Creep of the Week: Karl Rove

How long does a marriage have to last before it’s considered “traditional” to Karl Rove? Well, three years if you’re talking about his first marriage. Twenty-four if you’re talking about his second.

Karl “ban gay marriage for political gain” Rove and his second wife have called it quits via the no-fault divorce laws of Texas.

I know, it’s hard to believe, isn’t it? Not that Rove is a hypocrite when it comes to the “sanctity of marriage,” but that he was ever married at all. Who would do that to themselves? But as my dad used to say, “It takes all kinds.”

And, as long as those “all kinds” are heterosexual, they’re allowed to get married. And unmarried. And then married again. Rinse and repeat.

Mind you, the majority of gays in this country can’t even get married once. Rove is, in part, to blame for that. Remember that rash of antigay-marriage ballot initiatives in 2004? Rove’s seal of approval was all over that. Had to get those Jesus-loving gay-hating folks to the polls to vote for Bush, after all. So why not bait the trap with gay folks?

Rove is, of course, the man who argued that letting gays marry would be throwing away “5,000 years” of tradition.

As Dan Savage commented, “Traditional marriage is for life. Which means Karl … shouldn’t have been allowed to get out of [his marriage] alive, right?”

Of course, I shouldn’t even be writing about Rove’s divorce, traditional or not. It’s disrespectful.

According to spokesperson Dana Perino, “[Karl Rove and his wife, Darby] came to the decision mutually and amicably, and they maintain a close relationship and a strong friendship. There will be no further comment, and the family requests that its privacy be respected.”

Of course, in order to respect someone’s privacy, you kinda have to respect them, and respect isn’t a word I associate with Karl Rove. “Revulsion” is closer, tied with “resentment.”

Don’t get me wrong. I understand Rove wanting privacy at this time. I mean, divorce is a sad and difficult thing. I hardly expect Rove to be holding press conferences or doing media junkets right now. But what I can’t do is respect his privacy. Because he has no respect for mine.

As Joel Mathis wrote Dec. 29 on his Philadelphia Weekly blog, “Rove made a concerted effort to push the marriage status of hundreds of thousands of Americans to the center stage of the political process. He treated the issue like a political plaything. Which is easier to do when it’s an abstract notion. Only problem is: For each one of those couples, it’s not at all an abstract issue.”

Indeed. And by using gays as a political football in order to get George W. Bush reelected, America was freed from what, exactly? What did America gain by denying so many gays and lesbians the right to marry — enshrining homophobia into state constitutions, no less? What, besides the shittiest president we’ve ever had who left messes we’re all going to be cleaning up for decades, if not lifetimes, to come?

Bush’s nickname for Rove, Turd Blossom, is more apt than he realizes.

D’Anne Witkowski has been gay for pay since 2003. She’s a freelance writer and poet (believe it!). When she’s not taking on the creeps of the world, she reviews rock ’n’ roll shows in Detroit with her twin sister and teaches writing at the University of Michigan.

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