Sunday, November 16, 2008

To hell with Karl Rove

If you've met Karl Rove -- as I did earlier this year at George Washington University -- you know what an impressive person he is. The guy has an authoritative manner, and can talk politics very fluently, citing all sorts of historical and demographic facts to bolster his case.

Yet that does not, and certainly ought not, empower Rove to dictate policy to conservatives. In fact, this blurring of politics and policy in the Bush administration (for which Rove was significantly responsible) is one of the major causes of Republican "brand damage." Here is Rove in Newsweek:
Republicans must find a way to support secure borders, a guest-worker program and comprehensive immigration reform that strengthens citizenship, grows our economy and keeps America a welcoming nation. An anti-Hispanic attitude is suicidal. As the party of Lincoln, Republicans have a moral obligation to make our case to Hispanics, blacks and Asian-Americans who share our values. Whether we see gains in 2010 depends on it.
Why do we need liberals, when we have Karl Rove to push liberal propaganda?

  • Opposition to amnesty is not an "anti-Hispanic attitude," and to hell with any Republican who repeats that liberal lie. Illegal aliens are not citizens, and non-citizens cannot vote, and if anyone -- whatever their ethnic background -- wants to vote for a party that supports lawbreaking and opposes sovereignty, the Democrats already own that vote.
  • Amnesty does not "strengthen citizenship," and it is oxymoronic to suggest any such thing.
  • Amnesty is not necessary to "keep America a welcoming nation." The United States now admits legally about 800,000 immigrants every year. Whether that is a good policy or not is an argument entirely separate from the question of what to do about the approximately 15 million illegal aliens in the country. What part of "illegal" don't you understand, Karl?
  • As to the need to "grow our economy" . . . well, heckuva job, Karl. When unemployment was below 5 percent, the argument for turning a blind eye to illegals might have had some traction, but as the nation's plummets into its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, I'm thinking that's not going to be such an easy sell.
Going back to February 2006, I remember the immigration panel at CPAC (a panel that included Mark Krikorian and Phyllis Schlafly) trying to explain that the administration's support for amnesty was political poison. Yet the administration not only pushed amnesty in 2006, but even after being repudiated in the mid-term elections, came back and pushed again in 2007, then the GOP let the chief Senate sponsor of amnesty get the presidential nomination. And where were those Hispanic hordes stampeding to the polls to vote for Sen. Juan McAmnesty? Nowhere.

Transparent pandering on the wrong side of an issue is not a politically viable strategy for Republicans, since liberal Democrats can always outpander the GOP. If a majority of Hispanic voters are not supporting the Republican Party, the reasons have more to do with socioeconomic factors than with a monomaniacal support for amnesty among Hispanics. If the only way to get more Hispanic votes is to endorse subversive policies, then the GOP ought to be happy with the support of whatever minority of Hispanic voters oppose subversion.

Has it occurred to anyone -- as it has apparently never occurred to Rove, Bush or McCain -- that many law-abiding Hispanic citizens are insulted by politicians who pander to illegals? Certainly Puerto Ricans (born with U.S. citizenship) and Cubans (legal refugees and their descendants) have no personal stake in amnesty, and are undoubtedly troubled to hear Republicans like Rove insinuate that "Hispanic" and "illegal alien" are synonyms, so that to be anti-amnesty is to be anti-Hispanic.

Finally, Rove throws his appeal for amnesty into the same paragraph with the idea of appealing to black voters when -- as anyone who bothers to talk to actual black people can easily discover -- most black people are as outraged as anyone else over illegal immigration. People like Karl Rove apparently think black people are too stupid to catch the racist implications when Republicans go out of their way to praise the "family values" and "work ethic" of "law-abiding" illegals.

Message to Karl Rove: Just because you're smart doesn't mean other people are stupid.

UPDATE: Rusty says Karl Rove's already been to hell. No, Rusty, you're thinking of Scooter Libby.

UPDATE II: Both Donald Douglas and Steve in TN side with Rove, without addressing the central problem: On what basis does the GOP make an appeal to currently Democrat-leaning Hispanic voters that is consistent with conservative values? Where is the conservative issue that is going to make those Hispanics who are now voting 2-to-1 for Democrats reverse their preference?

Douglas accuses me of "stereotypical ignorance of Latinos" -- heh!-- and then references his own article arguing that "at least 20 percent of Latino voters are traditional conservatives with deep religious affiliations." And the point is . . .?

The problem is not that Republicans are "blowing off" that 20% constituency, as Douglas says, rather it is the fact that the majority of Hispanics vote Democratic and always have. With all of his "strategery," Rove never changed that. In his best year, 2004, Bush got 44% of the Hispanic vote. I haven't done the math, but I'm betting that if you look at this year's exit polls, calculate the effect if McCain had gotten that same 44% of Hispanic votes, Obama would still win by an Electoral College landslide.

