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Nov 13 2012

Bryan Fischer Award Nominee: Karl Rove

The Bryan Fischer award is given to those who show a staggering lack of self-awareness, who accuse their opponents of engaging in their own worst behaviors. And this may be the most blatant example I’ve ever seen of it. Karl Rove says Obama won reelection by “suppressing the vote.”

GOP strategist Karl Rove went on Fox News today to argue that President Barack Obama “succeeded by suppressing the vote” — an argument that directly contradicts the conventional wisdom that Romney failed to appeal to non-white and female voters.

Rove argued that Obama won with a smaller popular vote and a smaller margin of victory than in the 2008 election against Sen. John McCain. Instead of expanding voters, Rove argued, Obama “suppressed the vote” by demonizing former Gov. Mitt Romney and encouraging people not to vote.

Wow. Seriously, wow. Every single voter suppression effort taken in the last year, from shortening early voting days and hours to making voter registration efforts more difficult to photo ID laws and much more came exclusively from Republicans. The Obama campaign and the DOJ had to go to court over and over again to prevent those efforts, precisely to make it easier for more people to vote. This man is a buffoon.

27 comments

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  1. 1
    jamessweet

    I think Rove is playing fast and loose with definitions here. Demonizing your opponent is not what we typically mean when we say “suppressing the vote”, even though it’s true that negative campaigns tend to lower turnout. Even “encouraging people not to vote” is not really suppressing the vote, not in the sense we normally mean it.

  2. 2
    daved

    I would suggest that this is simply classic Rovian tactics — you accuse your opponent of whatever it is you yourself are doing (or have done).

    Karl is in for an interesting time, I think — his “political wizard” cred is in tatters after his Super-PAC swallowed hundreds of millions of dollars and returned almost nothing to the donors.

  3. 3
    fifthdentist

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

  4. 4
    TGAP Dad

    Why is anyone even taking this pseudo-intellectual seriously any more? Can we stop calling him “Bush’s brain” (since he is clearly deficient in that area) and just stick with “Turdblossom?” What are news outlets giving him any attention whatsoever? Just let Fox keep him.

  5. 5
    D. C. Sessions

    And Ed misses the other half of the equation: Rove is basing his complaint on Democrats using negative campaign ads?

  6. 6
    tfkreference

    Not to mention that Santorum, Gingrich, Perry, et al., did most of the demonization (see last Wednesday’s Daily Show for examples).

  7. 7
    baal

    I think I posted my simple heuristic for this before. The (R) get a list of negative terms that show up as the most common search terms associated with ‘republican’ in Google. They then try to create events to get ‘obama’ ‘Democrat’ or other similar terms to show up in the hits as well.

    This is, as noted in OP, entirely moronic. The (R) have a reputation for living in a bubble of lies and being out of touch. This intentional behaviour feeds that reputation.

  8. 8
    Michael Heath

    We’ve all probably read by now that the Romney campaign’s grass roots voter-day software application, ORCA, failed miserably. The root cause reported appears to largely be due to poor management of the development and roll-out of this app, e.g., they failed to test the app where most of the managers would be located on campaign day.

    Last night I read that another ORCA failure was the managers’ inability to direct Republican volunteers who were recruited to suppress the vote in the Jacksonville, FL area. Those volunteers were supposed to be directed to specific voting precincts to challenge people voting and/or having their vote counted. Instead these volunteers were unable to receive any transmissions, through ORCA or even traditional methods; from voting day going back several weeks.

    As a loyal Obama supporter now since late-Spring 2008, this was sweetly ironic given Mr. Romney’s brash claims he was an expert manager and Obama wasn’t. Where the Obama team once again demonstrated far superior management skills against three campaign competitors, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and now Mitt Romney. (Unlike most people, I don’t think Mrs. Clinton’s campaign wasn’t run well, I think she ran a very solid campaign. I instead think Mr. Obama’s campaign was brilliantly run.)

  9. 9
    Jordan Genso

    Conservative doppelganger english.

    It looks just like the language that we speak, but the words have completely different definitions.

  10. 10
    Randomfactor

    Then old Turdblossom should jump at the chance to join a bipartisan effort to eliminate voter suppression of all kinds and make it as convenient as possible for every voter to cast a ballot.

  11. 11
    Trebuchet

    Rove is a vile, evil man who belongs in prison for the Valerie Plame affair, but in my opinion he’s no dummy. He’s very deliberately co-opting the term because he know it hurt the R’s in the past election. It works two ways: If you use the redefined term in referring to legitimate campaign tactics it loses its real meaning AND ignorant conservatives will be convinced that Obama cheated and is not the legitimate president.

    His big problem now is how to convince wealthy donors, who got nothing for their money, to keep supporting him.

  12. 12
    Marcus Ranum

    We’ve all probably read by now that the Romney campaign’s grass roots voter-day software application, ORCA, failed miserably.

    Well, information technology does have a notorious left-leaning bias.

  13. 13
    reverendrodney

    What, is Porky saying that Obama suppressed Mitt’s voter base?

