Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Sep 11, 2006 in At TMV | 28 comments

Sullivan: Rove Plans Attack On REPUBLICANS Who Are Opposing White House

A troubling bit of info from Andrew Sullivan. We don’t normally run a post from another blog in full but we will here:

Next week, I’m informed via troubled White House sources, will see the full unveiling of Karl Rove’s fall election strategy. He’s intending to line up 9/11 families to accuse McCain, Warner and Graham of delaying justice for the perpetrators of that atrocity, because they want to uphold the ancient judicial traditions of the U.S. military and abide by the Constitution. He will use the families as an argument for legalizing torture, setting up kangaroo courts for military prisoners, and giving war crime impunity for his own aides and cronies.

This is his “Hail Mary” move for November; it’s brutally exploitative of 9/11; it’s pure partisanship; and it’s designed to enable an untrammeled executive. Decent Republicans, Independents and Democrats must do all they can to expose and resist this latest descent into political thuggery. If you need proof that this administration’s first priority is not a humane and effective counter-terror strategy, but a brutal, exploitative path to retaining power at any price, you just got it.

Indeed: the time has come for classic, traditional Republicans who seek to perpetuate conservative values rather than just power or a Cult of Personality to say “enough.” Beginning in the election of 2006 voters may have to take steps to help the GOP clean house of this group of people who have taken it over and who operate so much more differently than Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan — or even the first George Bush.

It’s clear Rove has already lost Democrats — and the recent fury over ABC’s politically-weighted “The Path To 911” was perhaps the final nail in the coffin (it aired accusing former Clinton administraton bigwig Sandy Berger of doing something he never in fact ever did)for gaining more than a pittance of votes from Democratic voters…even moderate ones.

And independents? Many independents have truly had enough of a style of politics that demonizes those who disagree and presses hotbuttons to stir up anger among the electorate to create “us versus them” emotions — so that voters go to the polls to vote against those evil, wimpish, ill-intentioned people on the other side who usually have a “D” in front of their names.

But this time, if Sullivan is correct, they’ll have an “R” in front of their names.

Classic Republicans now have to ask themselves: is this truly the direction you want to see your party move, the values you want to see it defend, and the way in which you want to see it operate?

There is a chance this will backfire. And if Republicans do suffer huge losses in November a good deal of the reason will be because some GOPers remained silent in the face of policies and tactics that probably would have driven them out in the streets demonstrating their opposition if any Democratic administration had done the same thing.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2006 The Moderate Voice
  • Elrod

    I wonder how solid Sullivan’s sources are on this. Couldn’t Rove have just used the Fristian reach-around method to get Bush’s torture bill through the Senate? Or did that move not work?

  • Kim Ritter

    There was an article in The Washington Post today on this very subject. The RNC is desperately turning to personal attacks-using its considerable war chest to dig up as much dirt on Democratic opponents as possible to minimize the political wave that threatens to sweep Republican incumbents from office in November.

    Rove has transformed the Republican party-taken their goal of power for its own sake and perfected the combination of emotional rhetoric and political smear tactics that will sway most voters who are in the undecided category. Rove’s work and Delay’s K Street project aimed to set up a permanent Republican majority through a partnership between corporate donors who got to basically write their own legislation, and politicians who got trips, perks and fundraisers sponsored by lobbyists.

    I have commented several times on this site, that Republicans need to reclaim their party —but it was seen as a partisan attack. In all honesty, I don’t see how any moderate can stomach today’s Republicans.

  • Elrod

    Kim,
    I don’t think the articles on negative GOP campaigning have anything to do with what Sullivan is describing. Sullivan says that Rove will target GOP Senators, not Democratic candidates.

  • Elrod, yes I believe, like Kim, that there was an article in the WaPo about that yesterday as well. Republicans attacking fellow Republicans.

    If this is true… it’s unbelievable. Why would he do this?

    Fear? So that people will not oppose the group within the Republican party that currently is powerful with as a result that this group will not lose it’s power?

  • Kim Ritter

    Elrod is right- The Wasahington Post article was mostly about opposing Democrats-but the tone exemplifies the “win any race at any cost” meme that the Republicans are all about now. Since Republican incumbents are better known and usually can raise more money it is disheartening that a lot of that campaign cash will be spent on smear campaigns. I should have read the post more carefully-sorry.

