Special to WorldTribune.com
By Larry Ward and Carter Clews
Karl Rove has declared war on the conservative wing of the GOP, and the Republican Party now risks being reduced to rubble.
This is yet another in a series of internecine conflagrations that a certain segment of the party insists on reigniting every decade, or so, like profligate pyromaniacs.[See also: How Karl Rove, Inc. wasted conservative donors’ $300 million]
At one time, these provocateurs were labeled “Rockefeller Republicans.” After Rocky’s untimely (and unseemly) demise, they became known as “Country Club Republicans.” More recently, they earned the pejorative “RINO,” as in “Republicans In Name Only.”
Now, they are reviled on the right as “Rove Republicans.”
Rove Republicans are typical of the breed of Republican politicos who seems to think the only way to gain and maintain power is to become a mirror image of Democrats — even if (or, perhaps, more accurately, especially if) it requires vivisecting fellow Republicans who insist upon remaining loyal to traditional Grand Old Party principles.
For Karl Rove, this means torching any Republican candidate who dares depart from his left-of-center, middle-of-nowhere ideology.
As one conservative GOP flag bearer after another has learned to their dismay, failing to genuflect to Karl causes a bulls-eye to appear in the center of your forehead (or, more likely, the middle of your back).
ForAmerica Chairman L. Brent Bozell III stated in The National Journal: “The days of conservatives listening to the moderate GOP establishment are over.”
While Rove’s recent declaration of open warfare is his most flagrant bombshell to date, it’s far from his first.
Perhaps the earliest indication that the post-White House Rove intended to try to remake the Republican Party in his own elfin image came just before Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech at the 2008 GOP convention.
Rove undermined Gov. Palin as McCain’s running mate stating “[Palin was] not a governing decision but a campaign decision” suggesting that she could not have been selected on her merits of strong conservative principles, since they didn’t agree with his.
Karl Rove opened the door to the left’s “caricature assassination” of Sarah Palin that has plagued her ever since.
With that, Karl Rove was off and running. He clearly decided that what he couldn’t rule, he would ruin – while, of course, enriching himself at every turn by raising vast sums of money for his own handpicked candidates. Left of center, one and all.
By 2010, he was in full dudgeon, savaging Christine O’Donnell (who had the gall to defeat his Delaware designee, Mike Castle) as thoroughly lacking in “character” and “rectitude,” and, well, in fact, “nutty.” O’Donnell may not really have been a witch, but by the time the Pecksniffian Rove was finished with her, death by dunking may have seemed like a humane alternative.
In 2012, Rove became the self-appointed arbiter for determining who was worthy of running as a Republican and who should join Ms. O’Donnell on the ash heap of political history.
And naturally, all of those he deigned to anoint were left of center. In fact, when conservative candidate Todd Akins committed his rape gaffe, Rove wasn’t satisfied merely to demand that the GOP “sink” him, he added haughtily, “If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!”
Now, Rove and his new “Conservative Victory Project” (a misnomer if there ever was one) have launched his latest incendiary assault against the entire conservative wing of the Republican Party, sending out his Crossroads factotum to declare, “There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected.” Which can be translated as, “Karl has decided that only those candidates who tow his line and fill his coffers should be allowed to run for office.”
When they run, Karl Rove will pad his pockets with another $300 million in campaign contributions, produce tepid ads portraying Republicans as Democrat-wannabes, and take his election night seat on the Fox set to tell the world why everyone else is to blame for yet another Republican descent on the road to ruin.
Decades ago, Harry S Truman astutely observed, “Given the choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, the voter will choose a Republican every time.” The reverse is even more so.
Karl Rove, ever eager to fire up the engines of his money-making machine, would rather burn down the house than face that reality.
Larry Ward [firstname.lastname@example.org] is president of a D.C. based political new media consulting firm. Carter Clews is an international political strategist and media innovator.