdict on the Architect" [August 27] purports to take "a longer view" on the legacy of Karl Rove.

Rove's contradictory roles as political operative, whose myopic task was to win elections by pleasing factions, and policymaker, who should promote the long-term welfare of all, invited shortsighted policy choices. Are the tax cuts more important as a short-term stimulus (most likely overshadowed by a housing bubble and debt-based consumerism) or as a long-term drain on public resources? How are we going to pay for the prescription drug benefit Barone touts? And what are the long-term effects of the red-blue political divide? "A longer view" is precisely what we need and precisely what the Bush administration lacks.

Joshua Dodd

Upton, Mass.  

Barone makes a compelling case about the effectiveness of Karl Rove. Rove's divide-and-conquer approach to campaigning unquestionably garnered the gop major success stories in 2000, 2002, and 2004. However, that same approach is arguably a poor strategy when trying to enact policy with congressional approval. In particular, I have to respectfully disagree with Barone's assertion that the education accountability act was somehow a policy success.

Jeff Robertson

Yellow Springs, Ohio