    Warner, Graham and McCain are three of the best of the Republicans Senators-they have the backbone to take an independent, principled stance- If this is true, I hope it backfires on Rove, and forces Republicans to look at what the party has become in the name of maintaining discipline.

  • in the face of policies and tactics that probably would have driven them out in the streets demonstrating their opposition if any Democratic administration had done the same thing.

    Exactly…if this was a Democratic administration, these foolio Republicans would be up in arms.

  • Ryan

    Of course, if this were a Democratic administration, how would the Democrats be reacting?

    Republicans who are standing up to this administration deserve respect and will hopefully be able to take back the party. I sincerely hope and honstly believe in the possibility that this move by Rove will lead to the implosion of those who have taken over the Republican party and cause a restructuring of the party around its more traditional ideals. It would be in the best interests of both the party and the country as a whole for just that to happen.

  • Davebo

    Warner, Graham and McCain are three of the best of the Republicans Senators-they have the backbone to take an independent, principled stance

    Which sort of illustrates the problem. Because while all three will talk a good line of oversight and constitutional process, they have all rolled over when it counted.

    Even McCain, after getting his anti-torture legislature passed rolled over when Bush inserted his signing statement claiming he would probably ignore the law.

    If these three are the GOP’s backbone that’s going to curb executive claims of power then we are already screwed.

  • Kim Ritter

    But if there’s no real opposition to administration policies (and I admit there has been minimal oversight), why is Karl Rove conducting this campaign against the three Senators? At least they are putting up some kind of protest-public/ media outrage needs to take more of a role also.

    Look at senators like Pat Roberts, Trent Lott, Rick Santorrum, Conrad Burns or Orrin Hatch-these Senators have not only not spoken up about the administration’s policies-they’ve rolled over and played dead for them.

    The 800 signing statements Bush has added to legislation should be illegal-why have they not been challenged in court. I remember that the ABA came out recently with a report that gave an opinion that they were illegal.

  • jim

    What I don’t understand is why Rove would go after 2 of the possible 2008 republican presidential candidates. Does he really think he can get someone like Frist elected. By that time, unless something changes dramatically, I think the US will go for a democrat or moderate Republican. I would think the last thing he wants to do is upset the best candidates for Pres the republicans have at this time anyways. I’m talking about McCain and Warner of course.

  • C Stanley

    Ryan:

    Of course, if this were a Democratic administration, how would the Democrats be reacting?

    Why should anyone be reacting to something that hasn’t happened? Just because someone has speculated that this tactic might be used, doesn’t mean that it will be.

  • Ryan

    C Stanley, I was actually addressing this quote by Joe, discussing what has been happening for at least 6 years:

    And if Republicans do suffer huge losses in November a good deal of the reason will be because some GOPers remained silent in the face of policies and tactics that probably would have driven them out in the streets demonstrating their opposition if any Democratic administration had done the same thing.

    As well as C.Prez’s follow-up:

    Exactly…if this was a Democratic administration, these foolio Republicans would be up in arms.

    My point being that the Democrats are rightfully up in arms over the tactics that are being and have been used and Republicans surely would also be rightfully up in arms over the same tactics if they were being used by a Democratic administration. However, just as many Republicans have just let it slide, how many Democrats would also let it slide if it were a Democratic administration pulling this?

    Of course, that doesn’t make the tactics right. It just makes the point that, once again, who is in power and who is playing the game determines which partisans think it’s fair play and which think it’s going too far.

  • C Stanley

    Ryan,
    It wasn’t clear to me that Joe was criticizing the last 6 years. In fact if you add in the first sentence of his last paragraph, he said “There is a chance this will backfire.” Which seemed to indicate he was talking about “this”, the plan that Sullivan alleges.

    If the calls for Republican outrage are over strategies that have already been used, then yes, I agree that voters of both parties should express disgust over smear tactics, and I agree with your statement that generally each side only criticizes the other for using them.

  • My point being that the Democrats are rightfully up in arms over the tactics that are being and have been used and Republicans surely would also be rightfully up in arms over the same tactics if they were being used by a Democratic administration. However, just as many Republicans have just let it slide, how many Democrats would also let it slide if it were a Democratic administration pulling this?

