One hundred years from now when historians are struggling to come up with a clever tag for the times in which we now live, I’m almost certain that the name “Karl Rove” will be connected with it somehow. I can see it now: “The Age of Rove” or possibly “The Rovian Period”.
The man will be remembered as being as much of a cancer on the body politic of his era as Joe McCarthy is remembered being during the time of McCarthyism. Political success for people like Rove comes only through the use of lies and distortion. They are unable to campaign based on the merits of their ideas because those ideas are atrocious.
That is why political operators like Rove and the late Lee Atwater are so valuable to the agenda of the extreme right wing. They are (or in Lee’s case were) the miracle workers who are able to tell the electorate that the sun is shinning at midnight. Somehow they always manage to get enough of the gullible to believe them.
By the way, I should note here that as he lay dying, Atwater begged God to forgive him for his entire political career. I wonder if Karl Rove will have a similar deathbed conversion. I can’t wait to find out. I’m sorry, that’s cruel. Pay it no mind.
“Let me live ‘neath your spell
Do do that voodoo that you do so well”
Rove is out there this year, doing that voodoo that he does so well. As Mitt Romney’s campaign continues to implode — for no other reason than the fact that he insists on talking — the Republicans need Rove more than they ever did. Defeating Barack Obama ain’t gonna be easy, that’s for sure, but don’t forget that this is the genius (and I use that word sincerely) who masterminded the successful campaigns of the half-witted frat boy from Crawford, Texas, in 2000 and 2004. He was Anne Sullivan to George W. Bush’s Helen Keller. Or perhaps a better metaphor would be Edgar Bergen to Bush’s Charlie McCarthy.
2012 will be the dirtiest campaign in living memory — possibly in history. The Supreme Court’s horrible Citizens United v FEC decision of January 2010 will see to that. We’ve now entered a whole new area entirely. Think of it as an electoral Wild West. Everyone and everything is now fair game with no one to be held accountable. The money that can be pumped into a campaign is now virtually unlimited. As long as Citizens United remains the law of the land, the left in this country (what’s left of it) will be fighting the good fight with both hands tied behind their backs.
Strange days indeed.
We had a little preview of the GOP’s desperation this week when word leaked out that they were going to bring back as an issue — WAIT FOR IT — the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. You might remember (then again you might not remember) that he was the pastor of a Chicago church that Barack Obama was known to attend. During the campaign of 2008, Wright was busted on avideotape using “inflammatory”, “anti-American” rhetoric. A lot of what he said was misquoted. “God damned America” was translated by the right-wing scream machine as “God damn America”. It didn’t matter. Candidate Obama swiftly disassociated himself from Reverend Wright and the issue just as swiftly evaporated. Crisis resolved? Not so fast!
Desperate times require desperate measures, as they say. The Republican propaganda machine decided to bring the Jeremiah Wright issue out of mothballs and give it another chance just for old times sake – that is until the New York Times got word of it. Within a matter of hours it became apparent how stupid an idea it was. Mitt Romney has a delightful tendency to throw anything he can against the wall to see what will stick. Even he disassociated himself from the idea.
The Karl Rove playbook is something else. This is why I think he is a political Einstein. His strategies are usually effective against all odds. Attack the opposition’s strength – not their weaknesses. He used it against Al Gore’s masterful knowledge of governance in 2000 (“POLICY WONK!”) He used it against John Kerry’s heroic military record in 2004 (Remember the swiftboat veterans for “truth”?) Somehow he’ll be able to use twenty-six straight months of job growth against Barack Obama.
They already have half of the country believing that the president created the economic catastrophe he inherited. Isn’t life strange?
Last summer in an effort to make Obama look bad, the Republicans seemed intent on refusing to raise the debt ceiling, something that they have always voted for in the past, risking America’s credit rating in the process. And then they mysteriously backed off, allowing the debt ceiling to rise with no further debate on the matter.What’s up with that??? Here’s what’s up:
Some genius (and I use that word sarcastically) among them probably realized that the debt ceiling fiasco would probably hurt the prez a lot more in an election year. The fact that it will also hurt untold millions of Americans is irrelevant to them. They’ve been demonstrating for over a century that they don’t give a damn about the well being of the people they’re sworn to represent. Wait until midsummer’s nightmare. My guess (and it’s a pretty educated one) is that this time they’ll stick to their guns and refuse to allow the debt ceiling to rise, irreparably harming the president – and the American people.
And the cycle will only continue. As long as this country keeps sending the plutocracy’s handmaidens to Washington in such overwhelming numbers, we’ll have to get used to living in a country in ruins. This is the way it’s going to be from this point on – or at least until we wake up.
I used to think that Obama’s reelection was a sure thing. Now I’m not too sure. The Grand Old Party is willing to destroy this country in order to obtain and retain power. They’ll stop at nothing in order to achieve those ends – even if there is nothing left for them to govern. So sit back and have some popcorn handy. This is gonna get REALLY interesting.
The GOP can still win the day, but in order to do so they’ll need to change the subject. It is the only “change” they can believe in. Isn’t the American political process loads of fun?
Posted: Thursday, 24 May 2012