What does Fox News’ Karl Rove and Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik have in common? Both of them have called the Obama administration’s weird war on Fox News Channel “Nixonian.” In this clip, Rove — who knows a thing or two about being in a beleaguered White House — answers Terry McAuliffe’s defense of Barack Obama that a little demonization is perfectly acceptable in order to get health reform passed:

“Undignified” is the least of the problems. Nixon built his enemies list as an extension of his general paranoia, but it took a little longer than the first few months of his presidency for that to reveal itself in that way. The bunker mentality that produces this kind of thinking reflects a failure of the President himself to lead, and a search for scapegoats. The public-relations mission of Anita Dunn and others serves no other real purpose except to have someone handy to blame when Obama’s agenda fails.

The truth is that Obama has lost the public debate on health-care reform, and he’s left with only the option of slamming something through Congress that will be incredibly unpopular, and then blame its unpopularity on Fox News. That’s undignified, Nixonian, and futile, all at the same time.