Karl Rove gave the Republican Party the political equivalent of the credit card teaser rate! It sure seemed good in the short term but reality sets in over the long run. Yes, "political genius" Karl Rove is the Democratic secret weapon that spells many, many Democratic victories over the next generation.
The big problem for an evil "genius" is that they are evil and the American people really are not evil. Yes, Americans can be deceived and manipulated with scare tactics, lies, dirty tricks and simplistic slogans... for awhile. In the long term, those efforts always backfire. When these "darkside" political tactics get transferred from election strategy to policy, they will inevitably blow-up in the face of their users. Karl Rove never learned this lesson from the era of Richard Nixon.
We should realize that Karl Rove was not the only top Republican to misunderstand the lessons of the greater Watergate scandal. Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, most Republicans in Congress and the Republican National Committee are equally blind. In the Republican Party, they are all Rovians! Hurrah for us Democrats that they are!
Voter suppression, tampering with the voter rolls, intimidation, fear, slander, lies, deception and obsessive secrecy were keys to Republican victories in 2000, 2002 and 2004. These "darkside" tactics led to the Rovian Republican dream of a permanent Right Wing Majority ruling America for the next generation. It was always a crazy dream. It only made sense if you lived in the distorted, alternative reality of 24 hour Fox News and Rush Limbaugh-style talk radio. Most Americans live in the real world.
Even the short term victories from 2000 to 2004 were only possible because Democrats had not held firm against the creeping subversion by the Republican Right of our courts and regulatory agencies. Democrats should never have permitted Right Wing radicals like Thomas and Scalia to have become Supreme Court Justices before 2000. Bush did not legitimately take control of the Presidency in 2000.
Rovian tactics like the illegal, false felon purge by Katherine Harris in Florida before Election Day 2000 made the Florida vote close enough to let the Supreme Court thwart the will of the people and select George W. Bush over the real winner, Al Gore. Thus began the rule by Rovian policy which we call the Bush 43 Presidency.
In policy terms, the triumph of Rovian policy meant secret government by and for the economic elite. Trillions in tax cuts for the wealthiest of the wealthy and a few extra dollars in tax breaks for the rest of us were the first order of business. Most of us saw our tiny tax breaks disappear into our gas tanks as the oil companies who bankrolled the Rovian Republican Revolution financially raped us. California got punished by Bush (Rovian) energy allies like Enron in an illegal, electricity price-gouging scheme that federal regulators should have stopped immediately. Unfortunately, the Rovians got to the regulatory agencies first.
There was an immediate drop in Bush's approval rating. Only the 9-11 attacks saved Bush from one-term status and allowed the Rovian Revolution to last past the first few months.
Bankruptcy laws were changed to screw-over debtors. Polluters got pretty much everything they wanted. Trade pacts were signed all over the third world so companies could ship good American jobs out of the country while flooding us with cheap, often dangerous imports. Within a couple of years, the 9-11 scare tactics and secrecy were not being truly effective in keeping Americans in line politically.
Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush dreamed up a war in Iraq! It was a great political success and Rovian Republicanism was soon in total political control. All government policy was soon Rovian Republican!
Then the results of Rovian Republicanism became apparent. Afghanistan did not turn-out to be a mission completed as the Rovians had told us. The same goes for Iraq but multiply the mistake fifty times. Osama never got caught. The anthrax terrorist was never caught. Food and energy costs rose sharply. Republican officeholders were caught in scandal after scandal. The White House got caught in lie after lie. Stonewalling and claims of executive privilege became the order of the day. The national debt exploded. The super rich got much richer while everyone else got poorer.
The true nature of the Rovian Revolution which is Bush Republicanism has been revealed. It is out of touch with real American values.
Americans support Social Security and do not want it privatized. They support universal health care. They do not want the Bill of Rights trampled on by power crazed public officials. Americans do not want endless war. Americans want a strong defense but realize stupid can never be strong. Most Americans want to be union members. Most citizens want to protect American manufacturing and American jobs. Americans want renewable energy, safe products and bridges that will not collapse under them. They want honest elections where everyone gets to vote and have their vote counted. Americans like balanced budgets. They want to rich to pay their fair share of the tax burden. Americans want to be able to sue corporations when those corporations wrong them.
Americans do not want the kind of Republican rule that Karl Rove was selling. Americans in increasing numbers like the Democratic approach over the Republican one. Thank goodness, the Democrats had their secret weapon... Karl Rove (and crew).
Written by Stephen Crockett (co-host of Democratic Talk Radio www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com). Email: email@example.com.