The Empire Strikes Back
May 17, 2010 8:41 PM   Subscribe

How Karl Rove, a few corporate millionaires, and the Citizens United Supreme Court case will overwhelm American elections and rule the Republican party from the shadows: Rove Rides Again
posted by Glibpaxman (50 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh great. Rove has come over all Malcolm Tucker again. Should have seen this coming, particularly as I was relaxing slightly thinking Steele's... 'leadership' might keep the far, far right quiet for a little while (alongside Arizona going all police state and Texas rewriting American history).
posted by opsin at 8:49 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is one of those links that I just don't have the stomach to click on right now, the political equivalent of horrific accident images. It just sickens me how much power is exercised independently of elected office. At least the Teapartiers will recognize this gross imbalance of power and rise up in protest.
posted by mecran01 at 8:51 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


At least the Teapartiers will recognize this gross imbalance of power and rise up in protest.

Ha!
posted by Caduceus at 8:58 PM on May 17, 2010 [12 favorites]


I have a prediction that in the near future the GOP will split into two parties: The Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, and The 'Publican Party, the party of xenophobes, jingoists, Tea Partiers, and general hatemongers.
I look forward to that day.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 9:02 PM on May 17, 2010


Oh great. Rove has come over all Malcolm Tucker again.

I think you're misunderstanding the Tucker character. He's actually like Rahm Emmanuel (Tucker) He uses profanity and bravado to cover up his fundamental insecurity and cowardice.

Rove doesn't have an analogue in the show, I don't think.
posted by delmoi at 9:02 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's news that Rove is an asshole who would do anything in his power to climb back to the top again?
posted by blucevalo at 9:08 PM on May 17, 2010


So the man who essentially lost Congress for the GOP in 2006 will win it back in 2010? I sincerely doubt that. Rove is seriously overrated; his greatest skill is in self-promotion, which he has in common with most of the current 'Icons of the Right', and that is not going to rebuild the Republican Party. And the Tea Party Movement has so many loose cannons, the GOP casualties due to Friendly Fire will be massive. Of course, I have been wrong before, but not as often as "the Conventional Wisdom'.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:19 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


> As a top deputy to Bush labor secretary Elaine Chao – McConnell's wife – Law had steered a "modernization" of the nation's labor laws that stripped 6 million middle-class workers of the right to overtime pay.

It's a good thing you lucky Americans have a party looking out for the little guy's interests, imperiled as they are by ivory tower elitists, lesbians and greedy unions.

HAMBURGER
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:21 PM on May 17, 2010 [9 favorites]


the political equivalent of horrific accident images

No, this is the political equivalent of horrific accident images. Karl Rove is political equivalent of Jason or Freddy.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:22 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


exterminate the brutes
posted by philip-random at 9:23 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ugh. What an offensive illustration this article has. Seriously, I'm no fan of Karl Rove, and I don't even feel offended at some insult to him, but I'm frankly offended at every other relation I draw looking at that image. I don't even know what's going on there, but it doesn't seem necessary to force that kind of ugliness in the faces of people who've already had the stomach to start reading an article about the Republican Party.
posted by koeselitz at 9:38 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's Steele on the bottom. It's a reference to the Lesbian sex club scandal at the RNC and how Rove is riding that backlash wave to regaining power. I assure you it appears to be there purely for illustrative informational purposes.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:41 PM on May 17, 2010


It may be, but it seems pretty damned close in my mind to implying that people who engage in any sort of kinky sex are dirty, filthy, disgusting, and leering. "See, look how disgusting these men are," it screams: "they're doing kinky stuff together!" But then, I guess Rolling Stone isn't exactly the bastion of high-minded journalism.
posted by koeselitz at 9:46 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


...the GOP will split into two parties: The Republican Party, the party of Lincoln...
Is there anyone left in the Republican Party that actually looks up to Lincoln? Hard to believe. Does Texas even still mention him in their textbooks?

As the nameless Republican director quoted in the article says, "Rove knows how to win." Whereas his problem, as the Bush presidency showed us, is that he doesn't have a clue how to run a proper country. So, yeah, he scares me. Just like ignorance scares me. Whenever Rove wins, failure is delivered in spades.

(And the cartoon offends me less than the actions of the people depicted in it.)
posted by fartknocker at 9:48 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


What a frightening prospect.
posted by unliteral at 9:55 PM on May 17, 2010


Ugh, it's like Rove Centipede.
posted by carsonb at 9:56 PM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Rove has come over all Malcolm Tucker again.

This sentence created a really icky picture in my head. Then I realized I was reading it wrong.
posted by twirlip at 10:06 PM on May 17, 2010 [15 favorites]


a few corporate millionaires, and the Citizens United Supreme Court case will overwhelm American elections

The Republicans are a crazy, frightening bunch, but the fundamental reality is that the much touted American "democracy" is an illusion.

You get a choice between two parties. One supports vast executive power, aggressive militarism, and neoliberal economics. The other is informally led by a woman who recites quotations on Starbucks cups and shoots wolves from a helicopter.

