Tag Archive: Karl Rove

Boehner lawsuit against President Obama backfires big time

Sad John Boehner

Sad John Boehner

Last week, Republican House Speaker John Boehner confirmed that he plans to file a lawsuit against President Barack Obama for Obama’s use of executive orders. The reaction to Boehner’s lawsuit threat has been a combination of derision and ridicule for Republicans, and more money for the Democrats.

Conference call with Senator Harry Reid on getting money out of politics

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Last night, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) held a conference call featuring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, about efforts to pass a Constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions which have flooded our elections with “dark money.” Also on the call were Rob Weissman of Public Citizen, Marge Baker, who is Executive Vice President of People for the American Way, Larry Cohen, the President of CWA, and Bob Master, CWA’s District 1 (Northeast) Political Director.

Republican Politics of Projection

As a younger voter in 1988, I remember when then-Vice President and presidential candidate George H.W. Bush stood in front of Boston Harbor and slammed his opponent, Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis, for the pollution in Boston Harbor. I was shocked because the U.S. had just gone through eight years of a Reagan-Bush administration that had attacked and dismantled every environmental protection that it possibly could, including fighting the very cleanup of Boston Harbor.  This was perhaps the beginning of the modern Republican Politics of Projection — accusing your opponent of doing the very thing that you have been doing — as practiced by Bush’s campaign manager, Lee Atwater.

Atwater had a young protégé, Karl Rove, who perfected the Republican Politics of Projection during George W. Bush’s presidency. Thus, for example, we had Bush administration officials approving and abetting the kidnapping and torture of suspects and the illegal warrantless wiretapping of Americans at home, then turning around and accusing those who criticized such actions of “hypocrisy” and being “out of bounds”.

Today, the Republican Politics of Projection continues in full force. Republicans in Congress vote for Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget that would end Medicare as we know it, then raise phony objections about Democrats “cutting Medicare” when the Affordable Care Act cut funds from a private program called Medicare Advantage that is not part of the actual Medicare benefit. Likewise, Republicans raise the spurious charge of “voter fraud” in order to commit the true voter fraud of vote suppression via unreasonable and unfair voter i.d. laws. Or how about when Republicans carp about Democratic-appointed or “activist” judges who “legislate from the bench”, when it is the Republican-appointed, so-called “conservative” judges who do this, such as in the infamous Bush v. Gore and Citizens United cases, with Republican approval. If New Jersey Governor Chris Christie were running for president today, Republicans would probably call President Obama “fat”.

The Republican Politics of Projection can be stated with the Republicans’ own simple term: hypocrisy. It is a very popular and effective tactic in the Republican playbook, and Democrats and progressives need to identify it and speak out whenever they see it, in order to lessen its power.

Karl Rove Wants to Send Republicans to Messaging “War College” on Medicare

In the wake of numerous polls showing that American voters hate the Republicans’ plan to kill Medicare as we know it and replace it with a private voucher system, Republicans are doing the only sensible thing. No, they’re not backing off their Medicare-killing policy contained in GOP Rep. Paul Ryan‘s budget plan, they’re trying to change their messaging about it.  In particular, Republican Party guru Karl Rove recently suggested that “Congressional Republicans—especially in the House—need a political war college that schools incumbents and challengers in the best way to explain, defend and attack on the issue of Medicare reform.”

You have to hand it to the Republicans — when they see their message failing, they often stick to their policy and simply make efforts to rewrite the message. Moreover, as Rove’s Wall Street Journal op-ed indicates, Republicans often treat political messaging as a “war”. It is, and at least the Republicans put up a fight rather than quickly caving.

Of course, there is a limit to the amount of lipstick that can be put on a pig, and it’s quite possible that no amount of ingenious messaging will save the Republicans from their highly unpopular Medicare-killing plan.  Nevertheless, the Republicans are going to try, and a messaging “war college” sounds like a good idea. Once again, Democrats can take some tactical political messaging lessons from the Republicans.

Republican-Generated Controversy over Common Plays into Republican Hands

President Obama invites progressive black rapper Common to read poetry at the White House, and the folks at Fox “News” explode. It was perfectly predictable, since Fox and the Republicans have been waging a race-based cultural war on Barack Obama since Obama began running for President. That race war has included Reverend WrightVan Jones, ACORN, the “New Black Panther Party”Shirley Sherrod, and others as proxies for Obama in the Republicans’ “Scary Black People” strategy.

This time, the war on Obama (using Common as the proxy) was launched by Fox and Republicans contracted to work for Fox, including Sarah Palin and Karl Rove. Fox’s Bill O’Reilly then challenged Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” to a debate on the subject of Common, and Stewart took the bait. Many progressives are cheering, saying that Stewart will clean O’Reilly’s clock with the facts. Bad idea. Once such a debate is being held — on O’Reilly’s Fox “News” home turf, of course — Fox, O’Reilly, and the Republicans have already won.