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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Karl Rove has a lot of explaining to do.

The hundreds of millions of dollars he raised from some of America’s richest people resulted in nothing more than an unprecedented amount of  Election Day schadenfreude on the left, as his own Fox News colleagues had to convince him live on national television that he’d lost, badly.

Now, he has the unenviable job of reassuring his donor base so they’ll remain his donor base. His column in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal lays out his plans, learned from the failures of 2012 and his plan to emulate Howard Dean’s once-controversial strategy to create a Democratic majority.

“Republicans should also emulate the Democratic ‘50-state’ strategy,” he wrote, “by strengthening the ground game everywhere, not just in swing states.”

He goes on to say Republicans need to reframe their messages to appeal to the middle class and respond to attacks more effectively. “In a world of Twitter, YouTube and cable TV, the cliché that ‘if you’re responding, you’re losing’ is dead,” he wrote, in a tone similar to Democrats after 2004’s “swiftboating” of war hero John Kerry by Rove’s allies.

Rove also says Republicans need to do more to win Hispanics, millennials and women voters. Though the only way he presents as a means to do this is to not have Senate candidates like Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin, who make dumb comments about rape.

His one very practical suggestion is to hold conventions earlier since neither major party candidate will likely take public financing ever again. It was in the early summer, after Romney had won the nomination but hadn’t qualified to use his general election funds, that the Obama campaign unleashed a campaign to define him based on his record at Bain Capital.

In this one column, Rove reserved much of his usual bile for President Obama, whom he has lambasted since day one in the Wall Street Journal and on Fox News, while running his massive outside money campaign to restore Republicans to power. Ironically, though, Rove has in the past accused the president of running a “permanent campaign.”

At that time, ThinkProgressZaid Jalani noted:

Former Bush Press Secretary Scott McClellan wrote in his 2008 book What Happened that “Karl Rove did not create the excesses of the permanent campaign. Rather, the excesses of the permanent campaign created Karl Rove.”

Now that Rove’s own permanent campaign against the president has failed and he ‘s seeking to change the Republican Party’s ground game to more closely resemble what Dean built for 2008 and what the Tea Party replicated in 2010, the poetic justice is rich for The Nation’s Ari Berman, author of Herding Donkeys — which tells the story of the grassroots resurgence that brought Democrats back into power after the lows of the 2004 election.

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67 responses to “Let’s Just Say It, Karl Rove Is A Big Part Of The Problem”

  1. bpai99 says:

    Already we see the prongs of the GOP 2014 & 2016 strategy emerging:

    1. Moderate the rhetoric (but not the positions) on immigration and abortion
    2. Put token minority and female members in highly-visible positions
    3. Expand voter suppression efforts targeting minorities and the young

    We’ll find out if the same wine in a new bottle finds more takers the next time around.

    • More like the same bitter dregs!

    • GEORGE says:


      • RonaldS says:

        George, it will take a generation for the republicans to truly move back to the right of center. Until then, we will hear only empty rhetoric and should not be believed. I agree with everything you wrote.

      • Ford Truck says:

        George – Turn off your caps-lock and stop “yelling.” Try reading your own post. All caps text is harder to read. Use caps just to emphasize a FEW WORDS!

      • pbrower2a says:

        In my experience, tokens are awful. They are sell-outs devoid of talent, holding spots that could be given to people who can do something other than deflect attention from the slight ability of the entity to attract or develop the appropriate talent.

        Tokens are easy to spot — they are underworked and overpaid. They have much visibility but none but illusory authority.

      • commserver says:


        I am going deaf. You don’t have to shout.

    • supercarp says:

      If more protests happen as in Ireland, a response to a woman dying by being refused an abortion, the Republican party will become even more irrelevent.

    • ETW says:

      Let’s hope peoples eyes have been permanently opened. Back in the 80s and fresh out of university, i decided to go independent and had not been a member of a political party until very recent elections. The buffoons that have taken over the Republican Party have convinced me and no changing the facade will matter…. From now on, GO DEMS!

  2. If there truly is justice in the world, somehow someone will realize that Karl Rove is no longer the invulnerable demi-god he believes himself to be, and will finally end up in prison for whatever crimes (Valerie Plame strike a familiar note?) he may have committed. Then the Koch brothers can safely take their revenge.