    Of course, that doesn’t make the tactics right. It just makes the point that, once again, who is in power and who is playing the game determines which partisans think it’s fair play and which think it’s going too far.

    Ryan, it’s like we’re in damned if we do and damned if we don’t territory again. It wouldn’t suprise me if the Dems pulled the same stuff if they were in power. Politics is a dirty game, and nobody’s completely innocent who gets in it. I think that’s what needs to change. Stop the underhanded B.S. that goes on. I think we moderates can take the initiative here and change things for the better without fear of being in the liberal vs. conservative crossfire.

  • C Stanley

    C Prez,
    You and I seem to be agreeing a lot today!

    I have a feeling though, that both parties may be too corrupt to change them from within. And, voters are constrained from trying to do so because the only power we have is our votes and we don’t want to make a statement against our own preferred party (no matter how much we dislike their tactics), because to do so means giving power to the opposing party which is as bad or worse.

    Increasingly I’m coming to the conclusion that things won’t improve unless a viable third party (centrist and populist) emerges.

  • C,

    Must be something in the air today! heheh But yeah, we do need a centrist/populist 3rd party. It seems that you have to be one side of the other and if you’re not you get vilified by both. The closest thing we had to a populist party was Mr. Chart Man Perot’s Reform Party. But we need a new direction, a third voice…well…a moderate voice.

  • Ryan

    Here’s something I never expected to state: I agree with both C.Prez and C Stanley. I think I’ve agreed with each of you individually but never had the opportunity to agree with both of you at the same time.

    As I see it, you both have hit the nail on the head. I think partly because both parties have managed to bill the opposing party as “evil” or “the worst thing that could happen to our country” they have scared people away from voting for a third option because “a vote for a third party is a vote against the good of the country (our party)”. Unfortunately, people have bought into it.

    I’ve always seemed to vote for the most moderate candidate on the ballot but I must admit I’ve gone through times where I didn’t want to “throw away” my vote by voting for a third party candidate who didn’t have a chance of winning. Now, I’m beginning to see that we really do need a viable third party to balance the extremes.

    Hopefully, we are reaching a critical mass in this country and efforts like the Unity08 campaign can make a difference. At the very least, we need a critical mass of moderate voters who can stand up in unison and say we will vote for the most moderate candidate. We need to show both Republicans and Democrats that they need to think about and act with moderation in order to win our moderate block vote and win an election. Of course, this might only develop a candidate who campaigns as slightly more moderate than his or her opponent and acts…who knows…once in office.

    Just some random thoughts.

  • Kim Ritter

    In theory I agree with third party candidates, but they don’t win in practice. Look at the Pennsylvania Senate race where Rick Santorum is backing the Green candidate, so that the Democratic and Independent vote will be split and Bob Casey will lose. In that case, the third party candidate helps the least moderate candidate.

    What you can do is start a massive movement to reregister moderate Repubs and Dems as Independents- so neither party can take a state for granted as blue or red, but the law would have to be changed so that Independents could vote in the primaries. Or you could support Unity ’08 which requires a bi-partisan Presidential ticket.

  • Joe,

    You and I both hate negative campaigns. Most decent people do. But both parties use it shamelessly, and it’s ain’t going away.

    Historians tell us that one of the most brutal campaigns was the Adams/Jefferson campaign of 1800. Both candidates’ proxies engaged in merciless character assaults on the other party. Neither man won a majority in the Electoral College, so the vote was thrown to the lame-duck House. But the House was dominated by Federalists, and the two top vote-getters were Jefferson and Burr, both on the Democratic-Republicans ticket.

    Under the rules of the time (before the 12th Amendment), the House had to vote by state delegation, with the top vote-getter becoming President, and the second becoming VP. But the Federalists were bitter about their pending loss of power, and were loathe to give either man a majority.

    So they engineered a stalemate. For 35 ballots, neither man won a majority, while the Federalists worked behind the scenes for seven days to try to come up with some sort of political work-around.

    Finally, on the 36th ballot, Jefferson was elected as the third President of the United States. Jefferson and Adams later became great friends. They died on the same day, July 4, 1826.

    One can only hope that the current generation of partisans will be similarly able to put the past (our present) behind them.

