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The childish political thought of the Tea Party

With his recent criticisms of Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell on Fox News, Karl Rove kicked up a controversy. His critique of O'Donnell was granular and well-informed. Having worked with Karl for a number of years, I know that he is nothing if not detail-oriented. Rove has taken O'Donnell to task for her checkered financial past, her history of litigiousness and paranoia, her misleading statements about her educational background. These facts may not be disqualifying for office, but they indicate a flawed, inexperienced, perennial candidate on the model of Alan Keyes.

While Rove's critique was tough, the reaction in parts of the conservative blogosphere has been unhinged. Michelle Malkin wrote that it "might as well have been Olbermann on MSNBC." Mark Levin pronounced Rove at "war against the Tea Party movement and conservatives." "In terms of the conservative movement," wrote Dan Riehl, "we should not simply ignore him, but proactively work to undermine Rove in whatever ways we can, given his obvious willingness to undermine us."

This reaction is revealing -- and disturbing -- for a number of reasons.

First, it shows how some conservatives view the business of political commentary. Rove obviously has strong views on O'Donnell, based on personal experience with the candidate. But deviations from the party line are not permitted. It is not enough to dispute Rove's critique; Rove himself must be punished. The message is clear: The facts do not matter. Politics is war carried on by other means. Anyone who doesn't consistently take one side is a traitor.

This attitude can be found on right and left. But a serious commentator cannot think this way. He owes his readers or viewers his best judgment -- which means he cannot simply be a tool of someone else's ideological agenda. Some conservatives have adopted the Bolshevik approach to information and the media: Every personal feeling, every independent thought, every inconvenient fact, must be subordinated to the party line -- the Tea Party line.

Second, the ferocity of this criticism indicates a growing arrogance. Tea Party purists, on the Internet and elsewhere, clearly believe their ascendance makes other elements of the conservative movement unnecessary. But victory in a Republican primary electorate of 60,000 is Delaware does not make the Tea Party movement predominant in the Republican Party, or even in the conservative movement. If Tea Party activists believe they can win in a political coalition so pure that it doesn't include strong, mainstream conservatives such as Karl Rove, they are delusional. And they are hurting their own cause.

Third, some conservatives seem to display special venom for those who are "compromised" by the experience of actually winning and governing. Rove, according to Malkin, is an "establishment Beltway strategist." Actually, he is a former high-level policy aid to the president of the United States and the primary author of two presidential victories. This does not make him always right. But it means he has had responsibilities bigger than running a Web site. This is an advantage for a commentator, not a drawback.

In Tea Party theory, inexperience is itself seen as a kind of qualification. People like O'Donnell are actually preferable to people like Rove, because they haven't been tainted by public trust or actual achievement. This is the attitude of the adolescent -- the belief that the world began on their thirteenth birthday. It is also a sign of childish political thought.

By Michael Gerson  | September 17, 2010; 11:17 AM ET
Categories:  Gerson  | Tags:  Michael Gerson  
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Comments

"It is not enough to dispute Rove's critique; Rove himself must be punished. The message is clear: The facts do not matter. Politics is war carried on by other means. Anyone who doesn't consistently take one side is a traitor."

When applied to Karl Rove, the phrase "you reap what you sow" comes to mind.

Posted by: jnc4p | September 17, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

The Tea Partiers are looking more like the Khmer Rouge. The professional class is to be eliminated by those whose only unifying doctrine is rage.

Posted by: newsraptor | September 17, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Partiers are looking more like the Khmer Rouge. The professional class is to be eliminated by those whose only unifying doctrine is rage.

Posted by: newsraptor | September 17, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the learned Mr. Gerson can take a paragraph to explain how the Tea Party's "childish" approach to descent varies from Obama's reaction to descent being that Mr. Gerson views such actions so disparagingly.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | September 17, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

From the tone of this column, it's hard for me to believe that Gerson actually watched the 3 videos of Rove ripping into O'Donnell.

Karl Rove is not an inexperienced TV guest. He is able to choose words carefully to present an argument.

His rants about O'Donnell were not analysis - they were attacks on the new Repulican nominee. If he actually wants to see Republicans elected, Rove's behavior was inexcusable.

The 2 George Bush administrations oversaw the near destruction of Republican party power – Rove was there every step of the way. Rove prove skilled at getting George Bush elected twice, but he is not a conservative, and has demonstrated that he carries no brief for limited government or candidates who favor it.


Posted by: pilsener | September 17, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

So Rove is right about O’Donnell. He was wrong about everything else. I'll take a flawed candidate that won't start needless wars, send our jobs overseas, and push all the wealth to the top. To hell with Rove, Bush, Obama, Clinton, and the whole lot. In 20 years they have nearly destroyed this country, while enriching themselves.

Posted by: independent123 | September 17, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"In Tea Party theory, inexperience is itself seen as a kind of qualification."

Actually, according to Mao's playbook, its the beginning of a cultural revolution. Next up is to get rid of the intellectuals.

Posted by: veggiedude | September 17, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"But deviations from the party line are not permitted. It is not enough to dispute Rove's critique; Rove himself must be punished. The message is clear: The facts do not matter. Politics is war carried on by other means. Anyone who doesn't consistently take one side is a traitor.

This attitude can be found on right and left."

This is why I've been a consistent Dem voter for the last decade even though I have a number of positions to their right. And no, this attitude can't really be found on the left. Sure you can find it among a few forum posters somewhere, but you don't hear the leading Dem pundits constantly calling for the blood of those who are less than perfectly pure.

This right-wing insistence on perfection I believe derives from fundamentalism and the black-and-white worldview it promotes. The thing is, we're in a difficult economic climate and surrounded by a rapidly changing world that doesn't fit the yes/no thinking that's come to dominate the right. That is why the right regaining power at this point in time is so terrifying.

Posted by: Nissl | September 17, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

NOTE TO GERSON:

Please explain why "adults" like Karl Rove had no problem supporting "Republicans-about-to-be-Democrats" Arlen Specter and Lincoln Chafee.

Posted by: pilsener | September 17, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Since when is Karl Rove a "mainstream conservative?" The ideology and tactical machinations of his "...primary author(ship) of two presidential victories," was not predicated on mainstream notions. Extreme right positions, fear, and the plying of religion toward political ends—views and tactics now found in the Tea Party—were among the cornerstones of Rove's political architecture and governance.

And everyone knows Rove's particular brand of evil genius. For all we know half the Tea Party mojo is some six-moves ahead Rovian chess playing, orchestrated by the master himself, all designed to help position the equally extremist views of the Republican party platform (anti-abortion, anti-gay, pro corporate socialism--all views which are hardly conservative in the classic sense) appear to be more centrist, "...look at us, we're apple pie compared to those Tea Party knobs."

We're not buying it.

Posted by: lindsaycurren | September 17, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Gerson, do you read your own writings? "But deviations from the party line are not permitted. It is not enough to dispute Rove's critique; Rove himself must be punished." This is exactly what has happened to O'Donnell. She was not the Republican party choice and so she must be attacked, even after she wins. A perfect example of the the insiders wanting to hold onto power at all costs.

Posted by: delusional1 | September 17, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"In Tea Party theory, inexperience is itself seen as a kind of qualification. People like O'Donnell are actually preferable to people like Rove, because they haven't been tainted by public trust or actual achievement. This is the attitude of the adolescent -- the belief that the world began on their thirteenth birthday. It is also a sign of childish political thought."

Excellent point. As teenagers, we all had moments of arrogance when we believed our idealism and passion could easily supplant wisdom and experience. How does that usually work out? Not to well. The teenager often learns the hard way that wisdom and experience are virtues and not character flaws.

The whole Tea Party movement is being driven by a childish anger - they want to throw the bums out but they are strangely silent about what they will do next. If they don't actual produce a constructive vision then once the underlying mood driving their success fades, so will they - if they succeed and BECOME the establishment & Washington than they can no longer say they are anti-establishment and anti-Washington - they will just open themselves up to the same "outsider", "anti-Washington" sentiment that they helped to create. Maybe I'm cynical but what is to stop these people from becoming just as corrupt and out of touch as the people they are trying to replace? How can you have a workable political system if the sole concern of so many people seems to be; throw the bums out?

Then what?

Posted by: cjpotter19 | September 17, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"In Tea Party theory, inexperience is itself seen as a kind of qualification. People like O'Donnell are actually preferable to people like Rove, because they haven't been tainted by public trust or actual achievement. This is the attitude of the adolescent -- the belief that the world began on their thirteenth birthday. It is also a sign of childish political thought."

Excellent point. As teenagers, we all had moments of arrogance when we believed our idealism and passion could easily supplant wisdom and experience. How does that usually work out? Not to well. The teenager often learns the hard way that wisdom and experience are virtues and not character flaws.

The whole Tea Party movement is being driven by a childish anger - they want to throw the bums out but they are strangely silent about what they will do next. If they don't actual produce a constructive vision then once the underlying mood driving their success fades, so will they - if they succeed and BECOME the establishment & Washington than they can no longer say they are anti-establishment and anti-Washington - they will just open themselves up to the same "outsider", "anti-Washington" sentiment that they helped to create. Maybe I'm cynical but what is to stop these people from becoming just as corrupt and out of touch as the people they are trying to replace? How can you have a workable political system if the sole concern of so many people seems to be; throw the bums out?

Then what?

Posted by: cjpotter19 | September 17, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Damn the GOP Neocons, Birchers, Brithers, Boethers and other Right Wingers PUSHED it over the edge with their Tea Bag Party..

and now they are upset..

Special K, Gerson, Rove..

Simply amazing !!

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | September 17, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"In Tea Party theory, inexperience is itself seen as a kind of qualification."

Actually, according to Mao's playbook, its the beginning of a cultural revolution. Next up is to get rid of the intellectuals.
***

If you want to live in an idiocracy, be my guest, but leave me out of it! Then again, being somewhat of an intellectual (only insofar as I like to think), I might be biased.

Does that make me an elitist?

Posted by: penance091 | September 17, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Gerson,

both your comments & those of Karl Rove MIGHT be appropriate IF they were FACT based.

instead, Chris O'Donnell has been WRONGLY attacked & the VAST majority of what has been leveled at her, in just one word is: LYING.

it comes down to this: the main-SLIME media & the "ruling class" LIE about everyone "from the outside" 7 always vilifies anyone, who dares to say that the Emperor has no clothes.

IF you wonder why the Tea party is fast becoming the largest grassroots movement in America is that we are ALL so tired of the LIES, empty promises, meaningless platitudes, errant STUPIDITY, crooked dealings, nosey bureaucrats & the just plain DISHONESTY in the government, that we want to "kick the bums all out & start over".

imVho, a random sample of 535 ordinary citizens could NOT make a bigger mess of our government than the current Congress has done since 2009.

over the next 2-3 election cycles, the DIMocRATS & the RINOs will be "shown the door" & pushed out of it.- FACT!

the Tea Party will soon be larger than the GOP & DIMocRATS combined, as we are growing at a rate of 6-8% a WEEK.

note to the "party professionals": we TP folks do NOT want "a seat at the table"; instead, we want the HOUSE (and the SENATE) in the hands of HONEST/DECENT people, who do NOT see themselves as our RULERS, but instead, see themselves as our SERVANTS!

