As America dies the GOP’s electoral serial killer Karl ‘Pig Man’ Rove is still trolling the polls and positioning postmortem Republican political bodies all along his highway to hell
By Mark Cromer
Charlie Daniels once famously sang The Devil Went Down to Georgia and offered up during that summer of 1979 a semi-spoken word performance that sizzled with either America’s casual confidence or her reckless disregard for risks and potential outcomes, depending on one’s perspective. On the one hand, Johnny wasn’t looking for trouble the day the Devil happened upon him, but on the other he didn’t exactly skedaddle either.
And when Satan proffered his wager in Daniel’s tune, Johnny didn’t consider the odds and then step back from the pari-mutuel window and wave off a bet that offered either solid gold or the eternal abyss.
No, he put his collateral up and let Mephistopheles get the party started.
Anyone who remembers the tune when it first hit the airwaves recalls the invigorating outcome, with a simple country boy decisively vanquishing Old Nick at the song’s crescendo and, in the best tradition of Southern hospitality, inviting Lucifer to come on back anytime he felt he needed some more of the same.
Karl Rove surely remembers the classic tune and as the disastrous year of 2020 came to a close with the Republican Party’s majority in the Senate hanging by the political shoestring of two seats that would be decided in a Georgia runoff election the opening week of the new year, it must have seemed something like old times to the veteran political operative who by nearly every estimation didn’t wager his soul as much as he outright sold it decades earlier on the altar of corporate globalism. While 1979 may seem like a political eternity ago, certain elements of the political landscape must ring a distant bell for Rove: in 1979 a feckless Democratic president from Georgia was in the White House and the GOP’s presence in Congress was south of tenuous and stuck somewhere between frail and anorexic—with the Democrats holding a 58-seat majority in the Senate and a staggering 276 seats to the Republicans 156 seats in the House of Representatives.
But as grim as those spreads appear now, it’s worth remembering that more than 40 years ago the difference between most Democrats and Republicans in both chambers often ranged from minor to miniscule depending on the issue, a demarcation of a few simple degrees that would be unthinkable today amid the political peacocks and freak show power junkies carrying out their corporate looting and jihad for total control. The era of old salts like Tip O’Neill and Howard Baker and Bob Packwood and Alan Cranston making their party’s case and jockeying for position inside the Capitol before retiring to Old Ebbitt Grill or Martin’s Tavern to cut a deal over steaks and drinks that most everyone could live with has passed along with the nation’s cultural cohesiveness that produced a functioning government symbolic of a fairly united nation. While men like O’Neill, Baker, Packwood and Cranston surely did have political hills to fight over and perhaps ideologically perish upon, the definition of what constituted a man or a woman or whether a man can have a baby or should a seven-year-old boy be chemically castrated so his mother can dress him up and parade him around as a ‘girl’ or whether a blood libel against white Americans and peddled under the guise of ‘systemic racism’ was the true arbiter of success in America were not among them.
No, there was a very real fundamental and foundational consensus shared between the leadership and the rank n’ file in both parties.
But that nation no longer exists as it once did, laid low by a long and dedicated campaign of sabotage and subterfuge and a populace’s willing acquiescence to surrender a quality of life and cultural cohesiveness ultimately in exchange for a room full of cheap toys and mass spectacles.
Karl Rove harbors no illusions as to just how fundamentally changed—indeed just how far gone—the America of 1979 is when contrasted to what passes as ‘America’ in 2021, as Rove is absolutely a high-profile political ‘person of interest’ in the abduction, torture and murder of the American nation-state as a functioning republic and a demographically and culturally cohesive enterprise. His greasy fingerprints are all over crime scenes that stretch today from the violent mass stampede across the border to the savage chaos exploding throughout the imploding cities to the deadly silence of the shuttered manufacturing plants that once hummed across the heartland and amidst every kindergarten class to every university lecture hall where working white Americans are ritually defiled in theory as well as in practice.
One need not be a forensic technician to understand that Karl Rove was there, along with a Beltway brigade of his fellow travelers that are clearly no longer concerned about getting caught defiling the corpse in postmortem America, even if it remains forbidden to go off-script and say so aloud now on Fox News Channel.
As 2020 came to end, Rove surely understood he was standing in the grave that the GOP leadership has been digging for its own party for decades—a cozy little plot right alongside the pit that has been excavated for a nation that once shined brightly—but he dutifully made the rounds on FNC’s shows nonetheless last winter, where he held his white boards aloft ever higher and insisted the Republican Party was poised for strategic victories yet to come.
And so it was Rove that the GOP dispatched to Georgia to save the day at the dawn of 2021.
