Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another Look at Rove: Policy? or GOTV? Croc and GOP3 Rants, Too!

Dreher points to an (subscriber firewall) article in Atlantic Monthly which, while written before Rove's departure, almost foretells it.

But Dreher's quick-take of the contents is most interesting:

Short version: because he was given massive power by President Bush to run policy, but had no idea how to do it, relying instead on tactics that worked well in campaigns, but not in governing.

Dreher goes from there to some yappaflappa about Rove's ego--which was not helpful to GWB (nor to Rove) during his time in the White House. But that's not the point.

There has been some blogchatter which concentrates on the policy/tactics thing. Rove was an excellent tactician; the Dems have to hate Rove, not because he was a policy wonk, but because, while handicapped with a dearth of imaginative and captivating campaign policies, he STILL managed to win two Presidential elections and a by-election in '02. In other words, he out-Clintoned the Democrats; he took a 'nothing' campaign (just like what Clinton used in both his runs) and managed it to victory--but Rove got better numbers than Clinton ever got. Of course the Dems hate him; he out-machined them.


The problem, however, is precisely that: he ran campaigns focusing on process, rather than on content.

Neither Rove nor GWB captured the imagination of voters with policy master-strokes. They did not attract the "Reagan Democrats," and barely managed to grind out victories, after flogging (and flogging, and flogging) Republicans and "lean-toward" Republican voters. It was called GOTV, (get out the vote) and it was excruciating for the volunteers and for the Party as a whole.

If Republicans wish to win going forward, however, they should not count on GOTV as the end-all/be-all of campaigns. It's about time that Republicans come up with real policy that 'gets out the vote' on its merits. That policy does not have to be "anti-the-Dems," nor should it focus on tax-tax-tax-tax-tax-tax-tax. You can hear that on the radio any day.

Maybe "Don't Spend Don't Spend Don't Spend Don't Spend" would be a sensible alternative.

UPDATE: If you think I'm not kind to Karl, then see this rant from Brian at GOP3. Not to mention the State angle from The Crocodile.

1 comment:

Billiam said...

I don't know Dad. I don't think that will cut it. Remember, people have been slowly brought round to believe that Government should do MORE for them. I honestly think it'll take a major crash before the re-learn to rely on themselves.