Billy said hey Stagger, I’m gonna make my big attack

Not everyone here likes horse race politics, but I do, because at least at the end of the race, there’s a quantifiable result. Megan McArdle and Bobo can say “sure you think the Iraq war went badly but when you add up the costs and benefits blah blah” but they can’t say “sure you think Obama won the election, but blah blah blah”

So I’m very interested in this Rove versus the Teahadists thing. I’ve been curious as to why the Rovesters came out and SAID they were going to knee-cap Tea Party crazies in primaries. Why not just shut up and whack them with attack ads when the primaries roll around? A TPM reader writes that it’s because there’s nothing to this smack down, that it’s a tale told by a winger, full of Reagan and Wolverines, signifying nothing:

Instead, let’s eschew the pop psychology jargon and look at the public record. Both the Tea Party types and the big GOP donors represented by Karl Rove were fully on board with just about everything the Bush administration said or did. For all their zeal now, the only major policy issue on which Republicans now aligned with the Tea Party ever clashed with Bush was immigration reform — for which Bush himself, remember, didn’t actually fight that hard.

[…]

Since neither the Tea Party types or the big donors and the campaign operatives working for them are thinking of repudiating a Republican administration that lost two wars and wrecked the economy, they are left to air their differences on issues no one besides campaign junkies cares about. The self-styled conservatives complain that Rove and his people say mean things about them; the moneybags wing is dedicated to recruiting candidates who will avoid gaffes. Big deal.

A lot of politics is like that, and not just because tough talk earns tongue baths from Joe Scar and Mike Allen. The local political types I know spew the same gaudy patter. The Rovites are talking about talking smack about the Tea Party down because the Rovites enjoy talking smack.

They say politics is show business for ugly people. It’s also Ultimate Fighting Championships for wimps.

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112 replies
  1. 1
    srv says:

    I just don’t see what voting base Rove can pull out with the passion that the tehadis bring out. White guy Biden isn’t going to rile the nutters up, saving a sex change.

    All they got is money. Maybe that’ll be enough

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    It’s only real if it discourages turnout or encourages third parties on the right.

  3. 3
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    It’s also Ultimate Fighting Championship for wimps.

    What? You mean there isn’t going to be a Steel Cage Death Match? No Hand-grenade duels at three paces? How about a ClownFight with Rubber Chickens?

    Damn. Well, I guess we’ll always have Fundamentalist Gay Sex Scandals..

  4. 4
    EconWatcher says:

    I’m not sure the TPM reader is thinking this through correctly.

    Yes, maybe it’s true that there’s not much difference between tea partiers and the money wing on policy substance. Maybe it is just a question of style: the TP folks prefer obvious mouth-breathing morons like Mourdock, while the money guys prefer relatively smoother and more flexible types like Rubio and Paul Ryan

    But style matters a lot to wingnuts. In fact, you could argue that the Tea Party is mostly about style, the more spittle-flecked the better. So differences in style actually might be enough to provoke a full-on civil war within the party, much to the benefit of the country.

    It doesn’t matter whether the differences between them are real and substantive. It matters whether they think they are.

  5. 5
    efgoldman says:

    However blinded they are by ideology and ignorance, the moneybag types and the Rovians (despite his election night meltdown) can count. They understand demographics (even though they’ll never admit it out loud.)
    The real TeaHadis don’t care. And they can win primaries.
    In a way, this is a mirror of the late 60s/early 70s (without the money) when true lefties could win primaries in blue states, but pretty much never got elected higher than the House.

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    Please proceed, Republicans.

  7. 7
    efgoldman says:

    @srv:

    All they got is money. Maybe that’ll be enough.

    It wasn’t enough this year. Plus, Dems might have learned a cute trick from McKaskill: support the worst TeaHadi in a contested primary, then slaughter him/her in the general.

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    I think Rove is trying to signal to people outside the bubble that he’s not stupid, not like… them. After all, Turdblossom’s claim to fame is that he’s teh Svengali of Republican politics… However, this time around, the aura just collapsed. And if Rove’s enemies don’t fear him, it’s all over.

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    they can’t say “sure you think Obama won the election, but blah blah blah”

    Actually, isn’t this literally exactly what they say?

  10. 10
    BGinCHI says:

    My favorite response to this development of Rove’s is Joe Walsh’s new Super Pac that’s going to fight back.

    Is there any way to fail as a GOP politician?

    Can someone tell me the difference between this behavior and the behavior of insane people?

  11. 11
    Chris says:

    @srv:

    The teahadis bring out the passion. The only thing Rove can swing against that is if he can get enough of the big donors on his side so that whoever the teahadis’ passion is supporting doesn’t have the money to run a proper campaign.

    If it actually gets to that point, it’ll be interesting as all get out. I’m not rightly sure who would win in that kind of staredown.

  12. 12
    Alex S. says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Yes, also, campaign cracks know that there is no substantial difference between the Tea Party and the Money Party, but less engaged people might assume that the more polite tone of mainstream republicans indicates moderation in substance, but it doesn’t. Basically, the difference between the factions is that the Money Party is trying to scam the voting public by hiding their true intentions while the Tea Party believes in the virtue of their convictions and their general popularity.

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    @MattF: Rove lost a lot of the aura of being smart and in-the-know that he had since the Bush years when he acted like an idiot on Fox on election night. Part of this stuff is probably to prove he’s still got it so he can continue making money. If he’s seen as an idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about and can’t deliver, he’ll have nothing.

  14. 14
    handsmile says:

    The Clash, Macbeth, and The Maltese Falcon, all in one post. That’s impressive.

  15. 15
    Ash Can says:

    I think there’s a good point in there. For all their carrying on about how things need to change and blaming the Tea Partiers, the GOP establishment sure isn’t doing anything to make any actual changes. All the two factions are doing is swatting at each other while continuing to insist that their policies have nothing to do with it — policies that the Teahadists and establishment Republicans alike support. The establishment GOP is telling the Teahadis to take a bath and get a haircut and quit acting like they were all brought up in a goddamned barn, and the Teahadis are all saying “fuck you” in reply.

    I’m guessing that the preponderance of money is on the establishment side and that the Teahadis will eventually be muzzled and brought to heel as a result. However, it’s looking as though policies themselves won’t change, and people will be scratching their heads and looking at each other and wondering why Republicans can’t take advantage of demographic trends and public opinion like the Democrats can.

    Popcorn, anyone?

