Conservatives Declare War on Karl Rove http://www.businessinsider.com/karl-rove-gop-money-civil-war-republicans-2012-11 Republicans we spoke to this week voiced a near-universal disgust with the national Republican Party leaders and Washington political class, who are seen as having put personal financial interest above winning the election. As this internecine struggle gathers steam, the first target appears to be Karl Rove, the former Bush campaign mastermind who has dictated much of the GOP's strategy over the past decade. In the wake of the party's 2012 losses, Rove and his well-funded American Crossroads super PAC have become a symbol of misguided Establishment strategy, party cronyism, and Beltway bloat. Rove's fall from grace is perhaps unsurprising, given his group's disastrous performance this cycle. According to a new report, American Crossroads got a mere 1% return on its $104 million investment in 2012 races. For social conservatives, the treason began long before election day, when Rove led the party's tar-and-feathering of Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, after Akin's now infamous "legitimate rape" comments. The GOP's perceived betrayal of Akin confirmed what many grassroots conservative activists had long suspected: That the Republican Establishment was willing to throw the base under the bus to serve the interests of deep-pocketed donors. I thought it might be interesting to have a thread to keep up with how the GOP is reshaping itself over the next election cycle, post articles and thoughts, etc. It really amazes me how wholly the Republican Party has acknowledged its failure in this latest election. Sure there are always people who blame someone for a loss every election, but by-and-large they all agree that the party itself has severely fractured: the Grand Old Party constituency vs. the Tea Party vs. the libertarian wing. What caused it? My simplistic guess is twofold: the policies towards war and security post-9/11, and the extremism surrounding social values. Over the last 50+ years, Republicans have generally been the hawkish party: Soviet containment, expanding the military, large-scale war efforts, etc.; but the large increase in this over the last decade, so that now we're invading our own citizens' privacy and engaging in wars-without-end based on false pretenses, wink-and-nudge citizen militias "patrolling" our borders, and comparing upcoming internet legislation to China has even begun to concern a formerly loyal Republican base. On the social side, Republicans have always been the party of rules: anti-drug, anti-rap music, pro-life, anti-gay, and so on. But now to start calling rape-babies a blessing from God, having funerals for miscarriages, condemning gays as second-class citizens, policemen beating protesters in the streets... it's become so repugnant that again even nominal conservatives notably those of the small-L libertarian (fiscally-conservative socially-liberal) bent turn out for other parties including the Democrats as the only way to balance how far to the right these leaders seem to have gone. And now, for the party leadership (as discussed in that article), it all finally comes clear: the people running the show don't actually give any of the fucks concerning policy. It's about bringing in dollars and self-aggrandizment. I mean OK, everyone "knew that" before, but now even party leadership is acknowledging that about other leaders. Even their lock-step voting in the legislature is coming under fire as people remember they have constituencies besides just staying on the same side of the aisle. Where will this drive the party? Will it fracture into separate parties or will it reinvent itself with a new message? If the GOP moves back towards smaller government fiscal issues and centrist social issues, will that bring back votes? Are they just done?