Palin v. Rove and the Battle for the GOP's Future

The battle for the future of the Republican Party will fully engage tomorrow morning in the wake of today's election. The opposing forces will be initially represented by two Republicans who hold no elected office: Sarah Palin and Karl Rove.

Palin represents the Tea Party Movement (TPM). Rove is the lead consigliere for the Republican bluebloods. Will their groups eventually consolidate their disparate agendas? The answer will determine the future of the GOP.

After eviscerating Christine O'Donnell's campaign, Rove challenged the TPM in Der Spiegel, where he was quoted as saying,

If you look underneath the surface of the Tea Party movement, on the other hand, you will find that it is not sophisticated. It's not like these people have read the economist Friedrich August von Hayek. Rather, these are people who are deeply concerned about what they see happening to their country, particularly when it comes to spending, deficits, debt and health care.

His knowledge of Tea Partiers' reading habits is flawed. And his explanation of people's concerns is merely an affirmation of the obvious. He's since tried to clarify and soften his implied criticism of Tea Partiers, but once you accuse others of being unsophisticated, it's hard to step back and reframe the discussion. Actually, it's impossible.

If we were inclined to think that Rove's words were merely casual comments voiced without forethought or broader intent, we lost that notion when, in a subsequent Telegraph (U.K.) article, he was quoted as saying,

With all due candour, appearing on your own reality show on the Discovery Channel, I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of 'that helps me see you in the Oval Office' ... "There are high standards that the American people have for it [the presidency] and they require a certain level of gravitas, and they want to look at the candidate and say 'that candidate is doing things that gives me confidence that they are up to the most demanding job in the world'.

So where does this dissing of Palin's "gravitas" come from? Ronald Reagan once hosted the television program "Death Valley Days," pushing 20 Mule Team Borax cleaner. The liberal media questioned his gravitas through both terms. Rudy Giuliani is leading a troupe of motivational speakers across the nation, promising to teach time management, leadership, and several other "skills" -- almost everything except how to stir-fry. Fred Thompson is hawking reverse mortgages to seniors. Mike Huckabee is playing average guitar on his FOX show. None of these former presidential candidates is wading hip-deep today in the Gravitas River that Rove claims does not flow through Alaska. So what's up with Karl?

This assault on Palin comes, lest we forget, from the same advisor who either did not make the case or was unable to persuade Bush 43 to stand up and fight back against the relentless criticism from Democrats and the legacy media during six of Bush's eight years as president. Why the aggression now against Palin and the TPM?  

Here's a possible explanation. "Bush's Brain," and the architect of the compassionate conservative strategy of George W's 2000 presidential campaign, is feeling the ground shift under his feet. As a consequence, the gyrocompass of his once-highly regarded political judgment is broken.

On Tuesday night, he'll have his signature whiteboard out charting numbers, but the Rove magic has faded some. He appears to be suffering from a severe case of Beltway Insideritis. It strikes when those who've been comfortable with their status as powerful political influencers lose some of their...gravitas...and become mere observers of the events they wish they could influence, but can't.    

If that's the case, then Karl's just one among a cadre of certified conservative pundits, in the media and among the professional camp followers of the pols, who don't understand a grassroots movement they neither initiated nor can control. To them, the Tea Party People are upstart interlopers, like an uninvited third team that suddenly takes the field during the World Series and starts warming up. Wearing street clothes. With no gloves. Tossing a square ball.   

All because We The People are a powerful force, able to eclipse the intentions of the entrenched George Soroses, Peggy Noonans, Paul Krugmans, and Karl Roves who man and woman the traditional partisan barricades while the unstoppable voters surge over and around them.

Come Wednesday morning, the battle for the GOP's future will begin in earnest.

Let's play ball.
The battle for the future of the Republican Party will fully engage tomorrow morning in the wake of today's election. The opposing forces will be initially represented by two Republicans who hold no elected office: Sarah Palin and Karl Rove.

Palin represents the Tea Party Movement (TPM). Rove is the lead consigliere for the Republican bluebloods. Will their groups eventually consolidate their disparate agendas? The answer will determine the future of the GOP.

After eviscerating Christine O'Donnell's campaign, Rove challenged the TPM in Der Spiegel, where he was quoted as saying,

If you look underneath the surface of the Tea Party movement, on the other hand, you will find that it is not sophisticated. It's not like these people have read the economist Friedrich August von Hayek. Rather, these are people who are deeply concerned about what they see happening to their country, particularly when it comes to spending, deficits, debt and health care.

His knowledge of Tea Partiers' reading habits is flawed. And his explanation of people's concerns is merely an affirmation of the obvious. He's since tried to clarify and soften his implied criticism of Tea Partiers, but once you accuse others of being unsophisticated, it's hard to step back and reframe the discussion. Actually, it's impossible.

If we were inclined to think that Rove's words were merely casual comments voiced without forethought or broader intent, we lost that notion when, in a subsequent Telegraph (U.K.) article, he was quoted as saying,

With all due candour, appearing on your own reality show on the Discovery Channel, I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of 'that helps me see you in the Oval Office' ... "There are high standards that the American people have for it [the presidency] and they require a certain level of gravitas, and they want to look at the candidate and say 'that candidate is doing things that gives me confidence that they are up to the most demanding job in the world'.

So where does this dissing of Palin's "gravitas" come from? Ronald Reagan once hosted the television program "Death Valley Days," pushing 20 Mule Team Borax cleaner. The liberal media questioned his gravitas through both terms. Rudy Giuliani is leading a troupe of motivational speakers across the nation, promising to teach time management, leadership, and several other "skills" -- almost everything except how to stir-fry. Fred Thompson is hawking reverse mortgages to seniors. Mike Huckabee is playing average guitar on his FOX show. None of these former presidential candidates is wading hip-deep today in the Gravitas River that Rove claims does not flow through Alaska. So what's up with Karl?

This assault on Palin comes, lest we forget, from the same advisor who either did not make the case or was unable to persuade Bush 43 to stand up and fight back against the relentless criticism from Democrats and the legacy media during six of Bush's eight years as president. Why the aggression now against Palin and the TPM?  

Here's a possible explanation. "Bush's Brain," and the architect of the compassionate conservative strategy of George W's 2000 presidential campaign, is feeling the ground shift under his feet. As a consequence, the gyrocompass of his once-highly regarded political judgment is broken.

On Tuesday night, he'll have his signature whiteboard out charting numbers, but the Rove magic has faded some. He appears to be suffering from a severe case of Beltway Insideritis. It strikes when those who've been comfortable with their status as powerful political influencers lose some of their...gravitas...and become mere observers of the events they wish they could influence, but can't.    

If that's the case, then Karl's just one among a cadre of certified conservative pundits, in the media and among the professional camp followers of the pols, who don't understand a grassroots movement they neither initiated nor can control. To them, the Tea Party People are upstart interlopers, like an uninvited third team that suddenly takes the field during the World Series and starts warming up. Wearing street clothes. With no gloves. Tossing a square ball.   

All because We The People are a powerful force, able to eclipse the intentions of the entrenched George Soroses, Peggy Noonans, Paul Krugmans, and Karl Roves who man and woman the traditional partisan barricades while the unstoppable voters surge over and around them.

Come Wednesday morning, the battle for the GOP's future will begin in earnest.

Let's play ball.