  16. 16
    Suffern ACE says:

    @BGinCHI: when I saw in another thread that Michael Steel and Lanny Davis were joining hands to head some purple solutions group, the answer to your question is obviously no. Nothing can be done to relieve our lives of these guys. Because the rich have too much damn money and will donate to this crap and can still afford to but $5M sculptures of balloon dogs. We won’t be done with this crap until we manage to raise estate taxes to 100% and tax personal assets at 110%.

  17. 17
    Doug Galt says:

    @handsmile:

    Thank you.

  18. 18
    Amir Khalid says:

    … but they can’t say “sure you think Obama won the election, but blah blah blah”

    As I recall, some of the Republican party’s post-election ass-covering involved saying precisely this — even if only to devalue Obama’s victory, rather than to actually deny it.

  19. 19
    General Stuck says:

    It really is a civil war going on and to continue for some time. No one can predict the outcome, I don’t think. Other than to say the longer the nutters don’t have the WH, the more willing they are to close ranks. But the tea party is not going down easy, as they are really only a modern manifestation of entrenched white southern values and ideology. They have been willing to stay on first the dem roles, and now the wingnut roles as a voting block closest to their long held beliefs.

    But they have a bonafide movement of their own, and have tasted some electoral success and a smidgeon of power withing the GOP caucus. I think Rove knows this is POTUS electoral poison, and is trying to energize the staid part of the GOP to not let the tea partiers make hay in 2014, and get more, or keep the seats they have in the House and Senate.

    The tea tards are unfazed, and unimpressed, and certain that transvaginal wands and repeal of current rape laws is the wave of the future. Good news for dems overall, bad news for the country, until there is some resolution. That I suspect will come from a lengthy enough period without having the WH. And the craving for that folds them all back into formation under an electable candidate for prez.

  20. 20
    Chris says:

    @EconWatcher:

    But style matters a lot to wingnuts. In fact, you could argue that the Tea Party is mostly about style, the more spittle-flecked the better. So differences in style actually might be enough to provoke a full-on civil war within the party, much to the benefit of the country.

    Totally agree about what matters to them.

    One of the most revealing moments in the last election: the surge of wingnut love for Romney that happened after he “beat” Obama in the first debate. Didn’t matter to any of them that he did it by walking back on half his wingnut talking points. They only wanted to see one of the Tribe beat one of the people they hated.

  21. 21
    LosGatosCA says:

    @Baud:

    Center right country, center right I tell you! And if you don’t believe it’s a center right country how can you explain how the House is still Republican? After all more people voted Democratic in House races and they still elected more Republicans. That tells you even the folks who voted for the Democratic candidates secretly want Republicans in charge.

    Because . . . it’s a center right country, dammit.

  22. 22
    third of two says:

    Rove’s angle is all about the strategery (winning elections against Democrats) and consolidating power in the hands of the Big Money Boyz, whereas the tbaggers are focused on ideological purity. So I think the TPM reader is only half-right.

    While Rove is an old hand at this sort of political fight, he’s basically trying to start a war with his own creation (remember, during the 2000s he was all about making appeals to the base). That makes this a rather delicate issue; alienate the tbaggers too much and he risks incurring massive payback. On the other hand, the tbaggers operate under no such constraints and won’t hesitate to start tossing RINO grenades.

    Look for popcorn futures to rise.

  23. 23
    efgoldman says:

    @Chris:

    I’m not rightly sure who would win in that kind of staredown.

    Its going to be a state-by-state thing. I don’t think turdblossom is interested in contesting things at the district level. And as I look at the map, only a few primaries would really be in play: Iowa, to keep King out, GA (maybe) to keep Broun out – but that seat probably stays GOBP regardless. LA possibly flips from D to R, but I can see ME going the other way if Collins doesn’t run. Hagen in NC maybe. OTH, if Graham gets primaried by a TeaHadi in SC…. naah, no chance it flips. The Rockefeller seat in WVa?

  24. 24
    Jay C says:

    FWIW, I think Karl Rove is being almost actually clever here: the real target of his overt declaration of war against the teahadists isn’t so much Republicans (of either cup-of-tea) but the “MSM”: in particular, its talking-head political division, who can be reliably counted on to pick up on the Rovian line…

  25. 25
    geg6 says:

    Well, that TPM reader is properly cynical and I admit to a weakness for cynicism myself. And he’s right that the two warring factions have no real policy disputes.

    But I am still forced to wonder exactly why Rove chose to pick this feud. Is he trying to save face with the money boys after his embarrassing showing and subsequent public meltdown on Election Day? Knowing the average wingnut’s seething resentment of elites and their penchant for suicide missions, how does this benefit the GOP if their most passionate foot soldiers turn their haterade onto Rove and the Wall Street gang instead of focusing like a laser sight on the Kenyan Muslim Soshulist and his hordes of sluts, greasers, queers and blahs? It all strikes me like the feuding between the Leninists and Trotskyites, a feud so esoteric in it’s arguments over obscure ideology that anyone who isn’t a communist simply cannot fathom it. All the average person sees is a bunch of stupid people arguing to the death among themselves over minutiae and it solidifies the “Republicans in disarray” meme. Which just causes more average voters to turn away from them. Dems my age lived this very thing not all that long ago ourselves. And, as one who fought in those internal wars, I can state with utter certainty that as long as they keep feuding, we’re gonna keep winning.

    So I heartily approve even as I am gobsmacked that Bush’s Brain has fallen into that trap. Keep up the good work, Turdblossom!

  26. 26
    srv says:

    @Ash Can: So an effort to troll the teahadis as much as possible (guns) maximizes the damage to Rovian dreams.

  27. 27

    Yeah. The real issue couldn’t possibly be the message. If only those people would just listen to the decent white folks …

  28. 28
    Doug Galt says:

    @Jay C:

    That’s an interesting point.

  29. 29
    LosGatosCA says:

    @Ash Can:

    Exactly. The money folks are just uncomfortable because the the unruly morons are blowing everyone’s cover. All they are asking is for them to clean up their act: use spell checkers and know the difference between the racist, sexist, bigoted, class warfare we talk about in the back room together and keep to ourselves versus the smiling, superficial assurances we give to people so they don’t know we will destroy them at the first opportunity.

  30. 30
    dr. bloor says:

    but they can’t say “sure you think Obama won the election, but blah blah blah”

    Someone hasn’t been listening closely. Also, too, “quantifiable results?” They don’t need no steenking quantifiable results.

