Are we sure Karl Rove isn’t an agent provocateur?

It’s as if he’s happily digging the Republican party’s grave. His latest effort is masterminding a plan to scuttle Ashley Judd’s interest in running for the senate against Mitch McConnell by ridiculing Judd as a woman.

One can say that he is an equal opportunity smear artist, but there is a context and a history to Rove’s anti-Judd salvo. He routinely resorts to anti-woman insults and insinuations that cut deeper than his usual attacks – characterizing women in politics as having stereotypically negative female traits (subject to hysteria, too emotional, weak and weepy, bleeding heart, flighty or frigid, and lesbian).

On mainstream women’s issues, in the last year alone Rove claimed that Democrats “worship at the altar of reproductive rights,” compared President Obama to a “third-world dictator” for requiring insurance companies to cover birth control, and sneered at the White House’s priority to ensure equal pay for equal work as evidence of “unapologetic liberalism.”

I enthusiastically endorse the Republican Party’s plan to throw away the votes of half the country. Although, you never know — maybe they also have a cunning plan to end women’s suffrage, so it won’t matter. And then once they revoke the Emancipation Proclamation and have every brown-skinned family labeled illegal immigrants and deported, they’ll have a lock on politics. And then won’t I be sorry I encouraged Rove.


  1. robro says

    Well, PZ, not every brown-skinned family. We’ll need to keep a few around for cleaning the house, hoeing the cotton, chopping peanuts…stuff like that.

  2. glodson says

    And this is the man they called “Bush’s Brain.”

    Explains much about that administration. I look forward to watching him flush several million dollars down the drain again, because apparently those who back the GOP have a major problem with empiricism.

  3. says

    Rove built his reputation as an infallible, unbeatable evil genius. who wins whatever battle he chooses to fight merely by announcing his intent to fight it. Now that reputation is tarnished by his party’s most recent electoral spanking, and he desperately needs to win SOMETHING to renew it. And since he’s nowhere near the genius he has to pretend to be, he has to find the easiest win he can — like, oh, I dunno, maybe an actress who hasn’t even seriously decided to go into politics at all, at a time when hatred of women is being stoked to a fever pitch all over the world.

    And don’t laugh — it works. Real political momentum begins with easy victories like this, and people like Rove know it at the cellular level.

  4. redmcwilliams says

    The only problem is that there’s a significant percentage of women that will continue to vote republican even after all this, just like there’s a significant percentage of poor people who continue to vote against their best interests.

    Rove will lose some of the female vote, but he gains a lot by perpetuating the stereotypes too.

  5. Scr... Archivist says

    Raging Bee,

    Let me see if I understand what you’re saying. Since Judd hasn’t fully decided to enter politics, there’s still a good chance she won’t run anyway. By making a lot of noise now, Rove is banking on that eventuality, but this way he can make it appear that he caused it. And he doesn’t actually have to do anything, other than make a lot of noise.

    Do I have that right?

    I would also like to point out that Ashley Judd has identified as a feminist, on the cover of Ms. Magazine no less. That heightens the contrast between her and Rove.

  6. Amphiox says

    Raging Bee, do not assume that Ashley Judd is so easy a target. There are many indications that the GOP is seriously afraid of her. Mitch “one term president” McConnell is vulnerable in 2014.

  7. Subtract Hominem says

    But of course it’s ludicrous, radical, and libelous to suggest there might be a Republican war on women.

  8. says

    Sadly, I have to agree with redmcwilliams. Right here in ND we have a slew of anti-abortion and personhood legislation sailing through the legislature and this is fully supported by many women here. These bills don’t even make the usual exceptions for rape/incest/life of mother. Sickening. “The Handmaids Tale” is still relevant. It would be oh so easy to take it that extra step and disenfranchise women up here. Grrrr!

  9. vaiyt says

    sneered at the White House’s priority to ensure equal pay for equal work as evidence of “unapologetic liberalism.”

    He says it like it’s a bad thing.

