So... ANYBODY Still Think Karl Rove Is a Genius?

Nobody on the Right EVER thought Karl Rove was anything more than a semi-competent political strategist.

I mean, come on- his sole claim to fame was that he took a likable guy with a famous name ad 100% name recognition and helped him squeak past some really lame competition. And yet, until a few days ago, the Left pooped in its collective pants at the mention of his name, and trembled at the thought of all the ingenious tricks he’d pull to save the 2006 elections for the GOP.

Anybody want to take a second away from their celebrations to acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, they gave Karl Rove WAAAAAAY too much credit?

No I don’t think so.

I never thought that Rove was evil, just a slightly unscrupulous but incredibly intelligent and effective campaign manager. He has a genius for exploiting voter turnout and spin, but no amount of spinning can completely insulate a presidency from reality. He did well given the overwhelming circumstances. He’s a fine political strategist.

I think he’s pretty good. He’s sharp, he’s knowledgeable, and there’s nothing so low he won’t stoop to it. He got a president elected, and I can’t think of any better way to define someone good at that job.

That said, I think political stategists are like baseball managers: they have a short shelf life. They get in a rut, accustomed to being in charge, and lose touch with reality just a bit.

Based on his very cheery and optimistic interview on NPR a week or two ago in which the interviewer kindly described him as sitting on, “the optimistic side of reality,” I think you might have nailed that.

Are the SDMB Understatement of the Year nominations open yet?

There is one thing all of you might have overlooked.

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY is conjuring up theories about how skulduggery involving the Diebold voting machines was going to guarantee that no significant change would take place, yet that is all people seemed to obsess about in the months and weeks leading up to the election.

Don’t forget the big Prez prize is looming up in two years time. Now that everyone trusts Diebold Karl Rove can continue to work his magic behind his newly established duck blind.

Now, where did I put my hat. :cool:

I still think Rove is a very bright guy, if not a genius, something like it. He also has no respect for the democratic process.

His boss is a man of average intelligence at best. Land war in Asia … ha!

I don’t know if he’s a genius or not, but someone in the GOP has been slipping on their job duties lately.

Rumsfeld’s firing and the comments leading up to it reveal poor “strategery”. Damage control for Foleygate was so ineffective that it actually made matters worse. The “a vote for Democrats is a vote for terrorism” rhetoric went way overboard, making it clear that they’d given up on reaching out to the rational middle and was pandering to the stupid. Instead of talking up the improving economy and lowered gas prices, they stayed on the defensive and repeated the same tired soundbites from two years ago. And they let Bush be interviewed by George Stephanopoulis too close to the final days, knowing good and well that he was probably going to say something stupid. Which he did.

But that’s not all. Laura Bush and Rush Limbaugh started attacking Michael J. Fox. Bad move for two reasons. First, the man has Parkinson’s Disease. No further explanation needed. Second, this is the man who played Alex P. Keaton. Again, no further explanation needed.

I don’t know what happened to Rove, but he’s seriously off his game.

Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.

Well, didn’t he engineer the coming American backlash to the Democratic landslide?

At the moment, he looks more like Wile E. Coyote, SUPER Genius.

Lambasting Rove for the GOP losing an interim election is like saying Michael Jordan was a bad basketball player because the Bulls didn’t win the championship every year.

  1. Rove still has a winning record.

  2. Given the number of screwups the Bush administration has pulled it’s frankly miraculous they didn’t do far, far worse than they did. We’re talking about one of the worst Presidents in the 200+ year history of his country. His administration has failed to catch Osama bin Laden, screwed up a war that was vital to his nation’s security, started an unnecessary war on a pretext of lies and turned THAT war into Vietnam 2.0, assaulted civil rights, publicly supported the use of torture, reacted to a major natural disaster with less competence than a Third World country, acted towards gay Americans with a level of outright bigotry towards a minority group not seen in a Presidential administration in sixty years, and managed the nation’s spending with all the discipline one might expect from a gambling addict on a meth binge let loose in the Golden Nugget with a fistful of stolen twenties. I think it’s amazing they did as well as they did.