  31. 31
    Chris says:

    @geg6:

    Nitpick. If by “Leninists and Trotskyists” you mean “Stalinists and Trotskyists” I don’t think it was that esoteric an argument – Stalin wanted to look inward and consolidate the revolution’s achievements at home in Russia, Trotsky wanted to look outwards and spread the revolution to the rest of the world. It was a legitimate policy difference and one that I have no trouble understanding, even if I think the ideology in question was batshit.

    (If I’m wrong and there really was a Leninist/Trotskyist argument as well, forget everything I said. Though I’m curious as to what that argument was, if anyone knows).

    As communist analogies go, the teabaggers remind me more of the Cultural Revolution. But without a Mao to direct it.

  32. 32
    aimai says:

    The Tea Party may not differ much in actual policy prescriptions from the “Republican Party” as such but it is a different brand. Even though it was created as a brand spin off by the GOP itself, and led and paid for by GOP money guys, its function was distinct from the Republican Brand. Its function was precisely to be apparently “decentralized” and “headless”–because the GOP had lost its head (Reagan, Bush) and had failed to replace these guys with a new, recognizable, mascot type leader. The Tea Party ™ gave the rubes at the bottom of the food chain a way to pursue their darkets anti-Obama/anti-progressive agendas without being personally embarrassed by their official leaders in the House and Senate. It enabled them to engage in a permanent round of “no true scotsman” like excuplpation. Things would always turn around at sometime in the distant future when “real” conservatives got back into power. Meanwhile the GOP could still count on them to turn out and vote in elections. So its a win/win for the GOP. You nod in the direction of the new dancing and singing all boy band but you think you can make all the decisions about who the next menudo is going to be.

    As it turns out Rove et al staked their money earning potential on being able to corral votes for the real candidates the GOP would like to see in power–people who can win and then who can be counted on to write the laws the money party wants. But the tea party has encouraged actual voters to think tha tthey can and should be massaged a bit more than the two party system can handle. And if they don’t get what they want emotionally or rhetorically from the GOP they will keep trying to take back ghte power and get the good feeling by running, one after the other, some lunatic version of Sarah Palin or Chuck Norriss or whatever flavor of loon they can attach their hopes ‘n dreams to who seems to them to be like the white flip side conservative version of Obama. They are looking for someone with charisma and star power to overcome what they see as Obama’s unfair advantages since, obviously, he couldn’t have gotten in by appealing to more voters on pure policy grounds.

    Rove can’t control the resource he’s actually trying tocorrall–the votes of individual cranky old white people. He will keep making money off the big money boys but there’s a whole lot of voting and money and horsetrading that is going to go on at the local level before the tea party burns out and its voters retreat to the cave to lick their wounds.

  33. 33
    Roger Moore says:

    @Alex S.:

    Basically, the difference between the factions is that the Money Party is trying to scam the voting public by hiding their true intentions while the Tea Party believes in the virtue of their convictions and their general popularity.

    I don’t think this is correct. I think there’s a real split between the money party and the teabaggers. The money party doesn’t give a damn about social conservatism except as a way of getting votes from the teabaggers. The teabaggers care mostly about social issues, and aren’t super excited about the money party’s issues. They’ve been held together by the money party’s need for votes and the teabaggers’ need for money, and only a little bit by shared policy positions. The teabaggers now have enough money from crazy billionaires like the Koch brothers that they’ve decided to say to hell with the money party and strike off on their own.

  34. 34
    Chris says:

    @LosGatosCA:

    Trouble is, for the teabaggers, it’s never been “in the back room.” It’s what they hear on their radio, see on their television, read in their newspapers and favorite blogs, get preached at them on Sundays, and talk about with each other quite publicly all the time. They’re being asked to keep a lid on it for the first time in they-can’t-even-remember-when. Not a surprise that they’re treating it as race treason.

  35. 35
    General Stuck says:

    On the matter of the post, whether of not there are real policy disputes. I don’t think so either, but what we do have is political process dispute between these versions of wingnut.

    The old guard understands that purity is okay for pontification and all around basic right wing demagoguery. And okay to talk about getting rid of all the bleedy heart left wing social programs. But they also know that cannot be done without the help of democrats, because it would be political suicide. And they know also that there pro business advocacy in red states, especially in the south, has some nasty consequences for them politically, if not addressed. So they really aren’t for getting rid of welfare, because their regressive policies have created the most poor people in the country. Ricky Bobby will still voter against the heathen liberals, so long as its on a full stomach, when times are hard and food stamps are there when needed. Same with the old haters with their SS and Med.

    The tea party wants none of that bullshit pol gamesmanship. They want to actually DO what all wingnuts want. Create a utopian jungle for survival of the fittest, and a permanent hunger game they think they can win. Understandable Rove et al, is going full bore to nip this madness in the bud.

  36. 36
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Chris: used to be a politician could show up at a mosque banning meeting looking for votes one day and say one thing, then go to the local chamber luncheon and say another and just run some ads about taxes and dogs. That is getting harder.

  37. 37
    efgoldman says:

    The thing about TeaHadis which we on the reality-based side can’t compute is, they are toddlers in adult bodies.
    They don’t do “Reason.”
    They don’t do “Logical Extension” or “Fallacy.”
    They don’t do “Actions / Consequences.”
    They don’t do “Negotiations” or “Outcomes.”
    They certainly don’t do “History” or “The Maths.”
    This is the bunch with a dozen MDs in Congress who don’t believe in science.
    They are never going to grow up.
    They wouldn’t exist as a force, except for the perfect storm of the economy in the shitter and the census causing redistricting.
    They are going to have to be rooted out, a district at a time; there will be setbacks and it is going to take a long time.

  38. 38
    22over7 says:

    @geg6:

    I don’t think it’s nearly that complicated. Rove made a very public fool of himself last year, not only with his Fox meltdown, but also with his choices for his fundraising largess–none of whom (or almost none) were actually elected.

    I think what he’s doing is perpetrating a bit of misdirection here, pointing the money guys toward shiny objects (tea party, msm), thereby distracting them from his dismal performance and keeping the gravy train moving along.

    Whether it will work remains to be seen.

  39. 39
    Chris says:

    @aimai:

    This, all of it. Great summary. They told their voter base to let their freak flag fly, gave them the funding to do it and wagered that 1) it would help them and 2) they could control it.

    Now that both these things have been exposed as less than completely true, Rove is trying to get the big money to withhold funding, and hoping that’ll be enough.

    Like the zen master said, we’ll see.

  40. 40
    Ash Can says:

    @BGinCHI: I’m very interested to see how successful Walsh is with his PAC. I’m sure he’ll get something from the big donors, because they’ll want to hedge their bets and because the Tea Partiers pacify the rubes enough to keep them on board with the GOP. But whether it’s enough to actually diminish the establishment’s power in any appreciable way to the benefit of the Tea Party, I’m not so sure.

