In a direct and no-nonsense fashion, Brent Bozell has taken on Karl Rove over in Politico.
Among other things, Brent notes:
Rove belongs to the same tradition of moderates who fought Barry Goldwater in 1964, who pushed back against Ronald Reagan in 1976 and did everything they could to stop Reagan again in 1980. They said Reagan would be a disaster for the party and even the country.
Today, Reagan is one of the most well-remembered American presidents and remains the standard-bearer for what it means to be a conservative Republican, popularizing a small government message that GOP moderates said was too extreme to resonate with voters. As with Rove’s predictions about Mitt Romney’s chances in 2012, GOP moderates couldn’t have been more wrong about Reagan.
Rove and his ilk have opposed every significant conservative leader who has ever dared to challenge liberal or moderate Republican orthodoxy. A history lesson: Moderates wanted Gerald Ford and then George H.W. Bush over Ronald Reagan in 1976 and 1980. Similarly, Karl Rove and his friends wanted Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in 2010. They wanted Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio in 2010. They wanted David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz in 2012.
He notes that Rove says he wants to protect the GOP from “far-right” candidates, i.e. conservatives. Brent concludes:
It’s now time conservatives make sure Karl Rove no longer has any influence on their party.
Brent gets to the heart of the problem here. The moderate wing of the GOP has been responsible for one presidential loss after another stretching over decades dating all the way back to the re-election bid of the progressive Republican Herbert Hoover in 1932. From Hoover on through names like Landon, Willkie, Dewey (twice) on up to Ford, the failed re-election of Bush 41, Dole, McCain and Romney, every single time the advice is always the same: only a moderate can win. In the case of Karl Rove, in fact the “Architect” of the Bush 43 wins, the 2000 election lost the popular vote to Gore and needed the Supreme Court to get in the White House door. While the 2004 re-election against the abysmal John Kerry was a skin-of-the-teeth win with a bare margin from Ohio. And when it came time to pass on the baton to a GOP successor — as Reagan did successfully with Bush 41 in 1988 — the result was an abject defeat for John McCain, with President Bush 43 — a good and decent man — leaving with his ratings hovering in the mid-thirties.
The hard fact is that the moderate GOP is at its core the troglodyte branch of the party. The dime store New Dealers who keep reselling the same sad tale from the “modern Republicans” of the 1950s (when the only thing that held them up was the general who won D-Day) to the “compassionate conservatives” of the Bush 43 years. The latter, as noted, winding up doing considerable damage to the GOP brand.
As this is written, what should be a sure thing race in Kansas — where moderates went out of their way to defeat a conservative in a primary because he was a supposed sure-loser — are busy losing the seat in one of the nation’s reddest states to a Democrat-Obama donor-turned “independent.” And after insisting on a moderate in North Carolina, said moderate is trailing in the polls. Over here in the New York Post John Podhoretzis already hedging the moderate bets by saying that if defeat comes in winning the Senate it’s all because — ready? — “Democrats are vastly superior when it comes to the mechanics of American politics.” Right.
This moderate song and dance has happened time after time after time after time stretching over the last eight decades. Say again — eight decades! The moderate GOP prescription for victory is the classic example of Einstein’s definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over again to no result. As they do this these days the moderate advice — as here with President Romney’s favorite Washington Post “conservative” Jennifer Rubin — is to “get over Ronald Reagan.” There is, of course, nothing new about that advice. It was moderate Gerald Ford who assured the New York Times in March of 1980 that Reagan could never be elected president because he was too “extreme.” Not to put too fine a point on it, Ford peddled this line in 1976, persuaded enough Republicans to win the nomination over Reagan — then proceeded to lose to Jimmy Carter. Four years later Reagan defeated Carter by carrying 44 out of the 50 states. Extreme indeed. Yet the moderates, today’s political cave dwellers, are determined to stay in the cave and spin their fantasies of victories that never arrive, delivered by people who never learn.
What Brent Bozell is saying in Politico is that enough is enough. If, as many think possible, the Obama record is rejected in sufficient numbers to elect a GOP Senate, the important next issue will be what a GOP majority does with the victory. If in fact a GOP Senate follows a Rove prescription, it will be laying the groundwork for yet another moderate defeat in 2016.
Bravo to Brent Bozell. Someone had to say it, and he is exactly the person to get it done.
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