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Karl Rove is the master electoral strategist of the Republican Party and has been since the 2000 election that brought the G.O.P. back to power. How’s he doing? Rove promised that he would lock in a durable Republican majority, comparable to the one that FDR built in 1932 (that finally disintegrated in 1952). But Rove’s strategies brought an electoral flash in the pan, followed by a disintegration of the Reagan-era G.O.P. coalition. Gallup is releasing a series of “State of the States” polls that look into the way Americans view the two major political parties. Take a look at the map on that page. The upshot: Karl Rove, who grew up in part in Salt Lake City, knows exactly how to appeal to Mormon America. He’s locked them into the Republican corner. And that’s about it. Otherwise, the country is turning into a deep blue sea, and most areas that used to be Republican party bastions (like the Southeast, Texas and Oklahoma) suddenly have become intensely competitive for the Democrats. What does this mean for the near term? Nate Silver offers this analysis:
for things like gubernatorial elections and elections to the Congress, the Democrats’ upside is very high, particularly if the party is smart enough to tolerate and accommodate a diversity of opinions within its umbrella. If party affiliation stays close to what it was in 2008, then giving the seats that are up for election, Democrats could very easily pick up another another 5-7 Senate seats in 2010, giving them not just a filibuster-proof majority but also a nearly veto-proof one. Party affiliation probably will not remain that way — there is typically a shift back to the non-incumbent party after the Presidency changes hands — but if it does we’ll have a very blue Senate.
I’m not sure I understand the full Democratic strategy for building out the already substantial majorities in Congress. But I’m sure that Democratic strategists are praying that Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh remain as the guiding lights of the G.O.P.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”