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Posted on 06-28-07 9:48 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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[Down with a tore muscle, while flipping between C-SPAN and what not, this guy in dark brown suit reminds me for the umpteenth time that Karl Rove is a genius. That makes me angry. Here is why.] An Overdue Downgrading of Rove One of the most gratifying outcomes of the 2006 midterm election was the much-awaited demotion of Karl Rove from a ‘genius’ to a ‘failed republican strategist’. To be fair, his place in American politics is somewhere in between. Yet, on a national scale, if judged chastely against the long-term republican census capitalization, he is more of the latter. History will almost certainly tag Rove as the extremist patron who did most damage to the Republican Party in the early 21st century by voluntarily moving the party to the farthest right. There are four reasons that justify why Rove was not a genius to begin with. These reasons are: 2000 election, 2002 midterm election, 2004 election, and 2006 midterm election. An arithmetical analysis below should simplify this hypothesis. 1. 2000 election – In spite of much hype about Republican triumph, in the 2000 election democrats gained four seats in the Senate and two seats in the House. Also, the Democratic presidential candidate amassed 540,000 more votes nationwide than the Republican candidate. While Karl Rove has been unduly attributed to this un-measurable victory, three people deserve the most credit: i) Sandra Day O’Connor, another American icon fallaciously credited for her overrated neutrality, ii) Catherine Harris, the unsightly thug and the 2006 republican senatorial candidate from Florida, and iii) the egomaniacal Ralph Nader who seems to get gratification from his ego detour even when his heart seems to be in the right place. In the 2000 election, Democrats won eight of the ten Senate races that Cook Political Report rated as "Toss Up." A statistician will have trouble classifying this election to be a Republican victory. Nonetheless, when it was all said and done, Rove indeed won where it mattered the most. Sometimes being lucky makes you look smarter than you are. By the time he retires, Roger Federer may keep ‘the greatest ever’ title, but we would never know how he would have fared against the likes of Agassi and Sampras in their prime. It is just a game of luck that Karl Rove’s draw had such self-destructing opponents like Gore and Kerry. The 2000 election proved that a win could be both abstract and subjective. 2. 2002 election – Until 2002, only twice (in 1934 and in 1998) the incumbent president’s party had won the midterm election in both Houses. Though Rove’s success in this election is evident, the Republican triumph has a lot do with the sentimental nation still nursing the wounds of Nine Eleven. The overblown outcome of this election, however, does not even remotely resemble 1998 poll in which Clinton’s party won because of their performance on economic and social issues. Even then the republican gains in 2002 were quite marginal. Despite much hoopla, in 2002, democrats lost only two seats in the Senate and six in the House, while the Republicans lost three governors. Of the two Democrats who lost in the Senate, Jean Carnahan, the widow of Missouri governor Mel Carnahan, was defeated because she was not much of a campaigner, or a politician, for that matter. The second Senate seat of Max Cleland was lost via the most vicious campaigning, arguably in the history of American politics. Rove indeed warrants glory for Saxby Chambliss’ conquest over Max Cleland. Rovian smear tactics in this particular race was obscene to the point of being scandalous. Little did Rove know, just four years shortly, 2002 election would become the stroke of luck for the Democrats and the noninterventionist Independents. More than any other plausible factor, the slim victory in this election turned Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld into the bullying gangsters who suddenly started uttering catchphrases like: “You're either with us or against us.” Bush’s arrogance in late 2002 and the first half of 2003, has tainted the Republican image for at least 15 years to come. Sometimes it takes more than a generation for people to forgive; the genuine haters of the 80s still hate Reagan passionately. The victory in the 2002 midterm election led to the Iraq war and many other misadventures. If he were a true genius, Karl Rove should have envisioned the consequences of such imperial overstretch. How could Rove not recognize that a cosmopolitan society like this cannot be governed for long by sanctioning global bigotry? Who would have thunk six years ago that America would one day become a global joke? 3. 2004 election – The republican president won the 2004 election by more than three million votes. Republicans also gained four seats in the Senate and four in the House. Ok, Rove won this one even-handed. But should he be credited entirely for this Republican exploit? Until November 2004, a large chunk of the population was still undergoing either authentic, or simulated, emotional aftershocks of Nine Eleven. Another chunk was not keen on risking a leadership change in the middle of two wars. Only a hawkish democrat, or an eccentric liberal like Dean, could have put a good fight with Bush in 2004. Alas, Kerry was neither. Hence, the day after the election, the press was too quick to equate Kerry’s limitations to Rove’s wizardry—escalating him to the status of a genius. But, were the numbers that significantly distinct? In the 2004 election, 78 percent of white evangelical Christians who made up 23 percent of the total votes cast, voted for Bush—up 10 percent from 2000. But it was not Karl Rove’s genius that made these self-righteous fanatics reinforce Bush. Between the Born-Again Texan, and the most liberal catholic from Massachusetts, what else was to be expected of these stick-in-the-mud Protestants? Another myth about 2004 election is that a large number of evangelical Christians went to the poll to support social and moral issues like gay marriage ban and stem cell research. The poll data shows the same percentage of evangelical Christians (23%) voted in 2000. Voter mobilization among the republican base might have worked to some degree, but there is no concrete data to support this. Traditionally, these people vote in a greater number than the metropolitan Volvo Democrats. When a Southern Democrat runs for the president, they siphon some of the votes away from this bloc. Otherwise, this bloc has been essentially faithful to the republicans since Reagan started courting them more than a quarter century ago. 4. 