In Defense of Karl Rove

I've written a lot about Karl Rove in the Atlantic, notably here and here, and most people would agree that I have not hesitated to criticize him. (Rove himself certainly thinks so!) But in the debate that's raging between Rove and those conservatives attacking him for saying that Delaware's newly minted GOP Senate nominee, Christine O'Donnell, is a nut who can't possible win, it should be said that Rove is plainly in the right. Not just in his electoral assessment--the one area where pride won't let him spin too much--but in his belief that speaking up is the best thing for the Republican Party.

Any litmus test that leaves Rove outside the boundaries of what constitutes an acceptable Republican is a ridiculous one. Which isn't the same thing as saying Rove isn't reaping what he sowed back when he was in power. Still, I hope David Frum buys him a cup of coffee.

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Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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