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"Attack their strength" is the signature - it's been the core of Rovian strategy through the W years. Kerry didn't see it coming, never came up with an effective response - his campaign considered his credentials as a principled war veteran as unassailable. Kerry's 2004 defeat is probably the best illustration of the "Attack their Strength" tactic, but Rove put it in play repeatedly during the W presidency.

I don't think that Rove was very active during the 2008 campaign, when Republicans were trying to get some distance from the W brand. But I know Rove's going to be politically active in 2012 - Romney's probably keeping the W cabal at arm's length, but Rove's got the Crossroads SuperPac TM.

So when I see a strong pushback from Republicans on the "war on women" meme, that's entirely based on insubstantial frothery, my first thought is that this is another Rovian "Attack their strength" campaign...

Obama's a much stronger campaigner than Kerry, and I think he's handling this pretty well. The absurdity of Republicans critiquing President Obama's support for issues that are relevant to women (granted, I'm speaking as a man) is disorienting, but the "Attack their Strength" tactic has been in play for so long now that Democrats and Progressives are able to respond effectively.

We've seen remarkable pushbacks on women's issues recently - eg Limbaugh, Komen. From a rational perspective it should be the norm that when someone attacks women for asserting the importance of supporting women's health issues, they are informed by everyone who cares about women's health issues that they are malicious, uninformed, cynical exploiters, or ideological sociopaths.

Liberal/progressive supporters during the W years lacked champions. Some took principled stands that were politically risky, but not enough, and those who did, often took hits, based on the "Attack their Strength" tactic. I watched the pattern occur over and over again, and it became infuriating.

Reince Preibus and all the rest of them are trying it again. They'll keep trying it until we train them out of it, just like we still have politicians and their lackeys dog-whistling race issues, and fulminating about the Commies/Socialists/Islamofacists/Gays/Atheists, and so on. They're going to keep doing it for long after it works, kinda like a dog humping your leg. That's how you push the Overton Window.

If you're a dog, and all you've got in your tactical warchest is leg-humping, well that's what you're going to keep on doing. And if you're a human being who doesn't appreciate your leg being humped by obsessed, delusional beings that have no regard for your well-being, you set firm boundaries, you push back, and you stop that dog.

Apologies if I got caught up in the metaphor there, but I can only see a Republican campaign asserting their support for women's issues as a desperate act of leg-humping by an aged, ill-trained poodle that wants to continue getting away with truly unacceptable behavior.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Karl Rove Needs To Update His Playbook..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erratic

    It's lame.  It's not going to work again.  Everybody figured out the attack their strength thing w/ the Swiftboaters & John Kerry.

    Karl needs a new trick.  Colbert characterizes Karl as a supermarket canned ham w/ glasses.  

    Karl needs to get out of the deli section & into reality.  It's not 2004 anymore.  

    •  Actually, i think Rovian tactics (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lily O Lady, ahumbleopinion, MKSinSA

      can still play pretty well in the mainstream, which is why they need strong pushback. Within RightWorldia, Obama's war on religion forcing faithful christians to pay for abortions is devastating faith-based communities, as he continues to throw trillions of hard-earned tax-payer money at his grand Socialist Conspiracy to Destroy America...

      Rove's more like a weed than a ham - crabgrass for example. You can dig as deep as you want to try to pull out the roots, you're going to be fighting it for years, until you manage to create a healthy ecosystem.

      •  The War On Women's Access To Healthcare..... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erratic

        hasn't exactly panned out too well for Republicans.  They can keep this up as long as they wish.  They've already doubled down.  Tripled down, quadrupled down.

        Keep it up, boys.  Even Karl is going to have a hard time turning this turkey back onto the Democrats backs.

        •  I've been through enough (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MKSinSA

          Escherian Overton Window moments, where an absurdity becomes a political reality that I don't trust the current scenario to play out as we might expect. After watching the Iraq invasion play out pretty much as I expected it to, eg
          -massive destabilization for Iraqi civilians.
          -expensive and unfunded war machine that would incurred painful long-term costs.
          -absence of WMD's.
          -massive profits for death machine corporate interests.
          -expansion/pseudo-justification of War on Terrorism and pre-emptive Doctrine memes, which were already inherently, criminally flawed.
          -...

          I could go on, but snapples, if you have faith in the auto-correcting mechanisms inherent in US politics, or the inherent rationality of the US electorate, I suggest you either strap yourself in real well or get ready for a very wild ride.

          My advice would be to start doing some serious cardio training - you're going to need it for the Obama 2012 campaign!

          •  I'm Ready..... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            erratic, celdd

            My own sister is a rabid FOX watcher & Tea Bagger.  She can't wait to be old enough to belly up to the Social Security & Medicare bar.  

            After 1 & l/2 years & hundreds of emails talking politics w/ her, I realized it's like talking to a brick wall reinforced w/ steel girders.  You simply cannot penetrate the Republican/Tea Bagger mindset.  Other than politics, she's a nice, extremely normal individual.  

            I have no illusions.  

  •  Leg humping... Yeah fits what a republican (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erratic

    makes me feel when near them... applying a strategic kick. But the Rmoney never would hump since he isn't stiff under his zipper. God what a stupid thing his second stringer said. Sorry couldn't resist continuing a theme about the wife should know LOLOLOL...Reminds me of the chicken for a Dr candidate.

    Proud Slut...Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 01:00:52 PM PDT

  •  Yeah. Rove's "attack their strengths" has (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erratic, MKSinSA

    been very effective in the past. It's best to keep an eye out for this tactic to keep it from suceeding.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 01:22:35 PM PDT

  •  Not sure the dog/leg humping meme is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erratic, MKSinSA

    such a good one, actually, since we love dogs but the GOP not so much.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 02:27:25 PM PDT

    •  I'm actually a cat person (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKSinSA

      And for those who love dogs, I'm assuming there's just a minority subset that loves dogs that are agressive leg-humpers...

      •  better than a republican. even leg humper. nm (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erratic

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 02:50:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I love dogs 2 but NEVER tolerate leg humping. In (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erratic

      dogs as well as republicans it a an effort to dominate... they don't seriously enjoy humping your leg... They just wanna show they can use you however they want to. Tolerate it once and they will keep using it.

      I had a dog would come up , lay its head on my knee and give me the LOOK.. So I would give it whatever I had for a treat. It got to be a daily thing and I would laugh and pet him... When it got to be several times a day I had to stop... I am at about that point with republicans... put them outside until they can behave.

      I have a neighbor who will talk with us .. He is a batshit crazy AZ style republican. Every once  in a while I have to swat his nose and rub it in the mess his republicans made then he stops for a while. I am thinking of training him with treats and praise... HHHHHHMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

      Proud Slut...Fear is the Mind Killer

      by boophus on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 03:15:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  rove needed 1000 coordinated radio stations (0+ / 0-)

    RW's biggest strength is 1000 coordinated radio stations but the left ignored that until recently.

    that was rove's invisible political 2x4. that's what swiftboated kerry and he may have fucked up for not recognizing what was happening on those stations but neither has the left - for 20 years of the same shit. the left didn't get his back and let rove take free pot shots at kerry and gore and all dem candidates on national and local levels.

    a continued and sustained attack on their best weapon this year will make a big difference in the elections and even moreso if the main progressive orgs and dem party pull their heads out of the sand and make RW radio a priority.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 01:32:20 PM PDT

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