Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Karl Rove: My New Neighbor

Karl Rove's legal residence (and come September 1st, his real home) is in an unlikely cranny of Texas, near the banks of the lovely, cypress-shaded Guadalupe River just west of Ingram, about 70 miles northwest of San Antonio. I live in Kerrville, about seven miles to the east, where the Roves will dine out and buy their groceries and hardware a few blocks from my house. And so Mr. Rove, in the big scheme of things, is coming home to be my neighbor. I hope he'll make an appearance or two about town to chat up the future of American politics and power. I'd be happy to hear anything he has to say.

It's true that the man nicknamed "Bush's Brain" did help move the Bush-brand of Republican politics from the gently aloof, old school New World grandfatherhood of Reagan and Bush Sr. into the realm of a Oedipal cage fight. John McCain a threat? Take him out in the early round. And that was the beginning of the beginning. And by fall of 2000? Well, Gore almost won, but Bush's team wouldn't have it and simply fought faster and harder to edge across the line. And war? If you want history, Granada and Kuwait won't do. Go BIG, and Stay On Message No Matter What.

Rove always knew that rule number one should be: stay on message, and fight. Fair or not, fight. And this is a simple tactical advantage the Democrats have been at great pains to master ever since Lyndon Johnson left the Senate in 1960.

Rove leaves the White House still spinning a rosy view of conservative causes and a Republican retention of the agenda and power, and his optimism (real or "as advertised") may not be unjustified. The Republicans are still more likely, when cornered, to rally and to unify their message. Not messages plural, but Message, Singular. The Democrats, of course, and perhaps rightly so, want to be everything for everybody. The Republicans want to win. Winning is easier, and winning makes more sense to people adrift in the complexities of the modern world. Better to go back to one's ancient roots, to fight for family and the home team, do or die. Rove knows this well.

Karl Rove's talking points memos must be the gold standard in American politics, and every politico, every hack, every lobbyist, every interest group, special or otherwise, could learn a lot from him. The "Boy Genius" is neither old nor obsolete nor out of touch, and his future is bright.


At 8/15/2007 4:30 PM, Blogger 1rfruth said...

Thanks - take Rove off our hands !


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