  41. 41
    eemom says:

    This actually may play out in non-emmessemm bullshit real time here in ole Virginny this year, if Bolling decides to make an independent run.

    For those fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with Va politics, Lt. Gov Bolling was the anointed successor to term limited Gov. McDonnell, and worst of the worst far right wingfucknuts AG Cuccinelli stole it out from under him. In a sane world, Kook would be unelectable….and given that the state went for Obama and Kaine, we have at least some semblance of a claim to sanity here. However, our Democratic party made the typically, spectacularly dumbass decision to nominate Terry McAuliffe.

    Bolling has made it no secret that he’s pissed as hell at Kook’s backstabbery. If he runs as an independent, that’s of course great as a stab in the nuts to that despicable vermin’s chance at the governorship. However, Bolling could actually WIN.

  42. 42
    Chris says:

    @22over7:

    I think what he’s doing is perpetrating a bit of misdirection here, pointing the money guys toward shiny objects (tea party, msm), thereby distracting them from his dismal performance and keeping the gravy train moving along.

    Telling the money guys “it’s not my fault, it’s the teabaggers?”

    That’s funny; I remember idly wondering (and it’s probably not true as it’s really eleven-dimensional-chess-y), a while back, after reading some “moderate/centrist Republican” Villager column or other that was ragging on the dangers of populism (on both sides!) if some in the GOP elites hadn’t meant for the teabaggers to fail all along, so that they could say “see, children, this is why populism is dangerous. You should go back to trusting us, the smart, sensible elites, to make all the decisions for you!”

  43. 43
    Ash Can says:

    @eemom: Does McAuliffe have a decent chance of winning? Is he the type of candidate who will actually get votes in VA? If so, it doesn’t matter how dumb he looks to any of us; he’s the right candidate.

  44. 44
    efgoldman says:

    @eemom:

    However, Bolling could actually WIN.

    You really thinks so, in a three-way race? Old Conventional Wisdom sitting over there in the corner, yelling at the clouds, would suggest Bolling and Kooch would split the GOBP vote, and even dumbass McAuliffe could win.
    Is he officially nominated, BTW, or does the process have to play out.

  45. 45
    gene108 says:

    @EconWatcher:

    It doesn’t matter whether the differences between them are real and substantive.

    The real rift between Rove and the Tea Party is the fact the Tea Party feels betrayed by Rove.

    The right-wing base had a chance to navel gaze after 2008 and they decided the cause of their problems – as decided for them by Rush Limbaugh, et. al. – was being too liberal in the Bush & Co. years, because of things like Medicare Part D, McCain-Feingold, etc.

    The base feels Rove engineered the push to triangulate Democrats on domestic policy, which why we can’t have a permanent conservative Republican majority forever.

    There is a bit more to it than just a style issue.

    There really is a rejection of the compromises needed to govern by the Republican party base, which Rove & Co. are willing to tolerate for getting most of their agenda passed.

  46. 46
    eemom says:

    @efgoldman:

    Good question, and I realized after I posted that we had a 3 way primary last time which McAuliffe lost. But I haven’t heard of any serious challengers this time around.

    I will also admit I don’t know a lot about him in terms of substance — or if, in fact, he has any. What he definitely does have is the image of a carpetbagger, big money, establishment Dem.

  47. 47
    22over7 says:

    @Chris:

    Could be. The elites, that is, the entrenched, traditional republican power base, have to be scared. Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers are not playing nicely, and those three alone have enough money to play politics at the national level. Suddenly the game is different, thanks to Citizens United. What if, thanks to their meddling and millions, Rick Santorum or someone similar were nominated in 2016? The election would be nothing but abortion and gay-hate for a year. And so long, entrenched traditional republican power base.

  48. 48
    LosGatosCA says:

    @Chris:

    In that sense you are right. And that may be why Rove has publicly picked the fight.

    The rules on public discourse have changed. Rove gets that at a practical level. It’s the natural extension of Lee Atwater’s historical narrative, ‘You can’t say n****r anymore that hurts you’ applied to gays, Hispanics, and women.

    So the smarter (relatively) Republicans are adapting by keeping their eye on the prize (low tax rates for rich people) while the dumber Tea Party folks just aren’t getting with the program. Rove wants to be on the ultimate winning side in a public way so that he can keep collecting those wingnut welfare checks. And he can see that being on the side of public racists, sexists, bigots, and xenophobes is no better in 2014 than throwing in his lot with slaveowners in 1861 was. It’s basically the same calculation Buckley made with the Birchers back in the day. Made the Republicans more respectable but it didn’t keep them from making the pilgrimage to Bob Jones University or Reagan from launching his presidential bid from the general locale made famous by the slaying of three civil rights workers.

    The vocabulary and the body language needs to be updated. The firewall between the front room and the back room needs to be redefined. The Tea Party was useful to win in 2010, but that was a one shot deal and now they need to shut up.

  49. 49
    GregB says:

    Mark Halperin says he’s never seen anything like this.

  50. 50
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @EconWatcher:

    But style matters a lot to wingnuts. In fact, you could argue that the Tea Party is mostly about style, the more spittle-flecked the better. So differences in style actually might be enough to provoke a full-on civil war within the party, much to the benefit of the country.

    Good point. I suspect the real reason Rand Paul is delivering a “Tea Party” response to the SOTU is that the Teabaggers don’t think Rubio has it in him to be enough of an asshole to make them happy, and they know “asshole” is Rand’s default setting.

  51. 51
    Josie says:

    @Violet: I agree with you. Actually, I don’t think Rove is half as clever as he and the MSM think he is. The only time he did well was with Bush. Remember when he was the only one who understood the “real math” right before President Obama won the first time. This time he really looked foolish. The only thing that makes him seem successful is the money he manages to collect. I hope he get his ass handed to him by the Tea Party (and I don’t even like the Tea Party).

  52. 52
    MikeJ says:

    @efgoldman:

    They don’t do “Reason.” They don’t do “Logical Extension”

    They really need a Speeding Motorcycle.

  53. 53
    Maude says:

    @GregB:
    I don’t know why, but that struck me funny.

  54. 54
    LosGatosCA says:

    @GregB:

    Mark Halperin has seen something? I’ll tell Paul Revere to let everyone know.

  55. 55
    gene108 says:

    @efgoldman:

    It might wind up like the 2006 CT race, where Lieberman and Lamont split the Dem vote and the Republicans threw their vote behind Lieberman, with the Republican candidate getting something like 10% of the vote and coming in a distant 3rd.

