Karl Rove -- The Architect [home]

the rise of the republican party

The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America
In this excerpt from their book, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge --U.S. editor and Washington correspondent, respectively, for The Economist -- profile a young Colorado Springs couple, Dustin and Maura. For them, write the authors, "conservatism is a progressive creed. It is not about old people trying to cling to things, but about young people trying to change them." The authors chronicle how people like Dustin and Maura, and places like Colorado Springs, are emblematic of why conservatism has triumphed in our politics and what it is that makes this kind of conservatism so uniquely American.


Playing For History...
How far do Karl Rove and George W. Bush want to take the Republican Party, and the country, in realigning the relationship between government and citizen? Here, discussing this question are: Washington Post reporters Thomas Edsall and Dan Balz, Republican activist Grover Norquist, former and current heads of the Republican National Committee, Ed Gillespie and Ken Mehlman, journalist Wayne Slater and former Environmental Protection Agency head and former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman.

Barry Goldwater and the Conservatives' Long March
From Goldwater conservatism to "compassionate conservatism" -- over 40 years the Republican Party gradually has come to think of itself as a majority party as the politics of the country has moved from center left to center right. Here, Washington Post reporter Dan Balz, Republican activist Grover Norquist, Republican strategist Mary Matalin and Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman trace what Norquist calls the conservatives' "long march" -- from Goldwater's defeat and Ronald Reagan's dual victories, to the Republicans' 1994 takeover of the House and George W. Bush's election and re-election.

How Secure Is the Republican Dominance?
In 2004, President Bush captured the popular and electoral vote and Republicans kept control of both the House and the Senate. But it was a tight race with just a three-point margin of victory. Looking ahead, what will be the opportunities, challenges and dangers facing Republicans and Democrats over the next few years? Here are the views of Matthew Dowd, chief campaign strategist for Bush-Cheney '04; Grover Norquist, Republican anti-tax activist; Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee; Christine Todd Whitman, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency and former governor of New Jersey; Mary Matalin, former adviser to President Bush and Vice President Cheney; and Dan Balz and Thomas Edsall of The Washington Post.

Interview: Grover Norquist
As president of Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist is a well-known Republican anti-tax activist and grassroots organizer. In this interview, he traces the evolution of conservative philosophy and activism from Sen. Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign through to Ronald Reagan's presidency, Newt Gingrich and the Contract With America, and now George W. Bush. Norquist describes the Republican Party as the "leave-us-alone coalition," which includes gun owners, home-schoolers, property owners, taxpayers and small-business owners, among others. "[Republicans] speak now to the people who want to be left alone and run their own lives," he says. "That is a very large coalition of people. It's a governing majority." And he argues that Republicans are making policy decisions that are only likely to enhance their numbers. "[G]iven the list of things the Republicans are doing in Congress -- tort reform, getting rid of the death tax, tax reduction, free trade -- all of these things strengthen the Republican coalition and their numbers and reduce the Democratic coalition," he says.

Interview: Christine Todd Whitman
In this interview, Whitman, who served as governor of New Jersey from 1993 to 2000 and as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 2001 to 2003, makes the case for an inclusive, "big tent" Republican Party. Whitman, who is the author of It's My Party Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America, argues that Karl Rove's election strategy of focusing on the social conservatives to "harden the base" was at the expense of broadening support among moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats. She says that the political calculations to play to conservatives are detrimental to good governance and the Republican Party's future, and has empowered those whom she calls "social fundamentalists" to say: "We won this election for the president. We are owed the next Supreme Court justice." Whitman also expresses frustration that a lot of the work the EPA did under her tenure was not communicated, in part, because the environment as an issue "never polled high with the base."

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posted april 12, 2005

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