Show Them the Money

From “The GOP ‘civil war’ is going to make both sides rich,”  Alex Pareene, Salon:

“The conservative movement is a massive and elaborate moneymaking venture.  Numerous nonprofits exist almost solely to raise money, which they spend on their own salaries and, obviously, more fundraising.  A conservative Civil War is great for business.  Karl Rove throwing money at ‘electable’ Republicans is a wonderful opportunity for people to raise money for groups that promise to elect crazies.  More primary campaigns means more jobs for consultants.  More third party groups fighting for the soul of the party means more desperate pitches to gullible millionaires and billionaires.  Plus more crappy books sold in bulk to conservative book clubs!

“‘Donate to us or Karl Rove will defeat true conservatives’ is a great pitch.  Maybe even better than ‘donate to us if you actually want Republicans to win elections.’  While only an idiot would send any money to FreedomWorks, an organization that currently pays Dick Armey a six-figure salary to not work there, the last cycle showed how many well-heeled idiots are out there asking to be fleeced.

“The entire conservative movement these days seems like a successful experiment in getting rich people (and lots and lots of non-rich people, whose donations are less coveted but accepted nonetheless) to pay an ever-growing number of pundits, think tank ‘fellows’ and ‘scholars,’ failed campaign hacks and people like Ginni Thomas who seem to serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever.  Like Paul Harvey, the super PAC’s and nonprofits know it doesn’t matter if your products — in this case, ideas and candidates and electoral strategies — are worthless, as long as you push the crap convincingly.  Whether Rove succeeds or fails in helping the Republican Party, his campaign will be great for the movement.”  Italics in original.


Keep the Crazies Coming

You have to hand it to Karl Rove, the Rasputin of the GOP who refuses to die, to have the chutzpah to go back to the folks whose $300 million he flushed down the toilet in 2012 and ask them for more for his new Conservative Victory Project.

Rove wants to use his new group to keep undisciplined, tactless radicals like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock from getting nominated and make sure that more circumspect, less voluble radicals are chosen.  He doesn’t want to change policies so much as personalities.  His preferred nominees would still do everything in their power to keep rape victims from having access to abortion, they just wouldn’t make outrageous comments about it.

The GOP civil war is portrayed as a battle between the Tea Party and the Establishment, but I don’t see where their platforms differ.  It’s more about identifying candidates who clean up pretty, who don’t chafe at putting on their sheep’s clothing long enough to get elected.

Much as I hate to see the ignorant and the insane given a national platform, I hope the Tea Party types win this war.  We need the Akins and Mourdocks to infuriate us so much that we donate money and volunteer and show up to vote for the reasonable choices.

Until the GOP moderates its positions, I don’t want them to succeed in positioning their faux moderates.


Karl Rove and Dick Morris to Spend More Time with Their Families

From “Fox News Puts Karl Rove on the Bench,” Gabriel Sherman, New York Magazine:

“The post-election soul searching going on inside the Republican Party is taking place inside Fox News as well. Fox News chief Roger Ailes, a canny marketer and protector of his network’s brand, has been taking steps since November to reposition Fox in the post-election media environment, freshening story lines — and in some cases, changing the characters. According to multiple Fox sources, Ailes has issued a new directive to his staff: He wants the faces associated with the election off the air — for now. For Karl Rove and Dick Morris — a pair of pundits perhaps most closely aligned with Fox’s anti-Obama campaign — Ailes’s orders mean new rules. Ailes’s deputy, Fox News programming chief Bill Shine, has sent out orders mandating that producers must get permission before booking  Rove or  Morris.”

If only they had to get permission from me….  Mitt’s loss really is the gift that keeps on giving — I can use a break from evil Rove and smarmy Morris.

Rove Cries Over Mitt’s Loss — All the Way to the Bank

From Matt Latimer, a former speechwriter for Bush 43*:

“When I worked with Rove briefly at the White House, I found him to be a smart, energetic, capable man.  Maybe more than I even realized.  In the past two election cycles, he and his acolytes have personally helped Barack Obama get elected and yet made millions in the process.  You tell me who the dummy is — Rove or the people who keep listening to him and funding him.”

