If I did run for office and win, I’d serve out my term. I wouldn’t leave office mid-term.
GOP Civil War gets nasty — then weird.
A top tea party group is taking its clash with Karl Rove to a new level, sending out a fundraising email Tuesday featuring a photoshopped image of the GOP operative in an SS uniform.
“Wipe the Smirk Off Karl Rove’s Face,” reads the subject line of the email, from Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots.
The email features a photo illustration in which Rove’s face is grafted onto a photo of a uniformed officer in the Reichsführer-SS, an elite class of soldier in the German Schutzstaffel during Adolph Hitler’s Third Reich. The lower left-hand corner of the photo features the inscriptions “Reichsführer-SS” and “K. Rove,” and appears to match a photo of SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler.
The weird thing about this is that “more than five hours after the fundraising email went out, Tea Party Patriots issued a public apology to Rove.”
“We apologize to Mr. Rove,” Martin said in the statement. “While we may have strong disagreements with Mr. Rove on the future of conservatism, we want to be clear this imagery is absolutely unacceptable and are working to ensure this type of mistake doesn’t happen again.”
That would be the first time any teabagger group was squeamish about calling people Nazis. Call Democrats Nazis and that’s fine, call a Republican one and that’s just crossing the line into indecency.
Rove’s Plan to Win Elections: Start a GOP Civil War.
It’s a problem that Republicans simply cannot ignore. In order to win a Republican primary, a candidate has to be acceptably insane. But, come general election time, what Republican voters think is acceptable everyone else finds unacceptable. And even when the nuts manage to get elected, people get sick of them in a big hurry. If the 2010 election was a big win for Tea Party Republicans, 2012 saw to it that many of those big winners turned out to be one-termers. So even when the nuts manage to eke out an election win, their political careers don’t have legs.
One man has a plan to reverse this trend. But the problem with his plan is that he plans to replace the nuts with a different class of nuts.
The organizers of American Crossroads hope to bring electoral victory to the Republican Party by defeating unelectable tea party candidates in GOP primary races. The new super PAC, called the Conservative Victory Project, will be run by American Crossroads president Steven Law and is supported by former Bush political adviser Karl Rove.
“There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected,” Law told the New York Times on Saturday. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.”
The Victory Project plans to oppose candidates like Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. Though running in places where Republicans were favored, the tea party-backed candidates lost the general election after defeating moderate Republicans in the primary. Many tea party candidates who were victorious in 2010, such as Allen West and Joe Walsh, also ended up being defeated by Democratic challengers in 2012.
The problem for Rove here is that he sucks. Not only did his Crossroads GPS PAC spend buttloads on the 2012 elections with nothing to show for it, but his history as a political strategist is awful. This is a guy who thought nominating Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court, invading Iraq in search of phantom WMD, and outing Valerie Plame were all good ideas. Because of Karl Rove’s masterful political strategizing, George W. Bush left office as one of the least popular presidents of recent times, with low approvals rivaling — and occasionally worse than — those of Richard Nixon.
This is the guy who thinks he can pick winners.
And the first sign that Rove’s completely screwing this all up is the fact that we even know about it. Rove decided it would be super-smart to shout his election strategy from the rooftops, ensuring that the ‘bagger base would be good and pissed off and ready to fight a Republican civil war. The smart thing to do would be to keep it to yourself and work quietly behind the scenes.
Democrats can be thankful that Rove didn’t do that smart thing. Now Republicans will blow insane amounts of cash winning their primaries, only to go into the general election pretty broke. This is what happened this cycle in Wisconsin, where former governor and Bush administration official Tommy Thompson had to waste his war chest fighting off Tea Party frootloops — as well as make seriously unwise statements to prove he was crazy enough to win a Republican primary. It’s one of the reasons we now have Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the first openly lesbian senator elected to that chamber and one of the most liberal politicians in Washington. The primary battle of Tea Party purity vs. electability ensured that the winner would not be electable. It’s hard to see how it would turn out any different any place else.
If a seat’s so competitive that electability is a factor, then Rove’s strategy to win it has already been proven a failure.
Karl Rove tips Republicans’ debt ceiling hand.
I know you’re tired of hearing that the Republicans’ position on the debt ceiling is incoherent and that their claims of leverage are greatly exaggerated. But now we have none other than Karl Rove confirming all of this for us.
Rove’s latest column rips into Obama for supposedly mischaracterizing the GOP position on the debt limit. He quotes Obama saying: “We can’t not pay bills that we’ve already incurred.” And here’s how Rove responds to Obama:
The experience didn’t leave Mr. Obama with greater humility. Instead, this New Year’s Day he tartly said, “We can’t not pay bills that we’ve already incurred.” Who is suggesting we don’t? Not House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, or any other Republican leader. Quite the opposite. They want to cover the cost of the existing debt while cutting spending to prevent a fiscal catastrophe.
Mr. Obama’s use of straw-man arguments to misrepresent the GOP’s position became tiresome long ago. He does this in part because he can get away with it, thanks to a compliant press corps. His reliance on the tactic may also spring from his recognition that he has a weak case and cannot win the argument otherwise.
Who is suggesting we don’t pay our debts? Not Boehner, McConnell, or any other GOP leaders.
