So how did Barack Obama win? . . . Some of it was circumstance: The October Surprise arrived a month early and framed the election in the best possible way for Mr. Obama (and the worst possible way for John McCain).
This is Karl Rove writing on the WSJ website.
Mr. Rove's explanation has to do with his party's recent loss, but his words actually say a lot more about the problem with the GOP going forward. In a nutshell, Mr. Rove explains the 2008 debacle in this way: The Republicans have no answer to America's real-world problems. When the economic crisis became widely apparent, the GOP had nothing in their intellectual basket to deal with it.
If Mr. Rove and the GOP hope that in 2012 and 2016 such 'circumstance' goes away and the race will be run circumstance-less, they will lose again. Circumstances are a fact of life that all people and organizations deal with or sink.
So listen, GOP: You need to develop a pragmatic streak -- an ability to solve problems through an inspired intellect geared toward the conditions around you. The economic crisis "framed" the election in the Democrats' favor, as Mr. Rove puts it, because the Democrats have the credibility to deal with problems like these. GOP, please understand you need to develop such credibility. And whining about "circumstances" is not the way to go about developing the trust of the American public.