Karl Rove's Revenge[Originally published in November 2006]
An "Obituary" of A.F. Flogger
There was a Bush hater named Flogger,I received a telephone call yesterday from the widow of A.F. Flogger that her husband took his own life the day following the election, and, in his suicide note, he had asked her to tell me that he was sorry for what he had done. (I'd simply quote Flogger's suicide note, but Mrs. Flogger didn't share its very words with me because, she said, there is some question whether her husband actually died by his own hand. And she seemed to be saying that there was some possibility that the homicide detective who's investigating the case might want to talk with me....)
A feisty and outspoken blogger,
Who, it turns out,
Was, without doubt,
A double agent, a sorry hot dogger.
My newer readers will require some background on who A.F. Flogger was (or purported to be) and what it was that he was sorry for. It wasn't any one thing that he did. It wasn't that simple.
On July 19, I reported that "an embarrassed A.F. Flogger wished to make a statement":
Whoa! Hold on a minute. Flogger.com is not my website. I do not promote whipping or any other unspeakable sexual practices. The whole thing is a mistake. I mistyped the name of my registered domain when I first approached Moristotle about leaving blogger.com and coming with me. He simply passed along what I typed. I didn't notice it. You know how people tend to see what they think is there anyway.The "flogger.com" episode was embarrassing to me, at best. The reader in the world who has followed this blog longer than any other, Steve P, had just pointed out to me that flogger.com seemed to be actively engaged in promoting the joys (and anguishes) of sadomasochistic sexual practices. (One of the many things that I admire and depend on in Steve P is his commitment to checking the facts. I hadn't visited flogger.com before mentioning it on my blog, but he did. I'll always be grateful that he did so.)
Besides, I had told Moristotle that my website hadn't been launched yet. That's undoubtedly why he didn't check flogger.com out. My website name will be pflogger.com. "P" is for "political," of course. Or, I suppose it could stand for "‘president’" or "pissant," since the main object of my brand of political flogging is George W. Bush.
Anyway, Flogger had first come to me purporting to be trying to recruit me to "go with him" and do my political blogging on his blog. I liked his suggestion that the term flogging was most apt for a political blogger of my stripe (and, he implied, of his stripe as well).
He made his very first appearance on Moristotle on July 9:
I found a comment here this morning from a man (he said) who identified himself only as "a fellow flogger" and the creator of a website (not yet launched) whose domain address he has registered as flogger.com. Frankly, he admitted, he wanted me to quit blogger.com and come with him. He'd give me a "flogspot," he said.On July 12, A.F. Flogger warned me that if I came with him, he'd "want [me] to slant [my] poetry along political lines." And he gave me an example:
To show his goodwill, he gave me his most recent political joke and said I was free to use it (anyway, he could use the publicity), so long as I would consider his proposal.
Okay, I'll consider it."What's the difference between a Texas pissant and 'President' George W. Bush?...A pissant doesn't need quotation marks."
There is a throw-up word—it rhymes with ‘whoosh’—Of course, readers familiar with my anti-Bush stance will understand that I had to find A.F. Flogger appealing. Then, on July 17, I reported that Flogger was predicting "that Arizona's voter lottery will provoke a Republican backlash." This seemed such a reasonable prediction (Arizona voters did reject the proposal) that it strengthened my opinion of A.F. Flogger even more.
That I want never ever hear...so shush!
The throw-up word—first letter ‘B’
Followed by a different three—
That I want never ever hear is ‘----’.
Then came the aforementioned revelation of July 19, unearthed by Steve P. I should have been more suspicious of Flogger's really flimsy excuse that he had mistyped the address of his registered domain. For, you see, what Flogger was sorry for—Mrs. Flogger told me yesterday—was that he had approached me with the sole object of trying to discredit me in the eyes of the blog-reading public.
I asked Mrs. Flogger if she knew why her husband had done that. At first she seemed reluctant to go there, and she finally spoke only very guardedly, as though someone might be looking over her shoulder.
Karl Rove had commissioned him to do it, she said.
"That was in the suicide note?" I asked.
"Oh, God no!" she said. "And he didn't actually say it was Karl Rove...but I heard him talking in his sleep on several occasions before he killed himself...or...."
She went on to describe some of her husband's mumblings and how the mention of Karl Rove had actually explained a lot of things to her personally about her husband's recent political activities.
"Karl Rove really does have his tentacles in a lot of things that are going on," she said.
I nodded, hoping she'd say more.
"I've been reading your blog," she said. "You know that 'pissant' joke?"
"Of course," I said, my breath having stopped, I was so expectant what she might say next.
"That's what Karl Rove called Bush. His nickname for Bush."
I couldn't believe what I'd heard. "Would you repeat that," I said.
"Karl Rove's secret nickname for Bush was 'Pissant.' You see—and this is one thing my husband did tell me when he was awake—Karl Rove absolutely hated it that Bush called him 'Turd Blossom.' Hated it. He called Bush 'The Texas Pissant' behind his back."
I still wasn't breathing.
"Karl Rove wrote that joke."