Former George W. Bush aide Karl Rove celebrated Steve Bannon’s ouster from the White House and return to Breitbart News in a column Thursday at the Wall Street Journal.
Rove, who left the Bush White House several months after the devastating 2006 midterm election, has since become the voice of the hapless Republican establishment in Washington, infamously insisting that Mitt Romney could still win the 2012 election when it was already lost. Rove also failed to predict the Trump phenomenon in 2015-6, and failed to stop it once it began sweeping the country.
Rove — with no sense of irony — writes of Bannon that “no other aide in memory has had such grandiose or destructive plans for trying to remain in charge after being shown the door.”
Rove, of course, tried to control the Republican agenda from the political grave, raising hundreds of millions of dollars from wealthy GOP donors, spending $300 million on his preferred candidates in 2012 and winning only one race. Conservative icon Richard Viguerie commented at the time that Rove “would never be hired to run or consult on a national campaign again.” (No one says that about Bannon.)
In his attack on Bannon, Rove defends moderate and establishment Republicans in Congress who have frustrated President Donald Trump’s agenda, such as Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who favors Rove’s preferred amnesty policies and enjoys approval ratings of just 22% in his home state (versus 63% disapproval). Rove also claims Trump “failed to wish Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) a speedy recovery from brain cancer,” when he clearly did so last month.
Rove concludes: “The White House and the country are better off with Mr. Bannon back at the website he described last year as ‘the platform for the alt-right.’ He will do less damage there than in the West Wing.”
It is possible that, having been wrong in nearly every prognostication for the past ten years, Rove could be right this time. But Breitbart News is set to challenge that proposition, lest the Beltway clique do more “damage” to the party and the country.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.