    Boiling and McCauliffe would split the Democratic vote, with the Republicans throwing their weight behind Boiling and pushing him to victory.

    I think there are still enough old-line conservative southern Democrats in VA, who would be willing to back a moderate Republican over what they feel would be a more liberal Democrat.

  56. 56
    Doug Galt says:

    @Maude:

    Me too.

  57. 57
    McJulie says:

    @Josie: When Dems took the house & senate in 2006, I was still spending a lot of time at Kos, and I remember a lot of worry there over Rove’s promises of things like “having the math” and “permanent Republican majority.” Everybody worried that the game was secretly* rigged, and that he knew something the rest of us didn’t.

    When that failed, I suddenly realized that Rove was like one of those CEOs — think Enron — who is lauded as a genius in all the press because everything he does seems to come out gold. But when he fails, it turns out he wasn’t doing anything especially great that whole time — even his fraud was flawed — he just got lucky.

    Rove’s genius was to pretend that he was a genius.

    *”secretly” to distinguish it from the obvious attempts at rigging having to do with voter disenfranchisement and fraud.

  58. 58
    Anoniminous says:

    @GregB:

    Now that Halperin has weighed in we can close the Internets for the rest of the weekend.

  59. 59
    GregB says:

    @Maude:

    It’s all in the timing.

  60. 60
    Dee Loralei says:

    @22over7: I suspect you are mostly right. Rove is pointing his fingers at the teahadis only to ensure that the moneybags keep funneling money to him. He’s declared war on them so no one with actual money will look at his horrendous record from the last cycle. He had a less than 2% success rate in 2012. He only barely beat the NRA in lack of success. He’s also right that the crazies cost them the Senate in 2010 and 2012.

    But yea, as internecine wars go, this one is pretty boring, since they all want the same thing in the end, they aren’t even really arguing about how to wage the war, more like which uniforms to wear and marching songs to sing as they go off into battle against the Dems, libs and the entire 20th Century.

    All we can do is root for injuries and for some sort of pyrrhic victory for either side, so we can get on with the business of running the country and defending the Age of Reason.

  61. 61
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @McJulie: Rove’s genius was to pretend that he was a genius.

    Like Paul Ryan or Chris Christie, Rove knows his audience, basically David Gregory and Mark Halperin and the like. Take away the butterfly ballot and he lost to Al Gore. Take away 9/11 and 2002 probably doesn’t look so great; same for 2004, when Bush won by IIRC the smallest margin ever for a second term, with half of his voters thinking Saddam Hussein was directly involved in 9/11.

  62. 62
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @McJulie:

    When Dems took the house & senate in 2006, I was still spending a lot of time at Kos, and I remember a lot of worry there over Rove’s promises of things like “having the math” and “permanent Republican majority.” Everybody worried that the game was secretly* rigged, and that he knew something the rest of us didn’t.

    Fast forward to 2012, when a lot of Democrats were doing the exact same thing.

    When will we learn?

  63. 63
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @J.D. Rhoades: I saw Rove and some Tea Bagger (Kibbee or McKibbee? Freedom Works spokes puppet, I think) trumpeting Rand Paul as an example of the power and wisdom of the Tea Party, and a few MSMers treat him as a serious presidential candidate. As a Democrat, I’m not scared of Marco Rubio, but I realize I could be wrong; after Reagan and Bush II, who the fuck knows what this country will do? I’ve learned painfully that the rest of the country doesn’t see the world the way I do. That said, I’m pretty confident that when most people see Rand Paul, as when he brought up some tinfoil hat theory about Libya, Turkey and Al Qaeda, I think most of the country would agree with me and Hillary Clinton that this is not someone who should be allowed to use big people scissors. Rand may well have a Senate seat for life, but I think he will be to Crazy Uncle Liberty and the Libertarians who loved him what Richard Cromwell was to Oliver.

  64. 64
    Anoniminous says:

    For reasons known only to the FSM I associate Halperin and Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor.

  65. 65
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @22over7:

    Nice summary.

    Seems to me that the Tea Party is a first rate incubator for grifters. Rove may be worried that it will soon produce someone who can beat the crap out of him at his own game.

  66. 66
    McJulie says:

    I have been trying to figure out the teapartiers since they first came on the scene. The most compelling narrative has them starting out as disappointed Ron Paul supporters, who very early got hijacked by the Koch Bros machine.

    They seemed to have a lot of emotion going on, without much in the way of clear policy demands. It was like, “What do we want? Attention! When do we want it? ALL THE DAMN TIME!”

    My husband characterized their positions as all coming down to, “I’m angry, and I don’t know why!”

    They seemed to be an outlet for right-leaning voters who were crushed into painful cognitive dissonance by the failures of the Bush years. They couldn’t support Bush, but they couldn’t support Democrats either, so they convinced themselves this was some kind of glorious, vaguely nonpartisan third way. It meant people who already wanted to vote Republican could vote Republican but feel like it was some new thing.

    I think the money Republicans encouraged it in part because they saw it as a great opportunity to interfere with Obama’s attempts to govern — you don’t need a coherent policy position for that, you just need to get out there and fuck shit up!

    But that strategy has a limited shelf life. They failed in their main goal — to make Obama a one-term president. Now the fact that they are melodramatic, undisciplined, and kind of stupid is making itself felt.

  67. 67
    Mandalay says:

    @Josie:

    Actually, I don’t think Rove is half as clever as he and the MSM think he is.

    Rove has been called a “genius” because of his contributions towards getting Dubya elected twice. The truth is that he faced two contests against a single opponent and won twice. Well that’s sure better than losing, but the odds off pulling it off are hardly astronomical, and certainly doesn’t merit putting Rove up there with Mozart and Einstein.

    The world is full of ordinary people – politicians, musicians, media blowhards, CEOs, football coaches, etc. – who achieved wealth and fame solely because they were in the right place at the right time. Think Tom Delay and Sarah Palin. Think Bill Wyman and Ringo Starr. Think Dick Morris and Don Imus.

    Well add Carl Rove to that list of lucky mediocrities.

  68. 68
    Anoniminous says:

    @McJulie:

    Demographically the Tea Party is a re-brand of the FundieCon base of the GOP.

