If Sen. Claire McCaskill wins re-election in Missouri Tuesday, it should serve as Karl Rove’s political epitaph.
It was Karl Rove, the so-called “architect,” who determined months ago that her opponent, a true conservative Republican, was unworthy of support from the Republican Party and his political action committee, which had collected, under false pretenses, hundreds of millions of dollars to elect Republicans to the House and Senate and presidency.
Rove went so far as to joke about murdering Todd Akin, the Republican chosen by the people of Missouri to challenge McCaskill.
Rove’s excuse was a poor choice of words by Akin in explaining his pro-life stance – and why he believed that murdering innocent babies in the womb, including in the case of rape, is immoral. Despite Akin’s apology for the remark, Rove didn’t open up the money spigots for him. Despite Akin’s quick forgiveness of Rove’s outlandish and despicable remarks, Rove’s hard heart toward Akin was only hardened.
As of this writing, the polls show Akin and McCaskill in a statistical dead heat.
That would not be the case if Rove did what he told donors to his PAC he would do with their money – support Republican nominees to the House and Senate.
Instead, Rove chose to withhold support from Akin – support that would clearly have made the difference in this race.
McCaskill was always seen as one of the most vulnerable incumbent Democrats in the U.S. Senate. Rove knew that. But it changed nothing for him. He didn’t like Akin before his slip of the tongue. He simply needed a rationalization for not spending PAC money to support a candidate he didn’t like. He had supported someone else for the GOP nomination, and that was that.
Rove has illusions of being a kingmaker. And too many Republicans have bought into that illusion.
But, win, lose or draw in Missouri, what happens there next Tuesday should spell the end of those illusions. Rove’s behavior in this race should, if there is any justice in this world, spell his political epitaph.
If he is indeed the “architect,” as he likes to be called, he will be the architect of helping an Obama-style Democrat win re-election in Missouri. If ever there were a race where a little bit of money could have made the difference in a Senate election, the Akin race was it.
If elephants truly don’t forget, Republicans need to remember what happened in Missouri.
Rove betrayed the principle of getting a Republican majority in the Senate. Even if Republicans should achieve a majority in the Senate without Akin, it shouldn’t make a bit of difference to the money men who supported his strategy with their dollars.
This was treachery against an honest, conservative Republican who made a little mistake in favor of a Democrat who is one big, walking, talking mistake.
Do I overstate the case?
I don’t think so.
With friends like Karl Rove, real Republicans don’t need enemies.
This is a plea to all those Republican donors who have supported Karl Rove, who has enriched himself, glorified himself and played god with their financial support: Don’t get fooled again.
I personally expect Republican candidates for president, for the House and for the Senate to do remarkably well next Tuesday. But don’t credit Rove. Rove chose only to support Republican candidates who would do his bidding. This is a power game with Rove.
If Republicans do well on Tuesday, it will be in spite of Rove and the Republican establishment, not because of their decisions on how to spend money and allocate resources.
If Claire McCaskill is re-elected, blame Rove – and never forget.