Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Rove's Lombardi Moment

Former Kansas City Coach Hank Stram once identified the steamrolling '60s Green Bay Packers thusly: "'The decade of the '60s was the decade of simplicity. During the '60s the good teams -- the Green Bay Packers, for example -- came out almost all the time in the same set and ran the play. In effect, what they said was here we come, see if you can stop us."

Karl Rove has apparently studied the Lombardi playbook -- and is using it effectively against Democrats.


Rove's speech to the Republican National Committee, was a classic example of this:

Sketching themes for what he described as a winning Republican agenda for the midterm elections, Rove portrayed Democrats as weak on national defense while the United States, under Republican leadership, is "winning the war against Islamic fascism."
He criticized Democrats for wanting to "cut and run in Iraq," for trying to amend the USA Patriot Act and for questioning Bush's authorization of warrantless domestic eavesdropping by the National Security Agency.
"At the core," Rove said, the two major parties "have fundamentally different views of the world and fundamentally different views on national security. Republicans have a post-9/11 view of the world, and Democrats have a pre-9/11 view of the world."

He added: "Let me be as clear as I can be: President Bush believes if Al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why," Rove asserted. "Some important Democrats clearly disagree."

On Fox News Sunday, John McCain tried to distance himself from Rove:

"Do I think that the president's leadership has been worthy of support of our party and our leadership? Yes," he said. "But there are too many good Democrats over there who are as concerned about national security and work just as hard as I do.
That may very well be true. But Rove knows the value of branding as much as he does football. He knows that Republicans have always ("always" here meaning the last 40 or so years) been considered the "Daddy" (keep-us-safe) party and Democrats the "Mommy" (keep us healthy and well-fed).

But the War on Terror, by definition, is a Daddy moment. And, having defined the field, Rove's Republican's have a clear strategy on how to defend it.

Liberal blogger Digby seems to recognize this and
nearly throws his hands up in despair:
They are going to the 9/11 well again. They say that Democrats are sending talking points to Osama and giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Rove says we don't believe that the government should monitor al Qaeda's telephone calls. The next several months will be spent fending off accusations that if we don't let the president do anything he damned well pleases we are all going to die. I don't know if it will work again. But I also don't know if I can take this campaign one more time.
Well, get used to it. As a wise man once said, "Politics ain't beanbag." Stram was talking about his Chiefs as having the upgraded, streamlined offense of the '70s -- more passing oriented. In fact, it wasn't until the '80s, that the NFL became more pass-happy (with the '49ers); but even then, establishing the running game and having a smash-mouth physical aspect characterized most Super Bowl champs.

Rove's Republican Party has a very clear game-plan that has led them to consecutive post-season "wins" in 2002 and 2004.

Can they win the 2006 political "Super Bowl" -- which could set the team up for another win (with a completely different "quarterback") in 2008.

Stay tuned.

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