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Rove and O'Reilly Talk GOP Comeback

Reported by Ellen - May 7, 2009 -

Guest blogged by Julie

On Tuesday (5/5/09)on the O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly's topic for Karl Rove was how the Republican Party can make a comeback.

O'Reilly rushed to instruct the GOP: “Get solutions to problems. Explain your . . . positions clearly and without spite – and most importantly, stick up for America. Because the Democrats are certainly not doing that. Use that strategy, GOP, and you'll get back in the game.” And behold! The National Council for a New America has been born – the rebranding that consisted of Mitt Romney, Eric Cantor – about 100 Republicans – having a pizza party, criticizing “Washington” and “liberals,” taking a few shots at President Obama and whipping themselves into a frenzy about the novel concept of starting “conversations” with voters around the country. In fact, some of the brilliant ideas that emerged at the little pizza get-together last Saturday in Arlington were, for instance (proposed by Jeb Bush) charging lower tuition rates for college students who major in fields where there is a shortage of workers, such as nursing. But isn't it a little . . . .well, socialist, to promote certain educational fields while allowing others to languish – based on government need? Eric Cantor demonstrated his complete disconnect with political reality by saying, “The prescriptions coming out of Washington are not really reflective of the mainstream.” Mr. Cantor, do you mean the mainstream that has consistently given President Obama a 60%-70+% (according to Gallup, 66% at last count) approval rating since he took office? Looks like the Republican Party needs a few more pizza parties, maybe a little bowling, to work on that whole re-branding thing.

On came Karl Rove, to bravely counter the Democratic forces – for the cause.

“Well, I think you touched on a very important point,” Rove began. “The Republican Party between now and the 2010 has to begin articulating a positive and optimistic agenda... that makes sense to people who sit around the kitchen table and talk about issues like health care (the health care Republicans don't want to make universally available), getting their kids educated [especially if they want to be nurses], the quality of life in their community. And it's really vital that we do that. It's also important that we remember politics is about addition not subtraction.” Well, we'll just gloss over the recent “subtraction” of one Republican senator, namely Arlen Specter. “The attempts by some to weed out of our party social conservatives is wrong . . . we should not be focused on weeding people out of the party because they stand for traditional values.”

Said O'Reilly, “All right, but the Democratic Party is very successful at demonizing Republicans as a bunch of people who say no to everything, are bigoted, you know, because of their social issues of gay marriage . . . and they've been very, very successful doing that, and I would say that conservatives are on the defensive and the Republican Party certainly is.”

“But,” O'Reilly continued, “If you take the patriot issue . . . because this snide stuff that Springstein does (see my post on Springsteen here), it's all over the left wing media every day. We're bad. We're bad. Barack Obama, the President of the United States, went overseas, pretty much reinforced that to the rest of the world.,'Yeah, we're bad, yeah, yeah, yeah.' And if the Republican Party would start to seize the high ground there and say, uh-huh . . . these people are misguided . . . you could take the momentum and swing it right back, because 60-65% of Americans see their country as noble.” Those stats could be true, but let's not forget that, if true, 60-70% of Americans consistently approve of President Obama – which means, logically, that a good percentage of the people who see this country as noble also see the President advancing that concept. Funny how Fox News always fails to go that extra mile in pursuit of “Fair and Balanced.”

Rove said, “Right now the Republicans are stuck with "the Party of No" because the President, with his party in control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives is driving an agenda the Republicans are opposing, so . . . the Republicans are gonna be in a position of saying no. That's not necessarily a bad thing . . . .” 27-28% party identification is not a bad thing? What's this whole “stuck” with the Party of No business, like they had no opportunity to throw some new ideas out there? Maybe it's just me, but being known as the Party of “No” without advancing any alternative solutions is pretty much a bad thing – for them. And a bunch of rich white guys at a pizza party in Arlington as a new strategy doesn't look so good either – for them.

O'Reilly argued, “If the economy straightens out a little bit, that issue is gonna go by the wayside . . . President Obama is gonna take credit for the economy . . . .” No, I'm sure the Republicans are going to take credit for the economy – for standing firm as pro-America fiscal conservatives, saying “no” repeatedly, and doing absolutely nothing and advancing absolutely no solutions and, in fact, slapping the President's efforts in the face while the economy, you know, just corrected itself.

Rove said, “ . . . the economy is gonna straighten out, that's the American economy.” See what I mean? “The question is, do these things in the minds of ordinary Americans hasten the day of recovery or retard it, and I think the polls are already starting to show . . . we've got to stand for a cultural view, for a patriotic view of America . . . .”

Interrupted O'Reilly, “They're handing it to you.”

“ . . . and Democrats in the White House . . . they will hand it to us, you're right. When the President went abroad and basically said America is arrogant . . . I call it the Apology Tour and I think we do need to seize on moments like that and contrast our view – which is a hopeful and optimistic view of our country's future – and a proud and patriotic view of our country's existence . . . .” Where's evidence of this “proud and patriotic” view Rove speaks of? The Tea Parties, which serve to denigrate our President? Fox News, repeatedly fomenting rebellion and revolution?

O'Reilly concluded, “You've got to define yourself as apart from the Bruce Springsteens of the world.” Well, I don't think there's a real risk that any of you Republicans will be mistaken for Bruce Springsteen any time soon.

Rove wrapped it up by advancing the new Republican party line: “We've got to be nimble enough to seize whatever the moment gives us . . . we have to hit on all three of those cylinders at once: the economy, culture and kitchen table issues.” Sounds to me like they're a day late and a dollar short.

Got some advice for you, O'Reilly, and the GOP: Better be a little careful with your new message. If the new plan for Republicans to “take that momentum and swing it right back” – what do you guys call it, “rebranding?” – is telling the majority of Americans who support the President that they're “misguided,” I'm thinking that The National Council for a New America will be about as successful at changing anything as the Tea Parties were.

66% approval rating, guys. Holding steady.

If you can't view the video below, here's a link.