As Trump shrieked and wailed, Rove attempted to thread an impossible needle by keeping the populist movement of working white Americans that had tragically stuck (for the most part) with a do-nothing dolt named Donald and joining them at the political hip with the global corporate interests that operate the Republican Party’s leadership.
The man dubbed alternately as ‘The Architect’ or ‘Bush’s Brain’ among veteran GOP consultant circles—christened ‘Turd Blossom’ by the very man he steered into the White House twice (albeit once effectively by court order)—but known colloquially of late by tens of millions of white working Americans simply as the ‘Notorious P.I.G.’ or alternately ‘Pig Man: The Swine of the Swamp,’ Rove went down to Georgia looking to make a deal that he apparently thought still could be brokered with voters on a campaign centered in corporate tax cuts and deregulation wrapped up in a simplistic but shiny bow of ‘Vote for David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler or The Blob of socialism will devour your town, your state, your nation!’
With Donald J. Trump’s presidency reduced by December 2020 to a pustulating tumor oozing his reeking self-aggrandizing rage after having squandered his four years in office on masturbatory twitter frenzies, leisurely golf weekends and frenetic WWE political rallies all-about-him in lieu of actually delivering in any meaningful way on his campaign pledges to voters—a historic rank betrayal made even more pungent by his sickening sebum of negligence and utter incompetence dating to January 2017—Rove and his fellow corporate GOP honchos had their work cut out for them from the get-go in Georgia. Loeffler and Perdue were two incumbent corporate cutouts who failed to cinch even 50% + .01 in the November election against two Democratic candidates that were far enough Left they would not have come anywhere close to surviving their own party’s primary a decade ago—when the state Democratic party still had some residual legacy of Zell Miller and Sam Nunn.
But if Trump was the weeping cyst on the face of the Republican Party, Rove is the cancer that still defines the deadly disease that resides in the decomposing core of its leadership.
The systemic rot of corruption that has metastasized throughout the GOP’s leadership was on full display as Rove was found once again standing at the crucial nexus of a campaign that would decide how much longer the GOP might remain even remotely relevant as a national party before it is admitted to political hospice as it withers into a regional outfit with a stature more on par with the service clubs of yore such as Rotary, Lions or Optimists, drifting onward to its date with oblivion.
That Rove Inc. was conjured forth to work the Georgia backwoods for every vote that might yet be squeezed out of them speaks volumes itself, but the message that ‘The Architect’ and his minions sought to tempt them with was even more revealing, as the Republicans went back-to-basics for the open-border, mass-immigration, business class crowd: ‘It’s the markets, stupid.’
Rove was rushed in by The Republican National Committee late in the game to coordinate the Republican incumbents’ last stand in the heart of Dixie via its Georgia Battleground Fund with its eight-figure budget and Rove sought to convince a still convulsing Trump to keep chanting about the GOP’s “great successes”: corporate tax cuts, deregulation, Supreme Court appointees and perhaps crow about ‘criminal justice reform’—the accelerating early release of thousands of dangerous criminals back on to the streets of America. And, of course, hammer home his apex achievement of moving the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—which Jared Kushner had assured Trump was a perennial priority for working Americans from Maine to Modesto even as the American homeland collapses in flames around them.
These were to be the key messaging points for Trump and the Republican power-players as they sought to keep Perdue and Loeffler’s Senate seats in GOP hands.
Long gone was any pretense of considering a moratorium on the mass immigration that has been literally trampling America underfoot for decades; there was to be no demand for an immediate cessation of immigration of every variety; from the H-1B and H-2B and other exotic visa schemes designed to eliminate American workers in favor of replacements from Southeast Asia that are imported as a precursor to the inevitable arrival of their extended families. Nor was there to be much made on the stump of the legions of garden-variety Rio Grande pole-vaulters to the caravan convoys slithering north from the failed states of Central America and South America that continue to slam with Category 5 hurricane force on every societal aspect of our most vulnerable American citizens; housing to healthcare and education to employment.
As for the violent crime rates that have burned through America’s Democratic-controlled cities and states with such ferocity that much of the middleclass and upwardly mobile are fleeing in an exodus not seen in more than a half-century, Rove’s playbook called for a passing mention at best of such deadly demographic drain-circling, and only with the qualifiers that Loeffler and Perdue first again denounce ‘white supremacy,’ acknowledge again they are not racists and praise the so-called criminal justice reform that has poured tens of thousands of hardened criminals back onto the streets and into America’s neighborhoods.
