Thursday, September 16, 2010


(UPDATE, 4/10/13: I'm getting some hits for this post right now, so I've replaced the dead second link below with the Wayback Machine version.)

One of the most famous Karl Rove stories is about how he allegedly planted a bug in the office of his own candidate, then blamed the bugging on the opposing candidate. This served to distract attention from an upcoming debate in which Rove's candidate was expected to stumble; the bugging did, in fact, remain the big story, and Rove's candidate went on to win.

I'm looking at Karl Rove's very public Fox News attack on Christine O'Donnell and -- stop me if you think this is crazy -- I'm wondering if it's a similar trick. I'm wondering if he's drawing attention to himself in order to divert attention from himself.

Here's what I mean: tea party-ism is whipping up right-wing voter enthusiasm for GOP candidates because teabag-style candidates are seen as independent of the GOP establishment. However, a major component of the GOP's plan for regaining power is the funneling of money to Republican candidates by so-called super PACs, one of which is Rove's:

At least 25 "super PACS," including one linked to Karl Rove, are fueling a surge in money for this year's elections following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down limits on corporate campaign spending....

American Crossroads, a group advised by Rove, a top adviser to former President George W. Bush, said it has raised more than $17 million....

These folks are doling out serious money. (Click to enlarge.)

Polls, including the new New York Times/CBS poll, tell us that voters disapprove of the Republican Party more than the Democratic Party -- but, as I keep telling you, that's because each side dislikes the other guys, but it's chic on the teabag right to say you hate the GOP even as you plan to vote GOP. Teabaggers thing the Republican Party isn't wingnutty enough. They love wingnuttism, but have worked up a hatred for the GOP establishment.

So if you're Karl Rove, and you think you might possibly become the poster child for how the alleged grassroots teabagger revolution is actually under corporate/GOP sponsorship, what do you do? Well, maybe, instead of talking party unity or just shutting up, you take a teabag hero you assume will lose anyway and pick a very, very public fight with her (and with her Alaskan guardian angel) on the right-wing base's favorite propaganda channel. Message: teabaggers are fighting The Establishment! Including the GOP Establishment!

Now the rest of your side looks hip, not corporate.

A crazy theory? You tell me.


UPDATE: Whoops, did I get this wrong? This is from Talking Points Memo about an hour and a half ago:

Just now on Fox News Karl Rove prostrated himself on the altar of tea party orthodoxy, having what amounts to a full conversion on Christine O'Donnell.

Still, prior to that he did attack Saint Christine in what, for wingnuts, amounts to church: Fox News. He got the Establishment-vs.-Tea message out. He planted the thought in the base's mind.

AND: The before-and-after Rove videos are here, and I'm not sure it's the epic act of prostration TPM thinks it is. On the other hand, the clip in which he calls O'Donnell "nutty" doesn't suggest much calculation -- Rove used to work hard at picking GOP candidates, and O'Donnell's ascendancy seems to offend him as a political pro. Still, I'll leave the trick theory out there....

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