  10. says

    I think it is our SOLEMN PATRIOTIC DUTY to encourage Republicans to DOUBLE DOWN and never give in to the forces of MODERATE PANTYWAIST LIBERAL RINOISM. *THAT* is the way forward!

  11. carlie says

    Ashley Judd is not only an outspoken feminist, but has spent years as an actress, going through all the worst Hollywood can throw at a woman for her looks and attitude and with a huge dollop of comparisons to all the other women in her family to boot. Rove doesn’t stand a chance at making a dent in her.

  12. raven says

    Women elected Bill Clinton twice and Obama twice.

    There has been marked gender disparity in voting for decades now.

    The Tea Party/GOP War on Women is one of the best assets the Democrats have.

  13. unclefrogy says

    I like how “turd blossom’s’ activities dovetails with the message coming out of the republican party lately about how they have to do more outreach and “change the way we present ourselves”

    uncle frogy

  14. Francisco Bacopa says

    I think you mean “Repeal the 13th Amendment” rather than “Revoke the Emancipation Proclamation.” The 13th Amendment ended slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation was was an executive order that freed slaves in most of the CSA territory occupied by Union forces and freed slaves in CSA territories as they became occupied. It did not free slaves in Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, and Kentucky.

  15. Holms says

    Oh hey, possibly my favourite female actor! From the off set moments I have seen of her, she is not only a damn nice person, but also a firm and motivated in her politics. I hope she shakes things up in the senate.

  16. Q.E.D says

    I don’t use the word “evil” very much because it is a problematic concept, however, if evil exists in the world, Karl Rove is it’s poster boy.

  17. cyberCMDR says

    The thing that made Rove so effective working for Bush was that he was able to put out messages that resonated with the Republican base. I don’t think that has changed; it’s more that the base he is aiming for has become more aligned with prejudice in all its forms.

    Recent research shows that conservatives tend to process risk using the part of the brain associated with fight or flight. Throwing in more trigger words like lesbian or Hollywood liberal works for those with brains that process the world that way.

  18. sambarge says

    …comparing President Obama to a “third-world dictator” for requiring insurance companies to cover birth control…

    Ah, yes. Third-world dictator are famous for requiring insurance companies to provide a full range of medical coverage for citizens. FAMOUS! It’s right up there with death squads and secret trials.

  19. robro says

    @ raven said:

    Women elected Bill Clinton twice and Obama twice.

    I would agree that women in general voted for both of these guys, but not so much White women. According to this, a majority of White women did vote to reelect Clinton in 96, but not in 92, and in all other elections since 96, White women have voted Republican. Obama only got about 42% of the White woman vote in 2012, slightly worse than his polling among that demographic in 2008. Fortunately, the White majority is declining, although that’s exactly what’s scaring the bee-jesus out of folks like Rove.

  20. stanton says

    Are we sure that Karl Rove hasn’t developed acute, motor function-impairing senility, and hired Ann Coulter to write his material for him?

  21. triamacleod says

    Rove strikes me as the ‘it’s mine or it goes down in flames’ sort of guy. If he can’t be the big cheese than he’d rather see it destroyed. Between the war on women, climate change and the dying off of the ‘old, white and scared’ voters he is going to be in for a long slog.

    It seems that the only votes he can count on are the evangelical, I’d rather die with my gun in my hand than live under a __________ government. (fill in the blank with liberal, feminist, etc) Sadly I am related to a few of these people and they are completely brainwashed, there is no discussing the issues with them, let alone a chance to convince them they are being played for fools. However with the ever lower ratings for Faux News and knowing how many of my cousins pretend to agree with their parents to keep the peace, only to vote for ‘the other guy’ I have hope that we’ll see the end of Rove and his ilk shortly.

  22. ck says

    maybe they also have a cunning plan to end women’s suffrage, so it won’t matter.

    It’s on the list. Just below ending the voting rights for the young, infirm, poor, and the aforementioned non-whites. They’ve made tremendous strides in revoking the right to vote for these groups under the guise of fighting voter fraud, so it’s really only a matter of time.