And Rove & Co. was damn sure that not a word should be uttered about the toxic brew of so-called ‘Critical Race Theory’—the fancy-pants terminology applied by academia to a crackpot ideology that at its core essence is an action plan for the defilement, dispossession and disappearance of white America. Critical Race Theory is in no uncertain terms a daily demonization of working white Americans by an institutional class of elites entrenched across societal sectors ranging from the media to academia and corporations to government agencies.
Yet while Critical Race Theory is a multi-authored Mein Kampf of the 21st Century, a surreal stew of fantastical historical rewrites and fabricated claims designed expressly as a blood libel that would escalate the hatred of white Americans to a breathtaking scale even while normalizing and rewarding it, Rove and the GOP suits were hell-bent that neither Loeffler or Perdue seize on the psychotic philosophy as but a coming attractions of what the Democrats have in store for white Americans and offer a full-throated and full-throttle rejection of it.
Thus come election day there shouldn’t have been too terrible a shock when both Loeffler and Perdue were vanquished, with Jon Ossoff crossing the finish line with a margin of more than 50,000 votes than the stiff that is Perdue and Warnock rolling up a nearly 100,000 ballot margin to the talking mannequin Loeffler.
Karl Rove and the GOP’s ‘victory fund’ had struck again.
They may as well have poured the nearly $50 million that PAC raised for Perdue and Loeffler onto a beachside bonfire, as burning it would have generated more heat, light and useful effect than Rove’s brilliant strategy produced.
And that this was happening in Georgia at the dawn of 2021 was an indisputably brighter reflection of the fact that Georgia was going the way of Virginia before it just as North Carolina will soon go the way of Georgia. Arizona, Colorado and Nevada are on their way to solid blue too.
This is the geopolitical, sociocultural transformation that takes place in one state after the next when one party plays realpolitik hardball as the other employs empty rhetoric while engaging in systemic self-enrichment while the getting is still good, coming up for air now and again to offer boilerplate complaints about the tactics of their adversary even as they refuse to confront them. It’s hard to imagine that deep down in whatever constitutes Karl Rove’s core—again, his soul has already been purchased—that he didn’t understand he was running a dead party’s errand down in Georgia, but there was money to be made and charades to be played whether it was Rove in the GOP’s wheelhouse or not, so he was likely on autopilot.
Karl Rove was just doing what Karl Rove always does and always will do all the way to the end.
The implosion of the Trump presidency and the Republican’s failure to win back the House or even hold on to the Senate in 2020 produced another peculiar-if-familiar result: a surreal declaration of victory of sorts by the GOP’s leadership—and only in the GOP today could coming in second in a two horse race be considered a victory, with the Republicans awarding themselves a political trophy for ‘Most Improved’ in the locker room as the Democrats stood Centre Court and held their victories aloft like Bjorn Borg hoisting his fifth straight Wimbledon Cup.
The GOP leadership announced their destruction at the polls in 2020 was merely prelude to victories yet to come, as the party was in the midst of a demographic refitting that would see it draw more black and brown voters into its dominant base of white voters that would emerge as a multiracial coalition that would wreck havoc on Democrats as the 2020s got fully underway. That approximately 92 of every 100 black voters cast their ballots for Joe Biden in 2020 was of no never mind to them, just as Trump’s loss of a few vital percentage points of working white males—enough to have turned the election decisively—was written off by GOP shills with a smirk and a shrug.
Such is the final dance of a dead party campaigning amidst a soundtrack of its own delusional declarations.
The midterms of 2022 are now coming into focus on the horizon and the Republicans no doubt feel a sense of relief much in the same way a condemned man might feel upon learning a court had issued a temporary reprieve. The Biden presidency has, at first blush, stumbled badly from its opening night on Pennsylvania Avenue. The ongoing fiasco at the southern border; the frenetic pinballing of the administration on the protocols of the pandemic, from mask mandates to lockdowns to vaccine passports; the surge of violent criminals prowling the streets to prey upon law-abiding citizens at will; the legions of homeless zombies that have turned city life into a horror showcase of progressive accomplishments and now the total and instantaneous collapse of the faux nation-state of Afghanistan and its resulting exposure of The Pentagon as a multi-multi-trillion dollar enterprise that hasn’t produced a single strategic victory in three-quarters of a century—all of this and more seems to bode well for the GOP.
But again, only at first glance.
All of the violently chaotic dysfunction that is now endemic in so much of America shouldn’t be misinterpreted as symptomatic of Biden’s failure. To the contrary, it is a shining torch of the absolute triumph of the Democratic Party’s agenda—as aided and abetted by the Republican Party’s leadership. On his first day in office, Joe Biden accomplished more in his presidency than Donald Trump did in the entirety of his own occupancy of the office. With a blizzard of pen strokes across a raft of Executive Orders, Biden struck mighty blows that advanced the Democrats to-do list, dropping atomic-grade sledgehammer strikes on everything from border security to energy independence.
