Why in the hell is Karl Rove on my TV? Why is Karl Rove on my radio? Why is Karl Rove on anywhere? Unless he’s on trial or being interrogated, I can’t imagine of what possible use this George W. Bush relic could be to conservatives and yet he’s everywhere, hocking his book “Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight,” a title as credibly right-wing as Stephen Colbert and as historically accurate as the movie “Titanic.” Craig Shirley and former Reagan official Donald Devine summed up Rove’s duplicity well in this week’s Washington Post:
“From William F. Buckley Jr. to Barry Goldwater to Ronald Reagan, the creators of the modern conservative movement always taught that excessive concentration of power in government leads inevitably to corruption and the diminution of personal freedoms. But while Rove credits these leaders for shaping his early political views — “at the age of thirteen, I was wild for Barry Goldwater,” he writes — he did not pursue their values while in the White House. To the contrary, as the chief political architect of the Bush presidency, Rove was instrumental in directing an administration most notable for its enormous expansion of national government.”
Given his big government record, you’d think Rove might be treated as a Republican Judas by conservatives, and yet Rush Limbaugh-who rarely has guests-gave the former Bush adviser a full hour to promote his book, and Rove appears on Sean Hannity’s program so often you’d think he was Alan Colmes’ replacement.
Are these conservatives kidding?
The inability of mainstream conservatives to separate their philosophy from the Republican Party is nothing new, but the degree to which the GOP can expand government without any retribution from supposedly conservative pundits continues to boggle the mind. One must assume that for many right-wingers, conservatism would no longer be in “exile,” to use Hannity’s radio rhetoric, if only President Obama and the Democrats could be driven out of office and Rove and his Republican friends could be returned to it. History has already proven them wrong and yet the mainstream Right continues to operate on this bizarre premise, whether lining up to cheer debt-doubling, TARP-voting, No Child Left Behind-promoting Republicans like John Boehner, simply for yelling in his opposition to Obamacare, or Rove, for simply being a Republican. For some, this is what conservatism now means—Republican victories and Democrat defeats-with the net, conservative results being completely irrelevant.