Tuesday, February 12, 2013


            Karl Rove should aim his artillery out there at liberals, not point his guns inside the fort.  Karl Rove’s “American Crossroads” Super-PAC announced plans to attack challengers to establishment GOP incumbents.   Yet Karl Rove’s strategies in the Bush Administration cost Republicans Congress in 2006 and probably the Presidency in 2008.    

            Ironically, American Crossroads also just released a brilliant pre-emptive campaign ad against Ashley Judd.  Judd is considering using her celebrity to run as a Democrat challenger to Mitch McConnell.  GOP insiders do know how to fight the good fight against Democrats.  The contrast reveals the missed opportunities of Karl Rove’s war on conservatives.

            The GOP must face a hard truth:  The grassroots will continue to reject establishment candidates.   Endorsement by Karl Rove’s PAC will signal to many that an incumbent is ‘part of the problem.’

From the late 1990’s Karl Rove and other GOP strategists openly walked away from the Party’s conservative roots.   Rove was the architect during the Bush Administration of massive over-spending, adding $4 trillion to the national debt, massive expansion of government regulation, liberal social programs, pushing for amnesty for illegal aliens, etc.   George Bush campaigned on a new “Compassionate Conservatism” -- as opposed to that other kind.  

In 2010, the more GOP elites like Karl Rove demanded  “Don’t you dare vote for Christine O’Donnell!” the more eagerly and enthusiastically grassroots voters lined up to nominate her.  Poking a thumb in Karl Rove’s eye was the main reason conservatives donated millions to Christine’s campaign.
Insiders want to school the grassroots on their Tea Party “mistakes.”  But Tea Party actions are not accidents.   The Tea Party is a deliberate revolt against big-government, deficit-spending insiders.  That’s why criticism of Tea Party candidates has no effect.    The more the establishment tells the grassroots whom to vote for, the more they vote the other way.

No disrespect intended to Christine.  She deserves to be voted for.  I have known Christine O’Donnell personally.  Contrary to biased reports, she is a smart, sweet, talented, and capable woman, even though she has her ‘human’ moments, as do I.   But the reality is that grassroots Republicans were largely giving the Republican establishment the big raspberry by rejecting Mike Castle.   Republican primary voters knew exactly what they were doing.

            But conservative candidates cannot win, either, while the establishment is slandering the Party’s own nominees.   Let’s revive a tired old quip:  “It’s the Squabbling, Stupid.”  It is hard to win over independents and Reagan Democrats while Republicans are yelling at each other.   

Imagine being invited to Thanksgiving Dinner when you know the host family will scream at each other much of the day.  It isn’t that you don’t like Thanksgiving, but….   you still might prefer to stay home with a peanut-butter sandwich.   The insiders blame loose cannons.  Or is the problem that Party insiders are firing artillery on their own troops? 

Unfortunately, Republican insiders are like a restaurant whose food the customers don’t want.  Instead of changing the menu, they try to slander all the other restaurants in town.  GOP elites have learned nothing.  They are unwilling to listen, learn, or change.  

In December 2009, Rove invited tea party leaders to a closed door meeting in Dover, Delaware, prior to headlining a fund-raiser at Baywood Country Club.   Russ Murphy of the 9-12 Delaware Patriots described the Tea Party meeting to your author:  Rove “bloviated” for a while and boasted about his own importance and top connections. 

Russ Murphy warned Karl Rove that Mike Castle was not coming out to meet the voters.  Christine O’Donnell was earning the tea party vote by spending time talking to them and answering their questions.  Mike Castle was aloof and arrogant.  Mike Castle was simply a lousy campaigner (in my phrasing).  

So did Karl Rove, campaign genius, leap into action and fix Mike Castle’s mistake?   Nope.  Instead, two weeks later, a slick dossier of attacks and smears against Christine O’Donnell circulated in December 2009 to national media, conservative leaders, and Delaware politicos.  The detail and organization of the slick dossier indicates a national institution paid for an extensive research project.   However, the Bylaws of the Delaware Republican Party prohibited the DEGOP from taking sides prior to the May 2010 Statewide convention.    

 The result was to galvanize support for Christine O’Donnell and alienate Mike Castle from the grassroots.   Yet the smears in that dossier were repeated thousands of times all during 2010, and damaged the general election.   Almost everything you think you know about Christine is a lie set in motion in December 2009 by the GOP establishment.   

 Yet there are none so blind as those who will not see.  GOP elites have done nothing since 2010 to win the Republican grassroots back.   The Karl Roves cannot fix the problem because they do not understand what it is.

Virginia attorney Jonathon Moseley was campaign manager for Christine O’Donnell’s 2008 nomination, worked for her after the 2010 election, and is active in the Northern Virginia Tea Party.