Karl Rove, a Cancer on American Politics?

Columnist Tom Friedman really wants the Republicans to suffer next Tuesday, judging by his Friday column (Times Select required) "Insulting Our Troops, and Out Intelligence."

"George Bush, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld think you're stupid. Yes, they do.

"They think they can take a mangled quip about President Bush and Iraq by John Kerry - a man who is not even running for office but who, unlike Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, never ran away from combat service - and get you to vote against all Democrats in this election.

"Every time you hear Mr. Bush or Mr. Cheney lash out against Mr. Kerry, I hope you will say to yourself, 'They must think I'm stupid.' Because they surely do."

And apparently, Karl Rove causes cancer.

"Everyone says that Karl Rove is a genius. Yeah, right. So are cigarette companies. They get you to buy cigarettes even though we know they cause cancer. That is the kind of genius Karl Rove is. He is not a man who has designed a strategy to reunite our country around an agenda of renewal for the 21st century - to bring out the best in us. His 'genius' is taking some irrelevant aside by John Kerry and twisting it to bring out the worst in us, so you will ignore the mess that the Bush team has visited on this country.

"And Karl Rove has succeeded at that in the past because he was sure that he could sell just enough Bush cigarettes, even though people knew they caused cancer. Please, please, for our country's health, prove him wrong this time."