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | September 17, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the learned Mr. Gerson can take a paragraph to explain how the Tea Party's "childish" approach to descent varies from Obama's reaction to descent being that Mr. Gerson views such actions so disparagingly.

Posted by: Bcamp55
------------------------------------------
And while you are at it Gerson, teach this 'bagger how to spell "dissent." And really Gerson, you only notice that the rightwing becomes unhinged at the slightest provocation when one of your conservative buddies is the target. They do this all the time when it comes to Democrats and liberals, and for the most part you lack the fortitude to take them on then.

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | September 17, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Gerson,
If the Republican Party seriously wants to capture the majority of either house this year, and the White House in 2012, it has do to 2 things - first, it needs to find candidates whose life experiences ordinary (read middle class) Americans can relate to. Second, it has to find candidates that actually say something when they open their mouths. Otherwise, independents and Democrats won't cross the asile in general elections, and the ever Rigth-charging Republican Party will be further marginalized.

While I disagree whole heartedly with Ms. O'Donnel's positions on a number of issues, she fits both of my criteria. Thus her success. You and the other conservative pundits would do well to worry less about why Karl Rove attacks, and more about what it says about american disaffection with those who are in power.

Posted by: kcsphil | September 17, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

From the blog

"The facts do not matter." - The Bush/Cheney crowd had great contempt for 'fact-based' argument, as the author must surely recall.

"Politics is war carried on by other means. Anyone who doesn't consistently take one side is a traitor." - That is correct. I still recall Cheney saying that people like me, who questioned the run-up to the Iraq invasion, are giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

"In Tea Party theory, inexperience is itself seen as a kind of qualification. People like O'Donnell are actually preferable to people like Rove, because they haven't been tainted by public trust or actual achievement." - The pattern with Republican behavior, starting with Reagan, but increasingly pronounced with every passing year, is that compromise in governance is treason.

So, in short the author is beginning to become aware of sanity. Who knows, may be sometime over the next few years there may actually be rational Republicans around!

Posted by: AMviennaVA | September 17, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the learned Mr. Gerson can take a paragraph to explain how the Tea Party's "childish" approach to descent varies from Obama's reaction to descent being that Mr. Gerson views such actions so disparagingly.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | September 17, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse


Dear Bcamp55 ,

Incoherent much?

Posted by: jake555 | September 17, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Whatever Karl Rove says, it serves HIS purpose. Things are careening out of his control, and I suspect he does not like that. He acted pretty childishly, too.

Posted by: danw1 | September 17, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Gerson appears as a real hypocrite in this one. The tea partiers are only slightly more extremely conservative than Gerson, Rover, and the rest of the Bush gang. To whine about people like Malkin criticizing Rove is silly - this is what Malkin has always done, with great dishonesty and hatred, toward the democrats. It's OK for conservative hacks to dishonestly slime democrats, but they must never criticize their republican handlers.

And to claim that this (attacking those who don't toe the party line) happens "on both the right and the left" is just another ridiculous false equivalence. Republicans have long been known for their lockstep party loyalty (i.e., conformity), and the tea partiers are just notching it up a step. You certainly don't see these kinds of massive purges occurring on the left.

Posted by: dougd1 | September 17, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Line up for the circular firing squad !

Posted by: jmsbh | September 17, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

What the hell does 'granular' mean when referring to somebody's critique of another? I think Gerson's been hanging out at the land sea interface too long, suffering enhanced solar radiation overload.

Posted by: 44fx2901 | September 17, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I have relatives and friends who have participated in Tea Party rallies. I know they are sincere. I am personally horrified at the staggering debts this country is running up and the unwillingness of anyone in powwer in Washington to listen to the people who are upset about it and want te orgy of spendiong to stop. I know that sometimes when people get fed up enough and feel they are being ignored, mocked, and ridiculed at every turn, they can get a little extreme. I get ALL of that. It's exactly how millions of people felt about Bush and the war in Iraq. He and his party refused to listen, and they got their butts kicked in two straight elections and spawned a movement that gave us Barack Obama. Some of those folks got pretty extreme, too. But they had a point.

But I also know that already there are people in this Tea Party movement who are simply co-opting it to suit their own selfish ambitions for fame and position. I see Christine O'Donnell as one of these people. Jim DeMint is another one. Sarah Palin sort of had her own cult before all this stuff got going so I don't blame her for just going with the flow, but I do blame her for anointing someone like Christine O'Donnell who isn't even qualified to be a page in the Senate, much less an actual Senator.

Rove got a little extreme with his comments, too, because he also has a point and nobody is listening. Pushing flawed, un-knowledgable opportunists like Christine O'Donnell just for the sake of some right-wing party purge is stupid and dangerous. We do need some adults in charge when all of this dust settles. We do need some moderation in both parties, or Washington is going to turn into an endless food fight between right-wing extremists and left-wing extremists, with no solutions for the huge problems facing our country, and no satisfaction for the people who keep throwing the bums out in favor of more ideologically pure candidates.

Posted by: kkinney01 | September 17, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone who doesn't consistently take one side is a traitor."

Wasn't it Rove who invented that strategy.

Gerson sure is going a long way to try to soothe Rove's obviously hurt feelings, which makes me wanna puke.

Rove was wrong, get over it, and if Rove is crying his eyes out for being wrong on O'Donnell, please send photos.

Classic example of being able to shovel out a lot of crap, but not able to take it.

Posted by: lindalovejones | September 17, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the bunker, Mike. Now you know how it felt to be a Democrat on the receiving end of the ideological, middle school-quality attacks of Republicans for the past decade or so.

And to all you Republicans who actually discussed issues and values despite the cultural shift in the party: no, I don't mean you. Can we get beyond Clinton's pen&s, Bush's cowboy attitude, and Obama's funny name to discuss substance?

Posted by: j3hess | September 17, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

When Rove, who would generally support anyone short of a NAMBLA member if they were in the gop, says a republicon candidate is wholly unqualified, that about says it all.

She is a typical teahadist. Long on bumper sticker slogans and short on everything esle, including rational thought.

Posted by: John1263 | September 17, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

This should send a message loud and clear to the American people. The GOP is such an intolerant party that it won't allow ANY dissent, not even from a top official. And the Tea Parties are so nuts that they'd nominate a women even Karl Rove thinks is radical. That speaks volumes.

Posted by: shstl | September 17, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Karl Rove was speaking as a representative of his values and the values of many others. I think that turmoil in both the GOP and Democratic parties have shown that people aren't locked into supporting their own parties 100%.

The fact that Christine O'Donnell has been so irresponsible with her own finances, lied about her degree and was sued by her own college for lack of payment indicates she is not a good candidate for any position with any importance.

The vast majority of America still pays their mortgage on time. They go to work and pay their bills and make good on loans they have with any banking institution. They do not want to see a fiscally irresponsible liar going into a Senate seat. Delaware, please choose carefully!

Posted by: GenXer1 | September 17, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Childish political thought seems to be owned by conservatives regardless of party (Republican or Tea).

The unison voice of "NO", Joe Wilson's "YOU LIE!", the unruly and ill-mannered town hall meetings, "death panels", etc., were harbingers of this childish political thought.

Obstructing Democrat sponsored legislation even when the legislation is a good idea, and makes sense, just because it was sponsored by the Democrats, is childish.

Refusing to work across the aisle to make this country better, just because of partisan sentiments is childish.

Questioning the religious faith of our Christian president, and whether or not he was born in this country is childish.

Daily AM radio attacks of our president by Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity, is childish.

Childishness is not just owned by the Tea Party, it's also owned by the Republican Party.

Posted by: burlydave | September 17, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

All you old GOP regulars can go pound sand. Childish enough for you?

Posted by: BadNews | September 17, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Good heavens, what great entertainment it is to see Republicans and Teanderthals form a circular firing squad. I'm crying crocodile dears by the buckets here. Please keep it up!

Posted by: wiltonsjs | September 17, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The comparison to the Bolshivik party is correct. Those who have studied and know the history of Russia, especially the period of the Bolshivik revolution have seen the parallels between the current "conservative" movement and the Bolshivik party. Mr. Gerson is finally waking up. More people need to wake up.

I hope Mr. Rove realizes how he has contributed to this "conservative" party and fights back against it before it is too late.

Posted by: kchses1 | September 17, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party candidates are winning and the established old party members are scared their power will be diminished.

After the election of an unknown Senator from Illinois with limited experience to the Office of President, it's possible anyone can now be elected; get used to the new trend.

A lot of people said the same things about Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: whineridentifier | September 17, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

What's happened to the GOP is the "leadership" would play to the crazies in the party just for their vote. Now the crazies are running on their own.

You can look at various GOP polls and easily conclude that more than 50% of the GOP are now crazies. [See the Newsweek Poll on what % of Republicans think Obama wants to impose Sharia law in the US] Of course the crazies are winning the primaries. Not only that, they're going to become the new GOP leadership. And Gerson, Kraut, and Rove will be the new libruls.

Posted by: James10 | September 17, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. Those Tea-Partiers are SO immature. They should grow up and learn to steal from the public till, call people names rather than engage them and pretend that it's OK to do things that you know are wrong as long as someone on the other side has done it. You know, like mature, adult politicians do.

The last thing we want to do is let these childish people anywhere near power. They might do stupid or dishonest things like lie to trick people into war, promise ethical reform and then pass out "ethics waivers" (I'm till in shock at that one) or run two wars on credit while massively increasing domestic spending despite decreasing tax revenue, or rack up massive, crippling deficits so they can reward their cronies and supporters with money borrowed (stolen) from future generations.

Yep. We definitely can't risk the tea-party taking over. They might turn out to be unskilled and clumsy criminals because they don't have enough practice. No. Much better to stick with the Democrats and Republicans who know how to "get things done" in Washington.

I'm mean, look what they've "done" for us so far!

Obama/Biden 2008: CHANGE you can believe in!

Obama/Bidan 2012: "But the Republicans do it too ..."

Posted by: andrew23boyle | September 17, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

You reap what you sow, Gerson. You conservatards were perfectly happy to have the braying Limpfat, Titicaca Malkin and the rest of the wingnut pitbulls snapping and barking at everyone when it suited you. Now, Frankenstein has grown up, escaped, destroyed the village, and you are surprised? Whatevah...

Posted by: LABC | September 17, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha! The wingnuts are all attacking each other. Hopefully they destroy themselves.

Posted by: nsu1203 | September 17, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Voter opinion of the GOP establishment isn't much better these days than voter opinion of the Democrats. Like it or not, Mike Castle was part and parcel of said establishment.

So, too, are Michael Gerson and Karl Rove.

