Bush/Rove Political Strategy: Triangulation or Capitulation?

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Monday’s surprising results from the Iowa caucuses may portend an upcoming campaign season that is far more challenging for President Bush than previously anticipated. This is not to suggest that John Kerry’s upset win is, in any way, a guarantee of dominance in subsequent primaries or victory in November. But it does clearly indicate that Democrats at the grassroots can energetically oppose George Bush without necessarily embracing their party’s extreme left wing.

For the past three years, the Bush administration, largely at the direction of political strategist Karl Rove, has sought to move the political agenda towards the middle, which from the vantage point of the Conservative grassroots that elected Bush, means away from their core values and principles. Bush and Rove presumed, somewhat arrogantly, that they were systematically taking liberal issues “off the table” for Democrats by essentially adopting them, when in fact they were taking those issues off the table for Conservatives who chiefly voted for Bush with the expectation that he would protect them from such things. Yet (as is always the case whenever this inane strategy is employed), no appreciable gains have been made among the opposition.

According to research data compiled by the National Taxpayers

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