2006 election – Notwithstanding Rove’s pre-election claim of keeping both Houses, Republicans lost six Senate seats and at least 29 House seats in this year’s election. Democrats won 24 out of 33 Senate seats that were contested. All the advantages that Republicans had built through gerrymandering, voter mobilization and donor mobilization were simply crushed by one fact: their inability to govern. This election did not have much to do with Democrats; it had everything to do with voters rejecting Republicans. Centrists looked beyond phrases and idealistic assurances, and the tone-deaf president and his administration were graded on policies and their executions. If Rove were a genius and if he really wanted a neo-conservative legacy he should have known better that winning should pursue inclusive and effective governing. Concluding ... In a nutshell, what Karl Rove failed to comprehend is, America is assorted after all. He miscalculated and swung his party to the wrong side of socio-political equilibrium. He did not grasp the simplest reality, which is, these Theocons don’t have a choice. They have seen and heard the likes of Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich; they know aligning with the Republicans is the only choice their god offers them. Rove did not need to push that hard for this coalition. Even in this era of egocasting, his pursuit was too narrow and needless. White evangelical Christians made up 24 percent of 2006 voters. In spite of many stories of Republican disgraces, failures and corruptions, 71 percent of this bloc voted for the republican Congressional candidates—down one point from 72 percent in 2004. This is where Rove fails miserably. He is disillusioned that elections can be won eternally by preaching to the choir. If the Republican Party intends to accommodate the disproportionately increasing minority population such as Hispanics, Asians, non-believers and occasional-believers, it needs to shift slightly to the center without more ado. According to the most recent Rasmussen reports, Americans who call themselves democrats has remained constant at 38.5 percent, while those who call themselves Republicans has dropped to 31 percent—a decline of 6 percent in two years. Considering how diehard republicans usually are, this is an astounding number. In addition, more young Americans are identifying themselves as liberals or democrats. With blacks, the Republican Party is still trying to wash away Goldwater stain from the mid 60s—and since Katrina this relationship has only deteriorated. The recent glimpses of small-mindedness that the conservatives have exhibited with the issues like immigration, gay marriage, and stem cell research has helped create an offsetting base on the other end of the spectrum. Blogs like Daily Kos, TalkingPointsMemo, and Huffington Post are slowly but indisputably neutralizing the spin-and-spit journalism of the Limbaughs, the O’Reillys and the Hannities. A part of being a political genius involves occasionally steering the party to the reverse side of what the core base ennobles. Bill Clinton was a political genius. He stole the ideas like crime fighting, fiscal management, and welfare reform from the Republicans and labored on those issues more productively than any other president since the Second World War. There is no doubt Karl Rove is a clever man. After Nine Eleven, for a couple of years leading up to the 2004 election, he was able to market fear through panic merchants. But Rove would have been more successful as a real estate agent or a luxury car salesman. He is not mega in scope. He is a bottom feeder who triumphs only in a myopic setting. His numbers don’t match that of a strategy genius. He lost two congressional elections and won two. Regardless of who ended up governing, he lost one presidential election and won one. A person who has 50% success rate cannot be classified a genius. Before Rove started in 2000, the Congress had 46 democrats in the Senate, 210 in the House, and 18 served as governors. By January of 2007, that number has changed to 51 democrats in the Senate, 232 in the House, and 28 governors. Democrats also have the majority of State Legislatures for the first time in two decades. Karl Rove’s dream of building a conservative legacy in Washington will remain a pipe dream. According to polls, among the republican candidates who are already in the presidential race, the leading man, Giuliani, is a social democrat in its most true sense. Until recently, McCain was known in his own party as a rebel disguised as a Republican. And Romney used to be a governor of one of the most liberal states in the US. As for Fred Thompson, when he officially joins the race, his poll number will slip by no less than 10 points within weeks.
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Posted on 08-13-07 11:08 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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karl rove was modern day of J. Hoover or Joe Mcarthy. He comes very close to GP Koirala in a sense that - no matter how dirty it is you must win at any cost. overated - may be genius - somehow dirty - hell ya !
Posted on 08-14-07 10:21 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Capn',"I see where you might be coming from, but I perceive a little bit of whining in your comments. Which is unusual for someone, who as per my observations, normally does anything but that." He he Really Capn' Ok I am whiney just like you are blarney. I was paying a glowing tribute to Republicans ? Dunno where you got that. Why hasn't the Democrats gone after Bush with the same zeal ...hmmmmm You should ask the Democrats that question, cause I am not one of them. But one thing I have sort of noticed is that Patriot Act have blurred the thin line between legislation and politics. And everytime they tried to corner Georgeboy ..he he he whips out his executive priviledge card. And 911 empowered the executive privilage to heights that have not been seen since McCarthy-Nixon era. Even Hillary was subdued to that right after 9/11. Remember the freedom Fries ? he he And Rove played that if you are against the Presdent's policies you are Unpatriotic card untill last midterm election(which sorts tanked cause the Democraks took both the Toothless house and senate back). I have no opinion of Rove except that he is really good at what he does(cause it takes a lot to get a Moron electd twice). he he
Posted on 08-14-07 11:14 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Sumoff -

