The right's two most feared strategists seem to have a fundamental disagreement:
It is true, Gingrich said, that he wants to bring the center into a coalition with the right, “because I want to give the right power. The right can have power only by being allied with the center.”
That, Gingrich said, was Rove’s mistake. “I think he didn’t understand the second-order effect of base mobilization. The second-order effect is that you drive away the center because you become more and more strident at the base.”
I think Gingrich is actually underestimating Rove's acuity if he assumes that Rove hasn't thought of that. At some point Rove realized that there aren't all that many swing voters out there, and that even if base mobilization meant sacrificing many of them, Republicans would have enough votes to win elections indefinitely. This is not to say that Rove's strategy was correct, or that Gingrich's strategy isn't wiser. It may well be. It's more a question of whether Rove got his math right.