Posted by: austinrl | September 17, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Has Michelle Malkin appeared ANYWHERE other than Hannity?!? I have admired her eyes-glazed over bile (obviously read from a script) a number of times on his show, but aside from that, I truly have never heard of her, except in derision. Is she supposed to be "somebody"?

Rove, much as I dislike his politics, is a pretty smart guy, in ways that few conservative commentators can manage. I think his observations were "on the money", even if they do fly in the face of "Tea Party" reality, which more than once has made me wonder just what is in that Tea.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | September 17, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

A Question:
Why is Hillary Clinton not held to the same history of a "checkered financial past" with her $millions in unpaid campaign bills and her commodities trading expertise along w/ her genious at real estate aka Whitewater Dev Co? How about raining money for her senate campaign by selling pardons to terrorists and student loan fraudsters....hmmmmmmmm could in be she has a (D) next to her name?

Posted by: j751 | September 17, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Those calling the republicon right wing smear attacks "midle school level" give far too much credit. it is more like the 3rd grade bully level.

Tea-hadists don;t have a clue. They actually think not knowing anything is a virtue. You wouldn't hire a plumber to do heart surgery. You wouldn't hire a gorcery clerk to roof your home. you wouldn't hire a carpenter to make your wedding cake. Why on earth does anyone thin it is prudent to find people with no education in law or politics, no relevant ideas, and a clear disdain for learning and education to run the most complex government system and the largest super power that mankind has yet devised?

Posted by: John1263 | September 17, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Bcamp55 wrote:

"Maybe the learned Mr. Gerson can take a paragraph to explain how the Tea Party's "childish" approach to descent varies from Obama's reaction to descent being that Mr. Gerson views such actions so disparagingly.'

*****

It's "dissent". And this is why the Republican party is doomed. Filled top to bottom with semi-literate boobs.

Posted by: chert | September 17, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

What concerns me the most about the Tea Party movement is that they're so absolutely sure that they're right in all things, there can be no deviation from any issue. They lack any self-doubt whatsoever and the most dangerous people in the world are those without self-doubt. George W. Bush was another leader with complete certainty in all of his decisions and the result has been a country where first and foremost there is doubt.

Posted by: curtb | September 17, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

A Question:
Why is Hillary Clinton not held to the same history of a "checkered financial past" with her $millions in unpaid campaign bills and her commodities trading expertise along w/ her genious at real estate aka Whitewater Dev Co? How about raining money for her senate campaign by selling pardons to terrorists and student loan fraudsters....hmmmmmmmm could in be she has a (D) next to her name?

Posted by: j751 | September 17, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I am encouraged when established media commentators call childishness and foolishness by their names, instead of treating them worthy of adult respect. We all have every duty to worry about what the Palin-O'Donnel et al phenomenon says about democracy, which depends on choices by The People.

Posted by: paulco | September 17, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"The facts do not matter"

Mr Gerson, this has been the right wing theory and narrative since at least 1994, and has simply intensified over the past few years.

Posted by: heatmiser | September 17, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

j751 asked:

"A Question:
Why is Hillary Clinton not held to the same history of a "checkered financial past" with her $millions in unpaid campaign bills and her commodities trading expertise along w/ her genious at real estate aka Whitewater Dev Co? How about raining money for her senate campaign by selling pardons to terrorists and student loan fraudsters....hmmmmmmmm could in be she has a (D) next to her name?"

*****

No, it's because HC is brilliant and a cum laude graduate of Harvard, whereas Christine O'Donnell is a moron. That's the difference, I think.

Posted by: chert | September 17, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I have your parking spots, you Rally For Fear attendees and I'm NOT giving them back!

We patriots going to the Rally To Restore Sanity will prevail.

...

um, is there a bathroom nearby?

...

no, a free one.

...

no, I don't want to buy a coffee, I just want to use the bathroom.

Posted by: WillSeattle | September 17, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

This will all be so much water under the bridge when Christine O'Donnell wins.

Posted by: etpietro | September 17, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Gerson wrote:

"The message is clear: The facts do not matter. Politics is war carried on by other means. Anyone who doesn't consistently take one side is a traitor.


This attitude can be found on right and left."

*****

Humor me, Mr. Gerson. I'm sure you're right, but can you give me an example of this attitude on the left? Thanks.

Posted by: chert | September 17, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Gerson is still busy trying to find a legacy for he and Rove.

Yeah Rove helped Bush win in 2004. How did he do that? By ruining the Republican Party for years. He bought votes (like democrats do) with a massive medicare drug bill that wasn't paid for. He pushed amnesty for illegals and he was a cheerleader like Gerson for the Iraq War that we shouldn't have gotten into.

The only defense Democrats have against their massive spending is "Hey look what Bush did".

Rove and Gersons desire for power and to remain reletive not only hurt the republican party but the country as well.

Posted by: robtr | September 17, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

A shout-out to kkinney01 for the most thoughtful comment here, and andrew23boyle for the most successfully sarcastic.

My problem with the Tea Party is, what good is anger if you've mis-identified the causes of your discontent and have been led by simplistic political ideology to pick the wrong solution?

Discontent with high unemployment, high deficits, government bailouts is widespread. However, the most visible face of the Tea Party in upper-middle class, largely white. They've done well, but they are feeling threatened.

Frank Cancian discovered the phenomenum while studying the responses of different income groups to innovation and called it "upper middle class conservativism". The wealthy could afford a little risk without threat to their social standing. For the poor and lower middle class, their income limited their ability to invest but they also had little to lose. It was the upper middle class who felt the greatest risk to their social standing, and under-invested compared to their income. So the class that acquired the luxury sedan or SUV and was looking forward to buying a second home or a leisurely retirement leads the charge.

However the popular understanding of economics is about as sophisticated as the medieval theory of medicine that believed applying leaches to draw out bad blood would cure the patient. Combine that with a bias that confuses scholars with elites and you've got a formula for electing people who will only make the patient worse.

Posted by: j3hess | September 17, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

so typical. finally someone makes an accurate, honest analysis of a wingnut and they get attacked for it...i am hoping that immaturity is as far as it gets, and that it doesn't creep over into criminality.

Posted by: Not2Late2Change | September 17, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"Rove obviously has strong views on O'Donnell, based on personal experience with the candidate. But deviations from the party line are not permitted."
-------------------------------------------

I find it somewhat odd that the 'official' line of the Republican party does not assert that the President is a Kenyan (and not American), inherited an anti-colonial attitude from his father (who left when he was two years old), etc. etc.

But when these and worse things are said out loud by supposed Replublicans, there is NO repudiation from the GOP. Just a very telling (and dishonest) silence.

Political leaders do not seem to take responsibility for their 'message' any more.

Posted by: jayjordan | September 17, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"It is not enough to dispute Rove's critique; Rove himself must be punished. The message is clear: The facts do not matter. Politics is war carried on by other means. Anyone who doesn't consistently take one side is a traitor."

When applied to Karl Rove, the phrase "you reap what you sow" comes to mind.
------------------------------
jnc4p - that was EXACTLY what I was going to say as well!

Posted by: shadowmagician | September 17, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

The more the political establishment squawks, the better the Tea Party movement looks.
So why is the political establishment so terrified?
Because they can't understand, let alone control the TP movement.
They know that if this keeps up, real democracy just might break out, which would jeopardize their vested political interests.
So keep squawking political establishment, you wear it well.

Posted by: mtpeaks | September 17, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Turn away, America, turn away.

The sight of Republicans devouring each other is stomach-churning -- and can only lead to the survival of the most savage, most predatory elements.

Gerson, for example, will be viewed as a tasty snack -- a palate-pleasing hors d'œuvre before a belly-filling and artery-clogging and far more substantial entree like Karl Rove.

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | September 17, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Gerson,

I hate to tell you this, but those Temper Tantrum Tea Party folk are mad and angry at you and the likes of Rove.

Besides, it was folks like you and Rove, who used them when it was necessary for your cause and your agenda and now they are paying you back.

Hopefully, this is a lesson for Conservatives and Democrats alike, and that is, you just can't keep abusing and mistreating people and expecting them to go along with your mistreatment's of the working class and poor in this country, because when you do, they are sure to turn on you sooner or later.


It's sad but true.

In addition, in some ways I feel sorry for the Tea Party people and it's because of the fact they are still being misguided, misled, and are still being used by the powers-that-be who really don't give one iota about them; and it shows, too, because of the tug-of-war that is now operating inside and outside the party.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | September 17, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

A Question:
Why is Hillary Clinton not held to the same history of a "checkered financial past" with her $millions in unpaid campaign bills and her commodities trading expertise along w/ her genious at real estate aka Whitewater Dev Co? How about raining money for her senate campaign by selling pardons to terrorists and student loan fraudsters....hmmmmmmmm could in be she has a (D) next to her name?"

*****

No, it's because HC is brilliant and a cum laude graduate of Harvard, whereas Christine O'Donnell is a moron. That's the difference, I think.

Obviously you are not brilliant. HC did not go to Harvard. She went to that really expensive lesbian school Wesleyan, I think...

Posted by: j751 | September 17, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

And can we expect an article now about how Coons is Reid's "PET"? Does that mean Coons is his lapdog? What did Harry mean when he said he was fond of him?

Posted by: williambaker1 | September 17, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

“Third, some conservatives seem to display special venom for those who are "compromised" by the experience of actually winning and governing”

The last time I checked the occupant of the White House and both leaders in congress were all Democrats.

And the last time these Republican geniuses and luminaries governed… Well, we all remember how that turned out (see Point 1 above).

In the primaries just ended was the choice was between “inexperience” vs. bad experience. Abraham Lincoln wasn’t on the ballot.

Tea Partiers, bless them, seem to have woken up to the fact that two once-great parties have colluded to form one gigantic protection racket serving no greater purpose than to simply maintain the status quo for the incumbents and their well-connected hangers-on.

Regardless of how bad things get elsewhere, the pay raises, lavish perks and parties continue unabated within the Beltway.

The Tea Party decided to thrown a spanner in the works.

Payback often has an tincture of childishness to it Mr. Gerson - that's what makes it so fun!

Posted by: Bjartur | September 17, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Actually the more correct comparison isn't the Bolsheviks, which birthed by 'elite' intellectuals to overthrow royalty. The Tea Party is far more like Germans disaffected by the Treaty at Paris in 1919. Millions in the army were then without work and were angry with Germany's 'elite' - blaming defeat on their political, military and academic leaders. They also feared Russia's revolution would inflame Germany's workers. These disaffected army vets formed paramilitary 'leagues' that gathered into a nationalistic movement to 'save' Germany. They took over the German Workers Party and changed it into the National German Socialist Party or NAZI Party.

The Tea Party wants to overthrow our educated ('elite') politicians who are the 'haves' that became 'royalty' in the power they wield over 'have-nots' in this country. They are not aware yet of being used by wealthy elites.

