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15 September 2008

Karl Rove Says McCain's Ads Have "Gone Too Far" Even Rove says McCain is lying.
Why do I immediately think "there's got to be some brilliant Rovian scheme behind this"?
posted by Hellbient 15 September | 16:42
I agree with hellbient. I wish I wasn't so jaded.
posted by MonkeyButter 15 September | 16:44
Concern Troll Has Concerns.
posted by Atom Eyes 15 September | 16:50
What he's really saying is 'they're not as slick as mine.'
posted by jonmc 15 September | 16:51
Just as McCain shows a poll bump, Rove condemns the most recent ads.
The Republicans ARE trying to throw this election.
posted by Ardiril 15 September | 16:57
they're so confident that they're going to win, they're just fucking around by now.

if it's true that, due to the Bradley effect, Obama needs to arrive to Election Day with a 10 point lead, then he's really toast. and Rove is just fucking with the Democrats for shits and giggles.
posted by matteo 15 September | 17:10
Why do I immediately think "there's got to be some brilliant Rovian scheme behind this"?

I think the plan is to further or bolster the maverick image by disassociating themselves from the Bushies in as many ways as they can.
posted by chillmost 15 September | 17:17
he's posing. i don't trust him for a nanosecond. it's part of the evil plan
posted by chewatadistance 15 September | 17:35
Here's a nice roundup of all the news organizations calling McCain on his crap, hopefully the story will take hold.
posted by octothorpe 15 September | 17:40
The New Maverick Math:

"It's not about the issues" + "we're not really concerned with what the media filter says [about our lies]" + "fair and balanced"
= Enough rats fucked to go between Earth and the Moon 153 times
posted by scody 15 September | 17:54
they're so confident that they're going to win, they're just fucking around by now.

I don't think so. I think they're scared and they're getting creative. The Obama campaign is making it easy for people to register to vote; the Republicans in swing states are checking on peoplesí mortgage foreclosures so they can prevent their voting by claiming they do not have a valid address. In addition to the fact that the moral majority is really the immoral majority, what this says is that they are so afraid they are going to lose (may it be so) that they are trying to cheat their way into office. Again. Evil seems to be very inventive.
posted by Specklet 15 September | 18:00
I agree with Hellbient, nothing truthful ever comes out of Rove's mouth.
posted by doctor_negative 15 September | 18:05
This doesn't really please me either, because he's really only saying McCain's doing the same thing as Obama, so he's smearing Obama more than he's condemning McCain.

I don't see political TV ads at all up here, but I have a hard time imagining Obama talking shit like the Republicans have been... I could be wrong though.
posted by loiseau 15 September | 18:19
It's like when the bully knocks down the kid with glasses on the schoolyard and calls him a fag, and the principal lectures both of them for fighting. Then, on the way out of the office, the bully hits the kid with glasses again and sneers, "fag."
posted by scody 15 September | 18:38
I'm not smart enough to know what the strategy is, but I'm more than smart enough not to take anything Rove says at face value.
posted by box 15 September | 18:39
I keep picturing Biden dressed as Superman, flying in and knocking some sense into all three of 'em: Palin, Obama and McCain.
posted by Ardiril 15 September | 18:54
This is definitely not as simple as it seems. I just got back from a couple hours of phone-calling for Democrats. The persuasion callers were hearing a lot of this concern: "I used to respect McCain, but I don't like his nasty tactics." The McCain camp needs to adjust its image to be slightly softer, since the hard, polarizing ideological approach of 2004 is not playing well with voters. Rove can levy this critique from a "friendly" side, and then McCain can appear to chasten himself, and look mature and more evolved. This is also why he made a public statement today saying that he understands Obama did not call Palin a "pig." This is a strategic response by his campaign to voter reaction.

I mean, you'd have to be really, really beyond stupid to take Rove at face value when he condemns lying to the public. Come on now. Sincerity here is simply an impossibility.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 15 September | 19:21
[this is Miko]
posted by Lipstick Thespian 15 September | 19:22
I think Karl Rove is trying to nudge McCain away from the extremism. He's trying as gently as possible to prevent alienating the undecideds and the independents. If Karl Rove thinks your ads are bullshit, what does mainstream America think?

I can't see the benefit of being called a liar. I can't think of a reason why this could be helpful in any circumstance*. If a respected person in your party, or one that shares your ideology, calls you a liar, it can't be good. I think Rove was sharing how he felt. I don't think Rove has an angle other than trying to nudge McCain.

