New Republic article on Karl Rove--interesting

<p>Interesting article by Thomas B. Edsall. I never knew any of this stuff about Rove.
Karl Rove was not yet a celebrity in 1997 when he told me the following story. In December 1969, during his freshman year in college, his father left his mother; and, shortly thereafter, his mother largely withdrew from his life. She "packed up the car, had the house on the market, and moved to Reno and said good luck," Rove recalled. After that, he was on his own. Rove put himself through two years at the University of Utah, working part time, earning a partial scholarship, and living in a makeshift bedroom under the attic eaves of his fraternity house. His father sent support checks, but his mother kept them, never telling her son. "My mother was one of these people who really thought often of what it was that she wanted in life, and not necessarily what was good or right for her family," Rove said. "And that was just her way. She never grew up. She could never think long term. She was always in the moment." When he was 21, Rove discovered that his father was not, in fact, his biological father and that he was the offspring of an earlier relationship. His real father had disappeared, and the man he knew as his father had adopted him. (Years later, he would track down his biological father, who refused to acknowledge that Karl was his son.) When Rove was in his mid-20s, his mother would call to borrow money. Occasionally, she sent him packages with magazines from his childhood or old, broken toys. "It was like she was trying desperately to sort of keep this connection," he recalled. Finally, in 1981, his mother "drove out to the desert north of Reno and filled the car with carbon monoxide, and then left all of her children a letter saying, don't blame yourselves for this." It was, Rove said, "the classic ****-you gesture." </p>

<p>The story of Rove's dysfunctional family tells a lot about the Republican Party machinery he would later help to perfect. Unlike baby-boomers, who smoked dope, protested the war, and lived with a succession of girlfriends before becoming middle-age liberals, Rove understood the longing of many Americans for a traditional nuclear family and a sense of social order. He grasped the values crisis brought on by the sociocultural revolution of the '60s and '70s because he himself had lived its worst consequences. And--like previous Republican strategists, including Kevin Phillips, Pat Buchanan, Charlie Black, and Lee Atwater--he realized that these sentiments, however crass they sounded to the ears of liberals, held appeal to many voters and could therefore be harnessed to his party's advantage. </p>

<p>At a moment when Democrats appear once again to be ascendant, they would do well to remember that the political majority Rove and his predecessors constructed was meant to withstand difficult moments like this one. In recent decades, the GOP has survived setback after setback--the Goldwater debacle, Watergate, the Iran-Contra scandal, the government shutdowns of 1995 and 1996, the failed bid to oust Bill Clinton from office, the loss of the popular vote in the 2000 election--and, on each occasion, has emerged stronger than before. Watergate may be particularly instructive as a historical parallel. In the scandal's aftermath, 1974 became a banner year for liberals: Democrats gained 49 House seats and added four Senate seats for a commanding 60-vote majority. Two years later, when Jimmy Carter won the White House, Democrats appeared to have solidified control of the country. Everyone knows what happened next. </p>

<p>Today, the philosophical and practical infrastructure on which the GOP constructed its majority remains as sturdy as it was in 1974--perhaps, thanks to Rove, even sturdier--and there is little reason to believe Democrats are in a better position to reestablish credibility with the electorate than they were three decades ago. Democrats may win back the House or the Senate this year, but, even if they do, the majority that Karl Rove helped to construct remains formidable. Whatever happens this November, no one should be fooled: The Democrats are still in deep trouble.

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(cont.) May have to register (free) to continue article.</p>

<p>I can't believe it--you have finally made me feel bad for Karl Rove! What a terrible childhood/youth he had...Was he able to overcome it and provide the "traditional" family life for his kids that he didn't have himself?</p>

<p>Too bad he wasn't able to overcome the influence of his childhood. Perhaps CC could take up a therapy fund?</p>

<p>What about Clinton?</p>

<p>Clinton definitely needs therapy! How about GWB? Maybe there should be a box on the 1040 form where we can check a box and $3 will be transferred to an account that would fund the therapy for all presidents and ex-presidents?</p>

<p>"What about Clinton?"</p>

<p>Nah, he was too young to be Rove's biological father who refuse to recognize the paternity. Otherwise, Rove's mom seems to fit the Clintonesque pattern to a tee. :D</p>

<p>heh--(ten characters)</p>

<p>Dem here. The basic point of that article seems spot-on to me. Regardless of what happens this fall, the Dems cannot assume that the voters who elected GWB and who voted for the Contract With America have gone away. </p>

<p>I had to laugh a little about the GOP "surviving" losing the popular Presidential vote in 2000, though. It was a lot easier to survive that having won the Presidency, and then having it turn into a "war time Presidency" to boot.</p>