Mr. Gerson: Has David Koch's Americans for Prosperity funded and trained Tea Party candidates like Christine O'Donnell? If true, then why are columnists like yourself and Mr. Rove not following the money and engaging the Koch brothers and John Birch Society members?

Posted by: momshugs | September 17, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I agree with most of what you say, except that Rove is not a mainstream Republican. He is as right wing as the tea partiers and he invented the scorched earth policies of the tea partiers. He's just being hoisted by his own petard. Is Atwater rolling in his grave?

Posted by: wd1214 | September 17, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

well said, and yet another shining example of the strength of American conservatives.

There's a level of self-vetting, dialogue, and criticism apparent on the right that leads to evolution, a bigger tent, and generally well balanced positions. Contrast this with hyper-defensive Democrats armed with only increasingly transparent charges of bigotry. Their obnoxious attitude has lead to a weak platform with little application in the real world and constant disappointment as once-held "truths" turn out to be false.

Long term prospects for conservatives are looking good.

Posted by: batigol85 | September 17, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"But deviations from the party line are not permitted. It is not enough to dispute Rove's critique; Rove himself must be punished. The message is clear: The facts do not matter. Politics is war carried on by other means. Anyone who doesn't consistently take one side is a traitor." Gerson wants to claim that this kind of attitude exists within the Democratic party. It's not true. What Gerson is describing here is the true political philosophy of the neo-conservative movement, which has been the strongest wing of the Republican party for a decade.

Posted by: gposner | September 17, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Since when has anyone in the public trusted Karl Rove? Since when has anyone in the right wing cared about truth? These people have built their foundation on what they can make you believe, make you feel and make you hate. That they are now seeing some blow back isn't surprising; what is surprising is that it's coming from their own side of the political spectrum and that it's coming from the same people who believed their manure and not from the centrists who were willing to go along with the tripe as long as they got their small share of the graft.

Posted by: ThomasFiore | September 17, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

For all of those wondering where "can you give me an example of this attitude on the left?" can be, think about the whole political systems of New York ca. 1900 and Chicago still alive today. They're called political machines, and you toe the party line or you are booted from the system. In fact, Tammany Hall which produced so many politians that they literally were on the take and no one could say or do anything about it.

This happens in Chicago now. Why else would a state that has until this election have identified with all Republican presidents (Lincoln, Grant, and yes Reagan) have a city that has not had a Republican mayor in 79 years (that's not a typo- this trend started in 1931).

And there's also the fact that Democrats tend to hold the party line more than Republicans accoring to this website:

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/110/senate/party-voters/

I remember well when Clinton was in office how savage James Carville would be on party members that didn't toe the line, and how it was unofficial that failure to support the line was political suicide.

I'm in no way saying that the Tea Party here is better or worse at this, but the Dems do have a very, very, VERY long history of it.

Posted by: dgw1091 | September 17, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"The comparison to the Bolshivik party is correct. Those who have studied and know the history of Russia, especially the period of the Bolshivik revolution have seen the parallels between the current "conservative" movement and the Bolshivik party. Mr. Gerson is finally waking up. More people need to wake up."

LOL!!!!!!

Did you really just compare the Tea Party to the Bolsheviks?

A more apt comparison may be the Bolsheviks to the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

The Tea Party was formed to stop this scourge. If some RINO interlopers fall in the battle....so be it!

Posted by: fvecc | September 17, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

And yes, it also happened on the left when:

1) the political left were Republicans
2) they formed progressive parties ultimately creating the Bull Moose party
3) they went down in flames at election time.

Since I'm on obscure politics:

The actual Know-Nothing Party was a mix of anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant, secretive politicians who didn't dissuade their citizens from violence to achieve their objectives.

FWIW, I haven't heard of or read about any mass violence on the part of Tea Partiers, just the occasional jerk in line getting unruly. I would think that given how sensational our news is they'd pick up on that like it was made of gold.

Posted by: dgw1091 | September 17, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Whatever I may think of Karl Rove's politics or the disgraceful and dirty tactics he used to elect that walking disaster of a president twice (e.g. the vile and slanderous attacks on Senator John Kerry's distinguished war record), he is a brilliant political tactician whose opinions on election matters are worth hearing. It is funny that the tea bagger nuts are turning on him. I say keep it up - if the Republicans are stupid enough to run one in 2012 against Obama he will win in a cake walk. The tea baggers are not the majority in this country, not even close, they just are self delusional enough to think that they are.

Posted by: da55 | September 17, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The future of the tea party is indeed bleak. With 95% of its numbers elderly white people they'll all be dead soon. So much for America's future. The REAL future of the United States is democratic, multicultural, middle class, under 25 years old and mostly brown. C'mon tea partiers, hurry up and die. Mark Montgomery boboberg@nyc.rr.com

Posted by: boboberg | September 17, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm noting the trend of people who are not just misreading, but blatantly misinterpreting facts and then following it with "people need to wake up."

Um... Bolsheviks were not, in any way, shape, or form conservative. They were part of the socialist movement. They heralded the onset of the Soviet Union- that's as leftist as it gets.

Sadly, I fear people who exhort us to "wake up" are Americans with substandard educations and a deep-seeded need to be a victim.

Posted by: dgw1091 | September 17, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Gerson is no different than most other hacks - they condemn what they don't understand. The establishment and its recklessness, whether Republican or Democrat, is what's under seige.

The Tea Party movement is exactly what America needs right now. Everyone will get the message in November.

Posted by: wearedoomed1 | September 17, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

[In Tea Party theory, inexperience is itself seen as a kind of qualification.]

Ignorance also seems to be a qualification.

Posted by: piniella | September 17, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"The REAL future of the United States is democratic, multicultural, middle class, under 25 years old and mostly brown."

Da comrade, is best to promote class warfare to unite the proletariat and seize power!

Posted by: fvecc | September 17, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh yea, sure sure sure ... we are just childish little citizens of this country.

The Tea Party movement is a bunch of American citizens paying attention to their government and participating. I think that is a GOOD thing for our country!

The irony of this whole load of crap is glaring - that you, Mr.Gerson, used to be one of the revered media pundits ... not anymore.

I dare you to say any of this BS to my face you jerk!

Posted by: bladyblah | September 17, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Rove crucified by Tea Party? What is the most appropriate canned response? "You reap what you sow" or "hoisted by his own petard?"

Posted by: gasmonkey | September 17, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Karl Rove's sole concern -- his only focus -- is to return the Republican party to power.

In Christine O'Donnell's case, Rove has correctly calculated that her primary victory has seriously jeopardized the GOP's chances of recapturing the Senate in November, so, his instinctive response is the same as always whenever anyone undermines his quest for power: demonize the person standing in the way. It does not matter whether that person is a Democrat to his left or a Tea Party candidate to his right: if he/she interferes with Rove's designs, that person must be destroyed.

Oh, he's quite happy to accept their votes when they serve his purpose, but whenever situation is otherwise, he'll try to destroy the Tea Party as readily as he would any Democrat.

The man is utterly without principles.

Posted by: Gladiator2008 | September 17, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Say what you will, but ever since W was elected, the GOP has adopted - en mass - a cult of personality. They bestowed it on Bush, trashing anyone who dared to disagree with him with the label "Bush Derangement Syndrome" or worse. Then they have moved to anoint as their cult leader the "Quitter from Wasilla" Sarah Palin, again closing ranks and tearing down anyone who had the gumption to point out that she was a complete idiot and that McCain had no business nominating such a deeply unqualified person to lead this country. Now teabaggers have latched onto O'Donnell as the second coming of Christ.

When the GOP and their teabag supporters can put down the Kool Aid and wake up and join the rest of us in reality-land, let us know. Otherwise, just treat them a cultist, pure and simple.

Posted by: B-rod | September 17, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

"The message is clear: The facts do not matter. Politics is war carried on by other means. Anyone who doesn't consistently take one side is a traitor."

THIS IS STANDARD GOP OPERATING PROCEDURE. KIND OF SUCKS WHEN IT'S USED AGAINST YOUR SIDE DOESN'T IT?

You pathetic double-standard BUSH LACKIES are laughable!

Posted by: gene11 | September 17, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

To wearedoomed1, who wrote "The establishment and its recklessness, whether Republican or Democrat, is what's under seige."

You're kidding, right? You people really have completely lost your friggin' minds! From 2000 through 2008 this country was raped, robbed and pillaged by George Bush and Co. The Constitution, referred to by W as "just a piece of paper" was completely ignored or interpreted to the liking of conservatives. Where were you then? Where was the outrage? Where was the "Tea Party"? Where was the insistance that the train had jumped the tracks? Nope...you didn't utter one damn word. But now, when there's a DEMOCRAT in office, and a BLACK one at that, then the entire country is turned upside down and wants to throw everybody out of office. Why don't you say what you mean? You want to throw all DEMOCRATS out of office and replace them with the same bunch of misfits that got us in this mess to begin with.

Your hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me.

Posted by: Drewster1 | September 17, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

EVER WONDER WHY ROVE'S WIFE DIVORCED HIM?


Soulless fat-ass doughboy!

Posted by: gene11 | September 17, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

What we have now is an unholy alliance between ultra right wing religious conservatives and ultra fiscal conservatives or Libertarian branch (the ones that want to abolish everything from social security to medicare and any other program you can think of). Not sure where the Tea Party fits in, but they'll all join hands. We're back to the culture wars that caused so many problems under Bush. There is NO moderation in the GOP. So, is this what American really wants?!?! Theses want to repeal healthcare, double down on the Bush policies that got us into so much trouble, give more tax breaks to rich folks, repeal multiple amendments to the Constitution, etc. etc. Years of conservative policies have created a poor working class in this country, while the middle class continues to shrink. This didn't happen in the last two years. This is the result of 30+ years of Reaganomics. Americans better think long and hard before they cast a vote that might put these people back in charge. They have no idea what they're doing.

Posted by: ggwalt | September 17, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

spineless - gutless - wothless!

Posted by: bladyblah | September 17, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

spineless - gutless - worthless!

Posted by: bladyblah | September 17, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Now Karl Rove isn't conservative enough, hilarious!

Posted by: mccaules | September 17, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I've seen Ms O'Donnell, talking with journalists, flashing smiles and making her case. She seems bright, friendly, knowledgeable. And we all understand the risks of electing inexperienced people to high office (Hello!)

But what I see in Ms. O'Donnell is an engaging, focused, articulate young lady, who, when she speaks, actually makes a point of making a point. She seems grounded in practical reality; she doesn't seem bent on changing America as we know it, or used to know it; and she has a positive attitude about life and about this country.

Flawed politician? The term is a redundancy. What's important is how she'll vote on legislation that matters to liberty-loving Americans - like the promotion of free enterprise and property rights, a strong defense, and a more constitutional (smaller) government.

That's it.

Fight that and you're spitting in the wind, friend.

Posted by: RossOdom | September 17, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

It is easy to be so "pure" when you never have had to wear the big boy pants in your life. Oh, to be a conservative pundit/radio host. See, being a leader means actually having to make decisions and being held accountable. Being a member of the peanut gallery does not.

