Saturday, February 23, 2013

What Goes Around
By Nebu Ganesh

Nebu Ganesh, PhD 
Guest Liberal Commentator

"What would Jesus do now?"
About four odd decades ago, Jesus officially became a Republican.  His conversion happened gradually, and started at the grass roots with a concern for family values.  When political money realized that for a relatively small investment they could claim a group of alienated voters who would march lock step into the polls to vote with Jesus, a new Republican strategy was born.  Of course, things evolved over time, but when you know your God personally and he talks with you every day and tells you how to vote, things start to roll.  It wasn't long before the big money guys saw potential and started backing candidates. Some were sincere, but eventually most were good ol' boys working with a new public vocabulary.  Soon they were able to use the same angle to add other factions who felt disenfranchised politically, such as service veterans with whom the government had not kept good faith, and some elder citizens who could not cope with the pace of cultural change.  Sadly, at the bottom of each untapped barrel lived various crackpots and kooks, including bigots,misogynists, xenophobes, conspiracy theorists, anti-government militias and white supremacists.  Whatever people believed, they were told that their fears were justified.  Twenty-four hour cable news and talk radio put a microphone into angry shaking hands that had never known a mainstream outlet. The result is the contentious Republican Party base.

Like so many of us, Jesus was a Liberal
when he was in college, but after reading

 Atlas Shrugged he became a conservative
like His Father.
Under the direction of Ralph Reed,
Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition was one
of the first groups that proved that religious
voting blocks could turn elections.  Reed
knew politics before he knew faith, but he
famously met the Holy Spirit while drinking
in a Washington pub.  H.S. demanded that
Reed come to Jesus, which he did.  While with
the Christian Coalition, Reed worked with
Jack Abramoff and Grover Norquist.  The
three were known as the Triumvirate.  Reed's
tenure ended when the organization went
bankrupt amid allegations that his cronies had
ripped off millions of dollars.  Recently Reed
has proposed a Christian Coalition version
2.0, saying that America needs them now
more than ever.  Jesus famously ate with
publicans and sinners.  Looks like everybody's
hungry again.
Back in the Reagan era when Jesus was just beginning to get tired of feeding the lazy poor, Karl Rove stepped up to provide the template for strategic election planning. Karl had been working with party patriots in Texas, updating old political dirty tricks to fit seamlessly into mainstream American politics. Karl and the boys used a quasi-scientific approach to figuring out what people actually wanted to hear, and devised ways to give them permission to voice what they believed.  He also presented new demographic maps that would either enhance or inhibit voter turnout, depending on need.  His methods were at best unethical, but negative campaigning worked well on a local level, and Karl moved up to the Senior Bush presidential campaign.  Along the way Rove honed a 'consultant-centric' model for election strategy that appealed to large business contributors.  Confidence was high that Rove's steady hand on the rudder would continue to pilot the Republican ship to repeated wins on the national scene.
The Conservative Victory Project is also targeting
potential liberal candidates.  Rove is running smear ads
against actress Ashley Judd in Kentucky based on rumors
that she might run against Senate minority leader
Mitch McConnell.

Karl Rove continues to promote this approach, even though his American Crossroads PAC failed to produce the promised 2012 Republican presidency.  He is attempting to save his political career with a new organization, the Conservative Victory Project.  Karl easily recognizes the problems that caused failure in 2012, because they are the very monsters he created. Local primaries enjoy a kind of drunken naked mud wrestling approach to politics, but the same tactics are off-putting to more prissy swing voters at the national level, who consist mainly of women and the minorities Neo-conservatism has targeted to exemplify social decay.  He is confident that he can wrest the negative spotlight from party base anarchists by employing the same dirty tricks and smear tactics successfully used on Democrats to defeat ultra-conservative candidates in Republican primaries, with the intent of presenting more viable candidates to conservative voters.

Neocons love to attack opponents
with Nazi imagery.  Ironically, Joseph
Goebbels invented many of the
propaganda techniques used by Rove.
They may have finally found the right
fit for the costume.

Unfortunately the machine he created is now self-powered.  The muddy grass roots have found leadership in anti-establishment candidates who have gained a foothold in the political process, and who don't intend to cooperate or tone down their inflammatory rhetoric.  They know how the game is structured, and they know when they are being played.  Karl Rove is now the enemy, and they are ready for battle.  There is open warfare in the Republican Party, and the first shot was fired in Iowa.

With the impending retirement of Democratic Senator Tom Harkin, Iowa voters are looking at the first open Senate seat since 1974. Rove is employing his considerable political resources to make sure that Representative Steve King, a Tea Party candidate, does not run in the local primary.  King is a colorful politician who backs up Todd Akin on his legitimate rape comments and has compared illegal immigrants to dogs.  He trails a back-wash of foul smelling slimy rhetoric that Republicans now understand to be distasteful to more discriminant national voters.  Rove's Conservative Victory Project intends to place a more palatable centrist candidate in the running.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa exemplifies what
has to go.  His rehetoric alienates the very
voters that the Republican Party now
recognize as crucial to their success.
The result is a conservative backlash that may place King on the ballot.  It turns out that angry white men know no loyalties.  A fundraising e-mail sent out by the Tea Party Patriots portrayed Rove as a Nazi SS trouper.  They gave the image wide circulation, then quickly apologized, a method that Rove himself would have quietly approved just a few months ago.  Where local Republicans estimated King's chances of winning to be slight, they now suggest that negative publicity generated by this skirmish may have increased his chances of winning to 50/50, should he decide to run for Senator.

If the enemy of my enemy
is my friend, then Liberals just
inherited Karl Rove.  Faced with
the workings of modern American
politics, Sun Tzu would have blown
his own brains out.
Well Karl, welcome to the ever shifting landscape of conservative politics.  The political ground has moved so far to the right that you are now a centrist, something not tolerated in the political back water.  At least you got the Nazi thing out of the way, and can look forward to being labeled Socialist, anti American, anti-Christian, anti-military and possibly gay.  And don't think the fact that you were born in Canada will go unnoticed.  You wouldn't let that one go by, would you?   Good luck planning your new anti-strategy strategy.  In going to war, there must be some consolation in knowing how good you look in that uniform.

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