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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Rove in freefall

Comrade Dean brings the fear

Rove’s Word Is No Longer G.O.P. Gospel

Published: September 2, 2006

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 — Karl Rove, the president’s chief political adviser, is struggling to steer the Republican Party to victory this fall at a time when he appears to have the least political authority since he came to Washington, party officials said.

Mr. Rove remains a dominant adviser to President Bush, administration officials say. But outside the White House, as Mr. Bush’s popularity has waned, and as questions have arisen among Republicans about the White House’s political acumen, the party’s candidates are going their own way in this difficult election season far more than they have in any other campaign Mr. Rove has overseen.

Some are disregarding Mr. Rove’s advice, despite his reputation as the nation’s premier strategist. They are criticizing Mr. Bush or his policies. They are avoiding public events with the president and Mr. Rove.

Influential conservative commentators have openly broken with the White House, calling into question the continued enthusiasm of evangelicals, economic conservatives and other groups that Mr. Rove has counted on to win elections. Some Republicans are ignoring Mr. Rove’s efforts to hold the party together on issues like immigration and Iraq.

In a reflection of this difficult environment, the White House has decided to concentrate nearly all its resources on the critical fight to keep control of Congress, party officials said, largely stepping away from the governors’ races, at least for now.

In Michigan last week, Dick DeVos, a Republican candidate for governor and a longtime contributor to Mr. Bush, startled national Republican Party leaders with a searing attack on the president for failing to meet with the leaders of the Big Three automakers. “We’re being ignored here in Michigan by the White House, and it has got to stop,” Mr. DeVos said.

His communications director, John Truscott, said the attack was timed to coincide with Mr. Rove’s visit to Michigan for a fund-raiser, in an effort to goad Mr. Bush into a response. Asked if the DeVos campaign was worried about angering Mr. Rove, Mr. Truscott said, “That never even crossed our mind.”

Representative Thomas M. Davis III of Virginia, who was chairman of the Congressional Republican campaign committee in 2002, said Mr. Rove and the White House seemed measurably less involved this year.

“It’s been more of a bunker mentality, don’t you think?” Mr. Davis said. “They have been good in terms of raising the money. The problem is, you have a president with a 38 percent approval rating, and it just changes the dynamics of what they can do.”

This midterm election presents Mr. Rove with a particularly difficult challenge. Beyond testing his reputation for always finding a way to win, the outcome could determine the extent of Mr. Bush’s influence for the rest of his presidency and shape the way he is perceived by history. Mr. Rove has warned associates that a Democratic takeover in Congress would mean an end to Mr. Bush’s legislative hopes and invite two years of potentially crippling investigations into the administration.

Rove's strategy ran its course.

The internals are horrible for many GOP candidates and in some of their key races, they're losing badly. Ohio looks to be going past salvation for Blackwell AND Dewine, same in Pennsylvania, and now it looks like Virginia is in play.

And where is the NRSC spending their money? On defeating Steve Laffey in a primary. What is this, the Spanish Civil War with POUM and the Communists fighting it out in the streets of Barcelona?

We shouldn't start sucking each others dicks just yet. The Dems will win by default, the GOP just isn't doing the job. The only question is the scale of the defeat for the GOP. And if I hear one fucking word about Diebold........

It's not Diebold. Ken Blackwell used old fashioned voter suppression to help Bush

Too many Dems are too eager to cede power to Rove and his rather fragile machine. They want to blame Diebold.

That ain't it. We lost Ohio because we had a flawed strategy from ACT and other groups, things corrected in the Lamont campaign. You want to know why Dems lost in 2004, look at the Lieberman campaign, hard. He did what Dems have done, and he lost. Despite all his advantages, he got clocked.

Outside street teams, avoiding issues, badly designed campaign stops, vilifying the opposition in a nonsensical way.

Looking back, we should be shocked Kerry did as well as he did with his handicaps, clueless advisors, bad strategies. You cannot win if you don't fight everyplace. People laughed at Kos for years for advocating this. Now we see the payoff, the GOP has challengers, and more importantly so do Vichy Dems like Lieberman and Al Wynn.

Kerry and his team focused on a few key states and then ran a shitty campaign to get votes. They relied on outside teams and that failed.

But we need to get past the idea that Rove has magic powers to slay us. Fuck what he does. We need to develop a winning strategy on our own. Not just one to beat him. You play your game, not the game they want you to play.

Too many people would throw up their hands and cry "we can't win," instead of cutting out the defeatist bullshit and finding ways to win.

posted by Steve @ 3:45:00 AM

3:45:00 AM

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