In a short interview on Sean Hannity’s Fox Channel Network show, Karl Rove took out a shiv and did Christine O’Donnell no favors by inflicting multiple stab wounds across her back as well as doing a few swings aimed at the jugular in an attempt to reign in the Tea Party movement that has influenced senate primaries in Alaska, Kentucky, Nevada and now Delaware. Going all out in this short interview, Rove characterized O’Donnell as “somebody with little money, little track record” and a “checkered background”.
In Karl Rove’s mind, this is bad because “it does conservatives little good to support candidates who at the end of the day, while they may be conservative in their public statements, do not event the characteristics of rectitude, truthfulness and sincerity and character that the voters are looking for.”
Now of course, this is a mouthful coming from Karl Rove, but we will push this aside and look into what he is trying to say.
On the one hand, the GOP is delighted to see that the Tea Parties have sprung up as a real movement of fiscal conservatives. Ordinary people, with little interest in politics before the recession, going out into the streets and protesting what they see as government intervention that is bad for the country. Using newly enacted laws as fuel for their movement, the Tea Partiers have latched on to the bank bailouts, health care reform and finance reform as their inner fire for their inner ire. And the GOP has been smart to give the Tea Parties a guiding hand, slowly taming them into a strong and energized voting block. The basic strategy goes like this: during the primaries the Tea Party voting block will be mobilized to stir up money for GOP nominees, they will influence the primaries as a way to pick out the most loyal conservative candidate on the roster and later when election time comes, they would ask the Tea Party to play ball and understand a bit of politics as their favored candidate moves his platform to appeal to more moderate voters in November.
However, the strategy is not panning out that well. As it seems the Tea Partiers do have a mind of their own, they have picked non-GOP favored candidates during the primaries, and some like Christine O’Donnell seem to lack what it takes to win the general election.
The radical elements that the Tea Party movement props up will either help them lose elections against more moderate candidates, or it will further polarize the congress and perhaps even split the GOP into two parties. Electing culture warriors like Christine O’Donnell, Rand Paul and Sharron Angle will be a losing strategy in the long run, all I can hope is that the Democrats don’t steal defeat from the jaws of victory.