And he did it on Day One.
So the GOP’s estimation that Biden has botched border security is, as usual, nonsense based on the false premise that the Democrats want a border, let alone a secure one. The Democrats want the border effectively eliminated and Biden has clearly achieved that, with the five million or more immigrants that will have successfully crossed the southern frontier by the end of the year rightly viewed as a hallmark victory for progressives and one that portends the tens of millions of more migrants that are on tap to enter America by any means necessary before the close of 2024.
While the Republican Party’s mouthpieces on Fox News decry and bemoan this reality, what has the GOP leadership done to stop it? In a word: Nothing.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has taken to Fox News repeatedly to cry about how his state was being literally overrun, which of course is a matter of undeniable fact, but how many National Guard troops did Abbott call up and deploy fully armed to staunch the deluge? None. [Note: Abbott did make a show of sending several hundred guardsmen down to the Rio Grande with flashlights and first-aid kits, but in terms of anything meaningful that would halt the migrant flood and force a showdown with the Biden Administration, Abbott has done nothing.]
In California, once a reliable Republican redoubt that saw the GOP politically exterminated decades ago as result of a demographic repaving laid down by the very mass immigration the Republican leadership has long championed, the GOP’s suits and soothsayers are playing make-believe once more with the looming fate of Governor Gavin Newsom who faces a recall vote on September 14th.
But again, Newsom’s very real struggles to remain in office are not as they seem.
While the once Golden State is listing heavily under the sheer tide of humanity that has poured into it unchecked even as its former public schools have been converted into social service centers—in some Los Angeles ‘schools’ more than 90% of ‘students’ are not proficient in math and a plurality are functionally illiterate in English—Newsom is counting on the very voters that largely populate those disaster zones to see him through this recall election.
In the crime-riddled No-Go Zones that were once called neighborhoods throughout California, where tens of thousands of career criminals now feed in frenzies of violence upon citizens fearless once again of any significant sanction, here too Newsom is counting on voters to vote ‘no’ on the recall.
Despite the close margin of the polling as August burns into September in California, Newsom has a real reason to believe in a happy ending.
And it is the very closeness of the polls that is his silver lining.
Twenty years ago, Newsom would have been toast by now—and badly burnt toast at that. The perfect storm of crime, the official schizophrenia of lockdown and masking mandates, the sprawling encampments of World War Z urban berserkers all combined with his own very public habit of flaunting a ‘rules for thee but not for me’ philosophy would have put the popular torch irrevocably to his reign as governor.
And that’s to say nothing of his imperious death penalty embargo that spits in the face of every murder victim, their family members and the long suffering majority of California voters who have repeatedly confirmed their overwhelming support for capital punishment only to see the likes of Newsom and his fellow elites flip them the bird. Then there are the water restrictions, electrical grid failures and traffic coagulation that are all accelerating and deepening even as developers are still enjoying Sacramento’s unequivocal support for a build-to-oblivion blueprint. Newsom is a high-density population-packing jihadist—with the black letter caveat that towers of affordable multifamily housing are not to be built anywhere near his own home or family’s portfolio of properties.
Newsom’s GQ good looks and his Last of the International Playboys flair would have delivered him precious little on Election Day a generation ago.
And yet, in spite of all that, Newsom remains ahead in the polling on the first and foremost question that voters will answer: Should he be recalled?
On that question, right now, Newsom is prevailing in most polls with 52% among the critical category of ‘likely voters.’ His margin his higher among ‘all voters.’ While his spread is within the margin of error—and California is known for its unexpected earthquakes of all kinds—that Newsom remains even a nostril above water among likely voters speaks far more about the fate of the GOP than it does of one Democratic governor that should be packing his bags but may not have to call U-Haul at all.
The GOP brand in California 2021 is so tainted that the state party chose not to endorse one of the Republicans seeking to replace Newsom for fear that doing so would hurt that candidate’s chances of winning.
Even if Newsom is recalled, his removal from office changes none of the material facts on the ground for the Republicans in California, nor anywhere else in what remains of America.
The GOP is graveyard dead in California and will never rise again in this lifetime, its cadaver a testament to the Republican Party’s commitment to nearly a half-century of mass-immigration and an abandonment of critical cultural issues that amounted to, in cold actual fact, a political murder-suicide pact carried out at the behest of its donor class to destroy the Golden State—and kill the California Republican Party in the process.