Which is to say, Rove doesn't have an answer to this problem, and the Hispanic vote does not actually explain why McCain lost the election. The real explanation, put simply, is that the Bush administration has made the Republican Party unpopular. Why is it that Karl Rove, who did so much to drive the GOP into this ditch, is trusted to tell the GOP how to get out of the ditch? It's as if in the mid-'70s, Republicans were turning to H.R. Haldeman and John Erlichman for advice on how to recover from the Watergate scandal. Utter madness.

UPDATE III: Oh, you got to love this:
Luis Cortes, one of Time magazine's 25 most influential American evangelicals and a strong Bush supporter, says immigration is the reason.
Today Cortes is coy when asked how he voted. He said the immigration issue shaped his vote. "Of course it did. But I'm not going to say anything else," he said, then added, "I always vote in brown's interest, meaning Latino people's interest."
Losing a pandering competition is worse than not pandering at all. Nobody respects a panderer.


  1. I never met the man, I could have if I paid $100 for lunch, and my gosh, for $1000, I could get my picture taken with him. I wouldn't pay $1000 for a picture with JC, but I digress. Rove promulgated policy with Bush, and while it may have won the battle of 2004, But he lost the war and nearly a party over it. I guess it's easy for people such as him to foment such pyrrhic victories, as he will get hired by some insider at ungodly sums of capital as a sinecurist, but the toll he leaves behind should not be forgotten by those that have to pick up the pieces and try to put it back together again. I surely won't forget this mountebank anytime soon. He's the first one we should throw under the bus and back over a few times. Unfortunately, it'll never happen. The word my father would have used for him is sfacime.

  2. How has that worked against the Democrats who pound on the amnesty pulpit with rampant abandon? If we are to argue against pandering" via amnesty, again, how has this worked out for Democrats?

    Pretty good, actually. So, scratch the politics argument from the objection.

    As one who has lived on the Border and along the Rio Grande Valley, let me disabuse you and others of the notion that "many" Hispanics are insulted by politicians that seek solutions to the immigration status of those who are here illegally. They do not. Those McCain seeks to cite admire honest hard working people, immigrant status aside. While no group can be said to be representative of every individual, most Hispanics are very sympathetic to the plight of those who wish to amend their resident status and to be "legal."

    Amnesty has little to do with why McCain lost this election and Rove has hit on issues that must be addressed by the GOP if the party wants to win in 2010 and onward.

    Conservatives can legitimately believe in small government, individual Liberty, and a strong America and still think that there should be a path to legitimacy for those who came here in contravention of America's immigration laws but have been contributors and wish to be residents in good standing. Decriminalization of those who can be attributes does not mean we must accept those who will not abide by our laws once here. There is no decent reason to toss out their beliefs on other issues, or even their thoughts about related issues, just because there is disagreement on amnesty.

  3. Rove may have a point about adressing conservative issues to all spectrums of humanity. However I don't think it should be targeted. Regan won by sticking to core principles and a telling everyone how it would benifti their lives and it worked! Politicians like McCain, Lott,Dole and even Gingrich are so worried about what people think about them that they say what they think the media wants them to say. To be truly conservative you MUST stand by what you belive in and not waiver. Small Government, Boder Security, Anit Abortion, etc. Palin did well with this however she still need to broaden her dialouge. The personal stories were great but she needed to get out and meet everday people and share those experience with america. Heck this days you need a dry erase board and stick figure drawing to explain things to people. What ever it takes and howver much air time you have to buy. Stuf public financing, raise as much money as you can buy out SNL if you have to. But stick to your guns.

  4. Twilight Zone checking in - has it occurred to any of the "smart" people of the country that Rove continues to outsmart all the "conservatives?"

    He continues to do his job and as he always does, like "Chinese Water Torture," he'll drip, drip, drip, on that third-eye point of all the "smart conservatives" until they get THAT CHERTOFF of Homeland Security IS doing his job, with ROVE:

    Selling the BRAND

    NORTH AMERICAN UNION, Rovian style (liar, liar, pants on fire).

    He's nothing but a sexual deviant who has learned how to razzle dazzel all those who think he's smart. The European Union and Israeli duel citizens running America just love him since he's a man after their own hearts: criminally insane.

    But, we can all cheer for OBAMA, the new machine in town - not.

    Check out the lineages of all the so-called "politicians" and therefore "leaders" (call it what it is "elite rulers"), and the BLOOD is still a pretend aristocracy of BLUE. PLEASE.

    Study Benjamin Fulford for a wake-up call about "Republican/Democrat." Laugh till can't, falling down scary.

    Politics as usual in the US ended when the feather in Dumbo's nose fell and he found he couldn't fly with NATO or any other big oil machine that is used to "protect democracy" around the world.

    Could laugh again, however mass murder is only a laughing matter to the criminally insane. Interesting that a serious study of psychopaths has begun in the U.S. It appears no less than one (1) million psychopaths are running around freely, to infect the population with criminal insanity "functional" style.

    Like the third generation of billionaires, families whose children have never done one credible experience to honor America, or their own person for that matter.

    As a matter of fact, the third generation families in charge of running the CORPORATION, USA, Inc., are criminally insane, mass murdering, totalitarian dictators of the worst imaginable - cannibals.