    In advance of a new edition of their book American Grace, political scientists David E. Campbell of Notre Dame and Robert D. Putnam of Harvard published in a The New York Times opinion the results of their research into the political attitudes and background of Tea Party supporters. Using a pre-Tea Party poll in 2006 and going back to the same respondents in 2011, they found the supporters to be not “nonpartisan political neophytes” as often described, but largely “overwhelmingly partisan Republicans” who were politically active prior to the Tea Party. The survey found Tea Party supporters “no more likely than anyone else” to have suffered hardship during the 2007-2010 recession. Additionally, the respondents were more concerned about “putting God in government” than with trying to shrink government.

  69. 69
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @McJulie:

    They seemed to have a lot of emotion going on, without much in the way of clear policy demands. It was like, “What do we want? Attention! When do we want it? ALL THE DAMN TIME!”

    My husband characterized their positions as all coming down to, “I’m angry, and I don’t know why!”

    They’re angry because the Republican party has spent decades riling them up and assuring them that they’re the victims of sinister forces on the left. Only thing is, the R’s never paid off on the big things like banning abortion or reinstating school prayer. The big payoffs were to the 1%. Those who are severely riled up want the end of church/state separation, the banning of abortion, the reinstatement of sodomy laws, etc. and they want ’em NOW.

  70. 70
    MattF says:

    @Mandalay: Makes you wonder (once again) about the Bush White House. Rove on domestic politics, Cheney on intelligence and national security, Greenspan (I suppose) on the economy… Pretty friggin’ scary. And what was W. doing all that time, besides establishing a dress code for the Oval Office?

  71. 71
    efgoldman says:

    @MattF:

    And what was W. doing all that time…

    Making up nicknames.
    What, you think we thought of “Turdblossom?”

  72. 72
    Mandalay says:

    @MattF:

    Makes you wonder (once again) about the Bush White House.

    I suppose it could be argued that Rove is a genius precisely because he managed to get a mediocrity like Bush elected twice, with all that drivel about cuttin’ brush at the “ranch”.

    But it could be more persuasively argued that Rove was just a smoke-and-mirrors con man.

  73. 73
    Chris says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    The Bush/Rove campaign only did two smart things; play up the evangelical vote at exactly the right time (ten years ago, gay rights was still a plus for them rather than a minus) and try to ease up on the anti-immigration sentiment. (Not, you know, a lot. But every little piece of the growing Hispanic vote you could get would help. They, unlike the teabaggers, were smart enough to see that).

    Otherwise, the rest of their campaign seems to have been run at the top rather than a grassroots effort – stuff like voter suppression in Florida and then getting the Supreme Court to bail them out when that wasn’t enough.

  74. 74
    Joshua says:

    While you’re probably right and it’s just Rove’s cronies blowing hot air, it strikes me that this is also a good strategy for both Rove’s guys and the Tea Partiers to drum up donations, in the wake of last years “We spent millions and still lost big” fiasco. The Tea Partiers say, “Help us fight against the GOP establishment!” Rove says, “Help us take back the party and so we have a chance in 2014/2016.” And the rubes with the pocketbooks sign some checks.

  75. 75
    Chris says:

    ETA: This post has been deleted because I realized after the fact that I totally misunderstood the person I was responding to. :D

  76. 76
    Jay S says:

    Sorry, the TPM reader conveniently forgets TARP. I know that there is an impetus to blame TARP and the bankster bailouts on Obama and the Democrats, but it started under Bush with the grudging support of Republicans who represented the money class. Tea Partiers saw that as a stab in the back. There may even have been a few conservative Democrats that partied with them.

  77. 77
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jay S: Good point about TARP. I’m astonished at how many left-critics of Obama don’t get how TARP influenced the politics of the Stimulus, health care, really everything that came after it. Ezra Klein I think reported that talking to a lot of Congresscritters, R and D, they really didn’t understand the difference between TARP and ARRA, it’s no wonder most voters couldn’t.

  78. 78
    Chris says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    I agree completely with this.

    The disconnect is that the professional campaigners only think in terms of winning the campaign. They find a bullshit story to run with that’s going to rile up some voters, run with it, and when the campaign’s over, they forget all about it and move on to the next. But to the voters, it wasn’t just a bullshit story, it was all real.

    You’re telling a bunch of paranoid racists that the damn Messicans are coming for their daughters. Then you’re telling them that there’s a conspiracy in Washington to allow the damn Messicans to do just that, because Washington hates your way of life. Then you get elected to Washington… and you don’t do anything about the damn Messicans.

    What’s a wingnut, who believed your every word, to think? Well, the unpleasant but unavoidable conclusion is that you, too, are now in on the conspiracy. And the only solution is to find a true true conservative who’ll actually follow up on this vital, life-or-death issue.

  79. 79
    Chris says:

    @MattF:

    Absolutely nothing. That’s the point. That’s how the GOP has conceived of the presidency since the Gilded Age; the president is just a front man there to put a nice smily face on everything. Remember Grover Norquist saying that he essentially didn’t want Romney to do anything except sign what the teabaggers put in front of him? Same thing.

  80. 80
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Chris:

    What’s a wingnut, who believed your every word, to think? Well, the unpleasant but unavoidable conclusion is that you, too, are now in on the conspiracy. And the only solution is to find a true true conservative who’ll actually follow up on this vital, life-or-death issue.

    Nicely put. The Republicans have ginned up conspiracy theories for every development so it’s nice to see them on the receiving end of a conspiracy theory. The chickens have come home to roost.

  81. 81
    22over7 says:

    @Chris:

    Oh yes this. As I said above, the game has changed. Whatever a politician says is now preserved for posterity and broadcast for everyone. When you want to believe (rather than understand), it must be unnerving.

    The authoritarian mindset wants absolutes. What’s an American politician to do?

  82. 82
    Chris says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Well, careful about the “nice to see” part – this is basically how fascism happened. Years and years of “Zionist conspiracy” this, “Elders of Zion” that; to the conservative elites who were putting it out (like the Tzarists who invented the “Protocols” book, or the Catholic clergy and nobility that ginned up the Dreyfuss Affair), it was just a way to smear the liberals and the left and get a bunch of dupes to back them up. But those dupes who believed every word and eventually took matters into their own hands, well, hello Final Solution.

    (That’s the extreme example, of course, but hey, every good thread deserves a Godwin).

  83. 83
    Mike E says:

    Karl Rove has gotten soft from the illusion of “success”, or Mission Accomplished, whatever it’s called. He’s the Thin Brown Line on the massive turd his political apparatus laid on the national doorstep, and teh liberals have seemingly stopped stepping in it (let alone rolling around in it).

    Enter the TEAtards, the dung beetles of this GOP food chain. Oh, how they love to roll their tiny balls! And what a lovely enormous pile Herr Karl has left for them to ply their trade, a near endless supply.

