In 2012, these same people came back again, as overconfident and unchastened as ever. This time, they had most of the right-wing media on their side, regurgitating their views and attitudes to the exclusion of all others. Mitt Romney was the perfect candidate to stop Obama—so much so that anyone who got in his way was immediately attacked and marginalized. Rove used his perch as an “analyst” on Fox News to personally attack not only Newt Gingrich (who I worked for), but Herman Cain, and Sarah Palin, and Rick Perry, and Jon Huntsman, and on and on. So what if Mitt Romney once berated the Republican Party, the Reagan administration, pro-lifers, and the religious right—in other words, his own party’s base. Republicans needed him to win.

GOP donors and activists were fed more delusions than TV executives greenlighting the Oprah Winfrey Network. President Obama was deeply unpopular, even though no hard evidence showed that was ever true. Obamacare would dismantle the Democratic majority in the Senate, though parts of it were popular across the electorate and Republicans offered no tangible alternative. All the polls were biased and wrong, except the ones Republicans liked. The party’s message was focused on demonizing the Democrats, not putting forward controversial ideas because ideas weren’t needed. And Barack Obama was elected again.

When I worked with Rove briefly at the White House, I found him to be a smart, energetic, capable man. Maybe more than I even realized. In the past two election cycles, he and his acolytes have personally helped Barack Obama get elected and yet made millions in the process. You tell me who the dummy is—Rove or the people who keep listening to him and funding him. Come to think of it, who really deserves the blame for what’s befallen the GOP?