"Our Karl Rove is the blog you should be glad that Democratic strategists don't seem to listen to"
-- what they're saying on Republican blogs

Friday, July 29, 2005

Rove to Democrats: Rick Santorum Needs to be Interviewed More Often


Oh, it was rich. More specifically, it was Rick. Senator Rick Santorum was on the Daily Show and needed to go unscripted for a few minutes.

Lesson #1: Invite dumb ideologues to the talk show circuit whenever possible.

Santorum was peddling his book ("It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good") on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and tried to keep fresh'n'happy with Jon during the friendly debate on society.

During this friendly debate, Santorum said that while he feels that homosexuals can be virtuous people...

Lesson #2: Make sure to include Santorum's quote about gays being virtuous in independent advocacy ads during next year's PA Senate race. While I'm not so sure it will improve his gay voter turn-out, it certainly will dampen enthusiasm with cultural conservatives -- his base.

...he wants to legislate the "ideal family" which includes only a mother and father raising a child. He asserts that the very future of our society is in the balance, and that legislating the ideal family unit is the only way to keep our society healthy and successful. He went on to say that government needs to help parents get through problems in their relationships. He went as far as to say "we have to" when asked if government should legislate the ideal.

Lesson #3: Let dumb ideologues drown themselves in their idealistic rhetoric. There's nary a reason to even respond. Libertarian Republicans will wince when they find out that their dear party has been hijacked by "cultural socialists," and intelligent conservatives may decide that they don't want to vote for a mental midget to represent them.

It's all about slicing off small part of the United Republican Front that Bush assembled. In a 50/50 nation, you need to focus on promoting the alternative and at the same time, tear down the opposition. Rick has outed himself as a cultural socialist and voters need to know this so they can make an informed choice in 2006.

Democrats -- this may be your opportunity to link the moniker "cultural socialist" with the "movement conservatives." Any use of "socialist" is demeaning in today's America, thanks to the Republicans! So, in true Rovian style, utilize the work done by your opponents and use it against them. And then, tie it into an embarrassing event:

Rick Santorum - Pennsylvania's Cultural Socialist. He knows what's best for your family. Just like he knew what was best for Terri Schiavo.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Rove to Democrats: Roberts Nomination - Update on Strategy


After a few days, it's much easier to see the way things are turning out: George W. Bush has pulled a very strategic maneuver that has caught most people off-guard:

He nominated a Conservative that most everyone can like and respect.

This, by the way, is at once a gift (a good guy gets on the Supreme Court under Bush's watch) and a booby trap (Americans change their views of Republicans from Dick Cheney and Karl Rove to the "All-American" Roberts).

Now, if Roberts' persona would actually shift the focus of the Republican Party to one that resembled Roberts more than Rove, that would be one thing. More likely, the radical ideologues on the Right will effectively leverage this new lovable Republican Persona as a vehicle to draw more people in the party that they effectively hijacked 5 years ago.

As a result, any opposition move for or against Roberts is a tricky one, and this is exactly what Bush wants.

Here's the tough-love advice, Democrats: Make and portray the Democratic Party a party that someone like Roberts should belong to. Even though Roberts is a "Conservative," that does not mean that someone like Roberts (i.e., his persona) should not be a Democrat. The Democratic Party should be portrayed as a party that consists of "good people" with "good character" more than "people of a narrow set of liberal beliefs."

If you can embrace Roberts as a good guy who could possibly be a Democrat, you are strategically implying that Republicans are too radical and out-of-mainstream to keep him.

Does it matter what party Roberts is really a member of? No. Does it matter that Roberts might actually be too conservative to be a Democrat? No.

What matters is how you portray your party against Roberts' persona.

I've seen some liberal interest groups already beating up Roberts on cable talk shows. This is a dreadful mistake. This puts Democrats (sorry, but liberals = Democrats on talk shows) in a radical light, which is exactly where George W. Bush wants you to go.

If George W. Bush can make Liberals go nuts on Roberts, he has successfully made progress with his and Rove's "Permanent Republican Majority" initiative.

Democrats, you should embrace Roberts for his positive assets as a person, and as an American. You will upgrade the Democratic Party in Americans' minds, and simultaneously foil the Rove/Bush "Permanent Republican Majority" initiative.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Rove to Democrats: Don't Go to the Mat over Roberts Nomination


The John Roberts nomination for the Supreme Court is not the right battle on which to go to the mat. I know he does not represent many "mainstream" values, but his persona is very mainstream. And if we've learned anything in the last 5 years, it is that persona is just as (if not more) important as fact or policy in terms of national political messaging.

Be honest with your assessments based on your values, but do not demonize Roberts. It will backfire.

Focus on the strategic value of this opportunity: re-branding the Republican Party. Transform this nomination from Judge Roberts to Bush's "stamp" on a strange, new America that he is ushering in through his brand of Texan Conservatism.

Some talking points to help set the right tone:

"Judge Roberts is a conservative judge who does not represent my values, nor the majority of my constituents' values. I do not think Americans are really this conservative, but if this Republican President and this Republican Senate want to change the course of law in this country, it is clearly in their hands. It is up to the American people to change the make-up of the Senate if they do not want the rule of law to change from where it is today."

"Judge Roberts is a judge of character, yet his philosophy is clearly right-of-center. Unfortunately, I believe this means that the freedoms, liberties, and equalities that Americans currently enjoy will be altered in the future. But this should come as no surprise, as this is our President's philosophy as well. Nobody should be surprised about a right-wing President who pretends to be "compassionate" nominating a very conservative Supreme Court justice."

"Judge Roberts is the conservative 'stamp' on the Court that the Republican Right Wing has been waiting for. We will have to live with a more conservative court, and only then will the American people truly understand what a conservative court will mean to them. Once they find out, I predict we will see Democrats regain majorities throughout government. It's a case of 'be careful what you wish for, America. You might just get it.'"

"I no more want Roberts to be on the Supreme Court than I want George W. Bush as President, but the American people have put Democrats at a political disadvantage recently, and until we regain some majorities, I will do all that I am able to do to educate the American people on how Republicans are remaking America in their own image."

"When I think about the progress we've made as a society through a moderate, balanced Supreme Court, I think we can all take pride. I just hope that we've just ended the golden era in American's history as President Bush ushers in a new era."

"Let this be a lesson to the American voters: You do not just elect a President based on how tough he is on terrorism. You also elect someone who sets the legal tone for the next 20-40 years."

"The conservative-leaning Supreme Court already rules on eminent domain in favor of the State. I hope George W. Bush and the Republicans aren't stacking the deck against Americans even more with this conservative nominee."

Let the chips fall where they may with Roberts. Unless something heinous comes up, he'll be confirmed. Instead, use this no-win situation to begin chipping away at the Republican Brand. Get entrenched for the long-term struggle for ideas, and don't get distracted by fights you simply cannot win.