You can tell that Karl Rove really chafes at having his own favorite tactics used against his own august personage. Today on Fox News, he told Chris Wallace that the recent Democratic ads calling him out for characterizing President Obama as "arrogant" were a really, really bad idea.
First he notes that the ad really isn't getting much play in commercial airings. Where it's appearing the most is on cable news broadcasts talking about Democrats going after Rove. Mind you, having the newscasters do your work for you in this fashion was one of the more masterful tactics employed by Rove's White House, so that probably adds to his annoyance.
But Rove is just mystified as to why the Obama political team would make him a target:
Wallace: Are you replacing -- I mean, from their point of view, does it make sense to go after Rush Limbaugh, does it make sense to go after Karl Rove?
Rove: No, it doesn't. It just simply doesn't. I mean, look, this is an effort to divert attention from growing concerns about their plans to expand the deficit, expand the budget, borrow a lot more money, and it's pathetic. It's lowering and demeaning to the White House.
That, of course, is a subject on which Rove is expert.
He blames it all on Saul Alinsky, and figures (like Limbaugh) that he's being "frozen". And there's probably some larger sense in which this is true.
But the reality is that he's being targeted precisely because the GOP is so leaderless, that whatever party discipline exists does so because of the work of conservative propagandists like Rove and Limbaugh. Limbaugh gets out the troops, while Rove provides them with talking points and attack strategy.
Dealing with them is not merely a sideshow, but an essential component of passing Obama's agenda through Congress. If Obama can weaken the grip of demagogues like Rove and Limbaugh, then he at least has a chance of peeling off some Republican votes and building a real consensus for passing his economic, energy, and health-care initiatives.
Rove may choose to play the "Who me?" innocent, but he knows perfectly well why he's being targeted.