There you have it. Rove acknowledges flat out that Boehner, McConnell, and other Republican leaders do recognize that they will have to raise the debt ceiling. They just, you know, want to raise it while reaching a broader deal to cut spending. The game here is absurdly transparent: You mustn’t claim Republicans are crazy enough to destroy the economy to get their way, because they don’t want to do that at all — but you still must play along with the idea that the need to raise the debt ceiling (which they acknowledge must happen) still somehow gives them leverage to get the cuts they want.
So Republicans would never let America default, while at the same time they argue that the president better go along with their demands or they’ll shoot the hostage and let America default.
While it seems absurdly incoherent — mostly because it is — it also shows that Republicans know who’ll take the blame if the debt ceiling isn’t raised and the economy collapses. They won’t shoot the hostage, because they’re afraid of the consequences. Republicans have no leverage at all.
Seriously though, we need to continue to work toward undoing Citizens United. We dodged a bullet here, but let’s not get cocky. Dodging one bullet doesn’t make you bulletproof.
Still, let’s take a moment to point and laugh at fearsome super PAC warlord Karl Rove — because it’s fun and he deserves it.
Karl Rove not even pretending GOP campaign isn’t all about race.
Republican strategist Karl Rove says that part of Mitt Romney’s plan to win the White House has to include getting “white Democrats” not to vote for President Barack Obama.
During a discussion with Politico’s Mike Allen on Monday, Rove made it clear that politics had actually become more racialized since the country elected its first black president.
“Obama has no chance of carrying Indiana,” the Fox News contributor explained. “I was having dinner with [Indiana Gov.] Mitch Daniels this spring, and I said, ‘Mitch, is there a white Democrat south of Indianapolis who’s supporting Obama who’s not a college professor in Bloomington?’ And he stopped for a minute over his green beans and says, ‘Not that I can think of.’”
“You know, Indiana’s gone,” he insisted, adding that North Carolina is also “gone” because “New South independents” — which The Atlantic‘s James Bennett says is code for “white independents” — and “racial moderates, economic conservatives, who in 2008 said this would be really good for our country, let’s put the issue of race behind us,” but now they are saying “we did the right thing” and the experiment failed.
WTF are “racial moderates?” Either you’re racist or you’re not. If you’re “in the middle” on the subject of race, you’re a racist. Sorry. Just not the goosestepping, Nazi-flag-in-the-living-room kind.
And this comes as the right freaks out over Chris Matthews calling out the GOP on their campaign of dogwhistle racism and denying they’re being racist at all.
Now here comes Karl with an update on how that campaign of racial division is coming along. Way to blow all the denials out of the water.
Stories to Watch: 10/24/11
Leftovers tonight. Part of the joy of being a good cook is having good leftovers so you don’t have to cook. Now here’s the news…
This one gets a little circuitous, so bear with me. Karl Rove, while literally pointing to a list of candidate gaffes, argues on Fox News that the Herman Cain campaign has “peaked” and that he’s probably run his course as a contender for the GOP nomination. In response, Cain says that Rove’s analysis is “a deliberate attempt to damage me because I am not, quote unquote, the establishment choice.”
Here’s the thing: Cain is probably half-right. Rove is trying to derail his campaign, but not because he’s not “the establishment choice.” It’s because of all the items on Rove’s list. Cain’s a ridiculous clown who couldn’t possibly win against Obama, so the smart thing to do is head this disaster off at the pass.
Speaking candidate gaffes: Herman Cain has reportedly agreed to a one-on-one debate with Newt Gingrich. Not at all sure what the reasoning is here — Newt’s already an also-ran, so this wouldn’t help anyone but Gingrich, and — as feverishly crazy as Newt actually is — he’s still Cain’s intellectual superior. I cannot see anyone walking away from this event thinking, “Now there was a bright move by the Hermanator.”
Michele Bachmann’s New Hampshire campaign implosion goes scandalously public.
American’s don’t think much of the electoral college.
Mittens makes it clear that he’s running as the candidate who’s not insane.
Evidence that not even Herman Cain is taking Herman Cain’s candidacy seriously.
Finally, the President rolls over congress to provide mortgage relief.
Stories to Watch: 10/22/11
I’m going to take another whack at sourdough bread. This time, I’ll knead it after it comes out of the bread machine and divide it into two loaves so it’s not in the oven for as long (the crusts have been a little too crusty, even for sourdough). We’ll see how that works out. Now here’s the news…
The UPenn campus paper publishes Eric Cantor’s speech on income inequality. You know, the one he cancelled after it became clear the audience wouldn’t be sycophantic? Here’s a fun game: use your browser to search for the words “income” and “inequality” in the text. It’s very instructive.
Steve Benen reviews Cantor’s undelivered speech; “After having read it, it seems Cantor probably made a wise choice canceling at the last minute.” The speech in a nutshell; “Trickle down economics will work this time. I swear!” Anyone who’d give this steaming pile of a speech deserves to be heckled.
Unfortunately for Eric, he doesn’t actually have to be there to be protested.
The new conservative spin; President Obama won the war in Iraq wrong.
Proof that global warming denial is an article of faith, not a scientific position; after a Koch-funded study led by a climate skeptic confirms anthropogenic global warming, the deniers are still denying.
Electric car companies are using federal money to create jobs in America. Needless to say, it’s the worst thing ever.
Finally, Karl Rove’s super-secret American Crossroads PAC warns the GOP that Obama’s “tax the rich” rhetoric is working; “our poll found that 64% favor raising taxes on people with incomes above $200,000.”