Posts Tagged ‘Steve Schmidt’

Unelected, Unaccountable, but Unrelenting: The Failed GOP Consultancy

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Great & Powerful Turdblossom

It seems like a day doesn’t elapse without catching a glimpse of Karl Rove and his whiteboards on FoxNews.  From the sounds of things, you might come to think he’s in charge of something at the GOP.  Unfortunately, while he holds no official office, he’s always working on behalf of his patrons in the party, and he serves the interests of the surrender-monkey wing of the Republican party.  Steve Schmidt, the architect of McCain’s loss in 2008, is another example of the sort of consultant with which DC Republicans seem to surround themselves.  Schmidt is still bitter over his 2008 defeat, and he blames much of it on Sarah Palin.  The truth is that she was the only good thing about the ticket, and exit-polling demonstrated quite clearly at the time that McCain would have done far worse without her on the ticket.  It was Schmidt’s bright idea to have McCain suspend his campaign, and that was precisely the root of the collapse in McCain’s support.  Looking to blame his own strategic failings on somebody – anybody – Schmidt is still on the Palin-hater bandwagon because to regain any credibility in his profession, he must shift blame to somebody else.  These consultants are one of the biggest problems grass-roots conservatives face because they tend to turn candidates against their base, and wonder why they lose.

In an epic rant for Politico, McCain adviser and professional boot-licker Steve Schmidt claimed to feel “deep regret” for helping to fuel the creation of a “freak show” wing of the GOP.  By “freak show” wing, he means you and I.  He means real conservatives.  He is referencing those who rose under the general label of “Tea Party.”  Most of all, in singling out somebody that personifies what he termed “asininity,” he means Sarah Palin.  Said Schmidt:

“For the last couple of years, we’ve had this wing of the party running roughshod over the rest of the party. Tossing out terms like RINO saying we’re going to purge, you know, the moderates out of the party,” Schmidt said. “We’ve lost five U.S. Senate seats over the last two election cycles. And fundamentally we need Republicans, whether they’re running for president, whether they’re in the leadership of the Congress, to stand up against a lot of this asininity.”

“You finally you saw it with Ted Cruz. Maybe he was the one that who’s got a bridge too far,” Schmidt said. “Maybe we’ll start seeing our elected leaders stop being intimidated by this nonsense, have the nerve, have the guts to stand up and … to fight to take conservatism’s good name back from the freak show that’s been running wild for four years and that I have deep regret in my part, certainly, in initiating.”

Psssst. Hey Steve! We should purge you from the party, since there seems to be no other way to have you shut up and go away.  Massive failure doesn’t seem to convince you.  Frankly, the reason Republicans lose elections is because they listen to jerks like Schmidt who view actual conservatives as the problem.  You see, Schmidt doesn’t recognize actual conservatism, but instead views “conservatism” as a label to be shifted onto his clients who in no way match the meaning of the term.  If one wishes to see this at work, consider only the Bush campaigns of 2000 and 2004.   Here, you had Rove positioning Bush as a “compassionate conservative,” when it was evident(or should have been) that Bush wasn’t conservative, and that he would wreck actual conservatism by the false association.  In 2006, when Republicans lost the Congress, it was on the basis of this bastardized notion of conservatism.  The Republicans lost control of Congress because under Bush, they were spending just like big-spending Democrats.  It had been consultants like Schmidt and Rove who led the GOP to that and subsequent defeats.

If you want to know what constitutes a real freak-show in the Republican party, it is the unparalleled spectacle of hucksters in the consultancy class attempting to pass off moderates as conservatives.  It is the inglorious pinnacle of asininity to pretend now that John McCain is conservative, and even more galling to pretend that his policy positions represent conservative principles, and yet con-men like Schmidt labor endlessly to carry out that fraud.  When McCain was up for re-election in 2010, you may remember that the McCain camp had no problem soliciting the help of Sarah Palin, but now they betray her with this nonsense about “freak show” and alleged “asininity.”  McCain might have been beat in the 2010 primaries without her, but does that fact earn even the smallest bit of respect from a hateful little troll like Schmidt?  No.   You see, in his book, it’s all about him.  Admitting that Sarah Palin did more to boost either McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, or his 2010 Senatorial re-election campaign would be to admit that Schmidt is entirely useless, never mind the candidate in question.

The fact of the matter is that Schmidt and those in the consultancy class like Rove, who infamously once claimed that Palin’s endorsement wasn’t “worth snot” don’t have any credibility.  For all their alleged gifts and talents as political analysts, advisers, and consultants, they don’t seem to have produced results to scale of their fame.  Bush barely managed to prevail over Al Gore in 2000, relying on the electoral college, and in 2004, what should have been a walk-over victory was uncomfortably close against John Kerry, a man who should never be let near the oval office.  Worse, under the guidance of Rove, in 2006, Republicans lost the Congress, permitting Barack Obama to have both Houses in 2009.   We wouldn’t even be talking about Obama-care had the Republicans not joined Democrats in spending like drunks in support of the George W. Bush spending priorities, which had been massive.

