WASHINGTON, October 14, 2014 —Despite the left’s insipid vitriol, Karl Rove has to be the Democrat’s favorite Republican. He founded the super PAC Conservative Victory Project that the New York Times said would “recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s effort to win control of the Senate.”
Karl “The Architect” Rove told Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday, “I think if the Republicans take the Senate, it will be a close, it will be a long night, it will take us until November, it may take us until January, but it’s going to be, I think, 51, 52, 53 [seat Republican majority in the Senate].”
If you are a thinking, let alone a voting Republican, it should trouble you that despite the disastrous governance of Democrats in Washington, the GOP finds it can only garner a sliver of public support to gain a sliver of a majority in the Senate.
There is something terribly wrong with this picture.
According to the Gallup organization, “Republicans’ actual turnout advantage in 2014 will be highly dependent on the degree to which Democrats can inspire their base closer to the election. Right now, rank-and-file Republicans are showing about average engagement in the election relative to the past four midterms, while Democrats’ attention is somewhat below average.”
In other words, Democratic candidates are far better at wooing voters to the polls with offers of government provided freebees during presidential election cycles than their midterm congressional candidates.
The problem for the GOP is that Republican strategists, like Rove, are content to pick up the electoral scraps of the midterm elections instead of fighting to win over the millions of low-information voters by challenging the low-IQ assumptions of Democrats every four years.
A case in point – Obamacare. The president’s brainchild, which he said would allow us to keep the doctors and health care plans we liked – until it didn’t, which he said would lower our health care costs – until it didn’t, is, despite the media’s relentless used car salesman pitches, wildly unpopular.
Repealing the president’s dictatorial monstrosity, one might think, would be a spectacularly popular issue with low-information voters suffering buyer’s remorse, and with Republicans promising to drive a stake through its heart.
Rove, however, doesn’t see it that way.
“The GOP also must offer substantive proposals to alter ObamaCare,” said Rove in the Wall Street Journal. “The president will reject the full repeal that Republicans will send him. But he will be hard-pressed to sustain vetoes of bills that, for example, undermine ObamaCare, but let people keep their health plan if they like their plan, raise the amount families can put into their Health Savings Account tax-free, and exempt more small businesses from the law.”
In other words, Rove’s brand of Republican won’t go to Washington to bury Obamacare, but to save it.
Rove isn’t much of a political architect. Imagine if a GOP congressional majority sent Obamacare repeal after Obamacare repeal to the president’s desk only to see them vetoed time and time again. As its popularity drops along with its creator’s, imagine that Obamacare becomes a central issue in the 2016 presidential election. But this is where Obamacare becomes problematic for the GOP.
It looks like Rove’s big money donors are pushing Gov. Mitt Romney to run for the Republican Party nomination for president in 2016.
Romney keeps showing up in early primary states to mug for the cameras. For GOP strategists like Rove, it would not do to attack Obamacare when you hope to field a presidential candidate whose Massachusetts, government-run health care regime provided the blueprint for Obamacare.
At a time of great distrust in government and growing anger at Democratic governance, Republicans cannot win an overwhelming majority in the United States Senate.
It looks like Big-government, Rovian Republicans are setting the stage for a major Democratic comeback in 2016.