Remember when the Democrats had their panties in a wad over the presence of Karl Rove in the Bush White House?  They objected to the politicization of the executive branch and the apparent and alleged political coordination between Rove and outside groups.  Now that Barack Obama has cleaned out the White House, though, things like that will never, ever happen again.  Right?  Right?

Well …

President Obama’s allies on the left, AFSCME and the labor-backed Americans United for Change, are ramping up with a massive advertising blitz containing the most direct and hard-hitting attack yet on specific GOP leaders, demanding that they get behind the recovery package and stop saying “No.”

White House aides were told in advance what the concept of the ads would be, though they were briefed while the ad was in production, according to a Democrat familiar with the discussions. The ad, which is running nationally on cable, goes considerably farther than Obama and the White House has in directly calling out Republican leaders, flashing images of GOP Reps John Boehner and Eric Cantor, and Senator Mitch McConnell.

The ad — which is accompanied by a big targeted radio ad blitz hitting 18 GOP House members and three Senators opposing the plan — is a sign that Obama and his advisers won’t try to get in the way as allied groups play hardball with the Republicans in the final stretch of the stimulus fight, even as the Obama administration hits GOPers blocking the plan somewhat less directly or aggressively.

I believe Greg Sargent meant to say in the second paragraph that the aides were not told in advance.  Either way, it looks like White House politicization is just peachy with the Left, as long as it serves their purposes. Obama and his aides want to attack Republicans while maintaining a false front of bipartisanship, a calculated and cynical attack mode that completely belies Obama’s platitudes about getting past partisan differences.

We used to joke about Karl Rove brain implants when people accused conservative commentators of taking talking points and marching orders from the White House.  Now it looks as though the unions and their 527s take marching orders from Rahm Emanuel.  The permanent campaign continues, and only the players and brain implants change.

Does John McCain and Russ Feingold know about this?