*When Jesse Jackson accused Obama for being "too white" and wanted "to cut his nuts out" this was actually beneficial. Many "mainstream Americans" dislike Jackson. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. I don't think this is what Rove was going for, and if he was, it's not going to work.
posted by LoriFLA 15 September | 20:17
Interesting takes, y'all.

I think I'm leaning more to the LoriFLA take on things. I think Rove was saying the campaign ads on both sides have gotten too negative, to the point of alienating the voters.

Of course, Rove is no fan of McCain's-- it's possible he was trying to sabotage McCain's campaign.

When I saw Rove's quote I couldn't believe it. I had the reaction a lot of you are having: ROVE?!? Calling someone ELSE a liar?!? When Rove calls you a liar, man, you must be lying your ass off. McCain/Palin have been lying overtime-- nice to see the media finally start calling them on it (nice link, octothorpe).

I don't think anyone here takes Rove at face value, but keep in mind he did say this on FOX News-- the Platform of The Republican Party. If there's anywhere Rove would let down (what's left of) his hair, it would be on FOX.
posted by Fuzzy Monster 15 September | 20:38
Here's an interesting transcript of McCain talking about Rove back in February.

QUESTION: His tactics don't, you don't disapprove of them? They don't make you nervous?

MCCAIN: It's not so much whether I approve of his tactics or not. It's that he has a very good, great political mind. Any information or advice and council he can give us, I'd be glad to have. I don't think anybody denies his talents. So I'd be glad to get any advice and council. We would obviously decide whether to accept it or not.
posted by Fuzzy Monster 15 September | 20:40
Rove never lets down his hair. You've got to understand that this guy does nothing without calculation. Seriously. He's not just being nice. There's nothing nice about him. If he's worried about negativism, it's only because he can read the political tea leaves and discern that though vitriol was the winning strategy in 2004, it's not winning anyone now.
posted by Miko 15 September | 20:57
I can't see the benefit of being called a liar.

There's no benefit to being seen as truthful if you believe a majority of voters don't care about the truth.

I think that McCain and Co. are basically gambling on the notion that the so-called fact-based community ultimately has fewer voters and less political will than the so-called faith-based community. And by that, I mean generally the great portion of people who DO NOT CARE about empirical, rational, factual distinctions between lies and the truth. They care about feelings. They will vote for the person who tells them the lie that pleases them rather than the person who tells them a fact that challenges them.

Look, they're catering to people who want to teach creationism in public schools, to people who still believe that Iraq was behind 9/11, to people who want Harry Potter banned because it teaches witchcraft. He's going for the anti-Englightenment vote -- and horrifyingly, that's a big goddamn vote.
posted by scody 15 September | 21:01
reason is overrated. think about it -- most fun things, such as eating, sleeping, fucking, are definitely not about thinking. thinking, reading, trying to figure shit out all take time and effort. and frankly might very well be less fun than eating, sleeping and fucking anyway.

also, religion ultimately makes you feel good, if you believe, because it gives meaning to reality. thinking leads to doubt, and worry.
posted by matteo 15 September | 21:31
Miko, believe me, I understand Rove is a professional liar. That's what I thought him calling out McCain for lying was so noteworthy.

I agree with you-- I think he's trying to shift McCain's strategy so the Republicans will have a better chance of winning.

Rove sees the lies are starting to backfire, so he tells McCain to stop lying. I'm just amazed he did it in such a public way.
posted by Fuzzy Monster 15 September | 21:50
most fun things, such as eating, sleeping, fucking, are definitely not about thinking.

True 'nuff. BUT then why would the non-thinkers spend so much time trying to keep as many people fucking for fun as possible? OH HAI GETTING OFF IZ ONLY FOR HUZBINS AND WIVEZ, PREFERBLY FOR THE MAKIN OF BABBY
posted by scody 15 September | 21:59
(er, for "keep" read "prevent")
posted by scody 15 September | 22:00
he tells McCain to stop lying. I'm just amazed he did it in such a public way.