Too bad you had to delete that post. I thought it was a great write-up - in fact,one of my favorites coming from you. I just checked the thread and it looks a bit funny - as though I am talking to myself there ... ha ha ha. Can you delete my comment too? (since it wont let me do that myself)

I also read your comment related to it on John Galt's thread. I think this whole idea of views and posts as a measure of success has its limitations. Some of the stories I have enjoyed the most on Sajha have not had as many hits as others which I thought were only mediocre in substance but turned out to be bigger hits because the subject or the writer or something else appealed to the readers. I guess that's just the way it works. I for one have almost always enjoyed what you write.

Bathroom Coffee -

OK, we're even on the whiney/blarney thing. Note that the comment I made pertains more specifically to the post you put up rather than you the entire person - I don't know you well enough as a person to pass such a sweeping judgment in entirety (and vice versa). Hope you didn't take too much offense.

As for the Dems, yeah, they've been spineless for the most part. Karl Rove may have crossed some fine ethical lines every now and then (and that's debatable), but I think he was an excellent political operative as far as producing results for his boss. At least that's what it looks like so far. People can bitch and moan about Rove and the Republicans as much as they want or they can put their energy to finding their way to power and setting the direction for the country. I prefer the latter approach because it's a better use of peoples time and more likely to produce desired results than the former.

As for Bush being a moron, again I am no Bush fan, but I think he is anything but. His dyslexic and somewhat unpolished or odd mannerism and his supposed lack of general knowledge of world affairs might give that impression, but behind it all, I get the sense he is a pretty clever politician. I think he has used this "stupid" image to his advantage in both elections which clearly goes to show he is smarter than some might think.

