Palin v. Rove and the Battle for the GOP’s Future

An article with the above title by Lee Cary appears in today’s American Thinker. Excerpts follow:

The battle for the future of the Republican Party will fully engage tomorrow morning in the wake of today’s election. The opposing forces will be initially represented by two Republicans who hold no elected office: Sarah Palin and Karl Rove.

Palin represents the Tea Party Movement (TPM). Rove is the lead consigliere for the Republican bluebloods. Will their groups eventually consolidate their disparate agendas? The answer will determine the future of the GOP.

After eviscerating Christine O’Donnell’s campaign, Rove challenged the TPM in Der Spiegel, where he was quoted as saying,

If you look underneath the surface of the Tea Party movement, on the other hand, you will find that it is not sophisticated. It’s not like these people have read the economist Friedrich August von Hayek. Rather, these are people who are deeply concerned about what they see happening to their country, particularly when it comes to spending, deficits, debt and health care.

As a Tea Party supporter who talks with other Tea Party supporters, I would point out that the works of von Hayek, Friedman, von Mises, Hazlitt, and other adherents of “Austrian School” economics figure prominently in our discussions. At its heart, the Tea Party movement is about limiting the size, scope, and role of government. This philosophy is at the heart of Hayek’s famous treatise, The Road to Serfdom and, I hasten to add, Governor Palin’s economic philosophy. In fact, I have no doubt that the average Tea Partier knows far more about the writings of von Hayek than the politicos who occupy the beltway.

I don’t know if Karl “Tokyo” Rove has read von Hayek or not (I have). I am certain of one thing, however: if Rove did read it, he didn’t understand it. Indeed Rove’s idea of government of, by, and for the beltway is anathema to anything von Hayek advocated. Am I the only one who thinks compassionate conservatism is redundant? That aside, how do we advance conservatism by growing government as Rove advocated (e.g. No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, etc.) when advising President George W. Bush? No, Karl, von Hayek would not have thought that increasing the number of those dependent on federal government largesse is in any way consistent with conservatism…or compassion.

If anyone has an unsophisticated view of conservatism, it’s Rove, not the Tea Partiers. Toward the end of his piece, Cary offers an explanation as to why Rove and others of his ilk are melting down before our very eyes:

“Bush’s Brain,” and the architect of the compassionate conservative strategy of George W’s 2000 presidential campaign, is feeling the ground shift under his feet. As a consequence, the gyrocompass of his once-highly regarded political judgment is broken.

On Tuesday night, he’ll have his signature whiteboard out charting numbers, but the Rove magic has faded some. He appears to be suffering from a severe case of Beltway Insideritis. It strikes when those who’ve been comfortable with their status as powerful political influencers lose some of their…gravitas…and become mere observers of the events they wish they could influence, but can’t.

Indeed they can’t. If anyone has demonstrated influence in today’s political environment, it’s Governor Palin. Ever since her brilliant use of the term “death panels” as a metaphor for the rationing that must occur under Obamacare, the entire Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda has been on the defensive. Since she emerged as the undisputed leader of Obama’s opposition, Obama’s and the Democrats’ sagging poll numbers have been matched by a commensurate rise in Republican fortunes. So influential has she been as a counter to Obama that his Press secretary, Robert “Baghdad Bob” Gibbs has been forced to respond to her multiple times. Obama himself has been forced to respond. As has been noted many times, she lives rent free in his head. If this isn’t “gravitas”, I don’t know what is.

This is the kind of influence Rove no longer has. That he has to run around promoting his own relevance by impugning that of others is a sure sign his is on the wane, as well it should be. The Tea Party movement has rescued conservatism from near oblivion two years ago. Why should we take advice from one of the “architects” of its near demise? I associate myself with Smitty’s assessment of Rove yesterday: when it comes to the future direction of the conservatism, Rove is well past his sell-by date. Those who insist on taking the advice of Rove and those of his ilk have forgotten the definition of insanity.

Read Cary’s entire piece here.

(h/t RefudiateObama2012)

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