In the 2000 Presidential campaign, Karl Rove created The Dubya. Now the evil genius of Republican politics is back with his second monster, The Romneyan. Will Rove’s creation win again?
Sensing that if Mitt Romney did not shake up his campaign he would lose to Barack Obama, Karl Rove anointed Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate and joined them with the “Vulcan mind meld.” Rove believes he has created the perfect GOP candidate, 2012’s version of George W. Bush.
Dubya has disappeared into the bowels of Texas and many Republicans pretend he was never President, but in 2000 they were happy to have him as their presidential candidate. While Democrats viewed Dubya as inept and ill prepared, Republicans saw him as the perfect foil to the wooden Al Gore. Most important, George W. Bush unified the GOP; he was a rich businessman as well as a born-again Christian. And Bush’s creator, the evil political scientist Karl Rove, was able to sell Dubya to Independents. Twelve years later, Rove has done it again; Romenyan has unified the GOP and possibly can be sold to Independents as a viable alternative to Barack Obama.
A recent Pew Research poll indicated why neither Party can win the presidency on their own. Pew projects that 10 percent of potential voters, mostly young people, will not vote on November 6th. Pew allocates the remaining 90 percent to three groups: “Mostly Republican,” 25 percent, “Mostly Independent,” 35 percent, and “Mostly Democratic,” 40 percent.
To win in November, Mitt Romney has to first hold the Republican 25 percent base. According to Pew this includes “Staunch Conservatives” (11 percent) and “Main Street Republicans” (14 percent). Staunch Conservatives are older white voters who “take extremely conservative positions on nearly all issues – on the size and role of government, on economics, foreign policy, social issues and moral concerns. Most agree with the Tea Party and… very strongly disapprove of Barack Obama’s job performance. “ Main Street Republicans are similar but not as conservative; for example, they are more likely to house anti-corporation sentiment. (Just outside the “Mostly Republican” group is a bloc of Independents, “Libertarians” [10 percent], that typically vote for the Republican presidential candidate.) Before he added Paul Ryan as his running mate, Romney had a problem; Staunch Conservatives did not embrace him. Romney’s problems disappeared with the addition of Ryan; Tea-Party types love him, as do evangelical Christians – Ryan is an extremely conservative Catholic.
Romneyan will hold onto 35 percent of the vote (Republicans and Libertarians). To win, the monster has to carve out another 15 percent from Independents and Democrats. To accomplish this, the Republican campaign is being orchestrated byKarl Rove.
Rove will use four tactics to gain votes for Romneyan. After the conclusion of next week’s Republican convention, Republicans will have a money advantage -- at least $60 million not counting the additional millions from conservative super PACs. First they’ll launch a campaign to humanize Mitt Romney. (Recent polls indicate that more prospective voters view Romney negatively than they do positively.)
Next, Rove and company will demonize Obama. We’ll see some of their ads on national TV but the majority will be run in the key swing states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. So far, the ads have been blatant lies, but that hasn’t deterred the dark forces of Rove.
Third, Republicans are ramping up their Get Out the Vote operation.
Finally, as was the case in 2000 and 2004, Rove’s evil minions will attempt to suppress the vote in key swing states. That’s what behind the Pennsylvania law requiring voters to show a photo id. “GOP legislators in 34 states have proposed voting rights restrictions that would slash the number of eligible voters this election.”
The good news is that by picking Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney has shown voters how conservative he really is. Recent polls indicate, “About 52 percent of self-described middle-class adults say President Barack Obama's policies in a second term would help the middle class,” as compared with 42 percent for Romney. And similar polls indicate that voters in swing states “trust President Obama to handle Medicare” and dislike Romneyan’s voucher plans.
But the election will come down to the votes of women. In 2008, Obama carried 56 percent of the female vote (in 2004, John Kerry only carried 51 percent of that segment). Political columnist Ron Brownstein describes educated white women as Obama’s “last line of defense.” That’s why the selection of Paul Ryan is important; Ryan is the most strident anti-choice candidate ever selected. He opposes contraception and abortions in all circumstances and wants to defund Planned Parenthood.
While Romneyan may seem like the perfect 2012 candidate to Karl Rove, it is the most conservative duo the GOP has ever nominated. Even with a multi-million-dollar funding advantage, it will be difficult for Rove to sell Romneyan as “compassionate” conservatives or either one as “a uniter not a divider.” Ultimately women voters will decide the election. Stay tuned
Bob Burnett is a Berkeley writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org