Posted by: Rick | Thursday, June 10, 2010

Karl Rove And The Proto-Fascists

In case you haven’t heard, Michael Steele, the mouthy, unfire-able Chairman of the Republican National Committee, has been reduced — all but officially — to the status of “GOP House Negro And Convention Week Lawn Jockey”.  Karl Rove, assisted by his youthful ward Ed Gillespie, is now calling the shots in the party’s retooled corporate Batcave:

As soon as Steele took control of the RNC, Rove and [Mitch] McConnell began scrambling to keep the party’s big money together — under their control, rather than Steele’s.  The plot to form American Crossroads was hatched over breakfast at the Mayflower Hotel in early 2009 by their lieutenants, Gillespie and Steven Law, McConnell’s former chief of staff and a ruthless advocate for big business.  As a top deputy to Bush labor secretary Elaine Chao — McConnell’s wife — Law had steered a “modernization” of the nation’s labor laws that stripped 6 million middle-class workers of the right to overtime pay.  He then decamped for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he spearheaded a $20 million campaign to block a new law that would facilitate unionization.  Today, Law serves as the CEO of American Crossroads, overseeing the group’s day-to-day operations, while the board of directors is run by Duncan and another Rove ally, former RNC communications director Jim Dyke.

These are the men who run the Republican Party.  They have no intention of engaging in any activity (except possibly by accident) which might benefit ordinary citizens.  They work solely for the oligarchs who own the nation’s assets.  And their mission is to enrich their demanding paymasters.  Period.

Karl Rove knows full well that Republican governance will inevitably result in the destruction of the American middle class.  Such an outcome is baked in the cake of supply side tax cuts, endless deregulation and corporate welfare.  As a political strategist, Rove also knows that if his party is going to wage an economic war on its own constituents, it had better find a way to stay in power that allows it to fuck them over with impunity.

Today’s Tea Partiers serve the same purpose on the right as yesterday’s Christian Conservatives.  Fundamentally, they’re suckers.  Their colorful antics keep them busy but won’t prevent Republican lawmakers from picking their pockets and shoveling money upwards.  Karl Rove’s job is to secure their votes without letting them have any actual power.

Rove is a long-term thinker.  He knows that the more Republicans he helps elect, the more suffering he will inflict on the middle class.  It will become increasingly difficult for him to defeat Democrats in the traditional manner.  Relatively small extremist groups such as the Tea Party must then be metastasized into mass movements (directed by Republican operatives such as Roger Ailes) rooted in fear and anger.  An ever-evolving rogue’s gallery of implacable enemies (foreign and domestic) must be maintained in order distract the people from their economic downward spiral.  Ultimately, democracy itself — at least as Americans currently conceive it — will become a casualty of the oligarch’s triumph.

This is the nightmare scenario of incipient Republican fascism.  And in the digital age, who knows what diabolical methods of control lie just around the corner?

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