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Conservatives Richard Falknor on 02 Sep 2012 11:22 am

UPDATED! Phyllis Schlafly: Rove ‘Toxic” By His Loose Talk About Todd Akin

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 3!  Cliff Kincaid (AIM) reports “Soros-funded PAC Started Akin Controversy” – – “[John Putnam, Missouri state coordinator for the national Tea Party Patriots] says the reason the Republican officials wanted him out of the race had nothing to do with abortion. Rather, he said, Akin voted as a member of Congress against several Bush Administration big government proposals, has a record of opposing ‘the party establishment,’ and figures to be a Tea Party senator in Washington, D.C. if he wins the Senate race against Democrat Claire McCaskill. Putnam says he thinks the GOP establishment doesn’t want any more independent voices in the Senate Republican Caucus. ‘I look at the role of the Tea Party senators who have come along the last couple years. They have shifted the balance away from the more moderate Republican establishment. I have to wonder how afraid they are to elect more of these Tea Party types,’ he said.”

* * * * *

Eagle Forum chief Phyllis Schlafly declared yesterday  –

“Karl Rove has made himself toxic to Republicans by his incredibly offensive and dangerous statement suggesting the murder of Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri. Any candidate or network who hires Rove will now be tarnished with this most malicious remark ever made in Republican politics.

Just imagine if someone had made that statement about Barack Obama. The Secret Service would go on Red Alert and you can bet that the author of that remark would be in jail by now. As quoted by a Businessweek reporter and now on the internet, Rove in Tampa told some 70 big donors to his Super PAC, American Crossroads, that every attendee should apply pressure to ‘sink Todd Akin’ and force him out of the Senate race for which Missourians had nominated him. Then Rove said that if Akin were ‘found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts.’” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Conservative leader and Missouri lawyer Schafly explained —

“Rove has disliked Akin ever since Akin was one of the principled members of the U.S. House who voted against George W. Bush’s extravagant expansion of Medicare when the vote was called at 5:53 am in November 2003. Akin is a man of principle who doesn’t cave in to political pressure, so he’s not Rove’s kind of politician.”

We need to reassess the controversy about Todd Akin.  The disproportionate intensity of the GOP Establishment’s  hostility to U. S. Representative and Senate candidate Akin we find increasingly suspect.  The cascade of posts (many, in our view, inspired elsewhere) excoriating the Missouri member for what nearly everyone agrees was an ill-informed and politically dangerous comment about rape (for which he promptly apologized) soon came to be more about ‘disciplining’ Akin — ‘we should sink Todd Akin’ —than it did about winning a Senate seat for the GOP.  

And the fact that so few (at least at press time) in the conservative blogosphere are talking about Karl Rove’s crude misstep is even more indicative.

Is it that power talks even to ‘conservative pundits’, and sound policy walks? Or is it just fear of ‘deviation’ from the Beltway GOP party line?

But Karl Rove’s hubris displayed to the world at this high-level fundraiser also gives us a glimpse of his heavy-hitting inner circle.

Karl Rove’s Donors and The Serious Resources of American Crossroads

Former George W. Bush ‘prime minister’ Rove delivered his offending sentiments at what Sheelah Kolhatkar (Bloomberg Businesweek) termed “an exclusive breakfast briefing to about 70 of the Republican Party’s highest-earning and most powerful donors.”

In her “Exclusive: Inside Karl Rove’s Billionaire Fundraiser” Kolhatkar revealed

“During the more than hour-long session, Rove explained to an audience dotted with hedge fund billionaires and investors—including John Paulson and Wilbur Ross—how his super PAC, American Crossroads, will persuade undecided voters in crucial swing states to vote against Barack Obama. He also detailed plans for Senate and House races, and joked, ‘We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!’”

And the strategy?

“Rove explained that Crossroads had conducted extensive focus groups and shared polling and focus group data with ‘all the major groups that are playing’ in the election. ‘As many of you know, one of the most important things about Crossroads is: We don’t try and do this alone. We have partners,’ he said. ‘The Kochs—you name it.’

What had emerged from that data is an ‘acute understanding of the nature of those undecided, persuadable’ voters. ‘If you say he’s a socialist, they’ll go to defend him. If you call him a ‘far out left-winger,’ they’ll say, ‘no, no, he’s not.’ The proper strategy, Rove declared, was criticizing Obama without really criticizing him—by reminding voters of what the president said that he was going to do and comparing it to what he’s actually done. ‘If you keep it focused on the facts and adopt a respectful tone, then they’re gonna agree with you.’”

Readers can make their own judgment whether this is a sensible real-world approach.

The Romney Campaign will need all the funds it can raise in any case.

And don’t misunderstand what we are saying: we are all for the Citizens United holding and the use of 501(c)(4)’s to advance the conservative cause.

What should trouble conservatives is how Mr. Rove will bring American Crossroads resources into play to advance the kind of Republican Party he favors.

Whether it was enforcing our immigration laws (vs. the proposed Bush-supported Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act) or not dropping off the fiscal cliff (vs. expanding Medicare) or free political speech (vs. signing McCain-Feingold) or strengthening our culture (vs. continuing the Clinton-initiated  policy of providing social services in a Babel of languages),  Mr. Rove and his Bush Administration were on the wrong side of the conservative fence.  Mr. Rove was also a protector of Grover Norquist when that activist came under criticism for Islamist affiliations right after 9/11.

A Rebirth of Bush ‘Conservatism’?

Left-leaning-Politico’s Kenneth P. Vogel  helped fill out the ‘Crossroads’ picture last April 18 with his illuminating “Crossroads: the ATM of the Right” – –

“The Karl Rove-linked Crossroads groups are known for their multimillion-dollar ad campaigns attacking President Barack Obama, but behind the scenes they’ve also emerged as financiers of a network of conservative groups that look to them for not just cash — but strategy. (Highlighting Forum’s.)

The Rove groups have been operating as a clearinghouse of sorts, doling out more than $17 million to a range of conservative groups, according to recently released tax forms, including several that participate in the Crossroads-coordinated Weaver Terrace Group strategy sessions [click on foregoing link for ‘Karl Rove’s Fight Club’] such as Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, Norm Coleman’s American Action Network, the 60 Plus Association and the National Federation of Independent Business.

The giving keeps Crossroads at the center of an ascendant network of big-money conservative groups conceived or encouraged by Rove and fellow Bush-era GOP operative Ed Gillespie.”

Not surprisingly, Ed Gillespie, paladin for Harriet Miers in her quest for a Supreme Court seat, has been a big-government,  pro-immigration  voice and  a Virginia tax hiker.

Craig Shirley and Donald Devine have fairly summed up Karl Rove’s perspective: “Karl Rove is no conservative, as his memoir shows.” The two reviewers of Rove’s memoir declare – –

“It comes as a surprise to many of us on the right who have known him over the years that Rove describes himself as a ‘conservative.’ A compassionate conservative? Sure. A big-government conservative? No doubt. But a conservative, pure and simple? Now that’s a real revelation.”

Particularly in view of the resources and personal reach of the ‘Crossroads Nexus’, conservatives should be setting their own plans to advance their priorities on Romney Day One (November 7). 

For it is clear that Mr. Rove and his circle already command all the access they want to the GOP Establishment.

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