{Edited: Argh, typos typos everywhere :) }
Last edited: 14-Aug-07 05:06 PM

Posted on 08-14-07 11:29 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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sum off, I almost missed this. Great to see your foray into political analysis. I will refrain from making any comment on this piece because my logic will not even be half (infact a quarter) as good as yours. Because all of us have been reading (read skimming through) the papers and watching the news now and then. You on the other hand probably were on a mission: you have obviously taken notes and done your homework. The point I would like to make is that, when you write a political write up, try to come up with compelling, thought provoking points that others have not come up with so far, rather than a summary of observations that we have 'kinda' heard before. But then, I am not qualified enough to comment on this piece. keep up the good work! Loved this piece.
Posted on 08-14-07 12:29 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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I have said it before, and I will say it again:


BTW, I can’t delete your thread, it is already more than seven days old. Sorry!


Finally, finally, finally, you wrote something that I completely disagree with. Thank you.

You said:

“When you write a political write up, try to come up with compelling, thought provoking points that others have not come up with so far, rather than a summary of observations that we have 'kinda' heard before.”

I was just trying to be a columnist, not a political philosopher. Did you not feel like I was trying to make this essay objective to the point of being numerical? One can say that he doesn’t agree with me, but he cannot say I am wrong about the numbers; that was the goal. I have given you all the data. Paul Krugman of The New York Times is my favorite columnist, because he often sells his point of view through data, or through chewed out analysis of data.

There are many ways to persuade people, I believe in data whenever it is available.

Thank you for reading. If you only knew how much I value your comments.
Last edited: 14-Aug-07 09:02 PM

Posted on 08-14-07 12:34 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Sum_off, I completely agree with you :) :TAKE YOUR WRITINGS BEYOND COMMENTARIES. YOU WRITE VERY GOOD" Hope to see some interesting stories from Capt. saab too.. Btw, I didn't read your essay :) Not very inclined towards politics and political chit chat..sorry !
Posted on 08-14-07 1:29 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Sumoff...like i said i am not very qualified to make comments on this piece for the simple reason that I am not as well read (and intelligent) as you are. So, thank you for taking time to explain your point. Your responses to my doubts always satisfy me. I read a lot of indian columnists (growing up, I had access to only those newspapers). This guy called Swaminathan Aiyer is my favorite (dont know if u have read him). He gives a lot of data ( he's an economist) but always comes up with acute observations to EXPLAIN the data. So, I guess i was kinda referring to that. I read Fareed Zakaria and our own CK Lal on a regular basis. However, I can't say they are my favorites because I havent read a whole lot of other columnists. You will of course forgive me for disgressing (spelling ??) from the topic of this thread. :)
Posted on 08-14-07 1:55 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Oh that's right, I forgot, the statute of limitations on deletes runs out after seven days :) Hey now now, don't set me in competition with SNDY for the Pinocchio look-alike contest with such generous remarks. Coming from you, I must say I am a bit flattered. Did you hear that SNDY, Loote? *Sum Off* said I should write. My my! :) Nepalonmymind - I used to read Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar and Jug Suraiya - two very fine columnists in the TOI. Too bad the newspaper has gone down the drain in the last couple of years. SNDY - Usss usss ... Aight, I guess I am out of this thread unless anything else comes up. It was an excellent article followed by a fun and spirited discussion. Sum Off, hope to read more of you in the future. Best wishes to all.
Posted on 08-14-07 2:43 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Ha ha ha Captain Saab You really think Bush is faking dumb image ? Hmmm... I dunno about that part. But judging from his body language and emotional expressions ....hmmmm I think its real(I don't think he is as good as Bill Clinton in the Lying business "I did not have any sexual relations...."). I mean it does not suit for most powerful man on earth to be acting dumb. You mean to say all those Bushism books are circumstantial ? C'mon now Capn'... he he
Last edited: 14-Aug-07 02:43 PM

Posted on 08-14-07 2:49 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Oh no, BC, I don't for a minute think he is acting it. I think his supposed "stupidity" is largely just a misperception on the part of some because they tend to judge him based on the traits I described earlier.

