Does Karl Rove matter anymore?
|Turd Blossom and his ex-boss|
"Veteran GOP strategist Karl Rove said Monday that the head of the Republican National Committee (RNC) should step in to 'discourage' presidential candidates from attending the upcoming debate moderated by Donald Trump," reports The Hill.
The recent rise of Newt Gingrich, the whole Herman Cain thing, the flirtations with Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry over the summer, the popularity of Donald Trump as a possible candidate (way back when), the ongoing cult of Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney's deep unpopularity with the GOP base (even with Rove and the "money" backing him) -- all of these point to one thing: the impotence of what passes these days for the Republican "establishment."
Once upon a time -- actually not so very long ago -- the GOP was controlled by an establishment that, while undeniably conservative, was nonetheless pragmatic. Hence, at the presidential level, Reagan, Bush I, Dole, Bush II, and McCain, all electable candidates with broad appeal (Bush I lost re-election largely because of Perot, while Dole was running an unwinnable campaign against a popular incumbent in Clinton and McCain ran into the Obama juggernaut at a time when the Republican brand was, as it is still, garbage).
Once upon a time, a Karl Rove, and indeed Karl Rove himself, could have maintained control over the process and, with the snap of his fingers, shut down anything like this ridiculous Trump-moderated debate. But now that the GOP has shifted so far to the right, dominated by ideologues and moved largely by talk radio and Fox News, with propaganda flowing directly to the base and not through establishment channels (and mediators), with the Internet and social networking obviating the need for any such "establishment" to filter the communication between the politicians and their supporters, there's only so much he can do. And however much he may protest, it's not really up to him, is it?
Karl Rove still matters, of course. There's still a need in politics for organization, for ground campaigns and advertising and the like, but times have changed and no longer can he, and others at the "center," control the process or the party.