The Rove Administration
I was re-reading an E. J. Dionne book review wherein he discusses the essential role of Karl Rove the the success of this administration and I was reminded of his speculation about the relative roles of Karl Rove and Karen Hughes. Talking about Frum's book on Bush Dionne says "He rightly sees Rove as the more intellectual and conservative of the two but underappreciates Hughes' value to Bush as the commonsensical non-ideologue who thinks a lot about all the souls who fall outside the Republican base. I can't help but wonder: Would Hughes have advised Bush to push for eliminating the taxation of dividends?"
It is a very short distance from that question to wondering how many of the current extremist "mistakes" in style like the blatent aggressive/cowboy stance before the war and his posturing on the aircraft carrier might have previously been mitigated by Hughes were she still playing a central role in the administration.
Dionne also speculates "This raises interesting questions about whether the Bush-Rove (or is it Rove-Bush?) strategy is as brilliant as we all think it is. If there's a flaw in Rove's view of politics, it's that he grants infallible status to the Republican base. This is a problem because the views and interests of the Christian right and the big-business right are not the views of the American majority. Rove, in some part of his being, knows that."
Perhaps I am being excessively optimistic (or desperate) but this seems to me like a place that could be exploited by a reasoning, hungry Democrat. I wonder if one will be nominated.