Karl Rove … ‘Conservative’



By Mr. Curmudgeon:

Shortly after his book Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight was released in early 2010, former advisor to President George W. Bush, Karl “the architect” Rove, gave an interview to the online literary magazine The Browser. The interviewer asked Rove to recommend five books that “defined for him the essence of American Conservatism today.” Rove’s first recommendation was the Federalist Papers.

He described the documents urging the ratification of the U.S. Constitution as “necessary to maintain the American democracy. This is how to view the Constitution in its proper perspective, as a document of limited government, and enormous personal freedom – as an attempt to understand human nature and draw on both its strengths and its weaknesses to achieve a community and nation.”

Rove obviously missed the point. The underlying thesis of the Federalist Papers is moral and not political; that human nature tends toward evil and must be restrained. That power corrupts and the absolute power of government corrupts men absolutely. Thomas Jefferson alluded to this in the Declaration of Independence by indicting King George III for refusing his “Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good …. Establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing … absolute rule …”

In other words, the actions of King George proved the “divine right of kings” to be a licence for one man to play God. This is why Jefferson’s first declarative statement was the “self-evident” truth “that all men are created equal”; that all men are entitled to rights under the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” King George’s crime, therefore, was believing he stood divinely separate and apart from his fellow men – unrestrained by the equal justice he supposedly embodied.

Later in the interview, Rove said self-described Republican conservatives, no matter their financial standing, are more generous when giving to charity than are their liberal counterparts. “Look,” said Rove, “compassionate conservatism was an attempt, in a political vein, to use the natural strength of conservatism and draw attention to this very attractive feature of conservatism. Being a conservative is fundamentally a compassionate philosophy. What is better to say to someone than, we want to construct a society in which you have every opportunity to achieve the best that you can possibly be in life and to be exactly what it is you want to be in life …”

In his nominating speech before the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, South Carolina, President Obama said, “We also believe in something called citizenship — citizenship, a word at the very heart of our founding, a word at the very essence of our democracy, the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations.”

Rove and Republican Party leaders believe, like Obama, that American government functions best when it acts as a democratic expression of compassion. The compact between Rove’s Republican “compassionate conservatives” and liberal Democrats has saddled the nation with massive debt, massive deficits and millions of unemployed Americans dependent on government handouts to sustain them.

Government compassion is shrinking our economy, enslaving future generations to indentured servitude while simultaneously diminishing freedom. This road to hell is paved with the good intentions of the self-described compassionate … liberal and conservative.

The other day, Rove revealed the new super-PAC he calls the Conservative Victory Project. “This is not Tea Party versus the [GOP] establishment,” Rove assured Fox News viewers, “I don’t want a fight.” Like it or not, that’s what he’s going to get. And it will prove to be a losing battle – for Rove. Remember his other super-PAC American Crossroads?

According to the Sunlight Foundation, Crossroads had a massive political war chest of $300 million but saw no more than 1.29% of its candidates win in 2012. Majority PAC, a liberal organization that supported Democratic candidates, saw a success rate of 87.88%. It had a mere $180 million.

It’s obvious Rove believes what he reads in the New York Times. They’ve been telling readers for years that evil, deep-pocket “special interests” routinely buy elections. Rove took them at their word and spent his gullible donor’s money attacking Democrats and in support of “electable” Republican candidates. I guess what they say is true: you can’t believe everything you read in the papers.

You see, government “compassion” rests exclusively on its power to tax. That power is enforced by the jackbooted souls at the IRS. If the only divide separating America’s two political parties is over who is best at exercising the full-force of state police powers in the name of “compassion,” Democrats will always win that fight … hands down.

The Tea Party formed to fill the spiritual and intellectual vacuum created by the establishment GOP. Nature abhors a vacuum. The “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” do as well. As I have said before, and will again, the right-left, conservative-liberal debate in America is meaningless. The nation’s founders were not conservative or liberal. Their political doctrine was simple and profound: all men are created equal and entitled to life, liberty and happiness. No man, no matter his good intentions is entitled to use democracy as a tool to infringe upon the life, liberty and happiness of his neighbor. To do so, in the words of Jefferson, is to establish “an Arbitrary government … enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing … absolute rule …”

If you consider yourself a “conservative,” it’s wise to consider who is steering your movement. If that is Rove, you should pause a moment and consider his history as a “conservative” leader. The Republican majorities in Congress ended on his watch. In 2012, he spent millions of dollars on behalf of “compassionate conservatism” and lost. His new super-PAC will attack Tea Party constitutionalists to boost the political careers of soulless GOP hacks that believe in nothing. Under Roves leadership, the only “victory” you will see is in the title — “Conservative Victory Project.”


  1. There is no discernible difference between the two major parties. The last two elections have proven that to me. I believe, like you, that our founding fathers eyes would be rolling back into their heads in disbelief about the state of our country. It sounds off to say that compassion can weaken a nation, but it does. Compassion needs common sense,

  2. Compassionate Conservatism is a great idea……for an individual; not for a ruling elite to use for a power grab.