  3. Karl Rove is a pugnacious little man who parks in handicapped spaces just because he feels like it.

  4. He may have dumpsters full of dollars but when he wakes up tomorrow he’ll still be one ugly dude that even a other couldn’t love.

    Enjoy your money pal, it’s ALL you’ve got.

    (Jesus I had a bull dog that was better looking then this guy).

  5. adler56 says:

    Rove is an ugly little fat man with no friends- except for his dollars.

  6. Instead of giving advice, Karl Rove should be working on a good excuse to explain to his donors why hundreds of millions of dollars were squandered and instead of producing the desired results contributed to an embarrassing GOP defeat. In any case, the garbage we hear from people like him is bound to help us regain control of the House in 2014. We need more Rove’s, Limbaugh’s, Beck’s Hannity’s, Coulter’s. The more the merrier.
    BTW, the latest attack from religious zealots in some southern states call for President Obama’s impeachment on the grounds that he is violating the Second Amendment of the Constitution! As usual, facts and evidence are sorely missing.

    • darkagesbegin says:

      This is the next play in the republican playbook: look for unending attempts to impeach the president for anything and everything from being unamerican to not using a tissue when he sneezed. And they will keep at it until told to sit down and shut up or they succeed in making some off the wall charge stick.

      They thought they could make him a one-term president and when they didn’t succeed, as they thought they should, they will be out with pitchforks and torches looking under every slimy rock trying to find some piece of dirt to use to try to take the president down–no matter what it is.

    • old_blu says:

      I agree I think Rush, Fox News and all the other right wing zealots are helping our side and don’t even know it.

    • Jim Myers says:

      Replying to Dominick Vila –

      I’m sure that Karl has already told the Koch brothers and all the other SuperPac “investors” that the refund checks are in the mail.

      After all, that would be the honorable thing to do.

  7. Eleanore Whitaker says:

    Karl Rove is a dictatorial tyrant who only lacks a curly tail and flatter snout to prove what a pig of the right wing ideology he is. He is a pathetic, sickening commentary on what happens to all rich bois who self-lavish for too long and overindulge in masses doses of quasi-egos they like to call “success.”

    There is nothing of true value Rove has to offer anyone and he knows it. His sucking up to Grover Norquist and the rest of the herd of pigs is his only job in this lifetime. He can’t name one single thing he did during the Bush Administration that actually made a dent in the greater good of all Americans.

    This little slimeball views anyone NOCD (Not our class Darling) as the great unwashed masses he’d rather not have to acknowledge. Rove has no conscience and least of all any sense of humanity. Lo, though, he puts his pants on the same way we all do…one leg at a time. Or in his case…one hoof at a time.

    • SibyllasStuff says:

      Wasn’t Rove involved in “tort reform” at least in Texas? I think that concept got co-opted by the Republicons who pushed to limit settlements – and to move towards manditory arbitration – ie. the guy who got hurt gets a little, the hospital gets a little and the attorney gets a little.
      When the Republican Party got started in the midwest in the 1850’s to do what the Whigs out east were unable to do and to “stand up” to the wealthy Democrats in the south – at that time the 5th wealthiest entity in the world who were looking at the territories to the west (midwest) as prime to expand and limit the prospects of farmers – immigrant and native born. Eisenhower was the last “real” Republican, and he tried to warn the public about the military industrial complex and the potential harm. Unfortunately, even he had to knuckle down to the “powers that be”.

    • pbrower2a says:

      Karl Rove stands for government by lobbyists, a novel form of dictatorship that would make a travesty of our electoral system and the checks and balances enshrined in our Constitution. As Party Boss, Rove would simply ‘coordinate’ the lobbyists who then dictate the votes of elected officials.

  8. marciano3rd says:

    Nominate Karl Rove and let’s see if he can apply all his antiquated strategies.

  9. nobsartist says:

    “Dont hitch your wagon to a hog.”-
    nobsartist 111712

  10. Karl Rowe is like a preacher nothing they says make sense and people believe them.
    That is the reason why the republican party is in such a mess.
    We should be thankful that the United State is a country where God lovers and God haters have
    the same rights ,or we would be in the same situation as those fools in the middle east ,base on people like Karl Rowe’ and others like him ,Their mouth run like river water anywhere there is a crack.