He has too - it's the only way he can make McCain look "independent," to help McCain maintain the "outsider/maverick" status he's so desperately trying to regain. If he were behind the curtain whispering, he'd just be doing the old Rove Machine thing, just like he did for Bush. That's the last thing McCain can afford - appearing to be advised by the same guy who advised Bush (on impeachable actions, to boot). His appeal to moderates depends on his being seen as at a distance from the old Bush machine. By calling him out publicly, from a distance, Rove appears to have nothing to do with the campaign - just a benign observer, whom McCain would do well to listen to. When in fact, he's playing his part in a calculated drama designed for public consumption.
posted by Miko 15 September | 22:24
Make that "he has to."
posted by Miko 15 September | 22:28
God, is it too late to institute IQ tests for voters?

(Note: this doesn't make me an elitist, because I didn't go to an East Coast school, nor do I drink lattes.)
posted by scody 15 September | 22:28
God, is it too late to institute IQ tests for voters?

I know plenty of super-smart well-educated right-wing nutcases. People with degrees from MIT or CMU who will argue with you that global warming is a hoax or that social security is the worst thing that ever happened to the US. I don't pretend to understand their point-of-view but they are certainly not dumb.
posted by octothorpe 15 September | 22:39
Yeah, yeah, I know. My parents have master's degrees and read Shakespeare and Steinbeck to me as a baby, and have already declared they wish they could vote directly for Sarah Palin for president because she's such a feisty little pistol; I know folks who never went to college who are horrified by McCain's lies and understand what's happening to the economy better than he does. I don't despair a lack of book smarts; I lament the increasing irrelevance of reason, logic, and the ability to think critically at all levels of our public discourse and politics. It's got nothing to do with college degrees.
posted by scody 15 September | 22:50
(Note: this doesn't make me an elitist, because I didn't go to an East Coast school, nor do I drink lattes.)

This is obviously a diversion. True elitists would have an espresso or cappuccino from a single estate hand roasted beans, or a careful blend. Lattes are for the masses, don't you know.

And, there's always Cal-Tech or Stanford...


Of course, Palin is pissed off now because Obama is "politicizing" troopergate. (Love how they caught Palin with a Cheneyesque sneer in that photo). Palin's lawyer is saying the commissioner was fired for a "rogue mentality". And, the McCain/Palin campaign is saying that Palin will not cooperate with the investigation (sound familiar?), and they question the motives of the investigation. (Dude, they were investigating before she was tapped to be the V.P. pick.)

In other words, it's the same bat-time, and the same bat-channel...
posted by eekacat 15 September | 23:08
Hmm, I have been known to enjoy the occasional chai...

Yeah, I love the Cheney sneer on Ain't Miss-bePalin's face, too! Could the media honeymoon be over already?
posted by scody 15 September | 23:20
I think Rove is saving his own ass, and McCain's, in a way. If he comes clean about lies that are not popular with the public anyway, his voice will go on to fight another day, and people will still listen to him with some credibility tomorrow. It's very important for him to be seen as relevant, otherwise his power is seriously diminished.

I think it's roughly the same move Rush Limbaugh made when he admitted he'd been shilling for Bush for years and was tired of it. It was like a palette cleanser. The next day he was right back at it with "refreshed credibility", as in "see, Rush is honest, he totally owned up to all that. Now he's telling it like it is". It's pretty crazy, but it obviously works for some people.
posted by Hellbient 15 September | 23:27
Also, keep in mind that he said both Obama and McCain ads were being dishonest, the HP clip edited out the part where he talks about Obama.
Here's the unclipped segment.
Surely Limbaugh/Hannity/etc. will have fixed this by early tomorrow, saying that the liberal media took it out of context.
posted by Hellbient 15 September | 23:51
No IQ tests. Quiz them on history, the US political system, and basic economics.

I think somewhere on MeFi, someone posted their consipiracy theory on how McCain's candidacy is being undercut by Rove et al so that they can field their real candidate in 2012 after turning Obama into another 1-term, Jimmy Carter type president (saddle him with the legacy of years of Republican fuckups, use the fallout to demonstrate incompetency, then presto! 12 more years of GOP!).

This was before Palin was selected. If the election is close, I can see her being put up for the job in 2012 (assuming she hasn't been discredited).
posted by Eideteker 16 September | 06:19
Miko nailed it with "he does everything with calculation". I think he did it with the short term goal of keeping the focus the media away from Obama. They've hogged the spotlight into the 3rd week now. And here we are, jabbering away about it. Long term, I think eideteker has it.

Where is Obama? Is he doing any interviews? How bout a 60 minutes? SOMEthing? Waiting until the debates is too late, I think.
posted by chewatadistance 16 September | 07:51
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