David Frum very seriously explains that The Problem With Karl is that he answered the wrong question:
The question he answered so successfully was a political one: How could Republicans win elections after Bill Clinton steered the Democrats to the center?
The question he unfortunately ignored was a policy question: What does the nation need — and how can conservatives achieve it?
Well, in all fairness to Karl, I don’t think you can say for sure that he ignored that second question. He might just have answered it, “Who cares?”
Or maybe Karl realized that conservatives can’t actually meet the nation’s needs, which is why he relied on dirty tricks and manipulation over actual governance, and why Bush and the GOP rushed to settle as many scores and reward as many allies as possible before the gravy train derailed.
Also in fairness to Karl, I have a hard time picturing any conservative asking Frum’s second question. “What does the GOP/religious right/chamber of commerce need – and how can conservatives achieve it?”, sure. “What does the nation need or think it needs – and how can conservatives exploit that for electoral and financial gain?”, absolutely. But to actually ask themselves how they might help and improve the country, they clearly have “other priorities.”
And in further fairness to Karl, Frum makes it pretty obvious that he’s nursing a serious grudge for losing the immigration argument – quite possibly the only policy Rove was actually right about.
Wow, look at me – I love Karl!
(I also feel obliged to point out the hacktacular, concern-troll premise of the first question – that the Democrats are nigh-invulnerable when they wear their Magickal Centrist