We’re beginning to see tangible signs of a backlash against Karl Rove and Steven Law for their ill-conceived Conservative Victory Project idea announced earlier this month. Rove has been attempting to explain for several weeks that he’s not attempting to start a war with the Tea Party and that he’s not trying to destroy grassroots conservative candidates, and it doesn’t appear he’s getting anywhere.
This morning on CBS, Newt Gingrich – who doesn’t have a particular warm spot in his heart for Rove after last year’s GOP primary process in the first place – took Rove to task for what he said was party bosses in DC picking candidates instead of local people doing it…
The money line: “There’s some very deep rethinking that we need to do as a party, but it isn’t gathering up more money by Washington consultants for them to try to handpick across all 50 states the people they think should be in the U.S. senate.”
Money Line #2: “The idea Karl Rove has of creating some Super PAC to go out and basically pick Republican senate nominees, for example, is a terrible idea. I think this is a very dangerous model.”
This comes a day after Rove got into a kerfuffle with the Tea Party Patriots after one of the latter’s e-mail marketing vendors used a Photoshop of Rove in a Nazi uniform in a fundraising message. He got an apology out of the people involved, but the whole controversy shows the depth of animus he’s engendered among the conservative base.
That animus showed up last week in a broadside column by Phyllis Schafly about what Rove is doing…
Karl Rove spent his big PAC money buying expensive TV ads instead of on getting out the vote for Republicans. Obama’s strategists were smarter and didn’t make that mistake; they spent their money on Get Out The Vote projects, which enabled them to win.
We’d like to know how much money Rove and his associates pocketed from buying millions of dollars of worthless TV ads. Television stations rebate a percentage of the price of TV ads to whoever places the ads.
Rove is supposed to be so savvy about politics, but let’s test that. On election morning, he released his final predictions that “Romney will win Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Ohio, Iowa and Colorado.” Obama carried all but one of those states.
Rove built his reputation on his role in electing George W. Bush, but President Bush and his phony “Compassionate Conservatism” did almost nothing for conservative goals. Bush tried hard to put the U.S. in an open-borders “North American Union” with Mexico and Canada, and he inflicted our school kids with federal control over education called “No Child Left Behind.”
And it’s not just long-time conservative activists like Schafly hammering Rove. Conservative talk-show host Mark Levin uncorked an hilarious assault on Rove and “his little whiteboard” over the Conservative Victory Project last week, and when Rove was asked about that diatribe on Fox News Sunday he took a beating from fellow panelist Bob Woodward, who compared the Conservative Victory Project with the Soviet Politburo and said Rove is a guy who simply won’t go away…
Woodward, of course, is no Republican. He doesn’t particularly qualify as a partisan left-winger either, though, and what his tap-dance on Rove’s head really shows is a perception that Rove is no longer untouchable in the DC power circle.
And that’s a particularly damaging circumstance for the former Bush political guru. Power is by and large not what you have but what people think you have, and when Rove can’t command an aura of being a mover and shaker in the political world or at least someone to be feared by the Bob Woodwards, it doesn’t bode well for a rather unpopular initiative like the Conservative Victory Project.
That initiative might have been a bridge too far for Rove and his Establishment friends. Particularly in the wake of a 2012 election cycle in which the GOP Establishment’s performance was as disastrous as it was.