Michael Totten

What Rove Wrought

Glenn Reynolds thinks Karl Rove is politically smart because liberals and Democrats, all of a sudden, are brandishing their hawkish credentials. Soft on terror? Us? It’s an interesting point, and it’s a point well taken, but that isn’t the only change that’s happening on the left all of a sudden.
Centrist Democrat Bull Moose has this to say:

Karl, you have performed a great service for the nation and for the party – the Democratic Party, that is. With your comments, you have brought together old Democrats, new Democrats, liberal Democrats, moderate Democrats, conservative Democrats, fat Democrats, thin Democrats, Christian Democrats, Jewish Democrats, Muslim Democrats, Pagan Democrats, Dennis Kucinich Democrats, Joe Lieberman Democrats, meat eating Democrats, vegetarian Democrats, Daily Kos Democrats, Bull Moose Democrats, New Donkey Democrats, Atrios Democrats, MoveOn Democrats and DLC Democrats.

Indeed. Bull Moose could also include many ex-Democrats in his list.

Joe Gandelman has more:

Many centrists and independents may soon conclude that the only solution to this is to not to vote if they feel inclined to vote GOP, or even hold their noses and cast protest votes in 2006 and 2008 for the Democrats.
Why? Because the GOP never could have won the last elections without garnering some votes from the center and from Democrats who felt their party had gotten too extreme.
Karl Rove is taking a sledghammer to the GOP’s carefully-constructed past image.

I’m not going to vote Democratic as a protest vote against the GOP, not because of one outburst from Karl Rove. But Joe has a point. It certainly doesn’t make me more likely to vote Republican next time. It’s not going to make anybody more likely to vote for Republicans next time. It’s not exactly news that conservatives are more hawkish than liberals. But Ann Coulter type rants are repellent to many people who prefer the foreign policy of Republicans to the foreign policy of Democrats.
I will probably vote for Democrats in 2006. My opinions on the two parties are divided. I can go either way, depending on what we’re talking about. The Republicans dominate all three branches of government, and voting Democratic is a balance-restoring corrective. I have no idea which party I will vote for in the 2008 presidential election. No idea at all. It depends on way too many unpredictable variables.
If the Republican Party were less polarizing and obnoxious, though, I might consider actually joining it. Every former Democrat has to deal with this question. Do we join the right, or do we halt our rightward drift in the center? The reaction on the right to Karl Rove’s hatchet job tells me I’m right to stop in the center.