As the New York Times recently reported, Karl Rove’s Crossroads Super PAC is beginning a project to take out Tea Party candidates in Republican primaries around the country in favor of establishment moderates, or as Karl Rove would say – more electable candidates like Mitt Romney.
If I was a liberal, I would be enjoying a good laugh as conservatives will now have to defend themselves against a leviathan that we helped to create. This creature, after determining that it was not strong enough to take on the opposition as demonstrated last fall, has now determined to fight for survival by devouring its own kind. But I’m not a liberal and this kind of political cannibalism of the grassroots worries me.
Karl Rove has pointed to Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock as reasons why he has to upstage the voter/activists that will actually be represented by candidates.
This should logically lead us to a very good question. Is Rove’s problem with Tea Party candidates? Candidates that oppose bailouts and government spending? Or is his problem with candidates that stand for life 100% of the time?
Anyone who read Karen Handel’s book, Planned Parenthood, remembers the chilling story of Handel’s conversation with Komen for the Cure CEO, Nancy Brinker. When Brinker asserted that Komen had to reverse their policy of refusing to fund abortion-only groups like Planned Parenthood, Handel asked why. Brinker stated, “Karen, I’ve talked to a lot of people. And even Karl says we have to backtrack [from our pro-life position]. There’s just no other way.” When Handel asked who Karl was, Brinker stated that it was Karl Rove, of course.
Rove is a competitor and a gatekeeper but he isn’t a conservative. Ron Perlstein’s detailed accounting of the 1960’s in Nixonland reveals how far back Rove’s unethical moves go. That is not to say that he isn’t the master of strategery and policy wonk on the right, but it is to say that he cares about holding onto power more than he cares about moving any conservative agenda forward. And even the conservative agenda he cares about is a neo-conservative agenda at odds with the base’s current priorities.
It is very fashionable to beat up on Todd Akin, I get that. But Mourdock was a victim of the circumstances Akin created. All children are a blessing of God, no matter where they come from. That shouldn’t be controversial.
Why doesn’t Rove point out how unelectable Tommy Thompson proved to be with near universal name recognition? Or the unelectability of George Allen in Virginia who had formerly been Governor and Senator? Rove specifically points to the 100% pro-life guys – Akin and Mourdock. But he didn’t talk about stopping George Allen because he shot off at the mouth with a racist remark. So if it isn’t candidates that have proven themselves unelectable and it isn’t people who make irresponsible remarks, what is it? What is Rove’s litmus test?
It seems to be that Rove will oppose any candidate who believes that life is sacred in all circumstances and that caveats shouldn’t be carved out for when it is acceptable to have an abortion.
This is precisely why I don’t trust him. I hope that conservative backers off Crossroads GPS will think twice before donating to Rove’s old or new group, at least until after the primaries are over.
Rove aims to do more damage to the conservative movement than anyone on the left ever could and that should scare all of us. Primary showdowns created by Rove in the summer will most certainly cripple the winner going into the fall elections.