    Using stocks as a ways and means to actually sell "flesh," their own species - let's just start with that outdated form of human slavery and disposable commodity "trading."

    But, hey, let's not stop with that judgmental hype - after all, Karl Rove the smart guy has lots of Taser International stock in his portfolio; however, it's "about the big ticket items, real big loot/money" and that is, OMG NOT THAT!!!! Yes, we can all talk truth to intelligence: WAR.

    Rove sells war and his favorite thing too, slavery through migration. Oops, I mean "immigration" the very thing that has made America great.

    Billionaire mobsters who get to partake in the familial lineages who have run the planet earth as an enterprise for thousands of years choose the KARL ROVES on purpose. He can make lots of zombies out of those who would actually subscribe to his brain as something even remotely close to "creative genius," the true measurement of "smart" or "intelligent."

    Medvedev and Putin have far outsmarted the entire Israeli duel citizenry running the UK/EU/US, et al.

    AND, HOPEFULLY, the people can now awaken to the hypocrisy of the "free market" of the past.

    Maybe when the billionaire mobster club has to play fair in the global markets, then we can get a clue as to the real definition of the word: SMART.

  5. aha, the liberal on the board back to disabuse those of you who believe the right wing talking points repeated on this thread.

    No, liberals are NOT for "amnesty".

    Opposition to amnesty is not an "anti-Hispanic attitude," and to hell with any Republican who repeats that liberal lie.

    so sorry to burden you with the facts but this is not a "liberal lie" it is a corporate propagandized lie, liberals are NOT for amnesty.

    you need to stop believe those corporate sources, they make you look kind of foolish

    no, "liberals" are not for illegal or undocumented laborers and we are NOT for diluting our labor force (which forces wages down), this is corporate agenda NOT liberal, they want as may laborers in the market as possible so they have a better position bargaining for wages

    And now to address the issue and give you the REAL solution to illegal immigrants and undocumented labor, it costs nothing, it doesn't need any new laws, it doesn't need a "border fence".

    The solution plain and simple is to jail the employer who hires a laborer without documentation, to jail the officer who hired that laborer and to jail the CEO

    and no, I do NOT mean "turn the employer into police", they would not have to research the documentation they would simply have to have a copy of it sent off to the labor board.


    bing, no "undocumented" or "illegal laborer" problem

    and why is it do you think these policies are not promoted?

    because the corporate world WANTS these laborers and they lobby against enforcement of laws that already exist, that's why

    If you've met Karl Rove -- as I did earlier this year at George Washington University -- you know what an impressive person he is. The guy has an authoritative manner, and can talk politics very fluently, citing all sorts of historical and demographic facts to bolster his case.

    yes, I have met the man and it looks like we have met two differant people, the person I met was a pastey pansey dweeb, afraid to engage anyone who had facts that disputed these " historical demographics" you think he has at his fingertips.

    the man finds a stat or historical referance out of context and uses it deliberately out of context, when called on it he turns beet red, thinly smiles and calls whoever has the accurate;

    "where'd you get that information, those "liberal blogs"

    love your board Mr. McCain and sure am glad you allow oposing opinions

    see you next time someone else links to misinformation that directs me here

  6. I want to add another comment to your post Robert.

    You are the first right wing blog I have seen address the republican's greatest concern;

    That karl rove has been the ruin of your party, it's power, it's brand and it's legacy.

    It really did look like it would be impossible to ever have democratic or progressive government for at least a generation, it looked like democrats would have to become right wing if they wanted to have any say in government.

    Karl fixed that for democrats and because of him the democrats not only have power, they had to move to the LEFT to get it.

    Karl is responsible for highjacking my party, (yes, though I tell you and post I am a liberal, I am actually a real "republican", NOT a "neo con" or "libertarian" as the republican party is trying to become.

    the republican party now (and since reagan including him) has become the party of BIG government not small, (reagan grew government by exponents over the democrats), they are the party of HIGHER taxes not lower, (reagan RAISED taxes he did NOT "lower" them, he raised taxes more then any other peacetime president in HISTORY before him, he redistributed the tax burden and began dismantling our infrastructure in the bargain)

    they are NOT the party of the military, as a matter of fact, the VAST majority of servicemen lawmakers are democrats NOT republicans

    the new republican party is NOT the party of the constitution, NOT the party of privacy, NOT the party of isolationism, NOT the party of fiscal responsibility, NOT the party of personal OR corporate responsibility

    the CURRENT "republican party" are a group of sociopaths that think corporations shouldn't have to pay their own bills their customers should, they are the party of EXPORTING jobs to counties that allow them to pay slave and child labor, they are the party of war profiteers, the party of corporate welfare the party of depravity

    thanx to the ever loved and "respected" karl rove, along with the other puppeteers pulling marionettes strings as easy as CLAIMING they are "republicans"

    my party is lost, your party rob, is long gone, I do happen to see some light in the distance, with people like yourself FINALLY realizing the "republican party" has been highjacked

    I sure hope this post makes it's way onto your board and I will see you around soon