Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

All roads lead to Karl

The New York Times runs another front page story on Karl Rove. While other presidents have had powerful advisors who have had a hand in both policy and politics, the NYT insists that Rove is different because his involvement is more "intense," and "that in this administration, as in all others, politics and policy are inextricably intertwined." This is newsworthy stuff? There is a not so subtle implication, by the end of the article, that Rove may have misplayed the Social Security issue, to the NYT’s pleasure! But of course, the NYT ought to know better; they continue to misunderestimate both Rove and Bush. I guess it will take at least one more election cycle for the MSM (at least what’s left of the honest ones) to admit that Bush, Rove, and company have made the GOP into the majority party. Bush told his people before the last election, "Don’t give me a lonely

I don’t want what Nixon had. I don’t want what Reagan had." The GOP victories in the 2004 congressional elections marked the 6th consecutive election in which the Republicans won control of both the House and the Senate. The Republicans have more House members than they have had since 1946. We should also note that there was a surge in voter turnout between 2000 and 2004 ((54.3% to 60.7), and this ids also significant for the non-lonely victory because the last time there was such a surge (in the 1930’s), it marked the appearance of a new majority party. The MSM still doesn’t get it, so they keep writing these weird hit pieces--which turn out to be to Bush’s advantage--on Rove and company. So, again, the NYT argues that there is no difference between policy and politics, except for the intensity. I wonder how FDR and James Farley and the Brains Trust (Tugwell, Berle, Moley) involvement in policy and politics would fare under NYT’s "more intense" scutiny? Never mind JFK and Bobby.

Discussions - 16 Comments

As you posted, this is really not anything that was not already known. Though I suppose the NYT loves trying to make Rove look like some sort of Rasputan. I would not hold my breath waiting for the MSM to figure out anything where it concerns Bush and/or Rove. They just do not get it.

Il Calamaro Grande

Hmmm, so Bush and Rove intensely intertwine politics with policy?

What a sharp contrast with the halycon Clinton years, when the two were kept so strictly and chastely separate. (I understand that the Arkansas Wonder Boy even refused to read polls as a matter of principle!)

I’m sure the New York Times is shocked, just shocked, to have caught Karl Rove in the act of committing politics.

I totally disagree with your conclusion that the Republican Party has in any way built a majority as Roosevelt did in 1932. Roosevelt came along during what is arguably the worst depression in our history. He took the side of the underdogs, which are always the majority. Those losers of 1932 through 1936 regarded him as their Savior, quite literally the man who saved their lives, and they loved him and continued to vote Democratic til they died off. The Dems had an iron grip on the government that lasted for fifty years---even more if you count Reagan as a New Dealer too--through two Republican landslide presidential wins. The GOP has a small majority, no good candidate for ’08, a legislative majority that has been afraid to govern---other than the Contract with America year(s)---and has not put a philosophical stamp on this country. Just wait til the baby boomers start sacking the taxpayers---the Dems will be in charge.

Well I have now heard it all. Reagan was really a Democrat, a "New Dealer". Ok and Jimmy Carter had a muscular foreign policy too.!

Mr. Veit is right. The Republican party has not established itself as the majority. It has a very narrow, very tenuous presidential majority -- and only in the most recent election.
While loss of Congress seems unlikely in ’06, it is possible. The American people are not going to vote indefinitely on foreign policy. As it becomes more and more clear how little the GOP is able to deliver on the social issues, the religious-right folks are in real danger of dropping away. And a recession, always possible, would create more economic liberals. More specifically, as you point out, there is no really good Republican candidate for ’08. Hillary is an even bet, and that thought alone should scare the living daylights out of any Republican.

We are still very, very much in the woods.

I think some of these are gloomy assessments. The fact is, whenever the Democrats have won in the last thirty years they’ve done so only by packaging themselves as moderates. Moreover, taking and holding the Congress is no small does suggest that the (voting) public has turned toward the Republicans.

Given that Liberals are slowly killing themselves off with voluntary childlessness and abortion, this trend is likely to continue if we can ratch down immigration. I don’t understand what Bush is thinking...this is a ticking time-bomb for his party.

Mr. Schramm, I agree on some points (the article, the fact that it presents little not already known, etc) My divergence in opinion starts with your comment

...a surge in voter turnout between 2000 and 2004 ((54.3% to 60.7)...

and how you seem to attribute more voter turnout to a higher win rate for Republicans. Although many seats in Congress were won again, most races nationwide were close. Look at the Presidential election: 51-49% ! This shows that more people actually cared enough to vote, and barely more voted for Bush (percentage wise...but popular vote was a solid win) in 2004 from 2000. Mr Veit has it pretty close, and Mr Frisk hits it right on. There is no reason to think that the Republican party is "out of the woods." Dain says above that "moderate" Democrats have enjoyed wins only when moderate, but what is so bad about that? It seems to me that this means that when Democrats get off topic, off base, and off the planet, they lose big elections. I am confused, Dain, by your assertions about "voluntary childlessness and abortion" and immigration. Can you flesh this out a bit more? It seems like you’re grabbing at straws for ways liberals "out" themselves from society.

