Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The "Myth" Of Karl Rove


I've read a number of comments where people suggest that the outcome of the midterm election reveals that Karl Rove's plans and abilities were overrated. It's possible to take another interpretation - that his tactics were (and remain) extremely effective, but that he pushed too hard. If history is a guide, we can expect even more Rovian tactics in future elections, and anybody who wishes to win (locally or nationally) would be wise not to underestimate their effectiveness. Had the Republican Party not become overconfident after 9/11, and taken a more cautious approach to pushing the country to the right, I believe that they would still control the Senate, and quite possibly the House.

I do suspect that people tended to give Karl Rove too much credit for past election victories, but I think it's unquestionable that many are attributing to him too much fault for this loss.

6 comments:

  1. "Had the Republican Party not become overconfident after 9/11, and taken a more cautious approach to pushing the country to the right, I believe that they would still control the Senate, and quite possibly the House." - Another interpretation might be that if there hadn't been a near perfect storm of self-inflicted disasters (War in Iraq, Lobbyists scandals, child sex scandals, racist/bizarre comments by candidates, etc the Republicans would not have lost the House or Senate.

    CWD

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  2. That's another side to the issue. But I suspect that the scandals primarily affected those who were directly involved in them, as opposed to explaining why the nation as a whole is increasingly rejecting both Bush and his approach to governance.

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  3. I think in the main your statement is correct, but I still think that the Republican party (due to it's alliance with religious fundamentalists) is much more vulnerable to the general "taint" of scandals (especially of the personal/criminal/moral nature) than are the Democrats. If I'm supporting a party for purely pragmatic reasons and you are supporting a party for moral/religious reasons, you are a lot more likely to withdraw your support after members of the party "stumble" than I am.

    Wrapping yourself in the flag and invoking God may be a good way to gain support in this country, but they are also a risky way . . . remember Clinton surviving multiple "bimbo eruptions/lying to the American people" while his accusers pretty much went down in flames when it turned out that they had "indiscretions" in their closets . . .

    CWD

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  4. It's a nice theory, but it doesn't seem to play out that way?

    Which Republican, other than the worst of the hypocrites, has been taken down over an extramarital affair? You have to take it up several notches, such as habitually grooming underage Congressional pages for gay relationships.

    How out-of-control were the corruption scandals in Congress before they claimed their first victim - not at the polls, but due to criminal prosecution?

    Lynn Westmoreland was reelected, suggesting that "taking the talk" remains more important than "walking the walk".

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  5. I believe two members of congress went down in flames over marital infidelity right around the time of the Clinton impeachment fiasco. After that I'd be hard pressed to name one . . . but that still leave the theory that the "religious right" are more likely to stay home based on "principle" than are other groups. I still think that may be correct.

    CWD

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  6. ... "Other than the worst of the hypocrites" ....

    When you blast Clinton and demand that he be removed from office for lying about extramarital affairs, it becomes difficult for you when your own affairs (which you may have even lied about in your own divorce proceedings) become public.

    Henry Hyde, though, was able to dismiss his affair as a "youthful indiscretion"... from when he was a young forty-something.

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