It was the participation of Republicans like McCain in the Amnesty kerfuffle of 2007 that helped keep the Republicans in the wilderness too, another great idea from the consultancy wing of the party.  How did that work out for us?  Democrats kept control of Congress, and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid made sure we’d have Obama-care so we could learn what was in it.  We’re learning, and the real lesson we conservatives must take is that these professional beltway consultants and advisers are leading us off a cliff.

There’s no way around it.  If we listen to the likes of Schmidt or Rove, we’re taking advice from people who don’t have our interests at heart.  They’re profiteers on the political process, and they ply their trade by linguistic manipulations.  It’s no surprising that they work hardest to protect their own images, and will stab anybody in the back in order to preserve their own reputations.  In the end, they’re only accountable inasmuch as their political patrons are held accountable.  They aren’t elected, and they never pay the price for shafting the American people.  They are insulated from our direct anger as voters, and they always seem to move on to new patrons if their existing ones fall out of favor with voters.  As long as they’re setting the direction of the Republican party, one shouldn’t expect that the GOP will be friendly to actual conservatives.  They don’t care about our principles, as they pursue profit and power at our expense.  If the last decade has taught us anything, it should be that it is we who are forced to pay for their failures.  Noticing that fact will brand you as part of a “freak show.”


After Schmidt, Conservative Candidates Should Watch Their Backs

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Failing the Sniff-Test

Is Steve Schmidt really a liberal?  I’ve begun to draw that conclusion, because once again, he’s out there bad-mouthing Sarah Palin, and I’ve just about had it with his lip.  It’s not that he doesn’t have freedom of speech, but that I want every politician in sight to pay attention to how this campaign strategist is attempting to rescue his own reputation by running down the ticket for which he once worked. If you’re a budding politician, and you need the services of a campaign adviser, you might want to consider what this guy and those like him will do to you after their strategies fail.  It also points out something more important that I find simply galling:  When the media would question the motives of a former campaign adviser who said such things about a Democrat candidate, they have no problem accepting at face value, and without challenge almost anything said by one who had worked for a conservative.

Consider this latest bash-fest in the Caucus-blog section of, where it’s open season on Gov. Palin, pushing a narrative that continues the Blame Change without a single word devoted to Steve Schmidt’s lack of credibility:

But in Republican circles, there is a clear focus on avoiding the problems that marked the Palin selection: a rushed process failed to ask basic questions about the prospective running mate, and put short-term electoral concerns ahead of readiness to assume the presidency.

“One of the mistakes we made in the Palin process was one of assumptions,” said Steve Schmidt, one of the McCain aides who guided the process. “We immediately made the assumption that anyone with ‘Governor’ next to her name has a base level of knowledge of history and policy that in a post-Palin world it isn’t necessarily safe to assume.”

If we’re going to discuss assumptions of dubious merit, I would prefer we start with another:  It’s ordinarily the operative assumption of candidates that their campaign staff won’t use their insider position to personal advantage at some future date, particularly by smearing their former client(s.)   Of course, this is a terrible assumption for any candidate to make, particularly if they’re conservative, but most particularly if the adviser’s name is Steve Schmidt.

Schmidt is the man who advised Senator McCain, the 2008 GOP Presidential nominee, and suggested to him that the idea to suspend the campaign and make a big splash out of riding into Washington to solve the financial crisis, and then head out of town as the conquering hero.  Of course, the problem with all of that is the requirement that Washington DC will play along, and that you’ve laid the actual legislative groundwork for such a move.  Schmidt tried to do it on the cheap, and what it looked like instead was an admission of culpability for the banking crisis, and it inflicted serious damage to the McCain-Palin ticket.

This was when the rescue plan for Schmidt’s reputation was hatched, and since he didn’t want to point a finger at his boss, he needed another fall-guy, but the only one plausible was a woman.  Sarah Palin was a relatively unknown commodity, and it was therefore much easier to make her out as having been the problem.  Besides, his pals in the media hated her, so it would be an easy sell.  The strategy moved forward and Schmidt and his pals directed the blame at Gov. Palin.

Richard Stevens, writing for the Times, seems to happily pick up this ball and run with it, and not once in his misleading article does he question the veracity of Schmidt’s claim, since it lays the ground work for Stevens’ thesis:  “After Palin, Expect a More Intense Vetting Process.”  I would suggest an alternate title, were Stevens up to it, though apparently, he’s not:

“After Schmidt, Conservative Candidates Should Watch Their Backs.”

