"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

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.

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