Admittedly, Karl Rove is good at what he does: Running successful political campaigns. But the manner in which he achieves this is through personal attacks and dirty tricks. PBS’s Frontline program last night, “The Architect: Karl Rove” delved into his background and revealed how it had been his lifelong goal to reinvigorate the Conservative vote. He dedidated 30 years of his career to make this happen, and – as we’ve seen in Dubya’s administration - Rove’s wet dream has become our worst nightmare.
The program distilled Rove’s “understanding of the mechanics of political campaigning” – his modus operandi, if you will – to the following elements:
- Keep your messages simple – and keep them to around four or so; the better to hammer into your constituent’s heads with, my pretty
- Attack your opponent’s strengths; don’t exploit his weaknesses – he's expecting that
- Connect “the gay issue” to your opponent at any instant you feel like you’re backed into a corner; the Conservative Right will spring to life like Hitler after getting a shot of Vitamultin
- Become astute at analyzing poll data, marketing surveys, demographic information (Conservatives are more likely to subscribe to “Field & Stream”), etc.
- Concentrate on small, incremental victories that eventually contribute to the bigger goal
If anything good came out of this program – I know it riled me up enough last night to prevent me from falling asleep for another two hours – it’s that this program gives us “how-to” guide as to how we could fight back and bring some balance into our legislature. Sure, we may decide to take the high road, but basically we now have the playbook. It’s time to sack the quarterback.
Thanks to BYO for reminding me to tune in.