Rove Throwing in the Towel?

Greg Sargent is noticing a weird phenomenon - Karl Rove spinning a loss to the press as resulting from a failure of candidates to effectively execute on his strategy.

Associates say Rove is privately frustrated that individual candidates have not been more aggressive in drawing contrasts with Democrats on national security.

As Sargent notes, it's not Rove's fault if his candidates lose, even though he controls all major levers of power and finance within the party.  Rove cannot fail, he can only be failed.  Rove is also painting a Democratic-controlled House and Senate as part of his overall conservative agenda.

While Rove's confidence in the midterms does not waver, he said the conservative changes that Bush has promoted do not hinge on just one election: "1938 was a huge wipeout for the Democrats -- do you think that was the end of the New Deal?"

This is a remarkable admission - the 1938 election was not the end of the New Deal because even though the Republicans picked up 6 seats, the Democrats still held two thirds of the Senate.  It also presaged the first fracturing of the Democratic coalition.  If this is their 1938 election, the Rove plan is basically over.

Rove is also unable to comprehend that his strategy isn't working.  It's not that candidates are failing to blame others for their failures, it's that the Republicans no longer have any credibility on matters of war and peace.  Take this clip from Majority Leader Boehner on how the Generals and not Rumsfeld have screwed up the situation in Iraq.

The Generals in Iraq have screwed this situation up, but they were merely foolish and sycophantic to Rumsfeld's undisciplined and self-righteous lunacy.  We are a weaker country today than we were six years ago, but hopefully we are a little bit wiser.  Ultimately, Iraq is the problem with the Republican strategy.  Their governance model is broken because it destroys the ability of the public to come to an effective and workable consensus on policy issues.  Iraq has shown the public that Nixonian tactics and PR can't keep a society stable and free.  What will replace their order is not clear, but Rove's Republic is over.

I never thought I'd read that Karl Rove thinks he's going to lose.  But he does.  Let's throw 'em an anchor.

Tags: Karl Rove (all tags)

Comments

17 Comments

Thank you Boehner
Let's get this all over the news!!!!
Attack.
Attack.
Attack.
by Robert P 2006-11-01 04:08PM | 0 recs
Throwing in the Towel?

Historically, the GOP had two major sources of political capital;  the notion that Republicans could be trusted with national security issues, and that they were more prudent as money managers.

The Bushniks are pulling the rug out from under those two very significant myths, and if the Democrats are smart they will do everthing in their power to help undermine those myths.  Without them, the GOP will never again be a significant part of the political landscape.

by global yokel 2006-11-01 04:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Rove Throwing in the Towel?
Their governance model is broken because it destroys the ability of the public to come to an effective and workable consensus on policy issues.
This is a key point. It is impossible for society to progress in the absence of honest reality-based discourse.
by SLJ 2006-11-01 04:19PM | 0 recs
So you think Rove is sincere?

I never thought I'd read that Karl Rove thinks he's going to lose.  But he does.

Now, after a career of unalloyed deception, the R-Man chooses to unburden himself of his innermost fears to a hard cruel world? Really?

I'm not sure what it is - bluff, CYA, something altogether more sophisticated; but I'm pretty sure it's not - God help us all! - sincere.

by skeptic06 2006-11-01 04:27PM | 0 recs
Re: So you think Rove is sincere?

Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. And Karl Rove is trying to emphasize his lack of paternity on this one ...

It's simple CYA here. Karl Rove is a clever little man, but nothing more than that. He's spent so much time cultivating the image of the heartless assassin, the genius political operative to be feared. Now he's just desperately trying to keep the myth alive as his dreams of being the Mark Hanna of the 21st century dissolve in a mass of corruption, Middle East chaos, and congressional scandals. So he gets all rough and nasty and floats the theory that others just weren't rough enough. If only they'd been as tough as him all would be well.

But this is his baby. Rats can abandon the ship, but when the captain tries to ... people notice.

by BriVT 2006-11-01 04:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Rove Throwing in the Towel?

" If this is their 1938 election, the Rove plan is basically over."

Rove has been saying that for some time now; but to imply that it was over for Roosevelt and the new deal by '38 is not in any way a correlation with today, unless you are ready to cede the 12 years of the WH. It's an interesting insertion we should not concede.

by Jerome Armstrong 2006-11-01 04:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Rove Throwing in the Towel?

I think you and Chris are misinterpreting Rove. Rove wanted to imply that 1938 is OUR 1938 election. That we're going to gain like 6 seats but fundamentally the conservative ideology in America marches on, just how the New Deal consensus was unphased after the very minor Democratic defeat in 1938. Remember, Republicans have been in power 12 years now, they're not the underdogs in this race.

Not that I agree with him or anything (we're pretty certain to gain way more than 6 seats), I just think you both misunderstood Rove's analogy.  

by RyeGuy5555 2006-11-02 07:55PM | 0 recs
No, this is not what is going on

Rove is simply trying to do, what every republican has tried to do for the last 12 years.

