Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lee Cary: Palin v. Rove and the Battle for the GOP's Future

In an opinion piece for American Thinker, Lee Cary holds that the battle for the future of the Grand Old Party is being fought between opposing forces led, on one side, by the grassroots Tea party movement, and, on the other, by the Republican elite. Sarah Palin is perhaps the foremost champion of the former, and Karl Rove represents the latter. Rove has been critical of both Gov. Palin and the Tea Parties, dissing her as lacking "gravitas," which blasting Tea Partiers for being "not sophisticated." Here's the problem with Rove's arguments, in Carey's view:
Ronald Reagan once hosted the television program "Death Valley Days," pushing 20 Mule Team Borax cleaner. The liberal media questioned his gravitas through both terms. Rudy Giuliani is leading a troupe of motivational speakers across the nation, promising to teach time management, leadership, and several other "skills" -- almost everything except how to stir-fry. Fred Thompson is hawking reverse mortgages to seniors. Mike Huckabee is playing average guitar on his FOX show. None of these former presidential candidates is wading hip-deep today in the Gravitas River that Rove claims does not flow through Alaska. So what's up with Karl?

This assault on Palin comes, lest we forget, from the same advisor who either did not make the case or was unable to persuade Bush 43 to stand up and fight back against the relentless criticism from Democrats and the legacy media during six of Bush's eight years as president. Why the aggression now against Palin and the TPM?

Here's a possible explanation. "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.

If that's the case, then Karl's just one among a cadre of certified conservative pundits, in the media and among the professional camp followers of the pols, who don't understand a grassroots movement they neither initiated nor can control.

Tomorrow morning, after the midterm election results have been digested and analyzed, that struggle for the heart, soul and future of the Republican Party will no longer be a series of skirmishes. The battle will be on in earnest.

- JP

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