As for Bushisms, they make for a great laugh, and I thoroughly enjoy them, like looking up something on the Google in the internets, , but no thinking person should judge Bush's political acumen based on his bastardization of the English language

{Dang, this edit functionality can be dangerous :) }

Last edited: 14-Aug-07 03:05 PM

Posted on 08-14-07 2:54 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Posted on 08-14-07 2:55 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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interesting thread! let me chime in hai ta :P i genuinely believe in: "you get what you deserve and you deserve what you get." i can only give plaudits to sum-off dai, who otherwise is not active in other discussions in sajha, for coming to this platform and putting forth his views on rove, but i tend to agree more with mansion, caps and few other guys on my take on rove. the old man does deserve credits for where america stands today. it's easy to analyze things from hindsight, and while i am myself against bush policies for the most part and the war against iraq, no one knows for sure, where america and rest of the world would have been heading towards if america didn't react the way it did after 9/11. after seeing girija, prachanda from our own land and tony blair, gore, kerry, clinton, bush, rove et al., i am more tempted to believe in that no one's perfect in this world. it's easy to play the blame game. oh and as far as caps restraining his talent to commentaries is concerned, i was probably the first one and caps knows this :P, who genuinely suggested him to go beyond that. i am one of the few lucky ones who have read him beyond commentaries (sshh!!!! :P)and he is quite impressive in that department as well. aight folks, please allow me to make my sixth drink for the day :P...eeeeeeehaaaaaaa! :D
Posted on 08-14-07 3:05 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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"i am one of the few lucky ones who have read him beyond commentaries" When, where, how? What exactly have you been drinking, my bud? LOL!! Or have you been hanging out with Shirish dact saab (of the Loote=CH conspiracy theory fame)? :) Thanks for the thought though. Maybe I should put something out if you guys promise to comment and push the thread up at least once or twice ... he he In jest.
Posted on 08-14-07 3:08 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Last edited: 14-Aug-07 03:08 PM

Posted on 08-14-07 3:08 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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I promise I'll do that Capt. saab..:) Lootecha, badi hoina la !!
Posted on 08-14-07 3:13 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Crap Trying to upload this pic of Beavis and Butthead with Bush and Cheney's face. Where one goes You said "Dick" and the other goes you said "Bush" Guess it has copyright maybe.
Posted on 08-14-07 7:41 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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i just have a notion to make, this whole thing about executive power, is sorta bandwagon, or a fire, the one who started it gets the blame, but no one wants to put it off. if congress wants, they can easlily take it away from bush, but no why would they want that, as the election is nearing, and dems hoping to get the white house, they would also want the trend of "executive power" to stay with them, afterall, you never know when they might need it, if they get the white house. issues of EP, reminds me of Obama, always talking about , how ppl think , he's not black enough, its funny, how he walks a very fine line addressing it,and not taking a definite stand, i mean if its so imp to him, why doenst he take a stand, either proclain hes black enough or admit he isnt, but he's trying to please both , the black n white voters, afterall no matter who, what matters is the vote, not necessarily people, call it a beauty of politics. anyways, US has never had a president, who wasnt a christian, white and male. goodluck to hillary n obama. who knows, may be this time, the trend from india will follow here ;)
Posted on 08-14-07 8:45 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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While listening to NPR, I realized that I agree more with Joe Biden than Clinton and Obama although, he does not have a chance.
Posted on 08-14-07 10:38 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Sitara ji, K cha? as always supporting the underdogs eh? :-)
Posted on 08-15-07 11:04 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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This is becoming one of those threads where every time you try to bail out something or someone interesting turns up.

Sitara - My favorite is a longer shot than even Joe Biden. In terms of speaking his mind, Ron Paul on the Republican side is head and shoulders above anyone running for either party's nomination IMHO. I don't agree with him on everything (choice being one example among a few), but I admire him for his candid and courageous talk

Isolated Freak -

How's it going?
Last edited: 15-Aug-07 12:41 PM


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