  3. The things that DID cause the Republicans to lose power in Congress had little, or nothing, to do with Karl Rove. Rove just gets Republicans elected; HE didn’t decide to invade Iraq or fuck it up as badly as it has been, and those facts cannot be hidden by clever campaigning. Karl Rove didn’t tell Rush Limbaugh to publicly slander a likeable crippled man, and he didn’t tell Mark Foley to hit on his pages.

I think Rove’s “genius” was simply his ability to do things that most people would blanch at. Sure, some might see that kind of callous, manipulative personality trait as one of the components of psychopathy, but hey, it worked for him.

On some of the blogs, they make a good point that his genius really almost fucked up the two presidential elections. Specifically, in both cases, he thought that in the last stage of the campaign, it would be a good idea to portray an extreme level of confidence by having Bush campaign in California instead of Florida or in Hawaii instead of Ohio. Had there been no butterfly ballot, he would have appeared incredibly stupid for such a stunt. Similarly, if the nailbiter in Ohio turned out differently, they might have blown that one.

The fact is that they didn’t, and he was on the ultimately victorious side, but I think these two items suggest something other than what I would consider campaign “genius.”

Sorry, but this is nonsense. Many conservative politicos and pundits agreed that Rove was a brilliant political operator and considered him extremely influential and important in the Bush Administration. Here’s just one sample of conservative admiration for Rove from Eric Pfeiffer’s National Review blog:

Karl Rove is not a political genius, and people who say he is are idiots.

He’s a hack, and he lucked out in two squeaker presidential elections that could have been lost with a few people reading their ballots more carefully. He lucked out facing John Kerry, a man with all the charisma and political appeal of Zombie Hitler, who’s only issue was that he wasn’t George Bush.

Let’s look at Rove’s legacy. A castrated Republican party that believes in nothing except political power, and now doesn’t even have that. Rove is a cunning and shameless political tactician, but he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about actually governing, which is why he’s been so pernicious. It’s all well and good to win an election by trashing your opponent and lying to your supporters, but what are you going to do the day after the election? It’s one thing to sell your soul for political power, how about when you sell your soul and find you got cheated for it?

Compare and contrast the legacies of Bill Clinton with Bush/Rove. Bill Clinton was an authentic political genius, because he understood people and liked them. Look at how he left the Democratic party, stronger than ever despite the scandals. And look at how Rove and Rovism has left the Republican party.

He was a genius at handling the political climates of 2000, 02, and 04. And who knows, his work in 2006 may have prevented even more defections to the Democrats. But it is clear that his tried and true strategies of the past aren’t as effective now. But still, he’s one of the few effective people around Bush.

Rove can only win the races he’s managing. Is Conrad Burns or George Allen losing Rove’s fault? If Rove had been handling those campaigns, there would have been rumors that Jon Tester’s ‘organic farm’ was really a front for marijuana plantations, and the Navy Cross Jim Webb earned in Vietnam was a cover-up for the fact that he accidentally dropped a frag grenade and blew up an orphanage while buggering his staff sergeant.

To give credit, they did try pushing the idea that Tester was a ‘brokebank democrat’.

Let’s not confuse the marketing (Rove’s department) with the product (Cheney’s department.) Exactly where did Rove make mistakes in this campaign? He almost succeeded in fashioning a Venus de Milo out of a pile of shit - not his fault that it still smells.

The Republicans got all the power they wanted - and it became clear that their policies led to disaster. An analogy - in New York, when I was growing up, there was a beer called Piels. It had a fantastic advertising campaign, with cartoons of Burt and Harry Piels voiced by the immortal Bob and Ray. They were a disaster - sales went up, but the beer was such cat piss that as soon as people tried it, sales went down again.

Not this week. :wink: