Sponsored Content
« Magazine Features Are Extremely Dumb, Written By Dumb People Who Are Usually Dishonest, So That Other Dumb People Have Something To Talk To Each Other About At Parties of Dummies | Main | Overnight Open Thread (11-15-2012) »
November 15, 2012

Karl Rove Cannot See the Elephant in the Living Room

Writing in the Wall Street Journal:

Turnout dropped by 7.9 million voters, falling to 123.6 million this year from 131.5 million in 2008. This is the first decline in a presidential election in 16 years. Only 51.3% of the voting-age population went to the polls.

While the Democratic "ground game" was effective, President Barack Obama received 90.1% of his 2008 total while Gov. Mitt Romney received 98.6% of Sen. John McCain's vote.

(Emphasis mine.) Rove then goes on to list tactical reasons for the failure.

  • Republicans must re-examine their 72-hour ground game.
  • Republicans must emulate the Democrats 50-state strategy.
  • Republicans must erase the Democrats' data advantage and add to the voter rolls likely Republican voters.
  • Frame the issues better to resonate with middle-class families. This one is interesting, because Rove identifies it as a strategic concern but then immediately attributes it to a tactical failure:
  • "One reason the GOP didn't do better with its pro-growth agenda was that Mr. Romney's character and record were undermined by early, relentless personal attacks that went largely unanswered."
  • Republicans must do better with Hispanics and millennials.
  • "Republicans need not jettison their principles." Note: This is Karl Rove talking about Republican principles. Presumably that means principles like the Medicare prescription drug benefit (the largest new entitlement program since the 1960's), No Child Left Behind (the federalization of K-12 education), and the Patriot Act (including TSA nude-o-scopes, airport body rub-downs, and a shocking weakening of the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement). Are those Republican principles? Of course not. But the fact that Republicans like Karl Rove think they are sheds light on why we've been losing elections.
  • Republicans must reduce the destructiveness of the primaries.
  • Hold the convention earlier.

What is missing from Rove's list? Hint: The GOP has won only one popular vote since George H.W. Bush rode in on Ronald Reagan's coattails in 1988. What is similar about every candidate since Reagan? What did Bush-41, Bush-43, Dole, McCain, and Romney all have in common? This is indeed an "elephant in the living room" question, because what Rove refuses to see is that the Republican party hasn't run a conservative since 1984. Since then, we have had a never-ending stream of big government, establishment, Rockefeller Republicans--people who think we can out-Democrat the Democrats and in some cases out-bid them for votes. These are people who think government is just fine, that it's only there to help, and that the important thing is not to limit it but to be in control of it.

These are people who say things like "kinder, gentler nation" (ceding an aspect of Democrat bigotry: that Republicans are somehow cruel) and "compassionate conservatism" (Was Ronald Reagan cruel? Did he lack compassion?). These are people whose knee-jerk reaction last week was to argue--once again--for moderation. In fact, you could feel them dying to argue Mitt Romney ran as a conservative. But that argument didn't quite fit. Romney ran as a pro-government intervention corporatist. His passing mention of "government-centered society" on a few occasions did not make him a conservative.

We cannot buy votes. "Kinder, gentler" didn't purchase a thing for George H.W. Bush, for example. Establishment Republicans should be required to put two and two together correctly for a change. We need a conservative candidate who can make the case for limited government and federalism. (Note that "federalize" and "federalism" are two different things.)

Establishment Republicans have had their chance, repeatedly, and they have blown it, repeatedly. Let me suggest a strategy that will sweep away all of Karl Rove's tactical concerns: Our next nominee should be a limited government constitutional conservative, someone who will dust off Reagan's winning playbook and use it to motivate the base while picking up independents and blue-dog Democrats along the way. Just like Ronald Reagan did.

Follow me on Twitter.

digg this
posted by rdbrewer at 07:00 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
... : ""Mercy killings" for the benefit of society is the ..."

rickb223 [/s][/b][/i][/u]: "He's got to either continue this charade and put o ..."

But it will eventually get a lot better: "So in 1962 Vatican ALMOST statd that gender cha ..."

Thomas Bender - Trump Fanatic Since 2016, Now With More Fanaticisms: "@444 >>We are watching the US stature in the wo ..."

TheJamesMadison, being witty and sophisticated with Ernst Lubitsch: "Bragg is just a non-partisan guy doing his job, ac ..."

NIST- WTC7 uniform collapse was from burning office chairs, not conspiracy theories like impacts: "Xi's comment about changes that we've haven't seen ..."

bear with asymmetrical balls - an election is simply a festival for the majority: "[i]Universalist Unitarian church[/i] Unitarians ..."

Maj. Healey: "Among the senators who shrugged off defending Trum ..."

Cato, Collectivism Delenda Est, Post-Apocalyptic Scourge of the Seas: "And yet somehow they are positive they are right a ..."

Bamanarama: "Grotesque butchery of children brought to us by th ..."

Sponge - F*ck Joe Biden: "[i] But he can't get rid of that taint smell. Po ..."

Cat Ass Trophy: "But honestly," Bowers continued, "I can't sit here ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64