Karl Rove has built his reputation by identifying his opponents' strengths and attacking them. Rather than diddle with perceived weaknesses, spending time and money on what others emphasize for free, Rove focuses relentlessly at undermining just those assets the opponents think give them an edge. Think of John Kerry, whose military service (with medals to verify) should have given him a decided advantage over the callow, shallow frat boy whose privileged upbringing allowed him to drink away his Reserve stint. Rove zeroed in on Kerry's heroism and made Kerry pay for those bullets he took for his country. Brilliant!
Now, in a move of groundbreaking political strategy (necessitated as all great innovations are by desperation), Rove is taking his own candidate and, in a jujitsu of logic, is running that campaign not by attacking the opponents' strengths but by emphasizing his own candidate's screaming weaknesses!
Bush today admits that, nevermind what he said before, there ARE secret CIA prisons. In a speech yesterday, Bush repeatedly evoked the words of Osama bin Laden, reminding Americans that he has failed miserably to catch or kill the man he's sworn to capture or kill AND giving OBL valuable PR-love in the US-hating world. Bush has said that as long as he's president the US is no-way no-how leaving Iraq. Why, I can hardly think of better reasons to vote Democrat come November.
Rove's campaign strategy: Admit we're incompetent, gladly loudly often. Admit, gladly loudly often, that enemy number one is still out there taunting us, scheming against us. Admit we lied about secret prisons and torture, gladly loudly often. Admit we don't have a plan for success in Iraq, and will continue to sacrifice American blood and treasure in a low-grade civil war for the endless future, gladly loudly often. Admit we're further from winning the war on terror than we were on 911, gladly loudly often. Admit that all they got - all they got - is a promise that Bush will be an even bigger incompetent, bigger liar, bigger dullard than he's already been, but more than that, he's going to be a bigger and badder asshole than ever before, really gladly, really loudly, really often.
That's the plan. If Rove pulls this one off, his genius tag will be truly legendary.