  14. 14
    Christoph Burschka

    Well, information technology does have a notorious left-leaning bias.

    The problem is that it’s reality-based.

  15. 15
    holytape

    He wants to foster the seed that somehow Obama’s relection was not legit, that somehow Obama cheated. I will beat you anything that sometime with in the next few months, the roar of the “Obama suppressed votes” meme will become deafening.

  16. 16
    eric

    It is interesting to see which right-side pundits acknowledge demographics and which don’t. Rove seems to have decided to go with the latter group.

    Which is IMO spectacular for the Democrats but bad for the country as a whole. We really need two (or three! Or four, etc.) reality-based parties arguing real policy issues.

  17. 17
    thalwen

    Obama “suppressed the vote” by demonizing former Gov. Mitt Romney
    I’m glad the GOP was above demonising their oponent. It would be horrible if they were to.. I don’t know.. start a bunch of birther garbage or paint Obama as an evil-scary-black guy, or accuse him of being a Marxist-Nazi-Death Eater. But I’m glad the GOP is above that kind of thing and will renounce any instance of unfair demonisation from here on out.

  18. 18
    D. C. Sessions

    The problem is that it’s reality-based.

    Rumor has it that it also uses arithmetic.

  19. 19
    raven

    Rove is just lying.

    It’s his job!!!

    Besides, he can’t help it, it is a core personality trait.

    What was surprising about the election is how the vast amounts of dark pool money and super PAC money didn’t seem to do much.

    It looked like Robert Murray, the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, the Mormon church, Mormon aristocracy, Catholic wingnuts, Murdoch, etc., just thought they could buy their way to power.

    It’s not a bad idea. It usually works. It didn’t work very well this time.

  20. 20
    Michael Heath

    raven writes:

    What was surprising about the election is how the vast amounts of dark pool money and super PAC money didn’t seem to do much.

    I originally thought that as well. But I’ve since come to the conclusion this money did and continues to have an enormous effect. The sources who provide this money enable and even demand the Republican party take indefensible positions and promote unqualified candidates. Perhaps if they didn’t have access to this pool of money they’d actually promote some compelling candidates and policy proposals, i.e., earn their success in a manner furthers the national interest and that of humanity in general.

  21. 21
    Michael Heath

    Barack Obama won by 3,337,365 votes [1], or the population of 5 2/3 states if we run them from the smallest to largest [2]. That’s Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota, and 2/3 of Delaware’s population. And if my side had lost I’d be first in line claiming this is a ridiculous way to measure the president’s victory.

    1] http://www.cnn.com/election/2012/results/race/president

    2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population

  22. 22
    Moggie

    Michael Heath:

    We’ve all probably read by now that the Romney campaign’s grass roots voter-day software application, ORCA, failed miserably. The root cause reported appears to largely be due to poor management of the development and roll-out of this app, e.g., they failed to test the app where most of the managers would be located on campaign day.

    Haven’t you heard the wingnut theory about that? (And by “theory”, I mean “steaming pile”). Apparently, one of the developers was – please prepare your delicate ears for this shocking news – black, and therefore he must be an Obama surporter and furthermore must have sabotaged the project. (And probably harmed his future career by involvement in that debacle, but doubtless he’ll be amply rewarded by his commie Muslim Kenyan master).

  23. 23
    baal

    /agree with eric that actual policy debate with a focus on solving problems would make for a better day.

    @ M Heath – I think the vast amounts of dark money bought (buys) ties. By analogy, think of a multiple choice test. If a question gets 25% selection for each of the 4 choices, it’s probably a bad question since it looks like a random guess. These interminable 50% +/- a tiny fraction (up to 1-5%) elections look the same to me. When folks are largely confused or overly polluted by one BS ad after another, they lose the ability to rationally decide and you wind up with essentially a random split. I suspect (weak assertion) that with less obfuscation (decent mainstream media?) we’d see wider margins in the presidential race.

  24. 24
    caseloweraz

    Michael Heath wrote: “We’ve all probably read by now that the Romney campaign’s grass roots voter-day software application, ORCA, failed miserably.”

    Yes — resulting in a “killer wail” emerging from the Republican camp.

  25. 25
    gerryl

    Talk about co-opting words. Did anybody notice that in the last few months of the campaign Romney and his surrogates kept flinging around the term “trickle-down government”? I heard it and wondered why no one asked about it: “What do you mean when you say that? And can you explain why it sounds so-o-o familiar, say, like the trickle-down economics your team is promoting?”

  26. 26
    DaveL

    I originally thought that as well. But I’ve since come to the conclusion this money did and continues to have an enormous effect. The sources who provide this money enable and even demand the Republican party take indefensible positions and promote unqualified candidates.

    Indeed, stealing an election isn’t the only way to undermine democracy. Denying the electorate a viable opposition, I think, could be nearly as damaging in the long term.

  27. 27
    Nick Gotts

    Barack Obama won by 3,337,365 votes – Michael Heath

    Those figures are not final. If you follow your link, and look down to the “battleground states”, none of them have yet counted all the votes. Indeed, as of the latest update, the margin is 3,472,814.

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