Karl Rove Discovers Fiscal Conservatism

The man who pioneered policies that bankrupted the America government is now allegedly concerned about the cost of the health insurance reform.

He forced the massive and truly crippling Medicare prescriptions drug benefit through the Congress, backed two hugely expensive wars, refused to raise any taxes, and presided over an unprecedented rise in domestic discretionary spending. He took a surplus and gave us back a recession and a trillion dollar deficit. He believed that the executive branch had total authority to ignore the laws on torture, and possessed war-powers within the United States with respect to American citizens captured without due process.

But he is now intent on restraining "runaway spending and government expansion."

The great thing about shamelessness is that in an amnesiac culture, it works.

If your primary motive is winning and keeping power, and you have few principles you wouldn't shelve for a tactical win, shamelessness can be temporarily attractive. It is in the long run self-defeating, as the ruins of the post-Rove GOP reveal. But one can never under-estimate the shamelessness of it all. I mean: does Rove actually believe that he is in a position to criticize Obama for spending in a steep recession when Rove broke the budget in a boom? Does he think we have simply wiped clean our memory of the last decade? Is he seriously posing as a limited government, balanced budget conservative nine months after his model presidency left the stage?

Look: I've said many times before, if Obama and the Dems do not follow health insurance reform with a serious, credible bid to cut entitlement and defense spending in the medium and long-term, they will deserve their comeuppance next year. Claiming that the bend-the-curve healthcare provisions will do it won't wash. Politically, it makes sense as well: ask the GOP what they'd like to cut.