In any kind of real debate, where Rove or the Bush Republicans were unable to cloud the issue or make it seem as though there were "no good choices" he or people like him always move to attempt to define what victory means.

It is the policy of scorched earth. Very simply to recognize.

And he's also not very handsome, either.  He himself in fact is very easy to recognize. You will note that he makes himself very difficult to find in the media despite his constant manipulation.

Rove is attempting to mobilize the evangelicals.

by heyAnita 2006-11-01 05:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Rove Throwing in the Towel?

After the 1936 elections, Democrats held 334 seats in the House.  334 out of 435!  Try to wrap your head around that concept.

Is it surprising that they lost seats in 1938?  Good lord, they virtually had no more seats to gain.

by Steve M 2006-11-01 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Rove Throwing in the Towel?

You should take a peek at the 1936 Senate.  There were 16 Republicans.  

I really hope Rove is right and we repeat the 1938 election in reverse.

Democrats would gain 72 seats in the house and 6 in the senate.  Sounds good to me Karl!

by scientician 2006-11-01 07:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Rove Throwing in the Towel?

I came here via a link from Seeing the Forest. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees Boehner really doesn't see it does he? He is soooo insulated in his Washington cuccoon that he cannot see that the man in charge of hiring and (ahem) firing generals is the guy he is defending. And why is that ? because Rummie is a political appointment of the PRESIDENWHOCANDONOWRONG. And Boehner is in the thick of making this disaster possible. He always grooms himself like an undertaker too. But I digress.

Anyway to my point. To Boehner: Mr Woodsman. Welcome to the forest. Let me introduce you to the trees.

by porsillo 2006-11-01 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Rove Throwing in the Towel?

he's covering his ass. I heard Kristol on Laura Ingraham on the radio during a looooong car ride, I assure you, and he was blaming Rove for this very thing, for not allowing candidates to make distinctions with their Dem opponents on national security.

by Todd Beeton 2006-11-01 07:08PM | 0 recs
1938

It's hilarious that this is the best historical analogy rove can come up with.  It shows how absolutely lost they are.

1932:  FDR elected in landslide, dems sweep both houses.

1934:  Dems increase congressional majorities, to 3/4 of each house

1936:  FDR re-elected in landslide.  Dems gain in congress.

1938:  Dems lose seats in congress, maintain 3/5 majorities in both houses (2/3 in the Senate)

versus the Republican Contract with America:

1992:  Clinton defeats incumbent Republican president.

1994:  Democrats lose congress.  Narrow republican majorities.

1996:  Clinton re-elected.  Dems gain seats.

1998:  Democrats gain seats over voter anger at unnecessary impeachment of popular President.

2000:  Republican president loses popular vote, takes presidency anyway.  

It's laughable that Rove somehow sees the Republicans of today as being in the same league as the New Deal democrats.  The FDR dems used their majorities to enact popular programs that the american people loved, and thus they increased their majorities, and gave birth to a generation of life-long FDR Democrats.

There will be no life-long Bush Republicans to speak of.  Reagan?  Some of his people are running as Democrats.  They got their 51% majorities and spent their whole time in office maintainin it by demonizing the other 49%.  It's effective at maintaining power, but pretty much guarantees you'll never win over that 49%, or ever gain the traction to do meaningful reform.

Bush's failure to "fix" social security is exactly because the Republicans failed to be a big enough tent to bring in the 49% to their fold.  

There is no permanent conservative governing majority Karl, because you and your ilk failed to create one.  George "51% Mandate" Bush will be remembered as a cautionary tale to those using divisive politics to get to power.  You might get there, but you won't get what you want.

by scientician 2006-11-01 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Rove Throwing in the Towel?

So the loss in Iraq is the fault of the troops and the loss Nov. 7 is the fault of the candidates?

by Bob H 2006-11-02 01:32AM | 0 recs
Rove is the termite drone

of the Bush republican colony..

by heyAnita 2006-11-02 02:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Rove Throwing in the Towel?
Rove knows that the House is lost. I believe his actual game plan is to keep control of the Senate. His battle strategy in TN shows just how shewd he actually is. He has played almost evry trick in the book. Race baiting, attacking the opponents family, whisper campains of fear. The right wing media mouth pieces spewing the party line.. better than subliminal messages (in my opinion) Rove is playing in his element. So far no one has been able to point any of this @ him directly.
The polls mean nothing as long as the democrats can get their base our to vote they will win. But the Dems have to be fired up and get the people to vote democrat.
Rove's 72 hr machine is firing up. I'm sure he has a few more tricks that he's waiting to put into play.
Its up to the democratic voters to win this fight.
by mrJJ 2006-11-02 04:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Rove Throwing in the Towel?

You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
-AL

In effect, Rove expected that PR, as a mechanism, could be used to fool all of the people all of the time to create a thousand year Republican Reich.  It ain't workin'.

by NorCalJim 2006-11-02 06:06AM | 0 recs

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