He's categorically and reliably a pompous windbag who has engineered a soap box of grossly bloated proportions, but occasionally he's a pompous windbag whose gassy soapbox is good for cynical lulz. Case in point: his op-ed in yesterday's WSJ.
As a major daily, the WSJ definitely skews conservative, but at least it is very densely packed with information. The reporters - in my consumerist opinion - are good journalists. I love their longform pieces, some of which I share here. Their human interest stories are intriguing and substantial, rather than scandalous and trivial. But their stable of regular opinion writers is a headache-inducing exercise in eyerolling. I skim Karl Rove's pieces because it's an efficient and (begrudgingly conceded) well-articulated digest of Fox headlines, the GOP lobbying and PAC agendas, Rush Limbaugh, and What Obummer Did Wrong This Week.
But today...oh, today's was a real doozy. Titled "My Fearless Political Predictions for 2014", it is simultaneously a self-congratulatory ode and a mournful elegy to his thrilling perspicacity.
Let's take a look at the formidable prescience he's reminding us he demonstrated this time last year. Then we'll marvel at his predictions for next December 27th's smugfest. Then - bursting with fellowship and inspiration from his piece - we'll make our own predictions, which we can only dream will match his clever genius.
Last Year's Breathtaking Prescience
Mr. Rove got ten out of fourteen predictions right last year (paraphrased unless otherwise noted):
1. Obama's jobs approval rating dropped.
2. "There was a new administration scandal." (He cites the IRS targeting conservative groups as "the most significant.")
3. "ObamaCare's implementation was indeed 'ragged and ugly' and 'a continuing political advantage to Republicans.'"
4. "There was no grand budget bargain with entitlement reform."
5. Hugo Chavez died.
6 & 7. Chris Christie won "handily" and the Virginia gubernatorial race was closer than "many experts" predicted.
8. "House Judiciary Committee Republicans are working on immigration reform while the comprehensive Senate bill backed by Mr. Obama is stalled."
9. Hillary is the 2016 frontrunner in polls.
10. "The Obama girls got a new puppy."
I didn't make any of those up. Seriously. How is this man a think-tank guru? The only one that seems to require any intellectual induction and calculated daring is, in my opinion, #8. And #5 was a total crapshoot - the man's been at death's door longer than the Grim Reaper himself, to the point that a Faustian bargain was really becoming more and more of a likely scenario. And the subjective self-affirmation is downright hilarious. Okay dude, you predicted something would be a "continuing advantage" to your people. THAT'S NOT A PREDICTION. THAT'S AN INTERPRETATION. Black (wrong) and white (right) worldview, much? Pop down to the comments and tell me I'm wrong.
This Year's Daring Calculations
Here are his predictions for 2014. Paraphrased unless otherwise noted.
"Mr. Obama's Gallup disapproval rating will end higher than this week's 53%."
Republicans will keep the House and pick up 4-6 seats.
They'll also reach 50 or 51 Senate seats. Union contributions will lead to Dems outspending Repubs overall in House and Senate races.
Republicans will lose 1 or 2 governorships. BUT they'll gain in state-wide offices/legislatures AND the number of elected "Latino, Asian-American, African-American and women Republicans" will increase.
"Every Republican senator and virtually every representative challenged in a primary as insufficiently conservative will win."
ObamaCare's failure will cause the weeping and rending of souls as "tens of millions more Americans will lose their coverage" and find ObamaCare taking them to the cleaners and sending them to sawbones and death panels. This will cause chagrined Democrats to ally with smug Republicans. "The White House will blame insurers and Republicans for the law's continuing failures."
Kathleen Sebelius will still be the HHS Secretary at year's end, despite ObamaCare support dropping below 30%. The White House's only concession will be to lift the individual mandate penalty for 2014.
"The White House will be even more hard-edged and partisan...Mr Obama will do what he does when in trouble: attack. Expect more liberals to blame criticism of his actions on racism. The president's willingness to ignore or unilaterally alter provisions of laws on the statute books - otherwise known as lawlessness - will be challenged by a growing number of successful lawsuits."
Paul Ryan will become even more influential and spearhead GOP antipoverty efforts. He'll also conjure the Best Health-Care Plan ever.
"The Syrian civil war will be to Mr. Obama what Rwandan genocide was to the Clinton administration: a moral stain."
US credibility in the Middle East will further diminish when the Iranian nuclear deal collapses and we resign ourselves to a policy of containment.
The new Afghan government will sign a Status of Forces Agreement to prevent Obama from "squandering progress there as he did victory in Iraq."
"Kim Jong Un will test another nuclear device."
"Duck Dynasty will set another cable viewership record."
Miley Cyrus will fade as a cultural phenomenon.
Payton Manning something something MVP and I don't care anymore. Something something Seattle Seahawks Lombardi Trophy.
I have a headache. I'm not sure if it's a headdesky one or a laughing one.
Which ones are your favorites? Tell me why!