I would argue otherwise, and continue with Mr Frisk’s idea of "economic liberals". I think the left will continue, even with Dain’s idea that abortion and voluntary childlessness exist to stave off "leftist procreation". There are social, economic and environmental issues that will continue to create more liberals as these issues come in and out of "style", if you will. Conservatives work well to maintain their base through conservation--people on the right are pretty solid in their values, beliefs and the such--in my personal experience. The fickle left may be fickle, but they can sure stick around!

Karl Rove will be remembered as the one who veered the US into fascism.
Some legacy.....

Joel -- it’s clear that the "Republican suburbs" and the "red countryside" have higher fertility than the "big blue cities." This could be verified with data, I’m sure, but I’m not going to dig for the obvious. Also, conservatives have fewer abortions. Both of these lead to demographic growth. In turn, given socialization, most of that growth will translate into conservative/centrist voting.

Immigration generally means Hispanics, who tend to 1) vote democrat, and 2) have higher fertility. What about this confuses you?

No one is saying that the Democrats are going to fade completely away. They are saying they have become a minority party.

Felonius...rush back to your meeting. I truly wish some of you could experience, just for a few days, REAL fascism. Then you wouldn’t use such terms so promiscuously.

This demographic point -- that conservatives will win because they produce more kids than liberals -- overlooks two points: One, this is implicitly a comparison of white birthrates, not birthrates across society. Factoring in the Latino birthrate changes the picture. Two, what’s so great about conservatives having more kids if it’s the liberals who will continue to educate and entertain the kids, because they will almost certainly continue to control education (kindergarten through graduate and professional school) and Hollywood? As someone pointed out, the liberals don’t need children. They have STUDENTS. We do the hard work of raising more of the next generation, while the liberals control their minds. This does not strike me as necessarily being politically productive for us.

David -- hence my earliest point about immigration. It is clear that demographics can’t help us unless immigration is brought under control. I never ignored that...just read the above.

As for education allowing liberals to "hijack" instead of "raise" new liberals, the Right on campus is getting better organized all the time. Lots of scrutiny bearing down on the academy at this point. Alternative think-tanks are being formed, and religious conservatives increasingly opt for smaller schools under the control of their denominations. At any rate, the halcyon days of liberal indoctrination (without a competing worldview) are long gone. Liberalism is such an incoherent point of view anyway, the only way it thrived was in a vacuum of American power and the dominance of the Democratic Party. People are now forced to deal with the real world, with real people, and that tends to breed conservatives.

I didn’t mean to criticize you, but to make a general point that conservatives should not be overconfident about the supposed demographics in our favor. You seem to get it.

Liberalism may well be more coherent than it seems to be, precisely because it does reject the real world and substitute a fantasy world. This is extremely powerful politically. While there is substantial pressure on people to acknowledge and deal with reality, there is a very powerful desire to redefine and avoid it. This accounts, probably, for much of liberalism’s strength.

It is possible that the Right is better organized on campuses than it has been since the 1960s. But that may or may not be saying a whole lot. An impressive increase from a minuscule base still amounts to very little in terms of actual product. I also think that students are getting tired of the liberal propaganda machine. But that doesn’t mean they disagree with it. The conservative viewpoint tends to be expressed poorly throughout our society. Fear and laziness trump a great deal of other, more favorable factors.

In addition, whatever may happen in the next few years is minor compared with what has happened in the last 40. The dead weight, the inertia, of liberal control will be with us for a long, long time. Reinforced by uncontrolled (and perhaps politically uncontrollable) immigration, the Left even under the best of scenarios still has a lot of time to continue wreaking enormous damage on our society.

Yes, I agree that leftism is a slow poison, and that it has very nearly been our undoing. Nonetheless, I do think that reality asserts itself, and that ultimately we will weather this. Indeed, I think the corner has been turned, but we have miles and miles to go before we sleep...

We may or may not. But I do agree with you that the situation isn’t yet hopeless.

I would echo the words of one of the foreign-policy "Wise Men" early in the Cold War. "I’m neither optimistic nor pessimistic. I’m determined."

Joel, in comment 7 you state: "Although many seats in Congress were won again, most races nationwide were close." The opposite is actually true. More than 90% of Congressional races were decided by 10 points or more.

This is off topic, I guess, but it ought to be a cause for concern. Republicans are obviously the majority party, but the country remains pretty evenly split, even when one looks at the aggregate votes for Congressional candidates nationwide. The only explanation for this is that there are innumerable carefully-crafted one-party districts, which is hardly a good thing for democracy.

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