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Rove not Upset, Dems Might Be

Karl Rove cartoonIt’s axiomatic in political campaigns that irrational, or even rational, exuberance over one’s likelihood of victory is the first step toward defeat. That is – show me a guy who can’t be beaten, and I’ll beat him every time. Which makes the White House’s upbeat assessment of next month’s midterm elections puzzling. Don’t they worry that they could lull their supporters into a false sense of security? Or that so-called values voters, who are more than a little pissed over the Foley scandal and runaway deficit spending, might decide to go bowling on November 7th rather than to the polls? Generally, cautious optimism, maybe even a dire warning thrown in here and there, are prescribed for these situations. But as Rove told NPR in an interview, “You’ve got the numbers, but I’ve got the real numbers.”

The Republicans’ behind-the-scenes maneuvers don’t indicate a party that’s comfortable with its prospects – they’re performing triage on the walking dead by pulling the money plug on stalwarts like Sen. Mike Dewine (R-OH), and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), then dumping millions into the campaigns they think they might salvage. Many Republican insiders privately admit, and Republican pundits openly concede that a Democratic takeover of the House is a foregone conclusion, and a Republican minority in the Senate is looking more likely every day.

Is Rove building cover for the morning of November 8th, when we wake up to learn that the coming Republican train wreck was somehow averted? They’ve stolen the last three elections and gotten away with it – why not to roll out that winning strategy one more time? After all, aside from raising money, subverting democracy is the what they’re good at. Rove could be laying the groundwork for telling the complacent MSM and a dumb-struck American public that the polls – including the exit polls – were all wrong, once again.

The upside of the revelations in David Kuo’s book, Tempting Faith, is that like the rest of us, the White House regards the Rapture Right as a load of "Nuts. Looneys. Whack jobs, and Suckers..." It seems Rove&Co are more reality-based than they let on. Thank god.

And with the signing of the Torture Bill and the death of habeas corpus this week, I call dibs on a cage in the shade at Gitmo.

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~Jack McEnany

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