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June 29, 2007

Republican Veterans Announce Formation of GOP-Friendly Nonprofits, Designed As Conservative Counterbalance To MoveOn & Co.

It's about time.

The groups will face a daunting task in trying to match the fundraising power and cultural and political echo of MoveOn. It has successfully tapped into the opposition to the war in Iraq, as well as concern within the Democratic left that the national party was not pushing their most important issues.

The eight-year-old MoveOn family of organizations -- which boast a deep fundraising base, including major support from liberal financier George Soros -- has become synonymous with the left’s ability to influence elections outside the party structure. MoveOn.org Political Action says it raised $31.9 million in 2004. It spent much of that to try to defeat President Bush.

Republicans have loved painting MoveOn as a special-interests bogeyman, but have also been jealous and admiring of the group’s effectiveness.

If these organizations are just extensions of Beltway Estabilshmentarianism, they will fail -- why bother donating to them when you can get shafted just as well by donating to the RNC?

But if, like MoveOn, they are more ideological than partisan and can help outsiders actually have a meaningful voice in changing the direction of the party, they'll flourish.

Could they push the GOP to become so extremist, or at least so far away from the mushy moderation often needed to win, that they could hurt the party? Maybe. But we all thought that about MoveOn and George Soros and DailyKos, and while those actors have pushed the Democratic Party further to the left than we previously thought possible, or healthful, they did wind up winning the 2006 elections.

Imagine if these organizations had already been taking money during this last fight with the party establishment, and had been on our side -- the thing might have been over before it even began.

They can also serve as a helfpful conduit to donating to and raising awareness of conservatives challenging establishment types like Jon Bruning.

Of course, it's going to be a tough road for Bruning either way. Unfortunately, Chuck Hagel has not done him any political favors, like supporting a wildly unpopular plan for amnesty without security or anything.

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posted by Ace at 02:49 PM

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