Roger L. Simon

Advanced Political Science

Of course “political science” is nearly an oxymoron, but if I were to study the subject at a university, I’d want Michael Barone as my professor. No one is more illuminating on our polity and he has rarely been better than he is in his new essay “American Politics in The Networking Era” in the current National Journal. (via PoliPundit)

If I were a Democratic Party operative reading this article, I would be afraid, I would be very afraid. Barone makes an all-too- cogent argument for the emergence of a Republican majority in our new age of networking (you’re part of one now, I guess, reading this). Michael shows how Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman exploited these emerging networks in a more far-reaching manner even than Howard Dean and his vaunted Deaniacs who initially supported the Dean campaign. (They way out did Dean in email addresses, among other things. And did you know people with “caller ID” tend to vote Republican?) The detailed specificity and planning by Rove and Mehlman is quite amazing and, yes, in a certain sense scary.

In the midst of reading this essay, I was suddenly reminded of the weirdly paranoid Congressman Hinchey of Ithaca NY and his bizarre and repeated assertions that Karl Rove was behind the forged National Guard documents promulgated by Dan Rather. Congressman Hinchey should read this article if he really wants to know what Rove was and is about. Karl, quite obviously, wouldn’t waste his time on anything so pointless and risky as forged documents. He was too busy with the important business of actually winning an election (and future ones as well) while the Hinchey’s of the world were busy looking for someone to blame as an excuse for their own failure. Unfortunately, I’m not sure the Congressman has the intellectual horsepower… or is it the emotional balance… to understand that.