Karl Rove is a political genius. Rove knew that Democrats would rise to the bait, and they didn't disappoint him.
Rove's remarks at a Conservative Party of New York fundraiser would normally go completely unreported, so Rove decided to borrow the Floors of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, and the Mainstream Media airwaves to get his message out.
If there is anything that ignites Liberal ire it is blowing their cover on matters of National Security, and that is precisely what Rove did. He elegantly capsulized the difference between Conservatives and Liberals as follows: "after 9/11 Conservatives prepared for war, while Liberals prepared subpeonas."
Result: Liberal hysteria, ergo nationwide media attention, and a national debate about whether Democrats or Republicans are more fit to conduct a War against America's mortal Islamist enemies. That is an argument that Democrats just can't win. Karl Rove has baited Democrats into having that debate.