Karl Rove Is Right

Erick Erickson notes Karl Rove’s brilliant political jujitsu with his recent comments at the New York Conservative Party dinner. Here’s what Rove said:

Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war. Conservatives saw what happened to us on 9/11 and said we will defeat our enemies. Liberals saw what happened to us and said we must understand our enemies.

Note what Rove didn’t say. The word “Democrat” isn’t in that statement. By responding so vociferously, the Democratic Party is admitting that they are the party of the liberal left. Not a particularly shocking revelation, but critical nonetheless.

The other facet of this is that the Democrats have been saying much worse about the Republicans for years. And there’s a wealth of evidence to attest to it. The fact that the Democrats are getting their collective panties in a knot over a criticism of liberal idiocy over 9/11 is both a case of typically Democratic selective outrage and exactly what Rove wants. Dick Durbin accuses our soldiers of being Nazis, and the Democrats barely bat an eyelash (with the notable and welcome exception of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley). Karl Rove accuses liberals as being weak on terrorism, a critique which is both substantive and accurate, and the Democrats go ballistic.

As military blogger Baldilocks so very astutely notes:

Soldiers get their lives endangered but no one is supposed to say jack. Liberals get their feelings hurt and scream bloody murder.

It’s enough to make you a bit cynical.

And that about sums it up — Rove’s comments may have been impolitic, but they were right on the money. For the left, the truth hurts.

Here’s a hint: if you don’t want to be seen as weak on defense, stop trying to argue for us to withdraw from Iraq on an arbitrary timeline that would instantly hand the advantage to al-Qaeda. Stop spending all your time bitching about Gitmo and start demanding that Syria stop funneling head-chopping fanatics across the Euphrates corridor. Stop giving VIP status to anti-American gasbags like Michael Moore. Stop putting pissant partisan politics above winning this war.

In short, if the Democrtas don’t want to be accused of being weak on defense, perhaps they should stop being weak on defense for a change.

12 thoughts on “Karl Rove Is Right

  1. If the GOP wants to shout down every strongly-worded dissent that comes their way in an effort to destroy the messenger, be it Newsweek or Dick Durbin, they better be prepared to deal with the same response when they fire off inflammatory comments. If the Democrats were smart, they should follow the Republican playbook to the letter and demand either an apology or a resignation letter from Rove every hour on the hour until he’s forced to say or do something. I see Reding doesn’t like it when the GOP’s “shout down the messenger to mute the message” dirty tricks are used against them. I can’t imagine why not.

  2. If the Democrats were smart, they should follow the Republican playbook to the letter and demand either an apology or a resignation letter from Rove every hour on the hour until he’s forced to say or do something.

    If the Demcrats were smart…

    Of course, if the Democrats were smart, they’d shut the hell up about this and let people draw their own conclusions. Rove’s no fool. He knows that the American public doesn’t trust the Democratic Party on national security. Rove’s comments are red meat for conservatives, but magnifying those charges only gives them more play. It forces the Democrats to prove that they’re not weak on defense, an argument that highlights nearly four years of Democrats offering little to this war than mindless criticism.

  3. You’re right the Democrats probably aren’t smart and disciplined enough to relentlessly smear Rove for weeks on end the way the Republicans attacked Howard Dean, Newsweek and Dick Durbin to distract from their own embarrassing headlines. However, it’s curious you would pick now to opine on who Americans do and do not trust regarding national security, seeing as how Bush’s foreign policy ratings are well over 50% negative in every poll. The “red meat” Rove gave conservatives will turn off moderates and swing voters with no party allegiance and who are sick of the polarization that Howard Dean foolishly played into two weeks ago. Until those who identify themselves as “conservative” reaches 51%, more people will be turned off by Rove’s “red meat” than will find it appealing.

  4. “Democrtas don’t want to be accused of being weak on defense, perhaps they should stop being weak on defense for a change.”