  11. Mimi2kool says:

    Karl Rove is not the solution to what ails the GOP. He personifies THE PROBLEM!

  12. RonaldS says:

    Rove is probably through as his rich donors can no longer trust him. He’s like Romney, he will try and say whatever he thinks will convince those donors to support his super-pac. His only remaining super-pac appears to be his gut.

  13. Brian says:

    Will someone please rid us of this meddlesome creature.

  14. Robert M says:

    Not change the message, just lie more effectively huh Karl? Not take a look at the people government is duty bound to put first and try even harder to fool them and scare them. Sounds like ol’ Karl has a mouthfull of poo poo.

  15. Hasn’t he spewed enough hatred and dirty tactics to last a lifetime of malcontent. This guy had his (shouting) day in the sun and hopefully the GOP leadership will realize that that day now needs to be over.

  16. marrhewsfan says:

    I believe that if not for Karl Rove the election would have been more of a landside. His coalition of tying together the evangelicals , the wealthy and the consevatives and libretarians was well execued. People like Shelton Addleson and Mitt Romney who benefit from the current tax system this money was a small potatoes compared to what they would have gained. He will reprogram his message and sell it with the vitriol that is Fox ” News ” of Roger Ailes and Ruport Murdock. His influence will contine.

  17. Karl Rove embodies everything that is WRONG with American politics and is destroying our Democracy !!!! He is dangerous and should be tried for treason as he is undermining the very existence of our Government.

    • SibyllasStuff says:

      Karl Rove is not the only one who has been busy with changing things to the worse – I just finished watching a video – online – TorturingDemocracy – Bush and buddies – John Wu for example Cheney and Rumsfeld also – in rewriting the law so that they could torture “prisoners” and by “law” NOT be prosecuted for their treasonous activities. Makes me sick.

    • northroader1775 says:

      AND don’t forget Valerie Plame…that was absolutely treason…he outed a CIA agent who was serving in a forign country. This guy need to go to jail.

  18. Melvin Chatman says:

    “Let the GOP go “Bankrupt”

  19. howa4x says:

    Karl Rove can do all the nasty stuff he does but to little effect. The middle class has awoken to the fact that the wealthy need to pay more in taxes by a 72% margin of both democrats, republicans and independents. If the elected republicans ignore this fact and keep up the charade of telling everyone that tax cuts for the rich mean more jobs, and holding middleclass tax cuts hostage they will face an angry electorate in the mid term elections. Every study has debunked this myth that tax cuts for the rich mean more jobs. Not true. They usually move their money offshore to avoid US taxes. They even had the brass ones as Clinton says,to run one of their own proving that offshoring money is the norm. Romney had accounts in the Caymans, Bermuda and that old treasure cheast Switzerland. Give a tax cut to the middle class and they will run out and buy stuff, like applainces, TV’s cars, furniture, and stimulate the economy broad based. Obama is forcing the hand of the republicans by publically calling for a middlclass tax cut and severing it from ones for the 2%. If the republicans hang on to the traditional hostage situation they will be finally seen as lap dogs for the rich, and anti middle class. Mitch McConnell’s lame statement of Let’s not raise taxes for anyone, shows his hand. If the republican’s blow this one, Karl Rove will be on the run with the rest of the wealthy as the republicans will take a beating in the mid terms.

  20. I find nothing funny about the GOP in this election. However; when the GOP blames Fox News, Karl Rowe, Glen Beck, it’s sad! When the GOP ran an election based on stupidity and fact less comments; and they ask themselves why they lost. Beckman, Palin, McCain, Atkin, and the names remind me of the never ending story.

  21. CPANewYork says:

    Is Karl Rove looking more and more porcine, or is it my imagination?