    Whaddya think of my analogy, it stinks, right?

  84. 84
    WereBear says:

    I see part of the problem being that Rove & Company have been pouring fuel on the Teahadists’ fire. For years now the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party have been stoked to shimmering white hot hate. When the boiler is making a racket and whistling at every join, it’s not a good time to go upstairs and pour a brandy.

    They are not going to settle down and tuck into a salad. The Republicans, as advised by no less personages as Goldwater and Buckley, used to tamp down on the loonies and keep them under control. Rove turned them loose and poked them with a stick.

    Good luck with that.

  85. 85
    Mike E says:

    Karl Rove has gotten soft on the illusion of success, or Mission Accomplished, whatever it’s called. He’s the Thin Brown Line of glitter on the massive turd his political apparatus laid on the doorstep of the nation, and liberals have finally figured out how to not step in it (let alone roll around in it). Nice.

    Enter the TEAtards. The dung beetles in this GOP food chain, these little dynamos have a near endless supply of, well, shit to twirl into little balls. But HORROR! They’re not doing it right. And their Great Sphincter is gonna withhold…gawd, I just can’t. My analogy stinks.

  86. 86
    Chris says:

    @WereBear:

    Goldwater and Buckley? I thought they were the loonies. Of their day, that is.

    (Goldwater’s winning the nomination being one of the rare times when the grassroots got the upper hand over Wall Street).

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chris:

    Goldwater and Buckley? I thought they were the loonies. Of their day, that is.

    They both tried hard to put a lid on the Birchers.

  88. 88
    Suffern Ace says:

    So just where is Norquist in this mess. His club is supposedly powerful with its pledges and huge diners. Does he back rove or the tea party types?

  89. 89
    Chris says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I didn’t know that. Always thought Buckley and his posse basically were Birchers, just, y’know, the kind that could clean themselves, go out in public and form complete sentences.

    So I guess I see your point; sounds like the National Review/John Bircher conflict was basically the 1.0 version of the current “establishment vs teabaggers” fight.

  90. 90
    WereBear says:

    @Chris: It is perhaps a pointless distinction to liberals.

    But for low-info voters, it’s the difference between a business suit on a person who knows how to use a napkin, and a carnival geek who bites the heads off chickens.

  91. 91
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    A lot of what I think of as Reagan conservatives opposed the Iraq War, quietly (Buckley, Will) or not so quietly (Steven Chapman, Bruce Bartlett), and of course the entire Poppy Bush team. Poppy Bush will do as good as anybody as a symbol of the Republicans’ strategy of cynically and deliberately dumbing down our political discourse to win, then whimpering about how things have gotten out of control, and endlessly supply of sorcerer’s apprentices, but the sorcerer never shows up to put things right again.

  92. 92
    mai naem says:

    I have to agree with this overestimation of Rove’s smarts. I’ve never thought Carville and Begala were great strategists. They just had a very gifted candidate. Rove wasn’t all that smart. He had a fluke in 2000(and technically lost) and he had a not all great a opponent candidate who ran a crappy campaign and he had 9/11. I think the Obama campaign strategists deserve some credit for winning against Clinton and then managing to get a black man elected but McCain didn’t have a chance. Romney ran the campaign that will be studied for decades for what not to do.

    Rove’s a gifted grifter. He’s got to have had a eight figure payday from the 2012 campaign.

  93. 93
    Liberty60 says:

    OT question for anyone-
    when I enter in http://www.balloon-juice.com in my browser, it goes to the page a few days ago, and no amount of refreshing will bring up a current page.

    I only got here because of the link on Memeorandum-
    Can anyone suggest a fix?

  94. 94
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Liberty60:

    Clear your browser cache. That worked for me on Firefox.

  95. 95
    hitchhiker says:

    Let’s not forget about the collapsing influence of the evangelicals. They sold out their churches for a seat at the table during the Bush years, and why not? W was one of them, or so they believed, and they elected him, an R senate and an R house. The whole shebang, plus the courts!

    Kingdom had come, so to speak. And yet their long-beloved goals went unrealized. No school prayer. Abortion rights still constitutional. No constitutional amendment to define marriage. No ten commandments on federal buildings.

    That was a bitter realization, I’m guessing — the people they’d sold out to really could not deliver, or didn’t want to.

    And now their own young adult kids are not all that interested in doing church, and who can blame them? If your parents made what should have been a private & precious matter into a political campaign that delivered nothing, how motivated would you be to take it up?

    It’s a fact that the fastest growing religious constituency in the USA is None of the Above. One of Rove’s solid moves was to shanghai the evangelicals to W’s cause . . . but in so doing he fucked the evangelical church for good.

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @hitchhiker: For most of their history, the evangelicals stayed out of politics. It looks like they might heading back that way.

  97. 97
    Chris says:

    @hitchhiker:

    It’s been interesting to me that the Catholics, not the evangelicals, are the ones who’ve taken the lead in opposing Obama. Traditionally, evangelicals are the ones leading the show, the RCC’s just along for the ride. Now it’s the other way around.

    And yeah, you’re right about the politicizing churchgoing thing. Speaking for myself, the fact that the RCC essentially acts as an arm of the GOP is one of the biggest reasons (though by no means the only one) I eventually fell away from it.

  98. 98
    hitchhiker says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Ah, but the toothpaste is all over the sink by now. That church abandoned its own heart for the sake of what it saw as a path to political power. Those clever Voter Guides and all those sermons about the evils of liberals weren’t winning souls or transforming lives, and it’s hard to see how you go back to a place of community-based sanity and strength once you’ve exposed your own leadership’s lust for power.

    The moment this all flipped is when the country was informed that W had been awakened in the dead of night to sign a bill that the congress has passed regarding treatment for Terri Schiavo. That was one time when he actually delivered as promised, and –holy shit! — it turned out that Americans were repulsed by the sight of their political leaders sucking up to the men with the crosses around their necks. That is not how we roll.

    It cost the Rs at the time, but it cost the churches more.

  99. 99
    mclaren says:

    But there may also be some strategy involved. The Rove followers may be talking up what they’re going to do in order to stimulate the Teahadists into such a frenzy of over-the-top response that enough movement conservatives peel away from the Teahadists to fatally damage the Teahadists at the polls.

    Alternatively, the Rove loons may be thinking beyond the primaries. Perhaps they’re trying to generate crazy enough sound-bites from the Teahadist candidates (in wild over-reaction) that the Demo candidates can use them in the general election to destroy the Teahadists. Then, once all the Teahadist candidates have lost the general, the Rove cranks can sweep in and proclaim: “You tried it your way and all your candidates lost. Now you must do it our way or you’re frozen out of office for a generation.”

