Karl Rove’s appearance on Fox News’ Hannity was a straightforward and well-intentioned attempt to walk back damage done to American Crossroads by Saturday’s New York Times article, which placed Rove in direct opposition to the Tea Party. “This is not Tea Party versus establishment,” Rove stated. “I don’t want a fight.”
When Sean Hannity confronted Rove about the New York Times article, Rove immediately responded incredulously that the article was from the New York Times – of course it was biased!
But it was apparently Rove and American Crossroads that leaked their plan to the Times in the first place.
It is this, more than anything else, that betrays the real gap between the establishment GOP and the Tea Party. There are those in the establishment GOP who still believe that the mainstream media helps weed out fringe conservatives – figures like Todd Akin. They think that the mainstream media will give the establishment a fair shake, so long as the establishment shows that they aren’t in line with those Tea Party nutcases. They think that by nominating quasi-conservatives like Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), both of whom once received mainstream media love, they’ll be able to forestall attacks on Republican candidates.
This couldn’t be more misguided. As Rove found out, the Times and its Obama-flak allies in the media will use every opportunity to twist words, divide Republicans from one another, and destroy any chance of cohesion around conservative values. Conservatism isn’t losing because of guys like Todd Akin alone. A far more pressing problem is an establishment that still wants to go to cocktail parties with the same reporters who would plunge a knife deep between their shoulder blades at the first available opportunity.