Skip to comments.Bozell Column: Karl Rove vs. the 'Far Right'
Posted on 02/06/2013 5:44:56 AM PST by cotton1706
If I were launching a new conservative venture, the last venue Id choose for the announcement would be the New York Times. Karl Rove has gone to the Times to announce that he has created a new conservative entity to recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts.
Rove argues that Republican fortunes have been ruined by far-right conservatives, but hes shamelessly calling this entity the Conservative Victory Project. Yes, and I could call myself Ray Lewis, but it doesnt make it so.
Whaddaya know. The liberal Democrats at the Times love this idea. They call it the most robust attempt yet by Republicans to impose a new sense of discipline on the party. They would love a group to discipline conservatives right out of the GOP nominating process. What the heck? They could call themselves conservative, too.
Its reminiscent of all the reporters who desperately wanted Colin Powell to run for president in 1996 because apparently Bob Dole was too fringy and as Howard Fineman said at the time, reporters want a Republican Party they can live with.
Only at the end of the Times story does a fraction of balance appear, when Grover Norquist is delicately quoted on how establishment candidates did not win in Montana (Rep. Denny Rehberg) or North Dakota (Rep. Rick Berg). That list is very incomplete.
Rove & Co. should also revisit how establishment moderates fared in other Senate races. Former governor Linda Lingle lost in Hawaii. Former governor Tommy Thompson lost in Wisconsin. Two-time self-funding Senate contender Linda McMahon lost in Connecticut. Sen. Scott Brown lost in Massachusetts. Five-term Congresswoman Heather Wilson lost her second Senate campaign in New Mexico. Chris Christies 2009 campaign chairman Joe Kyrillos lost in New Jersey.
So how many moderate GOP challengers won in 2012? Not one. How many Tea Party conservatives? Three.
The New York Times quoted Rove staffer Steven Law on their alleged philosophy: Our approach will be to institutionalize the Buckley rule: Support the most conservative candidate who can win. Uh-huh. So thats what Rove was doing when he supported Sen. Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in 2004. Before that term was over, Specter became a Democrat. Thats what moderates were doing when they supported Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio in Florida in 2010. Crist, too, became a Democrat.
The Times did not explore Steven Laws win-loss record. As executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 1998 and 2000, Laws work ended up with zero gains in 1998 and four seats lost in 2000. The Times didnt want to remind anyone how Rove the Architect predicted in 2006 that the GOP would retain control of both houses of Congress, and he proceeded to lose them both.
Wouldnt that information help the public evaluate just how much the Republicans need Team Roves new discipline to win?
When it comes to winning, they supported Sen. Robert Bennett over Mike Lee (who won the seat) in Utah. The GOP moderates preferred Lt. Gov David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz in Texas in 2012. The list seems endless.
These candidates are not the ones that journalists want the public to remember. Instead, the national media gorged itself on 2012 Senate candidate Todd Akins comments on abortion and legitimate rape. This is where media bias on deciding what is a gaffe (and what is not) matters. It was never a gaffe when Senate candidate Barack Obama ran in 2004 (and 2008, and 2012) after having voted four times in the Illinois Senate to allow abortions after the fetus became a baby outside the womb. Absolutely nobody with a press pass found that idea ideologically extreme or scientifically bizarre.
I dont remember Rove making an ad about that extremism, but Rove and the Times have already settled on Iowa Congressman Steve King as the potential Akin of 2014 if he runs for the Senate. The Times repeated Democrat opposition research, that King had compared illegal immigrants to bird dogs and that King denounced Nancy Pelosi and her Stasi troops for insisting on eco-friendly light bulbs and other federal mandates.
In the end, this is not a fight between Democrats and Republicans. This is between the Reaganites and the same old moderate Republicans who insisted Ronald Reagan was far too extreme to be elected in 1976 and then in 1980, when Rove worked for George H. W. Bush. They thought the Doles and McCains were always the smart money against the Democrats. Its a fight between Republicans who want to not only run as conservatives, but govern as conservatives, versus the Bush-Boehner-McConnell never-mind approach.
Conservatism is in no way synonymous with defeat, and conservative victory isnt even attempted by those who were never conservatives to begin with.
Karl Rove either needs to go away, or the Tea Party needs to take flight.
If that is our choice now, I choose the Tea Party 100%.
No more Rove.
Tokyo Rove’s donors here:
Bozell is firing back at Rove with both barrels.
The result of this hopefully will be that whoever Rove and his group supports will instantly be dubbed a moderate and no candidate will want their support. All the better for conservatives!
There is always, among Rove and his ilk, the theory that the rich white RINO, preferably elderly, is the most “electable” candidate.
It’s interesting that many of our good new conservative candidates are women, Hispanics or even blacks (not to mention people of East Indian descent), but somehow Rove & Co. consider them “not electable” right off the bat. I think Rove needs to leave his RINO bubble and look around.
There are a few people who are very LARGE contributors. We really do need to somehow get to them and convince them of the damage Rove is doing to the Republican party and to the country. Most of those people are good citizens and are trying to use their money to defeat democrats, if someone explaine to them their money is being used to defeat republicans and aid democrats they might think before they write another check.
Many moderate Republicans probably agree with conservative Pubbies on economic and foreign issues but disagree on social issues. I think it's safe to say the majority of moderate Pubbies either support the liberal position or don't care much about homosexual marriage, abortion, gun rights, and other hot social issues.
Speaking of Black candidates, I remember when many Republicans were urging Colin Powell to run for president in 1996. That would have been the politically correct thing to do...a moderate minority candidate. But what a disaster Powell would have been. Marginally better than Clinton whose housing policies destroyed the economy in 2007.
Rove is is in the past, the wrong direction to go for the future of the Republican Party. The Tea Party is the only future the Republican Party has.
Personally, I think the Buckley rule needs to be extended to say "Support the candidate most likely to effect a conservative agenda".
A 100% pure conservative who can't bring others around to his/her point of view is as pointless as a "squish" who has the mythical "electability". The ideal candidate is someone with generally strong conservative principles and instincts, who has the ability and demonstrated experience of getting conservative principles advanced, and who is, yes, capable of getting elected.
The Buckley rule as-is has provided cover for so many to tout "electability" over principle. The correct answer to that is "at what cost?", that is, how much do we have to sacrifice in our principles just to "win"?
The Buckley rule is from the late 60’s when there were very few conservatives. Conservatives are everywhere now. So the establishment quotes the Buckley rule to elect moderates since they always say that conservatives can’t win (and of course they work to undermine the victory of any conservative behind the scenes so their mantra comes true).
Rubio, Cruz, Lee, Toomey, Scott, West, Fischer, Johnson, Haley, etc. disprove all their claims. While Bush, Dole, McCain, Romney, Tommy Thompson, Scott Brown, etc. prove that moderates mostly lose. Or if they win, they vote with the democrats to undermine conservatives.
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