<p>The fact is that both parties have enormous internal contradictions, and the more time they spend in power the more those come to the fore. The GOP contradictions are especially obvious right now, because it has the initiative on everything.</p>

<p>So what did he "overcome"? How did he become a better man for these experiences? Or did he just follow the pattern set by his mom? The ends justify the means. </p>

<p>Sorry, no sympathy for Rove, he didn't come out a better man for the experience, just someone willing to do anything to win. </p>

<p>Alot of people have to overcome their childhood experiences, some remember what the wrongs were and make an effort not to pass it along to their offspring. I don't know if that can be said about Karl.</p>

So what did he "overcome"? How did he become a better man for these experiences? Or did he just follow the pattern set by his mom?

Hmmm, you pose a real toughie, Opie. Let's see, happily married for 20 years, father of son he did not abandon. Did not commit suicide. One of the most influential political figures of his generation (or most others). Really p*sses OpiefromMayberry off (OK, one strike against him). I'm sorry Opie, it seems he overcame a lot and became quite a success. But that wasn't the point of the article, as JHS noted.
[Note: Nothing in this post is intended to be construed as condescension.]</p>

<p>" [Note: Nothing in this post is intended to be construed as condescension.]"</p>

<p>driver, Nearly every post you write seems intended as condescension. I have an idea, why not take a little time out to try to help some of the kids on here with college stuff?</p>

<p>Weenie....that sounded a little condescending.
My comment was a humorous reference to an earlier post. I have a number of "kids" here that I've helped out with college stuff....I just don't do the sheets and towels threads (argh--sorry, I'm just in the zone today, for some reason. Better stay away from me, Kluge.)</p>

<p>Driver if the ends justify the means, then by all accounts, he's your man. I wasn't thinking so much of what he's done to demo's to win, I was thinking more of what he did to McCain. </p>

<p>If character matters, as you often use BC as an example of poor character (who has also been married along time, etc..) How does Rove differ? </p>

<p>He doesn't wee wee me off anyway driver, it just saddens me that people like yourself are willing to overlook alot of things to "win". To me, it's just a pity and I have sympathy for you. Honorable means in all aspects of life. </p>

<p>The test is if he were on the "other" side, would you still respect him? I find very few these days where that can be said.</p>

<p>College kid here:
“helped out” barely describes the advice and support I have received from Driver…and I know I am not the only one. </p>

<p>College kid testimonials for “Weenie” will no doubt be posted below in posts number 14-15. </p>

<p>…I can hardly wait.</p>

<p>Opie!!! I'm gonna take you fishin' down the pond, lil buddy! The article says nothing about Rove being "my" man or anyone else's. I posted the link because I like to know stuff---to learn new things! I'm sorry you hate Rove, but that's not my problem, nor is it relevant to my original point--that was a heck of an interesting article!</p>

<p>"Sorry, no sympathy for Rove, he didn't come out a better man for the experience, just someone willing to do anything to win."</p>

<p>Do you really know what he is like as a man or are you relying upon what you hear/see in the media and democratic propaganda?</p>

<p>:) O K.</p>

<p>There's only a couple people I "hate" out there and Rove ain't one of them. To "hate" someone they'd have to be important enough for me to care about. </p>

<p>I would love to have a fishing buddy. </p>

<p>and yes, zooser, I am completely sucked in by the "demon"cratic propaganda and eat granola, drive a hybrid, wear my hair long in a pony tail, worship jane fonda as the greatest political driven actress of our time and am easily lead by anyone with a bright flashy thing in front of my eyes. ...:)</p>

<p>Opie, I actually asked a question. I was wondering if you knew Karl Rove or had some good info about him. It seems to me one thing to really dislike his methods and outcome, but another to indicate that you know what type of man he is if you're basing your opinion on not much information. Your post was so personal that I was curious if you had more information. I am a republican and it seems hard to distinguish what's real from the demonization of this man and I would genuinely like to know more about him because there isn't that much out there aside from the mythical reputation. Was thinking based on your post that you had something of an inside scoop. No need for the sarcasm -- it was an honest-to-goodness question, not rhetorical.</p>

I would love to have a fishing buddy.

Stick with me. I caught a 30" striper while fishing from a kayak in the Annisquam "River" in Gloucester last month. Minor "Nantucket sleigh ride."</p>


<p>I appreciate the link. What a rough life Rove had. The author's take on the political status of each party is fascinating.</p>


Great comment. Thanks for the laugh.</p>

<p>I've noticed a trend in political winners:</p>

<p>Screwed-up childhoods OR that of a scion.</p>

<p>There's no in-between, folks.</p>