Posted by: baldinho | September 17, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

What does it say about the Tea Party that so many of its supporters display as much knowledge of grammar and spelling as they do of facts? There is no longer a home for the true conservative. The angry, ignorant and generally uninformed have become the voice from the right.

Posted by: Denny_98 | September 17, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

It is all well and good to fire up the rabble and get them to grab some pitchforks. It is not so good when they tip over YOUR headstones.

Posted by: baldinho | September 17, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I think the barn door on expecting Tea Partiers to grow up was closed before it was ever opened. Maybe Krauthammer's glorification of the Tea Party in May will help.

Charles Krauthammer in May 2010:
"The Tea Party barely existed a year ago. And look what it's done. It helped elect a Republican to take Kennedy's seat in Massachusetts, it defeated a three-term Republican incumbent in Utah, now it looks as if it may at least nominate a semi-libertarian in Kentucky...and in Johnstown, the Murtha seat, the Republican candidate, in a seat that has been held by Democrats for 38 years, has a pretty good shot, and he's backed by the same energy and the Tea Party. This, is, I think, a tribute to how radical is the Obama agenda."

Well, maybe not.

Posted by: m_richert | September 17, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I think the barn door on expecting Tea Partiers to grow up was closed before it was ever opened. Maybe Krauthammer's glorification of the Tea Party in May will help.

Charles Krauthammer in May 2010:
"The Tea Party barely existed a year ago. And look what it's done. It helped elect a Republican to take Kennedy's seat in Massachusetts, it defeated a three-term Republican incumbent in Utah, now it looks as if it may at least nominate a semi-libertarian in Kentucky...and in Johnstown, the Murtha seat, the Republican candidate, in a seat that has been held by Democrats for 38 years, has a pretty good shot, and he's backed by the same energy and the Tea Party. This, is, I think, a tribute to how radical is the Obama agenda."

Well, maybe not.

Posted by: m_richert | September 17, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Gee. Who would have thought that embracing whackjobs and letting them take over the voice of your party would eventually leave you with nothing but a party of whackjobs?

Posted by: wkristol | September 17, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the learned Mr. Gerson can take a paragraph to explain how the Tea Party's "childish" approach to descent varies from Obama's reaction to descent being that Mr. Gerson views such actions so disparagingly.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | September 17, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse
----
hehehe.

Point proven. There's nothing more childish than "he did it first!"

Posted by: kevnet | September 17, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Didn't you Bush-guys do enough damage to the Republican Party with your pansy "new tone?"

Posted by: LawStudent76 | September 17, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Baldinho sez:

"It is all well and good to fire up the rabble and get them to grab some pitchforks. It is not so good when they tip over YOUR headstones."

What on God's green Earth are you talking about, Baldinho? Pitchforks? Headstones? This is a discussion of politics, not the poetic implications of politics.

Posted by: RossOdom | September 17, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

The major issue that I am concerned about is the ability of our elected representatives to write and analyze comprehensive and complex legislation. It is not enough to support and vote on this legislation; nor is it enough to be a great communicator (with apologies to our late President Reagan).

As a result, I evaluate the qualifications of potential representatives to perform at this level. Their personal beliefs aside, I would appreciate some evidence of a moral and ethical foundation in their character and past behavior.

In Delaware, Mike Castle had performed honorably and responsibly during his public service; as a result, he had appeal to both sides of political spectrum.

The major reasons for his loss in this election stem from the general dissatisfaction of the electorate with the state of politics in this nation and reaction to the GOP establishment 'piling-on' Ms. O'Donnell.

Nevertheless, the vitriol and verbiage that is passing for political discourse is unacceptable in this U.S. At this point, I would appreciate a return to civility and a rational discussion of the issues and qualifications of the candidates for office in Delaware.

Posted by: maxmaw | September 17, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Well Mr. Gerson, it’s a little late for you Republicans to lament the mob you created in financing, organizing and supporting the “Tea Party”. As Dan Simmons wrote, “Mobs have passions, not brains.” And one other truth, all mobs turn on their creators eventually.

So, good luck with that then...

Posted by: codexjust1 | September 17, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

What this really means is that it doesn't fit Gerson's politics anymore than it did Rove's. November should tell us if Gerson is as grownup as he thinks he is.

Posted by: georgegarrett | September 17, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Partiers are looking more like the Khmer Rouge. The professional class is to be eliminated by those whose only unifying doctrine is rage. Posted by: newsraptor | September 17, 2010 12:12 PM
_____________________________________________

You forgot to add IGNORANCE.

Posted by: chris30338 | September 17, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

"Inexperienced?" Have you ever heard of Obama?

Posted by: Kelvins13 | September 17, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse


In other words, what Gerson is attempting to tell us is that in order for Republicans to distance themselves as far away from the economic, domestic, foreign and military disasters of the Bush administration that brought us to the very brink of a depression and a return to the Crusades, they've found it necessary to make it appear they've "reinvented" themselves.

Reinvent, as in prestidigitation!

But what we've witnessed so far is El Magnifico! The Worst Magician in the World's.

It's just a matter of how many Republicans taste the Kool-Aid before election day.

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | September 17, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Like most of their fellow racists, the 'tea party' are unstable people who deeply need to hate. After they start wars with Iran and Mexico, they will inevitably aerial hunt each other. Such is the way with fanatics and dangerous extremists.

Posted by: revbookburn | September 17, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Childish is across the board just watch MSNBC (Oberman and Maddow). Not journalism and really bad entertainment.

Posted by: staterighter | September 17, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

It is not enough to dispute Rove's critique; Rove himself must be punished. The message is clear: The facts do not matter. Politics is war carried on by other means. Anyone who doesn't consistently take one side is a traitor.

Please.
It's impossible to stir up any sympathy for Rove. He is simply enjoying the fruits of his labors, for these are the very same campaign messaging tactics he himself elevated to new heights.

Posted by: ktward | September 17, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean Rove is a Kenyan?

Posted by: Keesvan | September 17, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean Rove is a Kenyan?

Posted by: Keesvan | September 17, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Glad you are finally waking up to the menace, but we've been talking about how unhinged and reckless these folks are for over a year.

The tea party are a bunch of extremist thugs. Time to stop playing with fire.

Posted by: info23 | September 17, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Childish? Infantile. This movement is so self absorbed that they cannot reason about or with the world. The GOP needs to throw them out before they get destroyed. But they don't have the gumption to do it.

Posted by: larry9 | September 17, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting that all the teabagger heroes are uneducated kooks such as Beck, Palin, Limbaugh, Angle or O'Donnell.

Similar the to communists of the last century, the 'baggers appear to be a pack of angry simpletons intent upon cutting off any head the rises above their won low level.

Posted by: Miss_Fedelm | September 17, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

"Mr. Gerson,

both your comments & those of Karl Rove MIGHT be appropriate IF they were FACT based.

instead, Chris O'Donnell has been WRONGLY attacked & the VAST majority of what has been leveled at her, in just one word is: LYING.

it comes down to this: the main-SLIME media & the "ruling class" LIE about everyone "from the outside" 7 always vilifies anyone, who dares to say that the Emperor has no clothes.

IF you wonder why the Tea party is fast becoming the largest grassroots movement in America is that we are ALL so tired of the LIES, empty promises, meaningless platitudes, errant STUPIDITY, crooked dealings, nosey bureaucrats & the just plain DISHONESTY in the government, that we want to "kick the bums all out & start over".

imVho, a random sample of 535 ordinary citizens could NOT make a bigger mess of our government than the current Congress has done since 2009.

over the next 2-3 election cycles, the DIMocRATS & the RINOs will be "shown the door" & pushed out of it.- FACT!

the Tea Party will soon be larger than the GOP & DIMocRATS combined, as we are growing at a rate of 6-8% a WEEK.

note to the "party professionals": we TP folks do NOT want "a seat at the table"; instead, we want the HOUSE (and the SENATE) in the hands of HONEST/DECENT people, who do NOT see themselves as our RULERS, but instead, see themselves as our SERVANTS!

yours, TN46"

or else, what, cleetus? GIT BACK TO YUR FIDDL 'N BANJO MUSIK MAKIN you hapless moron!

Posted by: autofan1 | September 17, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

This is your base, who have generated intense excitement for the GOP, and now they want to take charge. Frankly I think she's frightening, but given what has happened elsewhere in the country, she might win. If she wins, she'll be even more contempuous of GOP elites and the GOP establishment will have a really big problem on its hands.

Posted by: ElinorMiller | September 17, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

HEY MIKEY...YOU AND KARL NEED TO MEET YOUR NEW BOSSES... You guys helped to create FrankenMcCain's monster, PALIN, and now she'll call the tune while you guys dance. Rove actually had a brief moment of clarity on Hannity before retreating back to his cave like a good little sheep. There is NO republican party anymore and you guys are obsolete. TEASPOONERS rule the right, so you boys better fall in line.

Posted by: mrtimmaulden | September 17, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

HEY MIKEY...YOU AND KARL NEED TO MEET YOUR NEW BOSSES... You guys helped to create FrankenMcCain's monster, PALIN, and now she'll call the tune while you guys dance. Rove actually had a brief moment of clarity on Hannity before retreating back to his cave like a good little sheep. There is NO republican party anymore and you guys are obsolete. TEASPOONERS rule the right, so you boys better fall in line.

Posted by: mrtimmaulden | September 17, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

"those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside."

John F. Kennedy
Inaugural Address
Friday, January 20, 1961

Couldn't happen to a more repugant group of people.

Posted by: kuvasz | September 17, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

That the few voices of relative reason and sanity in the Republican Party are those of former Bush Administration officials is ... absolutely astonishing.

Posted by: chabot744 | September 17, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I dunno. Seems to me like the GOP is on the verge of a big mess. At some point is McCain going to regret putting Palin front and center on the national stage and is Armey going to regret organizing and mobilizing the looney rabid Right?

Gerson's analysis of tea party irrational exuberance is dead on, point by point.

Posted by: cassandra9 | September 17, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Gerson you are a two-timing traitor to your party and a self-serving elitist snob!

You, Krautwhiner, Rove, and all the other neo-con dilettantes brought this upon yourselves, and here you are in today's paper -- just like Krautwhiner -- whining about it.

Have you not, year after year, planted the very seeds that sprouted this sad little whining white right movement?

You've endeavored to destroy any progress the president might make by supporting obstructionist policies in congress, and to aid in this you've sidled up to some of the most hideously warped American politicians and 'personalities' ever seen in this country.

What sort of perverse masochistic narcissism drives people to constantly shoot themselves in the foot year after year and then constantly cry about it as if it's not their fault?

Stew in your own juice you incompetent, callow, maroon.

Posted by: Frank57 | September 17, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone who doesn't consistently take one side is a traitor. This attitude can be found on right and left."