* “Republicans Allowed Karl Rove to Mislead Them Again,” The Daily Beast

Rove Wants Akin to Swim with the Fishes

Karl Rove, meeting with donors to his Super PAC yesterday in Tampa, urged the GOP to “sink Todd Akin,” the Missouri Senate candidate who believes that women who are “legitimately” raped don’t get pregnant.

Rove also said, “If he’s mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts.”

Akin’s office said that since the FBI is currently investigating threats against Akin (now there’s a waste of taxpayers’ money), they didn’t find Rove funny.

Karl Rove Does Social Welfare!

Politico has an excellent story up about the relationship between Steve Wynn and Karl Rove, “Rove hits big:  The birth of a mega-donor,” by Ken Vogel and Steve Friess.  Some excerpts:

“Simply put:  any person, corporation or union can spend as much as they want to directly influence elections through hard-hitting television ads without anyone else knowing.  Republicans and their allies have had exceptional success exploiting this dynamic, which really took off after the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision.

Unlike Super PACs, Crossroads GPS [one of Rove’s groups] is registered under a section of the tax code for so-called ‘social welfare’ groups — 501(c)4 — that does not require groups to reveal their donors’ names, only donation amounts.  The promise of anonymity is one of the main reasons GPS was established — it allows Wynn and like-minded contributors to avoid the controversy that has dogged top political donors like competing casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, as well as the libertarian industrialist Koch Brothers or the liberal financier George Soros.”

“Sources tell Politico that Wynn’s giving to Crossroads GPS dwarfs all the  publicly reported federal donations he’s ever made combined.”  Emphasis added.

Crossroads GPS does “social welfare” about as much and as well as I do nuclear physics.

Is Mitt Stuck as Mayor of Loonyville?

From a fun read, “WTF, GOP?” by Monka Bauerlen and Clara Jeffery, Mother Jones:

“You coulda been a contender!  Economy in the tank.  Congress successfully gridlocked.  Consider:  Base energized, Yes-We-Can shock troops disaffected, major donors to the president’s campaign picketing his speeches.  True, with Occupy on the rise, it did become (cue Jon Stewart falsetto) awkward that your leading candidate was an unapologetic poster child for the 0.0025 percent.  Still, all you had to do was set Clinton ’92 ‘It’s the Economy,  Stupid’ messaging on autoplay and coast to November.  Instead, a way on ladyparts?

“Sure, it’s been entertaining.  Schadenfreude, as the German saying goes, is the best freude.  But liberals take note:  Not only is a robust dialogue crucial for an intellectually engaged democracy, it also happens to be required to Get.  Anything.  Done.  Even if the Republican brand suffers long-term damage (and the jury’s still out), conservatives will make up north of 40 percent of the vote, most importantly in the US Senate.

“Surely we are not alone in worrying that the Grand Old Party is losing touch with reality — obsessing on issues entirely divorced from both 21st-century mores and the pressing economic challenges of the day.  But excepting Bush speechwriter David Frum’s cri de coeur in New York magazine (rewarded with RINO opprobrium from his colleagues), name-brand Republican thinkers steer clear of a frank diagnosis.  They might bemoan a weak field of candidates — George Will has basically written off the White House and tried to rally the troops around holding the House — but no one dares take on the twin planks of Loonyville:  Grover Norquist’s no-taxes-never-ever pledge and Roger Ailes’ facts-be-damned spin on the ‘news.’

“The realpolitik leaders on the right made a bet that they could ride the latest populist wave as they’ve ridden others, using the momentum to pull the rest of the country rightward. But they got greedy.  The current cohort’s overreach threatens to blow 30 years of careful strategizing, from the school-boards-on-up long march to power to Karl Rove’s microtargeting breakthroughs.”  Italics in original, emphasis added.