Our two corporate-controlled parties are squabbling daily over the reigns of a failing empire while the rest of us read about the latest sex scandal served up by our vapid, supplicant "news" media. Don't be fooled - the politicians love sex scandals. Sex scandals focus all of the attention on who they happen to be screwing in private, while the more important question of who they happen to be screwing in public goes unadressed.
posted by Despondent_Monkey at 10:10 PM on May 17, 2010 [11 favorites]


Related: I just saw the documentary Casino Jack about Jack Abramoff, a film in which Rove plays a bit part, and I cannot recommend it highly enough: trust me, you MUST see this film if you want to get a forensic analysis of the evil that permeates D.C. politics.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 10:19 PM on May 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


"This is the plutocratic wing of the GOP getting together and deciding that, in the era of unlimited corporate contributions, they don't need a formal Republican Party anymore," says a top Democrat. "It's all about the accumulation of power. ... They've got all the money they need – and now they don't have to put up with those pesky, true-believing activists."

So the plutocrats will feel free to abandon the Religious Right? Wouldn't that destroy the GOP?
posted by twirlip at 10:32 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Despondent_Monkey, you seem to think both parties are monolithic. The Republicans are close to that state, and apparently getting closer via attrition all the time, but the Democrats are as diverse today as they were when Will Rogers said "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat." There are Democrats who are almost Republicans, and there are Democrats who are almost Greens. If you want to improve Congress, put in the effort to get more progressive politicians elected.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 10:33 PM on May 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


Jimmy Havok, the fact that Democratic Party leadership doesn't have any control over the monolith that votes it into office does not make that side of the U.S. political spectrum any less of a herd.
posted by The World Famous at 10:37 PM on May 17, 2010


A herd of cats?
posted by Jimmy Havok at 10:44 PM on May 17, 2010



So the plutocrats will feel free to abandon the Religious Right? Wouldn't that destroy the GOP?


They do know that someone has to actually go in and VOTE for them, right? Oh, I forgot, Diebold.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:46 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


The fundamental difference between politicians today isn't whether they have an R or a D next to their name. One camp believes its their right to hobnob with the rich and powerful and that they've earned that right by becoming extremely talented at manipulating the herd.

The other group believes they have a responsibility to represent the people and the interests of their district - even those who did not vote for them. Yes, most of them accept money and are influenced by the corporate behemoth. But their worldview could not be more different from the evil, lying, manipulative, greedy, and corrupt brand of politician in the first group.

Its a big enough difference for me.
posted by Glibpaxman at 10:49 PM on May 17, 2010


If you want to improve Congress, put in the effort to get more progressive politicians elected.

Before Citizens United, that may have been possible - but, let's face it, between the election manipulations earlier in this decade and the obvious power grab of the haves over the have-nots, individual effort stands a whelk's chance in a supernova of having any real success.

The worst case? 2010 is probably going to be the last election in which "of the people, by the people, and for the people" will have any significant effect. The 2010 election will be used as the testing ground for plutocratic manipulation, in preparation for 2012's Presidential election. When 2012 hits, you're going to see massive amounts of money in circulation, and election manipulation that will make Florida and Ohio look like child's play.

I fervently hope that the worst case does not occur. I hate sounding like a drama queen, but we may very well be looking at the beginning of the end for the ideals this country once represented.
posted by FormlessOne at 10:51 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think you're misunderstanding the Tucker character.

There's also the Machievellian part of his character that manipulates the machinery of government, while being an unelected 'advisor', wielding more power than most anyone else in the party. It's what Alastair Campbell did, and it's what Karl Rove does (albeit potentially less swearily than the former).
posted by opsin at 10:52 PM on May 17, 2010


Though I would agree, apart from the fact he is in the executive branch proper, Emmanuel does seem to be the American Malcolm Tucker.
posted by opsin at 10:56 PM on May 17, 2010


> it doesn't seem necessary to force that kind of ugliness in the faces
> of people who've already had the stomach to start reading an article
> about the Republican Party.

Well, they want the Republicans to read the article too. The picture was bait.
posted by hank at 10:57 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


> we may very well be looking at the beginning of the end for the ideals this country once represented.

The Bill of Rights has been dismembered for almost ten years - we are at least in the middle of the end...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:03 PM on May 17, 2010


Well, they want the Republicans to read the article too. The picture was bait.

Yes, because the only thing holding Republicans back from getting their political analysis from Rolling Stone is the dearth of racy drawings.
posted by The World Famous at 11:13 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


we are at least in the middle of the end

Technically, this is just the middle of the beginning of the end. The bottom is a long way down.

Wow, I'm cynical tonight.
posted by twirlip at 11:22 PM on May 17, 2010


The Bill of Rights has been dismembered for almost ten years - we are at least in the middle of the end...

Well, buck up, that just means Return of the Jedi is next.
posted by maus at 11:48 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


individual effort stands a whelk's chance in a supernova of having any real success.