    The Far Right stands for a weak America – weakened by significantly underfunding and compromising homeland security, by sleeping at the wheel rather than working hard to face up to real terrorist threats, by promoting those who slept at the wheel while terrorists schemed and attacked us and firing those who pointed out the truth, by promoting those who authorized anti-American acts of criminality, by breeding new terrorist havens by attacking the wrong enemy under false pretenses, by dramatically undermining the military with appalling policies, by aiding the enemy’s ranks by supporting or condoning torture, by delaying or underfunding protective armor and gear for heroic American troops fighting wars to keep America safe. (http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/004698.php)

    Republicans don’t have much to be proud of here.

  5. Smithers,

    Lets be honest here, Liberals do not have a comprehensive plan to deal with international threats. They are for the most part silent on issues of foreign policy except when they have the opportunity to snipe the President. Liberals were at best skittish about attacking Afghanistan and clearly wanted to steer American policy toward a sort of neo-isolationism after the post 9/11 unity faded. There is plenty to criticize the President on as far as foreign policy, but instead the left dabbles mostly in conspiracy theories, character assassination, and pseudo-human rights causes (funny how the sanctions regime in Iraq which brought about the deaths of millions caused few ripples among the supposed guardians of human rights, but a couple of bruised up prisoners causes a freakin’ uproar). Anyway I really wish the dems would finally take international relations a bit more seriously and create an environment of consensus within Congress so that serious problems can be addressed and dealt with immediately.

  6. Well Chris, I don’t know which is worse: Not having a comprehensive plan to deal with international threats, or having a plan so screwed up that it actually makes the international threats worse. You tell me. I would argue that neither party is taking international relations, and how these relations affect our domestic security, seriously. I can say that I understand the reluctance of the Democrats to work with the current administration on any issue. President Bush and the members of his party seem more interested in holding fast to their ideology than actually working with the Democrats to create a consensus. Democrats have attempted to work with the President and have paid the price for it. You can only get burned so many times before you stop screwing around with the matches. This President has shown time and time again that he is not interested in consensus or compromise anyway. Ergo, the current debacle that we are now in can be laid solely at his feet. Things will not change until 2008, maybe 2006 if things keep going the way it looks.

  7. Stop putting politics above winning the war! Enlist! We need you on the ground.

    You still haven’t explained why you haven’t enlisted.

  8. I suspect that Jen won’t take a stand on monetary policy because she hasn’t applied for a job with the Fed. She probably has nothing to say about Social Security reform since she hasn’t volunteered for the Social Security Administration. I bet that she has no opinion on tax policy since she doesn’t work at the IRS or the Treasury Department. Well, you get the point. What an absurdity that whole line of argument is from the mind-numbed, hate-addled Left.

  9. I think it’s important to understand that Rove represents all that’s horrific in conservatism in the US right now. He’s an absolutist that plays to the cigar-chomping financial and political elite in play in US government right now. In that odious speech in New York, he continues the good-old-boy back-slapping that has made US politics such a polarized morass over the last 6 years.

    I agree with Jay that not saying “Democrats” was the right thing for Rove to do. Not all republicans think what Rove thinks, and there are Democrats who will agree with his positions. I am a liberal, and I believe that Rove’s comments are as far into the Conservative camp as you can get, but that does not necessarily translate into ‘far into the Republican camp’. They are not one and the same.

    Rove, in his comments, exemplify the simple definition that I’ve come to carry as my definition of Conservative vs Liberal approaches to political and social issues in the political arena today:

    Liberals think, then act.
    Conservatives act, then justify.

    Think long and hard on that comment. All of the Conservative commentary over the last 4 years has been BushCo trying to justify their actions – and by justification I mean ‘prove that we were right’. There’s an amazing lack of humility in the conservative movement. When was the last time anyone on capitol hill said “Oops, sorry, we were wrong, lets try to fix it…” ?

    Until the conservatives admit that their poor decisions, lack of planning, gung-ho “gotta do something now!” attitudes, and complete cluelessness on how to proceed in the situations THEY have created, the US will continue to be pulled into worse and worse situations – politically, financially, and socially.

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