With Karl Rove's announced departure from the White House, stories have been written everywhere about how influential the little turd blossom has been in the Republican party. But when you look at a Gallup Poll released today, that image as a GOP "mastermind" may not be earned as much as imagined... Fewer people identify themselves as Republicans, the image of the GOP is at a lower point than at any other time during the last 15 years, and President Bush's job approval ratings are in the bottom 5% of all presidents since the end of World War II.
It is difficult, of course, to argue that any one person, no matter how powerful, is responsible for the fate of a major political party in the United States today. As the data show, the fate of a political party often reflects the circumstances facing the country at a given time as much as it does the actions of particular individuals. Still, Rove is generally considered to have had an unusually high degree of influence over Bush, and the Republican Party more generally, and it was clearly Rove's goal to transform the American political landscape.
The review of Gallup poll data included here, however, provides the inescapable conclusion that the state of the GOP -- as measured through the opinions of the American public -- is actually at low ebb...
While you can't lay everything at Rove's feet since he had little direct control over issues like the Iraq war, he is personally responsible for many problems domestically. Allow me to engage in a little bit of schadenfreude because as he prepares to pack his bags and run back to Texas, his plans for world domination have fizzled like a Pinky and the Brain cartoon.