The Austin Chronicle

Karl and Christ

By Richard Whittaker, August 15, 2007, 9:19am, Newsdesk

Anyone watching Karl Rove's resignation speech yesterday will recall him getting all choked up when he started talking about praying for his soon-to-be-ex-boss. "At month's end," he said, "I will join those whom you meet in your travels, the ordinary Americans who tell you they are praying for you. Like them, I will ask for God's (break for scarcely choked-back sobs) continued gifts of strength and wisdom for you and your work, your vital work for our country and the world, and for the Almighty's continued blessing of our great country."

Find the video here. It's a special moment. Only there's a leeeetle problem with this devotional invocation.

"Anyone that's had two or three conversations with Karl knows that he's agnostic," said Jim Moore, co-author with Wayne Slater of Rove biographies The Architect and Bush's Brain. "He told Bill Israel when they taught a class together at UT, 'I wish I could believe, but I can not,' which is a very standard response for an intellectual person like Karl. Yet yesterday, in another of his manifest moments of hypocrisy, he's getting all emotional in invoking the Almighty."

Rove has modeled much of his career on Lee Atwater, the near-legendary Republican fixer who had a deathbed repentance and literally phoned dozens of his old political enemies to plead for their forgiveness. But Moore's unconvinced, "Maybe this is a guy cramming for final exams, and he's hoping for religious atonement. But I doubt that."

Mind you, as Chronic's noble siblings over at The Gay Place have pointed out, this isn't the only example of Rovian "do as I say, not as I do."

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