If no one puts their shoulder to the wheel, the wheel won't move. If everyone says "I can't move it by myself, so I won't even try" then the wheel won't move.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 12:54 AM on May 18, 2010


If everybody keeps putting their shoulder to one of the two huge square wheels, the little round green one will never get any traction.
posted by flabdablet at 3:17 AM on May 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


a whelk's chance in a supernova is my new favorite expression.
posted by JaredSeth at 3:56 AM on May 18, 2010


Not entirely relevant, but did anyone else have no idea that Mitch McConnell was married to Elaine Chao?
posted by threeants at 4:27 AM on May 18, 2010


You think (both) political parties being ruled from the shadows is just now starting in 2010?
posted by DU at 4:40 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


But their worldview could not be more different from the evil, lying, manipulative, greedy, and corrupt brand of politician in the first group.

Both sides think this.
posted by smackfu at 5:23 AM on May 18, 2010


But now groups like American Crossroads can use their funds to openly back GOP candidates – or quietly work to destroy Democratic opponents by investing in the dirty tricks of which Rove is a Jedi master.

I am not convinced that American Democracy is on the chopping block-- not with the internet flourishing. Rove is master of swift-boating, yes, but swift-boating only works if the electorate is confused by smoke and mirrors. If you have an educated electorate with access to the truth, the use of a turd mist to obscure is less effective. I know many of you will scoff at the word "educated" but I believe that the young today have a greater chance at healthy skepticism and intellectual curiosity then those raised in the pre-internet era.

Or maybe I am just ridiculously optimistic.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:39 AM on May 18, 2010


Both sides think this.

But just because two groups have the same mutual opinion about the other doesn't mean that one group is far more justified in thinking so than the other.
posted by Hello, Revelers! I am Captain Lavender! at 5:42 AM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


You get a choice between two parties. One supports vast executive power, aggressive militarism, and neoliberal economics. The other is informally led by a woman who recites quotations on Starbucks cups and shoots wolves from a helicopter.

Hey, I've got an idea! Let's start a truly progressive third party and then let's find someone to be its candidate. Anyone know what that guy Nader's doing these days?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:12 AM on May 18, 2010


For people who don't know who Malcolm Tucker is and why people are namedropping him in this thread:

The Best of Malcolm Tucker Part 1

The Best of Malcolm Tucker Part 2

His protege, Jamie McDonald, a.k.a. The Crossest Man in Scotland.

Totally NSFW due to swearing that reaches the level of High Art.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:53 AM on May 18, 2010


but swift-boating only works if the electorate is confused by smoke and mirrors

And how many people currently get their news from Fox?

but I believe that the young today have a greater chance at healthy skepticism and intellectual curiosity then those raised in the pre-internet era.

I absolutely agree with you. But how many of the young today are taking an active interest in their government? Politics is not a hobby of the young, and while it's good to know that in the future there will be a generation of technically savvy skeptics stepping up to help guide the country, I don't think we're there yet.

I hate to say it, but I suspect that the hard Right is going to provide for quite a few more years of suck before we see them effectively rendered impotent by their own rhetoric and actions.

That said, I'd be happy if I'm wrong and you're right.
posted by quin at 8:19 AM on May 18, 2010


Rove is master of swift-boating, yes, but swift-boating only works if the electorate is confused by smoke and mirrors. If you have an educated electorate with access to the truth, the use of a turd mist to obscure is less effective.

I like your use of the phrase "turd mist."

Alas, the internet, while in many ways magical and wonderful, has not prevented any number of charlatans and untruth-peddlers from achieving and exercising the highest power in the land to as-yet-untold and unrevealed nefarious ends.
posted by blucevalo at 8:22 AM on May 18, 2010


No, this is the political equivalent of horrific accident images.

OK, I may have been partially blinded by nausea so I could use some confirmation: did that link actually say California Secretary of State candidate Orly Taitz?

Still golden!
posted by kittyprecious at 8:42 AM on May 18, 2010


"In other news, stegosauroses have been spotted punching holes in suburban gardens."

They are reportedly lunar-powered.
posted by Twang at 1:42 PM on May 18, 2010


"individual effort stands a whelk's chance in a supernova"

ALL effort is individual.
posted by Twang at 1:46 PM on May 18, 2010


Hey, I've got an idea! Let's start a truly progressive third party and then let's find someone to be its candidate. Anyone know what that guy Nader's doing these days?

Still trying to get people to believe there's no difference between the two major parties despite all that happened after he helped Bush get elected?
posted by Thoughtcrime at 1:48 PM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


the little round green one will never get any traction.

I love the idea of the Green Party, but their execution is awful. The Greens in my town regard anyone they don't know who comes to a meeting with deep suspicion. They've run a grand total of one candidate. I don't see any evidence that other places are any better.

If Greens want to be a viable party, they're going to have to start at the bottom and run for and win city-level elections, then move up to state-level, before they can actually expect to have any national presence. But that's too much work, it's more fun to be fatally cynical and run spoiler candidates while sneering at people who are actually doing something to hold back the tide.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 12:21 AM on May 19, 2010


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