_______

It's very much more prevalent on the right though, isn't it? And it's not just childish, it's religious. Religion in "The Christian Coalition," "The Moral Majority," and now "The Tea Party" is not so subtly conjured up and directed against political opponents. It's overt, blatant, shameless and often dishonest targeting of the opposition. It's Taliban like in fervor.

Now Dr. Karl Frankenstein has momentarily lost control of the monster he helped to create. I trust he'll get it sedated soon.

Posted by: Kelly14 | September 18, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Prediction:

The Republican Party will split into two distinct legal entities shortly after they experience the 2012 beating they have coming.

Posted by: PulSamsara | September 18, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

“You can't create a monster, then whine when it stomps on a few buildings.” ~ Lisa Simpson

Posted by: ikea1 | September 18, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

I read Gerson's book. As a speechwriter he insisted on a big malaria project for Africa. He has no respect for checks and balances and should be denounced as someone who thinks too much of himself when demanding perks.

Posted by: clairesolt | September 18, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Oh goody, Gerson has found his new "maverick" to love.

Posted by: Kansasgirl | September 18, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Hey texasnative46:

Nice job showing that the Tea Party movement is nothing but a bunch a whackjobs. Love the nicknames and the use of CAPS too. Don't change a thing! You're perfect!

Posted by: wkristol | September 18, 2010 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Gerson, if logic and "well placed thoughts" of your article, oops, commentary, were a war game strategy, you would be a sure loser.

Posted by: metaqubit | September 18, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Welcome to our world Mr. Gerson - or should I say the world of your making. You stated..."the reaction in parts of the conservative blogosphere has been unhinged" - take a tour around the blogosphere and read the reaction to any presentation of facts to those on the right these days - facts are summarily and vitriolic ally dismissed. Truth and facts are their worst enemy - fought with every ounce of their being. It's a necessary tactic to maintain their alternate reality.

Don't like the Frankenstein monster you created Mr. Gerson? Gut it up, it's just another product of your efforts.

Posted by: notfooledbydistractions1 | September 18, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

If you look back over the last two years and the elections that took place, there were many surprises. Americans are simply fed up with government in its present form. Expect more surprises. I suggest Mr Gerson and the rest of the trench-mouthed media start paying closer attention.

Posted by: matinva | September 18, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

"In Tea Party theory, inexperience is itself seen as a kind of qualification. People like O'Donnell are actually preferable to people like Rove, because they haven't been tainted by public trust or actual achievement. This is the attitude of the adolescent -- the belief that the world began on their thirteenth birthday. It is also a sign of childish political thought."
Is Mr Gerson striving to become an elite; the gang who believe us commoners are peasants--the unwashed- uneducated--?

Posted by: bilmul83 | September 18, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

The title of this column should have been the Swift Boating of Karl Rove.

Permit me some skepticism over Rove's public "responsibilities". It appeared to me that his role as a "policy aide" was mostly about merging policy and politics by buying off various Republican constituencies with public money.

Posted by: chase-truth | September 18, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

"In Tea Party theory, inexperience is itself seen as a kind of qualification."

Actually, according to Mao's playbook, its the beginning of a cultural revolution. Next up is to get rid of the intellectuals.


Posted by: veggiedude | September 17, 2010 12:35 PM
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The so called "INTELLECTUALS" are the one's who got us into this mess we're in!

Nothing in the constitution nor the history of this country states that in order to get elected you must be an "INTELLECTUAL". We as a republic were founded on the concept of the common man/woman governing ourselves. The elite have done one hell of a terrible job at their attempt in governing.

Posted by: frankn1 | September 18, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Rove was awesome as a councilor to President Bush, this is evident from the approval Mike gave to the policies and effectiveness of their policies (Katrina, Iraq, Afghanistan, the housing bubble, tax cuts for the rich, do I need to go on?

Posted by: MikeMcLamara | September 18, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Fox News should drop Karl Rove as a commentator. He is as ugly on the inside as he is on the outside. It was sickening to watch him trash Christine O' Donnell the other night. Most Americans can relate to a single mother with financial problems...something Rove cannot seem to comprehend. If he continues to run his big mouth he will cause a Democratic victory and we will all be sent to the Obama re-education camps !!!!

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | September 18, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Obama and Minions call Constitutionalists “Extremists” and “Crazy”

"The old adage of “if you can’t beat ‘em, call ‘em racist or CRAZY or both” is once again rearing its always ugly head."

"Taking the lead from other despotic totalitarian leaders, their lackeys and adherents, The Obama and his minions have launched an all-out battle campaign against any—the majority of us—Americans (soon to be known and “Obama-ians” if the Marxists have their way) who believe the US Constitution should be followed by those who govern. Note: I suspect that as Obama & Co rules rather than governs, The Obama believes it doesn’t apply to him."

Read More:

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/27798

Posted by: skillssss | September 18, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

It’s Not About O’Donnell

"But Nancy Pelosi and the liberal media couldn’t wage an effective campaign of destruction on aesthetic grounds. Now, with O’Donnell, they think they have the substance to move forward. We see article after article about the Tea Party as a conservative Frankenstein’s monster. But despite the left’s best efforts, that’s an insignificant red-herring subplot, not the central political narrative."

Read More:
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/greenwald/359226

Posted by: skillssss | September 18, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Childish political thought? Oh boy what shining examples of Grown ups.

Dem Congresswoman's Supporters Participate in "Palin-As-Hitler" Rally

"As protests go, it’s a bit limp and poorly attended, but the offensive and inflammatory signs certainly grab your attention. Especially considering the Democratic Party and the NAACP’s very high-profile condemnation of inflammatory signs that have appeared at Tea Party events.

What makes this video so compelling is what it shows after the protest.

The well-lit office happens to be Halvorson’s campaign headquarters. You can clearly see Halvorson’s campaign manager Julie Merz sitting in the window chuckling with the team as the wind-down after a long night of hanging out with people who like depicting the former Vice-Presidential candidate as a mass-murdering fascist.

We eagerly await Rep. Halvorson’s condemnation of the hate that was on display at this protest and we expect her to immediately purge from her staff any and all participants who readily accepted the depiction of Beck, Palin and Kinzinger as Adolph Hitler-Like Nazi’s."

Read More

http://biggovernment.com/sright/2010/09/17/dem-congresswomans-supporters-participate-in-palin-as-hitler-rally/

You fellas simply don't have the moral authority to lead or be taken seriously anymore. What a Joke your party, your candidates, your press corps and your followers have become in the eyes of many.

Posted by: skillssss | September 18, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Rove is the author of two presidential victories. In the first, his candidate lost the popular vote and won the electoral vote only with the help of a lot of cheating. In the second, with the presidency and every other financial and political resource at his disposal, he managed to win a whopping 50.7 percent of the popular vote. What a genius!

Posted by: continental46@aol.com | September 18, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

The tes party is just republicans in mama grizzly clothes

Posted by: Wildthing1 | September 18, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

" I'll take a flawed candidate that won't start needless wars, send our jobs overseas, and push all the wealth to the top. To hell with Rove, Bush, Obama, Clinton, and the whole lot. In 20 years they have nearly destroyed this country, while enriching themselves."
Posted by: independent123

The problem with this logic is that O'Donnell and other Tealibans will continue the conservative ideology that we have been experiencing for the last 30 years and things will actually get worse. How will their "Just say NO" policies get this country anywhere? Cons have demonized the stimulus at their own risk.
People with no economic backgound who can't even balance their own checkbook are certainly not going to be of any help at all.

Posted by: lynettema | September 18, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Unpaid student loans, foreclosure, campaign workers who didn't get paid, using campaign finances for personal expenses, lying about college credentials and even witchcraft. As long as she claims to be against Obama and for limited government and freedom then O'Donnell is a perfect candidate, right?. Seriously, I'm sure there are qualified candidates out there that can represent the tea party, Christine O'Donnell isn't one of them.

Posted by: wmwilliams14 | September 18, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Let's see... The Tea Party hates Latinos, Blacks, poor people, working people, people who are out of work, gays, liberals, moderates and even non-extremist conservatives. They have proven to be violent and are openly threatening to start a shooting war if they lose in the elections.

So why are people afraid?

Posted by: frankdiscussion1 | September 18, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Fwd: Public Service Notice From The Center For Disease Control (CDC)

Information about Gonorrhea Lectim

The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of this old disease that has surfaced in America . The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim. It's pronounced "Gonna re-elect 'em."

The disease is contracted through dangerous and high risk behavior involving inserting your cranium in your rectum. Many
victims contracted it in 2008...but now most people, after having been infected for the past 1-2 years, are starting to realize how destructive this sickness is.

It's sad because Gonorrhea Lectim is easily cured with a new drug just coming on the market called Votemout. You
take the first dose in 2010 and the second dose in 2012 and simply don't engage in
such behavior again; otherwise, it could become permanent and eventually wipe out
all life as we know it in America.

Please pass this important message on to all those bright voters you know.

Posted by: skillssss | September 18, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think O'Donnell is barking moonbat crazy, but I feel resentful of those who claim she was untruthful about her educational attainments. The criticisms I've seen claim that because she still owed tuition until three or four years ago, she didn't "really" have a college education. I say if she completed the course work and attended the commencement ceremony, even if the school withheld her diploma until she paid up she had the education she claimed. And if it took her quite a few years to be able to do that, that just makes her like the rest of us schmucks whose income has stagnated wile the big spending big government "conservatives" were in charge.

Posted by: Acharn | September 18, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Soon the likes of Gerson, Will, Krauthammer and even Karl Rove (what irony!) will be trashed by the fervent tea-partiers for being "Elitists". What is happening to the republican moderates (of course, the four I named above are nothing but) is not very different than what happened in China during Mao's Cultural Revolution to the educated elite class there. The difference here is that pure angels have come down the rainbows in the form of the Palins and O'Donnells. The pheasants will soon take over and run this country under biblical dictates, and we will all soon live under the good Lord's glory. Amen!

I am a not a republican, but it is not much fun to watch what is happening to the party of Lincoln. The Tea Party's rank and file, most of whom live under government dole in one form or another, are being goaded by a few multi-millionaire radio-hosts laughing all the way to their banks.

Posted by: achena | September 19, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Gerson:
What exactly was the point of Rove's negative personal comments about O'Donnell, made after she had won the election? They were utterly gratuitous, and had no purpose but to express his irritation at her win and Castle's defeat. His assessment of her electability is as useful as his opinion (and that of other Washington-oriented experts) that Castle would cruise to victory.
Mr. Rove (and other former presidential advisers) should recognize that they have had a hand in the creation of the Tea Party. The Republicans lost in 2008 because millions of Americans became disillusioned with the acceptance, by the White House and Republican Congressional leadership, of deficit spending, indifference to the growing housing crisis, and the loss of identity of authentic conservative principles in the Bush Administration. Republican complacency and failure to recognize the concerns of Americans who are not professional political activists led to the loss of the White House and Congress. That is, in part, Rove's legacy. His credibility in belittling new candidates, especially after the voters have spoken, is less than zero.

