07/19/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

CON GAMES: Rove Says Obama 'Brilliant' Like Me

Presidential architect Karl Rove's mainly miss-the-mark missives in the Wall Street Journal are a thing of beauty, but none have quite reached the level of co-opted op-ed pulchritude as his latest exercise in self-aggrandizement, modestly headlined "Barack's Brilliant Ground Game."

Karl Rove, far too executive-privileged to show up for Congressional testimony, nonetheless has all the time in the free world to tell his free market pals that Democratic Presidential nominee-to-be Barack Obama in "brilliant" because his is following Rove's obviously brilliant strategems from 2000 and 2004, when he took a booze-free Texas back-slapper with a hitch in his delivery and nursed him to first place in our quadrennial Presidential beauty contest.

"For a campaign that says it wants to end the politics of the Bush-Cheney years," Rove writes, "the Obama for President effort has cribbed an awful lot from the Bush-Cheney playbooks of 2000 and 2004."


Exhibit A: Obama's mimicry of the "army of persuasion" which Rove calls "the massive Bush neighbor-to-neighbor 'Victory Committee' of '00 and '04."

Exhibit B: The Internet. Bush's "secret weapon in 2004 was nearly 7.5 million email addresses of supporters, 1.5 million of them volunteers." Rove may not have invented the Internet, but he's more than slap-happy enough to take credit for it.

Exhibit C: The Republican "microtargeting" that deployed "powerful analytical tools" and consumer data to focus on the very best prospects. Don't forget Rove cut his teeth in Texas as a direct mail guru.

Exhibit D: "The Obama campaign has also copied the Bush strategy of broadening the general election map."

Barack Obama--the man Rush Limbaugh calls "The Messiah"--need only focus on the Karl Rove campaign book to win in a walk in November 2008.

"Mr. Obama's biggest problem," Rove writes, "is that when it comes to substance, he's following the playbook of a Republican other than George W. Bush. In 2000, Mr. Bush won the general election on the same themes and positions as in the primaries...." Rove likens Obama's playbook to President Richard M. Nixon, without mentioning that the Republican architect of Watergate actually won that election with some brio.

Yeah, whatever. Rove has consistenly used his WSJ columns to lay down talking points for what's left of the they-told-us-so cognoscenti on the Right, the flip-flopping slack-jawed jaw-flappers who take no responsibility whatsoever when things turn ugly. But this is the first column I've seen where The Architect used column inches to polish an image prettified by the U.S. Supreme Court kick-save of compassionate conservativism in 2000. If that one goes the other way--Mama mia, Scalia!--Karl Rove goes from Presidential architect to hack attack canine in the wag of a tail at Westminster.

Not a pretty sight.

But let's skip the unreality-based critique of the most brilliant chef to ever cook up a campaign poo-poo platter. Karl Rove is smarter than you, and smarter than I am, and much smarter than Barack Obama will ever be in new millennium.

Oh say can't you see?

Karl Rove is goddamn brilliant. If you don't believe me, just ask him. He's a beauty, that one.