Karl Rove isn’t conservative enough. That is the surprising view of some conservatives in wake of the discovery that he urged the Susan B. Komen foundation to reinstate its funding of Planned Parenthood.
When he learned of Rove’s supposed intervention, RedState’s Erick Erickson tweeted, “Ever had concerns about Karl Rove? Add this to the list.” FreedomWorks’ Dean Clancy tweeted, “Not surprising” and “Mr. Rove, call your office.”
Maybe this suspicion among conservatives about the purity of Rove’s conservatism isn’t new; one imagines they didn’t like his involvement with the budget-busting prescription drug benefit or with No Child Left Behind or with “compassionate” paired with conservative, but the whole argument reminds me, well, of Marxists. This ideology’s intellectuals argued for years about which sect was the true Communists. Trotskyites argued with Leninists, who argued with Stalinists. These arguments had infinitely more violence and consequence for history than this little spat, but they both lead to dissension and purges.
Mr. Rove is a strategist, not a purist. He likes to win and to advance conservative causes as far as he can — taking ground, holding it if possible, and then moving forward when he can. He is a pragmatic conservative, a much more dangerous foe than the purists. That’s why it is encouraging to see them take him on.