  • interested

    Or you could support Unity ’08 which requires a bi-partisan Presidential ticket

    If memory serves, was that not a round about method that they choose the VP? 2nd highest amount of electoral votes I believe.

    Superceeded by an Amendment.

  • JP

    Sadly, this–if it occurs as described–will be of NO SURPRISE to anyone watching these thugs for the last 5 years.

  • scott_api

    OK, let’s assume Rove does this. Will the MSM be as vocal about the Right Wing Purge of the GOP as much as they were over Liebermans primary loss?

    And I answer my own query: No. Witness the silence over the challenge to Chaffee just a few miles from where Joe lost…

  • grognard

    We moderates might need to think outside the box, it might not be feasible to start a third party but at least moderates could get in on the nomination part of things. Getting moderate nominees, in both parties, on the ballot might be the way to hold back the extremes. I know there are a lot of disaffected moderate Republicans in Colorado, and Kansas, somehow getting together with moderate Dems could be a start..

  • Kim Ritter

    Interested- I don’t know everything about them, but the goal is to elect a candidate from each party to serve together. Their goal is to encourage bipartisanship. They actually have a post by our very own Joe Gandelman on the website. I don’t see how we will ever be able to face what’s ahead of us, in a strong, united way if the two parties are at each others throats. Third party candidates don’t work with our system, and savvy political operatives actually use them to their own advantage-i.e. the Santorum example.

    The trend seems to be on both sides to drive the moderates out, which will encourage the current “winner take all” environment. That environment is hurting America more than 9/11 did, in my opinion.

  • C Stanley

    Third party candidates don’t work with our system, and savvy political operatives actually use them to their own advantage-i.e. the Santorum example.

    But the Republican party began as a third party 🙂

    Just because it has been so in our lifetime, doesn’t mean that the current incarnation of two parties has to be perpetuated. I am no expert in political trends, but it seems obvious to me that something major has been happening in the last 10-15 years. The country is certainly more polarized than I’ve ever seen it, with most national elections dividing right down the middle. This doesn’t make for good policy, because there is no real mandate. It also doesn’t lend to much civility, because election results that are basically statistical ties don’t result in clear winners, and when the process plays out for choosing the winner there will always be complaints of impropriety.

    Add to that the impression I have that the mainstream is feeling neglected by the two parties, and that many issues are being coapted by one party from another, and I definitely feel that we are ripe for change.

    So yes, in our lifetime the third parties have mainly been spoilers. They have at times served the purpose of raising the level of debate on certain issues, like Perot’s focus on balancing the budget. I’ve often wondered if things might have turned out differently if Perot had been a bit less…insane. Some of the ideas of the Reform party were good and obviously were well received, but it didn’t gain enough momentum. Partly because no one believed a third party could be viable, and partly because of Perot himself.

  • Kim Ritter

    CS- I would not be opposed to third party candidates if there was a runoff if the election’s winner did not receive at least 50% of the popular vote. That would at least ensure that the winner could not be elected with %34 of the vote, and that the third party candidate could not be a spoiler.
    The other problem is that third party candidates are forced to rely on their own money (Perot) or populist support, as the two major parties have the lock on PAC money. This keeps third parties from being viable during future elections.

    I agree with you about the problems with legitemacy of election results and deep partisan division that we currently face, however-and it seems to get worse with each election. Most voters don’t have or take the time to delve behind the partisan spin that each party spews out, and it is hurting our national unity and our democracy.

  • C Stanley

    Well, I have to say that Gore’s refusal to concede definitely didn’t set well with me and drove me farther from the Dems. I feel he was not only a sore loser, but irresponsible because as you say, people don’t look past the partisan spin…so for the past eight years we’ve had people screaming about stolen elections.

    A recount is one thing, but what he did was way over the top IMO.

  • C Stanley

    Oh, and on your comment about PAC money…I agree that the need for populist financial support or independent wealth has made it unlikely so far. But wouldn’t it be a solution to many of the ills of our system if the PAC money were made irrelevant? I’m thinking along the lines of a grassroots fundraising effort. Don’t know if we’re ready for it yet but I would love to see it happen, and with the confluence of the political changes that I mentioned above, plus the internet age, anything is possible.

Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com