  23. elw says:

    Karl Rove is not the biggest problem the Republicans have; he is the symbol of their problem. Rove is a nothing more than a twisted con-man that the Republicans keep choosing to believe and follow. Their biggest problem is they do not learn from their mistakes. This is not the first big loss they have had under his directions, so what does that say about the people who keep putting their faith in him. The leaders of the Republican Party have allowed the Tea Party and people like Rove to drag them into a pit full of policies out-of-line with the main stream of American people and crazy ideas that make them look ignorant and foolish. They have become so sure that they are RIGHT, that they have even stopped trying to hide who they are and what they really believe in. No, their biggest problems are their inability to soul-search, lack of imagination, and the craziness they have embraced.

    • Sand_Cat says:

      The reason the Republicans keep choosing Karl is that their entire platform is a “twisted con”; what better person could they pick?


  25. Pi_Boson says:

    I am not too concerned about Republican efforts as data clearly shows, they are the prepondering takers. The Republicans are lazy, old, bigots, and without vigor. Lazy voters enabled states to elect like-minded bigots who used gerrymandering to help ensure the House of Representatives stays in Republican control for the forseeable future. Karl Rove and his like-minded terrorists believe they can buy elections with deceitful messages.

  26. feeeo says:

    The Enemy of the People is passe.

  27. Sand_Cat says:

    One thing obviously never considered was to tell the truth a bit more often.

    Naybe they can start with one true and honest (the truth can be used to deceive) statement per candidate per campaign. Eventually, they can increase this to two. Any more than that would virtually guarantee their defeat.

  28. strangelove5 says:

    I am a conservative

    1-hopefully we will not – our stance on immigration is just fine & Roe vs Wade is the law of the land and no one was trying to change this anyway – the only attempts to do so were in the minds of those trying to bolster a make-believe “war on woman”

    2- ask Mia Love or Marco Rubio if they consider themselves “token” –

    3- When 140% of some Philadelphia precincts vote, I think that indicates that Dem voter “enhancement” trumps our “voter suppression” any day. We don’t suppress the vote anyway, we are just sick of dead people and felons voting and electing illiterates like Al Franken

    • northroader1775 says:

      3. 70.4 % VOTED ON TWO BALLOTS…TWO BALLOTS. If you go to the county’s web site they explained this BEFORE the election …now add 70.4 + 70.4= 140.8 round up to 141%…it’s not a conspiracy it’s friggen math…take a class

      2. They are tokens wether they feel like it or not…don’t look at the tokens and say seee we are good, look at the crowd shots at your convention…and say seeeee no minorities. Take a look at the demographics and say seeeee minorities HATED our message.

      1. Self deportation isn’t a stance it’s the distinct lack of a stance…just like 5 points that you can’t explain isn’t a plan…it’s 5 points of pure bullshit. Roe v Wade is the law and rightly so but there are plenty of “conservatives” who rail against it daily…these people are not conservatives they are teabaggers there is a huge difference. Obama is a conservative slightly right of center pragmatic. The teabaggers are just repugnant radical hate mongers. You lost to real people who really voted aginst you and your message of “fuck the truth what has it done for you lately” your message of “we’ll say anything to anyone just to get a vote and continue to dodge any straight question” remember this one? “Mr. Romney would you support the Lilly Leadbetter Act?” A straight question…answered by this nonesense “ahhhh…ahhhhhh…ahhhhh i had folder full of women…blah blah blah…women…blah blahblah…ok?” next question. This is also viewed as part of the war on women…so is the rape posse…you know the ones that all lost their ass akin, moredickinmouth, rape so easy guy…he was gone so fast Ican’t even remember his name….so yeah women 52% minorities 31% and lets not forget the “SMART PEOPLE” you know the one’s you are never going to get according to Santorum (another member of the clown posse of women haters.) there’s another small percentage there because women and minorities make up most of the group of smart people, hint they make up most of America duh. oh yeah and almost everyone under 30….whoooooooa that’s got to be a bit scary for you and your assclowns…the future is not looking bright…the gay vote is getting louder and prouder and you are never getting that either…basically this is the first in a long line of staggering defeats for you and your teabagging idiots.

  29. BillFromPA says:

    Rove may as well dress up like W. C. Fields and sell Snake Oil out of a horse drawn wagon. All of these uber rich were fleeced to such an extent that it’s obvious that intelligence is not a requirement for aquiring great wealth.