This would at least be more fitting, and infinitely more suited to the facts.


Blame Change: HBO’s Fiction Busted

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Simply Fictional

Stacy Drake has a detailed and excellent piece over on about the ridiculous HBO movie “Game Change,” that portrays Gov. Sarah Palin as a loosely-hinged, catatonic, desperate candidate in its re-telling of the 2008 Presidential campaign.  Drake debunks the narrative, in part by comparing the time-stamps placed throughout the movie with what went on in reality.  Through Drake’s impeccable research, it’s clear that the time-stamps and the movie are purely fictional.  I haven’t seen the film, as I don’t get HBO, and wouldn’t pay $0.50 per year for all the swill they air, but what’s remarkable about this film is not how poorly it portrays reality, but apparently that they didn’t even try.  Instead, from all reports I’ve read, what viewers will see is a fantasy story as told by leftists through the eyes of the man most responsible for the failure of Senator John McCain’s 2008 Presidential bid:  His own campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, portrayed by Woody Harrelson in the movie.

I suppose that’s the price of trying to rebuild one’s reputation.  Schmidt was willing to give Hollywood the kind of story it wanted, and the sort of narrative it needed to further propagate its institutional view of Sarah Palin in particular, but all conservatives in general.   Schmidt was apparently willing to spin his fantasy in order to recover his reputation, but the simple truth is that what sunk McCain wasn’t Sarah Palin – she almost saved his campaign – but instead the awful advice of Schmidt.  It was he who advised John McCain to suspend his campaign when the financial crisis erupted, telling McCain he should shut things down long enough to go to Washington DC, propose and push a solution, and then ride out of town to restart his campaign as the conquering hero.  That was the substance of Schmidt’s great idea, and it flopped, miserably.

You can’t botch a campaign that looked like it had a decent shot at winning without people immediately beginning to wonder about incompetence or sabotage, and it was against these charges that Schmidt created his fanciful narrative about Palin being less-than-ready, and barely held-together, and as an emotional wreck incapable of holding things together.  Of course, Hollywood couldn’t wait to turn that narrative into a film, because it suits their own preconceived notions about who Governor Palin is, what she is like, and how she performed.  Other than Schmidt and his apologists, nobody from the McCain-Palin team actually supports this portrayal, but that didn’t matter to producer Tom Hanks.  He had another agenda, and that is the destruction of Sarah Palin.

What you learn from this entire fiasco of a film(more from its making than from its viewing) is that the left and the GOP establishment, and the permanent political class of Washington DC are most frequently willing to work together where their interests intersect.  For the left, portraying Governor Palin as a loose canon and an emotional wreck, along with being uninformed on issues of national import serves a narrative they wish to create not merely for 2012, but for all times.  Since the campaign of 2008, when they noticed her power with the electorate, they have been out to destroy her, and the left has gotten no shortage of assistance in this endeavor from the GOP establishment.  When the film was being made, they were expecting Palin to enter the 2012 race, and they timed its release for what they thought would be the moment in which they would take her down.   She had the temerity to confound their plan by not running.  Ooops.

Of course, Schmidt is more interested in trying to re-make the narrative to portray himself as basically the only hero in the story.  In one sense, it’s self-serving, but in another, it’s pure self-preservation because what most political analysts understand is that it was his strategy that sunk John McCain, and not the choosing of Sarah Palin as his running mate.  This means that while the Game Change plot may help to apply some salve to Schmidt’s bruised ego and reputation, it won’t be among the serious political strategists among whom he would consider himself a peer.  It’s bad enough to louse up an election, but what is inexcusable is to try to blame it on the only person who actually did anything to save the McCain campaign.

Stacy Drake sums it up well in her debunking of the Game Change lie:

“The sources used by HBO to sell this notion that Palin is “unstable” have no credibility. That didn’t stop them from running with it because as many have pointed out recently, they themselves have an agenda. The timing of this film was originally designed to harm Palin in this year’s presidential contest, but she decided not to run.”

“So the left had to settle for trying to harm any future political aspirations she may have in the future. They want to define Sarah Palin for the country, and they want people to believe that she is unstable, therefore, unfit for office.”

“This won’t work, however, because what they claim transpired in Philadelphia never happened. The timeline of real events prove the cruelest of lies to be false.”

Game Change, the movie, made to smear Sarah Palin.  Game Change, the narrative, was created to rehabilitate the reputations of self-serving politicos.  If you’re going to watch this, be advised that it’s a work of pure fiction, and the beneficiaries are the same people who brought you Barack Obama.  All of them.