A theme in Shakespeare’s plays is poison poured into the ear—from Iago going around whispering his poisons into the ears of the characters in Othello, to Lady Macbeth and the Weird Sisters arousing the lusts of Macbeth for power. In Hamlet, Claudius literally pours poison into the ear of Hamlet’s father.
I think of Karl Rove as a contemporary Iago—a Machiavellian ear-poisoner. Like so many in our political culture, he’s trying to plant distortions, doubts, rumors and innuendos about Barack Obama into the ear of the body politic.
We’ll see if it works, I suppose.