Sunday, February 3, 2013

GOP money vs the lunatics

According to the New York Times, Karl Rove is creating a spin-off of his American Crossroads SuperPAC called the Conservative Victory Project. The goal of this effort - to put it bluntly - is to get the Republican lunatics to STFU in the 2014 Senate primaries.

Remember Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock? Yeah, Rove has shown himself to not be the brightest bulb in electoral politics lately, but he's smart enough to have figured out that those guys cost Republicans Senate seats in Missouri and Indiana in 2012. He wants to stop that from happening again.

Test case...the Senate seat that will be vacated in Iowa by the retirement of Tom Harkin. Rove wants to make sure that lunatic Rep. Steve King doesn't win the Republican primary there. The article doesn't mention the fact that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell might have trouble with a primary challenge, or the fact that the lunatics have had their sights set on defeating Sen. Lindsay Graham for years now. But you can bet that if a primary challenger to those guys shows up - they'll take them on as well.

You might wonder what tools Rove will use through this new organization to defeat the lunatics. I guess I gave that one away in the title...he'll be using money. But will that money be used to build up the Conservative Victory Project's favorite candidate and/or organize supporters in the various states? Ha-ha-ha-ha!! I jest of course.
The group’s plans, which were outlined for the first time last week in an interview with Mr. Law, call for hard-edge campaign tactics, including television advertising, against candidates whom party leaders see as unelectable and a drag on the efforts to win the Senate.
You might wonder what the lunatic Republicans in a state like Iowa think about all this. Well, here ya go:
In Iowa, Cory Adams, the chairman of the Story County Republican Party, said the criticism aimed at Mr. King was unfair and misdirected. He warned of resistance from conservative activists if outside groups tried to interfere in the Senate race.
Resistance...ya think?

So Mr. Rove is going to take on the base of the Republican Party that turns out in midterm primaries by trying to smear their candidates with TV ads.

To tell you the truth, I can't wait. Stock up on popcorn!


  1. You know, part of the problem as I can see it for the GOP and "conservatives" in general is that the movement, so to speak, has long since abandoned the basic ideological tenets of conservatism as it historically happened--i.e., Burke--and made "conservatism" as set of positions on policy. I.e., you're conservative if you oppose abortion rights. You're conservative if you want to make English the national language. At some point there was an ideological reason that conservatives might have taken these positions but there was also an ideological reason that conservatives might well have opposed them.

    Burkean principles, in an analytic sense, aren't ones that I generally tend to oppose per se.

    Anyway, the problem is that, despite the hopes of the right, things do change. Ideologies can adapt to change, or rather can accomodate different sets of social, political, and economic variables as they happen. A list of particular policy stances, which is what "conservatism" has devolved to, cannot adapt. A list is a list.

    So what we have--and this is as true of Rove as it is of King, however either would want to play it--is a list of policies that was developed, really, by the 1970's. The list is a decade short of a half-century old. Add to that a smaller group of people in the coalition who genuinely want to revoke the New Deal and go back to the Coolidge admistration, and you've got an average age of these policies of about 65 years. Roughly the average age of your remaining Republican votes.

    1. I think you're absolutely right about the similarities between Rove and King. There's nothing thoughtful about either one.

      When a thoughtful conservative takes the stage (I'd put Colin Powell in that category) - I'll disagree - but engage with respect.

  2. From an electoral standpoint, the problem with the average age of these people being 65 is that is the age when activists are their most productive. Their retired and motivated and all their peers are there to support them.

    Speaking of Rove not being thoughtful, if he were, he'd realize that if he spends a lot of money smearing a candidate and then that candidate goes on to win the primary, all that money has accomplished is help the Democratic candidate by softening up the opponent. I sincerely doubt that Karl Rove understands the psychology or demographic make-up of the right wing base in any of these States. Because he views them with utter disdain, he underestimates their ability to organize, especially in Iowa.


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