Karl Rove wasn't too happy about the way the White House dismissed the Most Important Off-Off-Year Elections In United States History, and amid a weird counterfactual analysis in which he reverse-extrapolated a few races in three states and applied them to the 2008 election results, he let Fox News viewers know it, saying:
ROVE: Actually, it was almost contemptuous of the process. And who's kidding themselves? I've been inside the West Wing. Every president on every election night is watching the returns. And so, [White House Press Secretary Robert] Gibbs, by going out there and saying, 'Well, it may have mattered to the American people and the people in Pennsylvania and Virginia and New Jersey, but it didn't matter to President Obama,' left a...well it was tone deaf. It would have been better if the president's spokesman had gone out there and said, 'We got the message, we understand the concerns of Americans and we're going to work to assuage their concerns. And instead it was a dismissive and I thought it was almost a contemptuous gesture.
Oh, well, then! Let's take a trip back to the year 2007, where we'll find Rove being dismissive, and -- I guess? -- contemptuous!
Rove downplayed the significance of the 2006 elections, where the Republicans lost both the House and Senate. He cited Republicans' corruption scandals and excessive federal spending and earmarks.
He said it was a "normal off-year election" and had little to do with the unpopularity of President Bush and then-GOP majority Congress.
"If you look at the sweep of American history, the White House party has lost an average of 28 seats in the House and five in the Senate. We lost 30 in the House and six in the Senate," Rove said on Fox. "We lost. There's no doubt about it, but it was a close loss."
So, if and when that sweep of American history returns to reduce Democratic congressional majorities in 2010, will it be "contemptuous" to dismiss it, or will it merely be "Rovian?" And is there really a lot of daylight between those two terms?