Posted by: eswalsh1 | September 19, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Seems like Gerson's been happy to paint the Democrats as out-of-touch elitists (true enough) while painting teabaggers as high-minded grassroots activists (completely false). Now that the Murdoch/Koch brothers funded fake populist movement has attacked Rove, a fellow member (with Gerson) of the Bush administration in exile, Gerson's up on his high horse calling the TP childish. The Republicans are becoming desperate because they can see the writing on the wall: modest gains in Congress, two years of asinine behavior and statements from Murdoch/Koch shills, leading to a landslide victory for Obama in 2012.

Posted by: dnahatch1 | September 19, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that both Rove and Gerson share irritation and invective directed at the Tea Party and its chosen ones. Both are supposed to be part of the "smart insider" class, albeit on opposing sides. The projection of childishness starts to make sense when we realize that the real threat of the of the Tea Party is that it is starting to get people elected without the blessings and review of the "Smart" people like Rove and Gerson. Taxed Enough Already has become a rallying cry for citizens fed up with bloated, tax & spend government and the insiders on both sides who just cannot imagine doing with less as the working class has had to lately. The rabble is just too stupid to understand that what they need is more government and not less. Obama is on track to immolate his own party on a scale beyond Rove's wildest fantasy. And what are Rove and Gerson both furious over? Winners selected by the rabble instead of the insiders. It’s going to be fun to watch both sides discuss how stupid the electorate is.

Posted by: WAPOpine | September 19, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The political strategy used by the GOP leadership over the last 20 years or so have taken them to where they are now. They have catered more and more to fringe actisits in order to get that one extra vote they need to win an election. As a result, the fringe elements are now in control.

Traditional conservatives in the GOP have two choices. They must either submit to the Tea Party purity test and pass the Limbaugh litmus exam or be purged.

Of course they still have the option to speak the truth about the fringe elements they harbor, but I doubt that will happen.

Posted by: tunkefer | September 19, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

texasnative, who is lying about o'donnell. Her foibles are known fact. Because she goes on hannity and moves him doeen't make what has been said and shown about her lies.Her own compaign manager campaigned against her, explaining that o'donnell used campaign funds for personal use, while her workers went upaid. Why is it that, to the tea folks, everyone lies about their candidates, but their candidates. Why do they fall in love with a cute face, but no intelligence? God help this country if the likes of o'donnell, palin, demint, miller, and rand paul ever get control. We will become another third world theocracy.

Posted by: mikel7 | September 19, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

An entire article attacking "inexperience" and "extremism". Not one attack on O'Donnell's (or the tea party's) platforms. Ok. I'd say the "establishment" just ran out of arguments, friends. I call Straw Man.

Posted by: madhtr | September 19, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Did Gerson inherit David Weigel's job as pet "conservative"?

I'm thinking that there's going to be lots more face time for this "conservative" to spew his venom at the Tea Party and Palin (etc.) on MSNBC and THIS WEEK on ABC.

Heck, the pet conservatives in the LSM get to go to ALL the parties and be told by Maddow and Olbermann, et al, just how "brilliant" they are.

Hope it all doesn't go to your head, Gerson.

Posted by: johnrtorres | September 19, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least now we all know why Rove's nickname was "turd blossom," and bestowed on him by none other than President Bush, not the tea party or Mark Levin or Michelle Malkin. And once again President Bush is correct.

Posted by: chiaroscuro | September 19, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least now we all know why Rove's nickname was "turd blossom," bestowed on him by none other than President Bush, not the tea party or Mark Levin or Michelle Malkin. And once again President Bush is correct.

Posted by: chiaroscuro | September 19, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

NewsBusters: Top Bush Aide Denounces Mark Levin, Malkin, Others as 'Unhinged...Bolshevik' Party-Line Enforcers
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2010/09/19/top-bush-aide-denounces-mark-levin-malkin-others-unhinged-bolshevik-part

Posted by: StewartIII | September 20, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Here's the thing, we don't like any of you. We don't like the war in Iraq, we don't like all the debt you've run up...Bush, Obama, all those people signing bills they haven't read, trying to push amnesty through for illegal aliens even though 70% of the population is against it..You can be as thoughtful as you like Mr. Commentator, you don't make the rules. You are not the boss of me, neither is Karl Rove, nor Barack Obama, or any of you people who make careers out of politics. Thanks, but no thanks. Michelle Malkin is a heck of a lot smarter than you are anyway. Talk about Bolshevikis... you RINOs thought the Tea Party was great when you though you owned it...didn't ya? Childish? Childish is perhaps those who think they own the people and throw a hissy fit when things don't go his way Mr. Karl, never liked you anyway Rove. You people have so royally screwed things up, you actually have some nerve opening your yap to criticize. You think we want Bush 2? Nyet, Nyet, Nyet. This time there is going to be real change, we are going back to a representative democracy, where the politicians aren't celebrities flying around in jets at taxpayer expense (yes, you Pelosi, you old bat) - they listen to the American people, take care of business and then go home. It's not complicated, it's quite simple. We run our own lives, not the government. Get it?

Posted by: jenniferbugenator | September 20, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

frankdiscussion1, I hate to tell you this, but while you are running around claiming tea party hates all those people, guess who is also joining the tea party? Blacks, Hispanics, Asian, Brand-spanking new Americans, poor, rich, fat, skinny, young, old, tall, short, happy, sad... yes, it is true. They aren't as stupid as you seem to think they are.

skillssss - thanks for the CDC warning...it was LOL 2 da MAX.

Posted by: jenniferbugenator | September 20, 2010 1:52 AM | Report abuse

So Mr. Gerson, You were not shocked to hear Rove tear into O'Donnell after she became the Republican candidate. Well, I was. After the voters made their choice, the matter is settled, no matter how Rove feels about it. Rove is an establishment insider and the voters are rejecting the failed party establishment in elections around the country. This election in November is the most important one to ordinary citizens in my memory, and I expect fundamental change will happen.

Posted by: allamer1 | September 20, 2010 3:36 AM | Report abuse

So Mr. Gerson, You were not shocked to hear Rove tear into O'Donnell after she became the Republican candidate. Well, I was. After the voters made their choice, the matter is settled, no matter how Rove feels about it. Rove is an establishment insider and the voters are rejecting the failed party establishment in elections around the country. This election in November is the most important one to ordinary citizens in my memory, and I expect fundamental change will happen.

Posted by: allamer1 | September 20, 2010 3:38 AM | Report abuse

Are Democrats any different? Seriously, folks. Note how they treated Joe Lieberman, a reliable liberal on every issue but one. What did the left do? Start poohing their pants trying to unseat him and poohed their pants more when they proved impotent. Compare that to what Tea Partiers are doing to Rove: Saying he's wrong! *GASP*

No, the left is and always shall be little children on the playground who can't get anyone to play with them.

Posted by: shecallsmemoe | September 20, 2010 5:03 AM | Report abuse

newsraptor writes: "The Tea Partiers are looking more like the Khmer Rouge. The professional class is to be eliminated by those whose only unifying doctrine is rage."

Wow. First the left compares their opponents as Nazis, now the Khmer Rouge. Forget the fact that both were left-wing organizations, one socialist, the other communist. But you guys are so simple-minded that you think anyone who disagrees with you is liable to commit mass murder, without even considering the fact that historically, mass murder has almost always come from the left.

And if all you hear from the message is rage, then you are not even trying to listen.

Posted by: shecallsmemoe | September 20, 2010 5:08 AM | Report abuse

A lefty comments: "The whole Tea Party movement is being driven by a childish anger."

First of all, lots of the anti-Obama conservative commentary--tea party and other--is not angry at all. It is thoughtful and concise. And second of all, they are spending us into oblivion, based on their Keynesian theories. People are just trying to do what ever they can, legally and peacefully, to stop the immoral Democrat spending OF MONEY WE AND THEY DON'T HAVE!

Posted by: fraudbust2011 | September 20, 2010 5:35 AM | Report abuse

Nixon with his 'southern strategy', Reagan with his welfare queens, Bush 2 with his open warfare on blacks, women, gays, Hispanics, Muslims, veterans, and now, finally, with each other...Karl Rove proved to be the master, helping America to elect the most vacant of all cowboy boots.

The well used republican fear and smear strategy, of which Mr. Gerson is an old hand, is knee jerk action by republicans, adopted by the teabaggers as a fully formed set of genes. As if hating fellow Americans is the way the leader of the free world ought to get into office.

To which we can only reply:

Hello and Hallelujah, you had it coming to you, goodie goodie for us, goodie goodie for you... I hope you're satisfied you rascal you.

Posted by: dutchess2 | September 20, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

fraudbust2011

Your problem is that you are just too coy by half. The spending you should have been interested in was the waste of wars that were by choice, not necessity, a nation lied into a war that has cost 3 trillion and counting, most of it borrowed. Now you're the new kid in school about spending, and you're trying to take down the programs that are put in place to get our manufacturing back, and get us on a level playing field with every other industrialized nation.

They're eating our lunch, and you're helping them do it.

Shame shame shame on you!

Posted by: dutchess2 | September 20, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

"instead, Chris O'Donnell has been WRONGLY attacked & the VAST majority of what has been leveled at her, in just one word is: LYING."

Except they aren't. Every accusation against O'Donnell is well documented as is her complete lack of experience. Not that facts would sway someone as closed minded as people who buy the tea party "lame stream media" BS.

Posted by: fingersfly | September 20, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Here's the last graph of this story with a slight edit: In current political [Tea Party] theory, inexperience is itself seen as a kind of qualification. People like Obama and Kagan [O'Donnell] are actually preferable to [people like Rove] because they haven't been tainted by public trust or actual achievement. This is the attitude of the adolescent -- the belief that the world began on their thirteenth birthday. It is also a sign of childish political thought. Mr. Gerson, kids always imitate what the grown ups do, not what they say.

Posted by: ringo2 | September 20, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

This is one of the columns that keep us reading our column Michael. Too bad they are so few and far between. One error though. Referring to Rove as mainstream is a reach.

Posted by: formerrepublician | September 20, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Niche political groups or movements, even when "nurtured" through existing organizations, as the Tea Party is attempting within the GOP, cannot survive the harsh reality of either the extreme message they espouse or the complex world in which we live.

Posted by: atbarefield | September 20, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

The title of this post screams "elitism" - exactly what is angering a great deal of normal Americans.

Posted by: jbburrows | September 20, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Whatever will the "establishment" GOP do when these inexperienced, extremists quite possibly get elected, fill the hallowed halls on the hill, and begin their actual affect on the business of our nation? They
will find out just how the majority of our nation feels as we have watched in horror as the "establishment" GOP desecrated our
awesome land over the lost decade. These
Tea Party folks could do no more damage than the GOP has, and it is delicious to watch the Gop disintigrate and implode.