    Either way sounds like reasonable infighting strategy…if we define “reasonable” as standing on the shoulders of drowning men to stay afloat.

  100. 100
    mclaren says:

    @Chris:

    No, actually the Rove camp did many smart things — most notably, they played the terror card. Scaring the crap out of Americans with “Eeeeeeeeeeeeevil terrists under yer bed! Eeeeeeeeeeevil terrists in yer closet! Eeeeeeeeeeevil terrists hiding in yer garage!” night and day for eight long years worked wonders.

    The gullible infantile American people cowered like whipped dogs and licked Karl Rove’s hand every time he cracked the terror-terror-terror bullwhip.

    The only reason the Rs eventually started to lose elections after 9/11 was that the trauma of 9/11 wore off. The American people are so infantile that they’re like goldfish: anything that happened longer than five minutes ago never happened at all.

  101. 101
    Redshirt says:

    @Mike E: Any Dung Beetle metaphor works for me. Nicely done!

  102. 102
    efgoldman says:

    @Chris:

    It’s been interesting to me that the Catholics, not the evangelicals, are the ones who’ve taken the lead in opposing Obama.

    Professor Pierce, who remains a practicing Catholic, as usual has the best take:

    Enough. Seriously, enough, Mr. President. No more compromises. In fact, the compromises already agreed to are off the table. The original mandate is back in place. If the Clan wants to ignore it, the Clan can get fined for whatever it’s got left after it settles all the lawsuits. If the Clan wants to conduct exercises in civil disobedience, its members can do so and then go to jail, where a considerable number of them belong, anyway. You can obey the law — the whole law — or you can pay the penalty. And, by the way, I’m throwing the Department Of Justice behind any survivors of sexual abuse who want to pry documents out of any archive between here and the Chair Of Peter. Don’t like it? Tough. You have exhausted any reasonable facsimile of patience.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/p....._Delivered

  103. 103
    gVOR08 says:

    “a tale told by a winger, full of Reagan and Wolverines, signifying nothing:” Perfect.

  104. 104
    gVOR08 says:

    “a tale told by a winger, full of Reagan and Wolverines, signifying nothing:” Perfect.

  105. 105
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @aimai: I found your second paragraph gave me a lot of food for thought. Very insightful. I realized that I look forward to your posts here daily, aimai and I hope you stick around for a good long time.

  106. 106
    gvg says:

    I think there is a real fight between factions and it’s been brewing a long time. Until recent years when ever some republican populist proposed something extreme in a cultural sense, democratic leaning voters would say the money people will prevent that from happening (or wall street) and we would all feel better, and that was usually what happened.
    There is a long history of canidates saying cultural conservative stuff and then not delivering, sometimes by very publicly distancing themselves from earlier supporters (Reagan). They never actually delivered on stuff the social reactionaries wanted. In Bush 2’s administration some of those real conservatives were starting to point out that out loud. One guy in particular, can’t remember the name but he actually sounded like a nice guy religious type, wrote a book. Anyway, I think it wasn’t just because of Bush, I think it was the amount of time the promises hadn’t been fulfilled that made some of them realize it wasn’t going to.
    Of course in my opinion some of the promises were never in the power of the pols to deliver without extensive Constitutional amendments. Prayer in schools just can’t pass muster. I wish some of the other things I worry for were as clear, but there were problems with all of the wish list. In otherwords it wasn’t just that the top pols were cynically using them, it’s that what they wanted was pretty bad and unlikely. Since they can’t see that, they are lashing out.

  107. 107
    kay says:

    Rove is signalling that the GOP should pull institutional and otrganizational support from the Tea Party, and that matters a lot because the Tea Party absolutely depend on institutional and organizational support from the GOP.

    What’s been missing from all the fawning media articles on the Tea Party is the reciprocal nature of the GOP/ Tea Party. The Tea Party needs the GOP.

    I think that gets missed because certain members of the political media thought it was a better story if there actually was a seperate Tea Party but there really isn’t, at the organizational and operational level.

    Rove needs the Tea Party (GOP base) but the Tea Party are just a bunch of disorganized ineffective cranks w/out the clout of the GOP.

    The Tea Party “borrowed” the electoral organizational infrastrucure of tge GOP natiinally and at the state level. They still need it.

    There are reciprical alliances like this in the Democratic Party. Labor is one. Why does labor put up with shit from the Democratic Party? Is it because they’re “battered spouses”? No. It’s because labor needs the Democratic Party apparatus as much as Democrats need labor voters.

  108. 108
    kay says:

    What makes me laugh about this whole thing is how clearly both parties are covering their ass.
    Rove has to explain how he blew all that money and tge Tea Party has to explain why people rejected their candidates.
    The entire conservative “movement” revolves around ass-covering and hurt feelings. “Wah wah wah! It wasn’t OUR fault!”

  109. 109
    Palli says:

    What everyone forgets is that the ungodly rich people of the GOP use both “organizations” for their own needs with no scruples and have enough money and distain for democracy to own the voting process itself.

  110. 110
    PinkyLeftBrain says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I don’t think this is correct. I think there’s a real split between the money party and the teabaggers. The money party doesn’t give a damn about social conservatism except as a way of getting votes from the teabaggers. The teabaggers care mostly about social issues, and aren’t super excited about the money party’s issues. They’ve been held together by the money party’s need for votes and the teabaggers’ need for money, and only a little bit by shared policy positions. The teabaggers now have enough money from crazy billionaires like the Koch brothers that they’ve decided to say to hell with the money party and strike off on their own.

    The Koch’s are active as enforcers of the policies of their brand of big money. They created the ‘tea party’ to be the brown shirts and local enforcers of the party.

    The difference between the core of today’s Rovian GOP and the ‘tea poisoned’ is that the GOP keeps the brick behind their back, and the tea poisoned keep it in their hands as they bash it into anything in front of them. The ‘tea party’ is trying to push society back to the stone age, and the GOP monied elite Koch team is coercing it there… Not a subtle difference at all, and will probably succeed. (The tea poisoned could be cover too, distracting people to the direction the money is pulling.)

  111. 111
    Michael says:

    Gerrymandered republican districts.

  112. 112
    John M. Burt says:

    “Sure you think Obama won the election, but blah (ACORN) blah (Mexicans voting) blah (busloads of union members being driven around to vote multiple times) . . . .”

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