  30. Jim Myers says:

    One of the main problems with the GOP is that they believe, and rightly so, that pushing political decisions to the extreme right will result in some immediate losses. However, the longer they push the envelope, the easier it will be for the masses to start to accept it.

    The acceptance will be slow to take hold, but it will likely influence future elections, politics, legislation, etc.

    Unfortunately for the Democrats, that influence will not bode well for progressive ideals.


    We already learned that the extreme, AND EXPENSIVE, failures of George the Second and his right hand man, Dick, have been largely forgotten by the masses.

    If you don’t believe that, how do you account for more than 47% actually voting for Mitt and Paul?


    The extreme right WILL NOT wait for another election year to get their message out.

  31. batavier says:

    Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh…….separated at Birth?

    Must be – one is evil in mind, the other is waspish in word – and both are CRYPTO-heteros with unhealthy BMI’s and UNpleasant characters at first SIGHT!

  32. Tsk.Tsk. Tsk. All that money could’ve went toward creating some jobs for those who are in need of employment! Get the devil over it and move forward with your life!

  33. Jeffrey Golin says:

    “Reframe the message to the voters,” sounds like more and better propaganda and spin mastery to me. What about trying a different message, one that talks about programs and policies that meet with popular approval? Old wine in new bottles is not going to work anymore.

  34. “Re-frame the message” won’t do it no matter what he thinks. Their “message” is not what the majority of the people want at this time.

  35. PamelaT says:

    The old fat white guy clubs just needs to retire and collect his social security.

  36. durh3174 says:

    STOP, CRYING: You, ROB. The election back then but not this time.

  37. Ayaya Worenwu says:

    The era is over for Karl Rove.

  38. Ayaya Worenwu says:

    Romney is gone but 47% remains. Learnt Romney might be leaving for Cayman Island to live and run for president there? Is it true?

  39. I can’t say with authority that he was separated at birth from Porky Pig, but I am thrilled that he’s learned nothing since 2004. He still thinks he can concoct a “permanent Republican majority” because there’s a sucker born every minute, but he can’t keep replacing his targets once they’ve wised up to him. He and that Romney guy are insuring their own political extinction, especially when they think they can take us AARP’ers
    or granted until we die off!

  40. KM says:

    Karl Rove is/was the GOP’s and Corporatist’s bookie. He promised huge political returns on their bets. They all thought that the race was ‘fixed’ and that they could not lose. Now they are blaming those pesky N!@@&s and brown-skinned voters for coming out to vote in spite of their best efforts to block them. What Despicable people the GOP have become.

  41. On one hand, It still amazes me that they are so off the mark when it comes to why they lost this election, and that %40+ agreed with their message. On the other hand I agree with Fern, the more they promote this viewpoint the more likely they are to lose elections.

  42. Bull Slam says:

    If the billionaires want to keep on gathering around this jerk, and forking over their cash, so as to do as much evil as possible, let them. (Though it does hurt to think of all the good that $400,000,000.00 could have done.) The fact is that these are the very folks who f*cked up our planetary climate, among considerable other nastiness. And they want to do it some more. That makes the whole lot of them criminals such as history has never seen. They all need to be rounded up, put on trial and sent off to rot in jail with the rest of the stupid, racist, murderers.

  43. elizh says:

    Mitt Romney was no Bill Clinton. No ‘Sister Soulja moment’ with the extremists. Joe Conason nailed it.

  44. elizh says:

    A couple of months ago I asked a thick-skinned business owner friend what he thought of the economic issues in the campaign – honestly had no idea of his politics. He concluded by saying “I will never, ever, have anything to do with the Republicans again. It was greed and deregulation that got us into this mess. And they’ve betrayed the country, by creating these right wing monsters.” Those would be Rove’s revved up base, and the politicians who reflect them.

  45. Kennith says:

    Face it Mitt was not a reat choice , and the Republican leaders hate non white people

  46. Kennith says:

    Face it Mitt was not a reat choice , and the Republican leaders hate non white people

  47. commserver says:

    It is going to be hard for GOP to change its stripes. Not as long as the extreme right wingers are in control.

    The moderates have been driven out. This is true for the pragmatist.

    There is nobody like Clinton in the current GOP that could lead the tribe out of the desert to the promised land.

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