If Gavin Newsom prevails next Tuesday, in his victory speech he ought to give a special shout out to Karl Rove, as well as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and of course, that GOP golden boy old David Dreier, the retired congressman from Southern California who spent three decades on his knees at the corporate glory holes until the state was in ruins and his district a deeply unwinnable blue. At which point Dreier promptly retired as planned in seamless transition into the bathhouse-cum-boardroom.
Newsom should thank Rove, McCarthy and Dreier by name and gleefully gloat that he couldn’t have done it without them.
Because he couldn’t have.
And as California goes, so too goes the nation for the Republicans as the GOP leadership and its key strategists like Karl Rove and Frank Luntz continue to manage the party like the private equity firm it has become, siphoning every dollar and dime that they can into the coffers of the cutouts and corporations that it long ago merged with.
Make no mistake, a Republican resurgence in the Congress come November 2022 will be utterly meaningless.
Even if the GOP does flip the House of Representatives, which this far out seems somewhere between plausible and likely, and manages to either hold its 50 seats in the Senate or perhaps pick up a critical seat or two and thus turn the chamber red once more—a much steeper hill for the party to climb—while it will ostensibly pump the brakes on the Biden Administration (presuming it is still the Biden Administration come the fall of 2022) it will still mean little more than a pyrrhic victory for the Republican Party.
In pure electoral terms, it will be the GOPs’ Battle of the Bulge. A short-term tactical breakthrough that will do nothing to alter the strategic balance they now confront. The Rubicon was crossed years ago, the die has been cast and the demographic denouement the Republican leadership wrought upon the nation itself will soon consume their own political host organism.
And yet Karl Rove, the Notorious P.I.G., will be continue to work his treasonous tradecraft from the Beltway to the bayous, from the boardrooms to the boardwalks as he is paid fat stacks to draft campaign messages that are increasingly dead letters to a fantastical 21st Century coalition of voters that will never appear.
Rove will urge Republican candidates to steer clear of ‘divisive social issues’ such as the national grooming of school children’s sexual and gender identities. He will appeal to the GOP roster to resist vocally supporting the death penalty for convicted murderers while imploring them to deny being racist as a stock-opener and demand they denounce ‘white supremacy’ before diligently declining to stand up for working white Americans or challenge the lies that have been leveled against them.
And most critically, Rove will assert to the Republican bench that another mass amnesty—messaged as ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ on the campaign trail—is the most vital goal for the GOP and its benefactors. Talk of walls, enforcement, E-verify and deportation is antithetical to the capitalist foundations of America and unpopular with Americans, Rove will assure them.
Accordingly, Rove will demand that any effort to discuss let alone introduce an across-the-board moratorium on any further immigration into the United States for at least a decade—a pause to let the nation catch its breath, so to speak—must be muzzled immediately, proactively denounced as xenophobic fear-mongering that weakens the bedrock of liberty.
The imprint and impact of Karl Rove on the Republican Party’s orthodoxy to which its leadership remains devout cannot be overstated.
And it can be best witnessed in the deafening silence its Congressional host hews religiously to when working white Americans are assailed in vitriolic terms across virtually every platform and actually assaulted in accelerating violent attacks across the nation. When Nancy Pelosi proclaimed during a February 2018 speech on the House floor that her six-year-old grandson’s birthday wish was to not be white, not a single word of consequence was heard from the Republican majority that then controlled the chamber. There was no thunderous rebuke over how perversely pathetic such a declaration was—as it was either a brazen lie Pelosi sickeningly fashioned on the back of her own grandchild or, more ominous still, it was all too true and a glaring-if-unintended confession of disgusting child abuse occurring amid Pelosi’s progressive family.
But no matter, Pelosi could have reached deep into her Jonestown People’s Temple ideological roots and shouted from the rostrum: “My six-year-old grandson’s birthday wish is that white America is wholly exterminated in a campaign of righteous genocide that they themselves are forced to fund!” and as the Democratic caucus jumped to their feet to roar their jubilant approval the Rove Republicans would remain seated in Cathedral silence, waiting politely for their turn to speak on the benefits of the carried interest loophole, the importance of new tax cuts for developers and why environmental regulations were hurting the American economy.
The Pig Man has prevailed.
Like the Los Angeles County Fair’s classic mascot ‘Thummer’—an anthropomorphic pig sporting some snazzy duds and lugging a suitcase advertising his destination—Rove is already looking well beyond his 2022 GOP prospects and over the horizon to the 2024 election that is increasingly likely to represent the formal burial of the Republican Party as a nationally relevant party.
And you can bet, just like Satan on those old Georgia back roads, Karl Rove will be on hand and at the head of the rest of the corporate hogs, his corpulent face aglow and smeared with the decomposing detritus as the filthy swine dine on the lifeless body they once long possessed.