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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The GOP That Rove Built


Everyone is talking about Karl Rove today. Which, incidentally, is exactly how Karl Rove likes it. The source of all the current angst is Rove’s new initiative, the Conservative Victory Project. The goal of the project is to weed out candidates from GOP primaries that are seen - by Rove and his group of high stakes donors – as too flawed to be electable in a general election.

It seems like a reasonable goal, right? To help the GOP find candidates who have a hope of winning? The problem is that what Rove advocates flies in the face of Conservative ideals. He’s essentially placing himself and his cohorts in a position to pick winners and losers without the help (or even the input) of the actual voters whose lives will be affected by the outcomes of the elections with which he meddles. But wait, didn’t conservatives HATE it when Obama picked Solyndra and the other green energy companies that went belly up? Didn’t we HATE it when our money was used to bail out GM and others? Why on earth would we allow someone within our own party to engineer elections when we don’t tolerate the engineering of corporate America?

There are those who defend Rove, saying that he is a brilliant analyst. I’m not going to argue with that. They say that over the last decade or so he has built the GOP. I’m not going to argue with that either. He is definitely one of the major architects of the GOP as we know it today. But the GOP that he built is hardly something worth defending. He built the GOP that gave us a Republican congress that outspent prior Democrat congresses. He built the GOP that gave us TARP, No Child Left Behind, and those idiotic light bulbs that we now know might cause cancer if you, you know, turn them on and stuff. He built the GOP that gave us McCain and Romney because they were “electable.” In other words, he built the GOP that laid out the red carpet for the Democrat landslide in 2008. When he was given the chance to make up for it, instead of helping the conservative resurgence in 2010 he fought against it – a move that probably helped Democrats keep the Senate and the White House in 2012.

The reality is that Rove is an elitist. He wants a class of political elites, and he wants desperately to be their puppetmaster. And he has done a very good job of convincing Americans – even some conservatives – that his class of political elites is somehow better than their Democrat alter egos. He has convinced them that the letter “R” next to the name matters more than principles of the candidate and that he is more qualified than any common voter to pass judgment on the electability of any given candidate.

In simpler terms, Rove fancies himself a kingmaker. The problem is that he posits to claim the title of kingmaker in a nation that set itself apart 237 years ago by throwing off the notion of monarchy. That in itself would be bad enough, but when you consider that the only king thus far that has been “made” by a man who claims his goal is to advance conservatism is President Barack Obama, it is clear that we have a problem. And that problem is Karl Rove.

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