The election is a year away and the Republicans are working hard to set the stage and prime the public for their campaign themes. Here are my predictions for the 2008 election environment the Republicans will try to set up.
1) Iraq will not be in the news, and the Dems will be blamed for any failures. If there is failure the “stabbed in the back” narrative will be perfected. If things are calm, the Democrats will be blamed for trying to get us out prematurely.
And, above all, even if nothing changes, never forget that on Oct. 26, just before the 1972 election, all the headlines read “Peace is at hand!”
2) Immigration: Republicans assuredly have polling and testing that show this as a strong issue. This week’s elections saw them testing messages
to find out what works. Don’t think this was beaten back, it was only field-tested.
They’re going to use this to divide us and drive wedges between us and split groups apart — it’s what they do.
3) Accusations that we have a Do-Nothing Ineffective Congress — Republicans are filibustering everything, and Bush is vetoing the rest. Every single bill. The media is already running with a “Dems won’t compromise’ and “Dems can’t get anything done” narrative and Congress is at a record low approval. You bet we’ll be hearing this – they are hard at work developing it. Unless the Democrats start making a lot of noise about this and sustain it -and get the media to report the facts – the Republicans will get away with it.
Karl “Party over Country” Rove is resigning “to spend more time with his family.”
Karl Rove did more to divide America than anyone since Newt Gingrich. (See Language: A Key Mechanism of Control)
Just one example, after 9/11 Rove engineered the creation of the Homeland Security Department, which was entirely a “wedge” device for use in the 2002 elections. The core of the concept was to get rid of government employee unions. The idea was to force the Democrats to either vote against unions or pound them as “unpatriotic.” And then, to pound them as unpatriotic anyway.
This piece originally appeared on The Patriot Project
Imagine that it’s 1997, and you’re a strategist trying to figure out how to get George W. Bush, of all people, into the White House. Your candidate’s record is, to put it mildly, not so great: he had been elected Governor of Texas in 1994 and before that … well … never mind. His term as government is marked by cronyism and corruption, and if elected to the nation’s highest office it promises to be more of the same.
If you’re going to win this you will need to mask your candidate’s record and agenda. You need a strategy that turns your opponent’s advantages into disadvantages, and, most important, that distracts everyone from your own candidate’s awful record. And to accomplish this you need a team that is willing and cynical enough to do what it is going to take to sell your guy. Bush’s top strategist Karl Rove learned his licks alongside Lee Atwater. Rove and Atwater went back a long ways,
Back in 1972, the 22-year-old Rove was a candidate for chairman of the College Republicans. The rambunctious Atwater was his Southern regional coordinator.
What kind of campaign schooling did Rove receive? In 1981 Atwater, then a Reagan strategist, said in an interview,
You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger.’ By 1968 you can’t say ‘nigger’ – that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff.
In 1988, Atwater ran Bush’s father’s campaign against Michael Dukakis,