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Karl Rove found the morning news upsetting. The Wall Street Journal was reporting that employers had stepped up hiring in December, and unemployment had fell to its lowest level in two years. Job growth before the 2012 elections was anathema to Republicans; it hurt their argument that Obama was mishandling the economy. Rove immediately called Reinze Priebus; damned RNC needs to stay on top of this jobs thing, he mumbled, as he waited for his call to be answered.
“Hello?” Priebus answered, wondering who was calling him at 6:30 in the friggin morning.
Reinze, Karl here. Listen, have you seen the Wall Street Journal article this morning on jobs growth?”
Priebus, leaning forward to look in his bathroom mirror, scrunched up his face in a frown. He had a pimple forming right in the middle of his forehead. “No,” he said.
“They’re reporting something like two hundred thousand jobs added in December,” Rove said, an edge of anger in his voice. “Do you realize what jobs growth, any jobs growth, is going to do to our chances in 2012?”
“Well,--” Priebus began.
Rove cut him off. “We need to take a two-pronged approach to cutting this job growth off at the knees. Start ASAP with our Wall Street friends. If they want us to kill financial reform, they’re going to have to play ball on blunting this jobs growth thing. Then--”
“Wait a minute, Karl,” Priebus interrupted. “How does Wall Street blunt job growth?”
“Jesus, Reinze, think about it. Banks loan money for construction, don’t they? Venture capitalists buy into business start ups. All kinds of shit like that. Money, money, money, Reinze. Makes the world go around, remember?” Rove said.
“Ah, okay, yeah,” Priebus said. Rove had a way of insulting his intelligence that frosted his balls.
“Then we need to get with our big business contributors, the Koch brothers, our Texas contingent; Tillerson, Watson, those guys. Talk to API; the damned Petroleum Institute ought to be on board, for Christ’s sake,” Rove said, talking faster and more forcefully as he thought about it.
“What are we going to do, tell ‘em not to drill?” Priebus said, with a chuckle.
“Hell yes!” Rove answered. “They’ll get plenty of new leases when we elect a Republican president, and in the meantime, let’s see ‘em push gas prices up. That further depresses job growth. It’s all good,” Rove said.
“Okay, I’ll get on it,” Priebus said, without knowing exactly how.
“And while you’re at it, Reinze, talk to Boehner about any projects that our House members are pushing. Things like that Smart Grid project in Texas.”
“The 25th District,” Priebus said. “That’s Doggett. He’s sure as hell not gonna cooperate.”
“Well Doggett’s going to be out of a job as soon as C185 goes into effect,” Rove said. He was referring to the new redistricting plan that Governor Rick Perry had signed that gave the 25th a whole new geography. The Republican-controlled legislature had gerrymandered Texas congressional districts such that the growing minority vote was well diluted in predominantly Republican districts, with some districts taking on highly tortured shapes.
“We’ll see what happens in the Supreme Court,” Priebus said.
“Hey, George W took care of that for us,” Rove said. “The point is, find out which of Boehner’s House members have projects in their districts and have them put a hold on start up until after the election. We have got to do more to blunt job growth, Reinze,” Rove added.
“Well, we killed Obama’s jobs bill,” Priebus said.
“That was a good start,” Rove said, and ended the call.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.