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February 04, 2013

The Establishment Strikes Back: Rove Group To Put Money Into Protecting And Promoting Party Favorites From Tea Party Kooks

This came out yesterday but since Super Bowl Sunday is a Holy Day of Obligation in America it seemed like a good idea to wait a day before launching the Establishment Wars.

The biggest donors in the Republican Party are financing a new group to recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s efforts to win control of the Senate.

The group, the Conservative Victory Project, is intended to counter other organizations that have helped defeat establishment Republican candidates over the last two election cycles. It is the most robust attempt yet by Republicans to impose a new sense of discipline on the party, particularly in primary races.

“There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected,” said Steven J. Law, the president of American Crossroads, the “super PAC” creating the new project. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.”

So, the same donor group that closed ranks behind Mitt Romney and helped shut out credible challengers has decided that fresh off that success, they are ready to pick candidates for the Senate.

What could go wrong?

Yes, the "tea party" has gotten behind some stinkers (though Akin wasn't the tea party choice in a 3 way primary) but people forget all the crappy choices that came from 'the establishment'.

No one thinks Connie Mack, Pete Hoekstra, Denny Rehberg, Rick Berg, George Allen, and Tommy Thompson (a dreaded "tea party" candidate, Ron Johnson, unseated an incumbent Democrat in that state 2 years earlier and Scott Walker easily survived a recall earlier in the year) were anything but establishment picks.

Yet everyone focuses on Akin (again, not the "tea party candidate") and Mourock (who held statewide office on his own).

If conservatives had listened to their betters we wouldn't have Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul or Pat Toomey in the Senate at the moment. There's also Marco Rubio, who was already a career politician when he ran against establishment favorite Charlie Crist and whose popularity may be ebbing with amnesty (an establishment favored policy) is still a win, right?

And from the "Things no one ever said" file....Thank God the establishment led Republicans to control of the House in 2010!

Again, my point isn't that "tea party" has picked perfect candidates, far from it. But let's not pretend "the establishment" is batting a thousand either.

There's a war on for the soul of the GOP and the old and entrenched guard is playing for keeps. Instead of trying to make peace with the various factions in the coalition they are picking fights like this and immigration that will only make things worse. I'm not sure how that's supposed to make things better but these guys live in and around DC so they must know what they are doing. Everyone else should just shut up and get in line. Or something.


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posted by DrewM. at 11:19 AM

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