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Karl Rove Is Done

Howard Fineman

Rove gained clout in Texas politics long ago -- and boosted the fortunes of George W. Bush -- by crushing the hard-line conservatives in the state. These were ideologues that Rove and the Bushes rightly viewed as deadly to the family's chances of winning the presidency.

After Rove outmaneuvered the proto-Tea Party types in Texas, he was free to define Bush conservatism in a "mainstream" way, as "compassionate" on issues such as health care and education and open-minded about Hispanics remaking the Lone Star State.

Well, what goes around comes around, and with the Bushes temporarily quiescent and the Tea Party in control of the U.S. House -- and much of the GOP grassroots -- Rove is fighting a rear-guard action in a far more difficult position than a generation ago.

Tea Partiers rightly ask what Rove and his rich-as-Croesus American Crossroads super PAC have gotten for conservatives or even the GOP. Rove is a master tactician, but not necessarily a great judge of political horseflesh. His taste tends to run to rich guys who can pay him a lot -- which worked out well only in the case of W., and then only by skin of Justice Antonin Scalia's ("get over it") teeth.

Now come the likes of senators such as Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky to challenge him: smart, angry and anti-establishment conservatives who loath the country club types and who want to remake the Republican Party in their own uncompromisingly isolationist, anti-governmental, anti-social-welfare and anti-tax image.

Deep-dyed conservatives have a right to ask the Roves of the world what the establishment GOPers have done to erase the debt, limit the reach of the federal government or enhance a libertarian view of the world. The answer, to the Rand Pauls of the world, is simple: nothing.

The party of Paul, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Gov. Rick Scott of Florida and many others is a throwback to the nativism and principled know-nothing-ism of conservatives whom the likes of William F. Buckley and Ronald Reagan purged from the party long ago, making it safe for the Roves of the world to advance.

It took the likes of Buckley and Reagan two decades to rid the GOP and the mainstream conservative movement of the John Birchers, ultra-isolationists and flat-out segregationists and to create a party and a platform that would win a national election.

Now leaders and potential leaders such as Cruz (a rising force to be reckoned with) and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida need to perform the same cleansing task -- and will probably have to take on the Paulites (who are paranoid conspiracy theorists at heart) to do it.

The war for the soul of the Republican Party is real, deep and reminiscent of that earlier conflict. For the GOP it ended well: they harnessed the energy at the grassroots to take over Washington.

This equally bitter GOP civil war may end in the party's revival, too. But it won't be Rove, or one of his clients, who is able to end it.

He's done.

by Anonymousreply 1305/29/2013

I've heard rumors of Rove's demise for more than a dozen years. He's not going away. This is a GOP "false flag" maneuver.

Believe me, Karl Rove is nowhere near washed up.

by Anonymousreply 102/11/2013

Does anyone else think the self-loathing power hungry gay character in Scandal is based in part on him ?

This guy rigged the election and the latest episode had him hire a killer to take out his own husband because he thought the man was going to testify against him.

by Anonymousreply 202/11/2013

Rove will be roving for years, far from stuck in the mud. His job now is to take out the baggers. Good idea to support him in that effort and then take him down.

by Anonymousreply 302/11/2013

NO this is something else. He's dying.

by Anonymousreply 402/11/2013

If I had all the power, I'd let the teabaggers continue to win Republican primaries. Especially for the Senate.

In 2014, let's see a teabagger defeat minority leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.

Let's also see a teabagger win the party nod for the coming open seat in Georgia.

Let's see Lindsey Graham seating up storm and birthin' babies, in a statistical 49 to 49 tie, in the primaries of South Carolina.

More could be mentioned. For now, that will do.

by Anonymousreply 502/11/2013

Rove will only be done when Anonymous brings him down.

by Anonymousreply 602/11/2013

r1, This is written by Howard Fineman and you don't get more insidery and establishment then him.

If not for that, I'd agree with you but since Fineman isn't concerned with alienating Rove by writing this, I tend to think there's something to this.

by Anonymousreply 702/11/2013

The DC media and politicians and lobbyists and corporations are all swimming together in what Susan Crawford calls "a warm pond of familiarity."

If the GOP PTB tell Fineman to go ahead and print a story declaring Rove dead, that's what he'll do.

Remember PlameGate? They ALL knew -- pols and "DC insiders" who was behind outing Plame. It was Rove. But the punditry wouldn't admit it. They waited until the GOP PTB told them to print that it was Richard Armitage. The punditry knew it was a lie, but they told you it was Armitage.

by Anonymousreply 802/11/2013

Rove is hated by the Tea Baggers - that part is true.

by Anonymousreply 902/11/2013

[quote]I've heard rumors of Rove's demise for more than a dozen years. He's not going away.

Rove is done. Bush will never win a second term. Republicans will never pick Romney to run against Obama.

I've heard it all before.

by Anonymousreply 1002/11/2013


by Anonymousreply 1102/11/2013


by Anonymousreply 1205/29/2013

That turd isn't going away no matter how much you try to flush.

by Anonymousreply 1305/29/2013
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