Posted by: patriotgmalou | September 20, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"...because they haven't been tainted by public trust or actual achievement. This is the attitude of the adolescent..." I would think that you would accept this given the exact same approach was taken in hiring Obama. He has never been taited by public trust and probably never will be, even from his liberal "supporters". And he certainly has no actual achievements upon which to build...so he fits the bill perfectly. The Democrats did not realize that he has managed to join their party as a closet Tea Bagger. I love it.

Posted by: staterighter | September 20, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

These teabaggers are charlatans and snake-oil salesmen, nothing more.

Basically, I get to choose between voting for religious zealots for an oppressive government, or vote for race-panderers who want to oppressively tax us to death.

Supplanting one party dictatorship for another isn't much of a choice. But at least the democrats aren't masquerading as some other solution. The 'baggers are republicans who just feel ballsy enough to put their KKK sheets back on.

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | September 20, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

"...because they haven't been tainted by public trust or actual achievement. This is the attitude of the adolescent..." I would think that you would accept this given the exact same approach was taken in hiring Obama. He has never been taited by public trust and probably never will be, even from his liberal "supporters". And he certainly has no actual achievements upon which to build...so he fits the bill perfectly. The Democrats did not realize that he has managed to join their party as a closet Tea Bagger. I love it.

Posted by: staterighter | September 20, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

My response to the "lack of experience qualifies my candidate" crowd for years has been, "I don't want to be a career surgeon. I just want to operate on your child."

Posted by: Ralphinjersey | September 20, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I heard the interview with Hannity that Rove gave after the election of O'Donnell - and while I agree with the author that the criticism was over done regarding his comments I will say this - I was offended by some of what he said.

Who elects politicians? Not Carl Rove....not the other well established politicians of either party. The people elect the politicians and the way they vote sends a message to those who they have previously sent to DC (or locally) about how they lived up to the trust the folks gave them. It also sends a message to the Carl Roves' out there - we listened to you, we trusted you, and we got burned - now its your turn to listen to us.

Rove had some good points - O'Donnell needs to answer some questions - honestly - and then move on. She needs to focus on the fact that her opponent will stand with Obama on every policy decision based upon loyalty to Party instead of to his constituents - which is exactly why she beat her opponent in the primary - because that man voted and stood with the very policies a majority of Americans - and it remains to be seen Delaware residents - stand against.

She is electable if the people decide she is electable - just as any other candidate whether establishment or not - is electable if the people decide they are. Not if Carl Rove or anyone else decides she is.

Posted by: LMW6 | September 20, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I heard the interview with Hannity that Rove gave after the election of O'Donnell - and while I agree with the author that the criticism was over done regarding his comments I will say this - I was offended by some of what he said.

Who elects politicians? Not Carl Rove....not the other well established politicians of either party. The people elect the politicians and the way they vote sends a message to those who they have previously sent to DC (or locally) about how they lived up to the trust the folks gave them. It also sends a message to the Carl Roves' out there - we listened to you, we trusted you, and we got burned - now its your turn to listen to us.

Rove had some good points - O'Donnell needs to answer some questions - honestly - and then move on. She needs to focus on the fact that her opponent will stand with Obama on every policy decision based upon loyalty to Party instead of to his constituents - which is exactly why she beat her opponent in the primary - because that man voted and stood with the very policies a majority of Americans - and it remains to be seen Delaware residents - stand against.

She is electable if the people decide she is electable - just as any other candidate whether establishment or not - is electable if the people decide they are. Not if Carl Rove or anyone else decides she is.

Posted by: LMW6 | September 20, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama's planned assault on the Tea Party smacks of desperation

"This is the clearest sign yet that the Obama White House fears the tremendous energy the Tea Party movement has brought to this November’s Congressional race. What the Obama administration once dismissed as an inconsequential, rag tag organisation has evolved into a full scale political revolution that threatens to storm Capitol Hill six weeks from now. But if it thinks it can quell the rebellion by painting the Tea Party as a bunch of “extremists” it is sadly mistaken."


Read More:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100054343/barack-obamas-planned-assault-on-the-tea-party-smacks-of-desperation/

Posted by: skillssss | September 20, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama's planned assault on the Tea Party smacks of desperation

"This is the clearest sign yet that the Obama White House fears the tremendous energy the Tea Party movement has brought to this November’s Congressional race. What the Obama administration once dismissed as an inconsequential, rag tag organisation has evolved into a full scale political revolution that threatens to storm Capitol Hill six weeks from now. But if it thinks it can quell the rebellion by painting the Tea Party as a bunch of “extremists” it is sadly mistaken."


Read More:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100054343/barack-obamas-planned-assault-on-the-tea-party-smacks-of-desperation/

Posted by: skillssss | September 20, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Rove and Gerson and part of a dying wing of American politics. Castle, who voted for the Pelosi version of cap and trade, is acceptable. O'Donnel who struggled to pay her mortgage and college tuition is not. She is not part of the Republican old boy network. She did not go to right schools or 'pay her dues' by spending years in Congress while kissing the rings of her 'superiors'

The Rove/Gerson wing of the Republican party brought us the Bush deficits, crony political appointments and the 2008 ascension of the Democrat party. They have been a power for long time. They are not going quietly, but they are going. After the election, and after the contracts expire, Rove will be off Fox TV, and Gerson will lose his regular column for the Post.

Buh, Bye

Posted by: TECWRITE | September 20, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

So the Republicans finally get it, that the Tea Party and their vile cheerleaders like Michelle Malkin are a grave liability.

Gerson is right on, they are a dangerous childish bunch of unreasonable lunatics who have no business having a hand is decisions regarding or running this Nation.

God in heaven help us if the Moderate non-partisan Republicans and the Dems do not show up come November, this country is over.

If Malkin and her cronies/followers get their way, this country we all love and cherish will be over as we know it. She, in particular, should be cited for inciting a riot; she's a loud mouth torch carrying loon hell-bent on the destruction of the GOP.

Posted by: Fair2 | September 20, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Michelle Malkin| Rove aide: Kneel before The Architect, you puny website operators & Tea Party ingrates
http://michellemalkin.com/2010/09/20/rove-aide-kneel-before-the-architect-you-puny-website-operator/

Posted by: StewartIII | September 20, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

It's great to see the twisted, right wing drivel machine turn on one of their own.

Posted by: Candressuhmoose | September 20, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

skilssss-and just what is this "planned assault on the Tea Party smacks of desperation"? Please let the media know what you are talking about, and enlighten those of us on this thread. The apparent "desperate" ones are all the establishment GOP elite, from the top (ROVE)right on down. I thought this desperation was at it's peak in 06', and 08', but this is incredible. So sweet to
watch the despicable right finally get what has been coming to them for the last 40 years. I have no respect for the tea-baggers, but they are doing what I've prayed for all these years (I'm old), blazingly causing the destruction of the Repukican party. As I said in an earlier
post, even the baggers and their extremist
policies are better than what the repukes have slammed on us for half a century.

Posted by: patriotgmalou | September 20, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I love this tea party philosophy about picking folks to represent you who are most like your next door neighbor. Next time I have surgery, I'm going to make sure it's not some ivy league go getter who thinks he knows more than I do about medicine. I'm gonna pick someone who barely finished school and cannot explain what the liver does. At least he or she will understand that I'm angry. It doesn't matter if I die in the process.

Posted by: angryatpasswords | September 20, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

In a post I read yesterday, regarding Sarah Palin, she was described by the commenter that she is as valuable as a screen in a submarine. All the tea-bagger candidates fit this description, however, they ARE presenting valuable insight into the madness of the conservative, right-wing, hate-machine mantra.

Posted by: patriotgmalou | September 20, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm really not interested in the whining of Rove or his acolytes. Rove was and is a huge liability to the Republican party. His big government republicanism is being soundly rejected from coast to coast and now he and his myrmidons are crying like a bunch of toddlers denied a juice box.

Posted by: wave41 | September 20, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Karl Rove may have been the architect of Bush's presidencies? But he is post script now. And most conservatives have not forgotten that those like Rove and the rest were the one's who wrecked the republican party and turned it into a bunch of panty waist progressive boot lickers.

Sorry Gergen, but you missed by a mile. Michelle Malken has your number and Karl Roves.

Posted by: locutisprime | September 20, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

autofan1; wkristol;mikel7;all,

the tone of all of you DIMocRATS' comments to me is a classic example of WHY the DIMocRAT "leadership"/ruling class/SELF-important elitists are not only going to LOSE both houses of Congress but are to lose in the biggest BLOODBATH in modern history.

frankly, we are sick of elitists (who proport to represent "the little guy", "the working class", "the minorities", etc) condesending TO & looking DOWN upon "ordinary people" who "work for a living".

sadly (for the DIMocRATS), we are a GREAT deal smarter than "the leaders" give us credit for & we are ANGRY & are about to throw a large number of the SELF-important "congress-critters" out onto the street.

but don't pay attention to people like me. we would really prefer that you would wake up WEEPING on 11/03/2010 because you have lost BOTH houses of Congress. - we "ignorant hillbillies" from "flyover country" said "NO" to "obamacare", "manmade global warming", "cap & trade" & numerous other HOAXES/BOONDOGGLES that BHO & the DIMs tried. - now it is the DIMocRATS that will lose their jobs, too.

note: i type to suit me & nobody else. - it has been my long experience that people who care/comment/post about such silly/inconsequential things generally are EMPTY "between the ears", feel "inferior" & are looking for something/anything to say, to make them feel LESS "inferior".

face it everyonwe, we TP folks are about to WIN in 2010, 2012 & for eons to follow because the "average voter" is simply FED-UP with the DIMocRAT extremists/"bigshots".FOOLS & want them ALL GONE.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | September 20, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

angryatpasswords; ALL,

personal to "angryatpasswords": making laws is NOT at all the same as doing surgery. - IF you aren't able to discern the difference & know how STUPID that analogy is, i PITY, rather than despise, you.

to ALL: 535 ordinary citizens, taken at random from the voter rolls of the 50 states, could hardly make a bigger disaster of our Congress/republic than this bunch of fools/nitwits/drunks/frauds/scoundrals & cheap, scheming, shyster lawyers have.

fwiw, we "ordinary folks" of the TEA PARTY just want the "current crop" of "leaders" all GONE & a new (and hopefully better/more honest) group of "public servants" to replace them. - at this date, it looks like the DIMocRAT "leadership" is soon to be over & sometime in early January 2011 we can begin the process of disassembling the "obama agenda" of LIES, crooked deals for cronies & the DIMocRATS many wasteful BOONDOGGLES of all sorts.

in 2012 we Tea Party folks will help end BHO's regime AND finish removing another large fraction of the DIMocRAT/RINO "congress-critters", who serve only themselves, rather than the citizens.

just my opinion.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | September 21, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Aren't you a mean little man. Or maybe just ignorant. Frankly, little man, if you agree with Karl Rove then he must have had an alzheimer's moment. Don't act like a wet brained liberal Mr. Rove. You sure lost me.

Posted by: jmj19411 | September 21, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

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