[Check out our update about how a Beverly Hills newspaper accused a the protester of “assault”].

Karl Rove, believed by some to be the architect of President George W. Bush's political policies, cut short a speaking engagement in Beverly Hills Monday night after hecklers disrupted him.

Bush's former deputy chief of staff walked away from the talk and book signing for his bestseller Courage and Consequence at the Saban Theatre after Jodie Evans, a co-founder of Code Pink, tried to make a citizen's arrest of Rove.

She went at him with a pair of handcuffs, saying, “Look what you did — you outed a CIA officer.” She was referring to Valerie Plame. “You lied to take us to war. You ruined a country.''

If a woman with handcuffs rushes us, running away is not our first instinct. But we're not as courageous — and certainly not as consequential — as Mr. Rove. Being a big Republican, one would think that Rove would be into cuffs, though: Just last month the Republican National Committee spent nearly $2,000 at leather-themed club in West Hollywood.

After Evans was pushed away, ostensibly by security with even better handcuffs, another protester took her place and accused Rove of being a war criminal for his part in laying down the Bush administration's argument for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. “You're going to rot in hell,'' the protester said.

With that Rove was out of there like Dennis Miller: “With all due respect, this goes to show the totalitarianism of the left. They don't believe in dialogue. They don't believe in courtesy. They don't believe in First Amendment rights for anybody but themselves.''

Those sentiments might be understandable given the circumstances. But they seem laughable in light of this month's debate over President Obama's health-care proposal, in which supporting lawmakers were called racial epithets and threatened with death by right-wing nuts. In contrast, the lefties seem downright timid. The right has pickup trucks and guns. The left? Code Pink protesters with sex-shop props. If anything, the left needs to upgrade its arsenal and maybe try some of that red meat Sarah Palin's followers are partial to.

Even so, Rove couldn't stand the West Coast heat, and those who paid $25 to $40 (the latter price including a copy of his book) probably don't think he's too courageous right about now.

-With reporting from LA Weekly's wire services.

LA Weekly