KARL ROVE’S HILARIOUS ADVICE…. One of the more common arguments from Democrats is that Republicans simply want to go back to the same failed policies of the Bush/Cheney era. Karl Rove uses his Wall Street Journal column today to rather explicitly make that case that Democrats are exactly right.

To maximize their gains, Republicans must go beyond promising to slash Democratic spending and reverse the Obama agenda (as important as these are). They also need to offer a competing agenda for increasing jobs and prosperity, and outline the concrete steps they will take to get back on the track for economic growth.

I’m delighted to hear it. And what might this “agenda for increasing jobs and prosperity” look like?

A GOP growth agenda would keep intact the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts…. Republicans must make a compelling case that allowing the tax cuts to expire will result in history’s largest tax increase — killing jobs, punishing hard work and enterprise, damaging growth, wounding small business, and postponing the moment government finally restrains spending. […]

A jobs, growth and prosperity agenda is a natural complement to austerity policies. It offers hope as well as sacrifice. And growing the economy makes reducing deficits more manageable.

That’s right — Karl Rove’s “jobs and prosperity” agenda encourages Republicans to, quite literally, support the Bush/Cheney “jobs and prosperity” agenda from the last decade.

There was no indication that Rove was kidding, or that his column was published as some kind of satire.

Look, I realize that Rove isn’t the sharpest crayon in the box, but his advice to the GOP is so ridiculous on its face, I’m hard pressed to imagine why the Wall Street Journal published it. His argument is that the Bush/Cheney policies that already failed spectacularly might work if we just try them again.

How would Rove suggest paying for these tax cuts? The same way Rove dealt with this when he ran the White House: by not paying for them at all. The tax cuts that didn’t create jobs and didn’t generate economic growth did leave us with massive budget deficits, but that doesn’t stop ol’ Karl from insisting that the already-failed policies will this time make reducing deficits — the deficits Rove left for Democrats to clean up — “more manageable.”

Republicans will win, Rove concludes, if they just tell voters we should go back to the policies we already know don’t work. Bush failed miserably, but if we just give his painful failures one more try, everything will work out fine.

Honestly, maybe Karl Rove is just some kind of performance artist, hoping to make Republican pundits look foolish. It would make more sense than Rove actually believing this nonsense.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.