By Greg Campbell
The Republican Party has been embroiled in a bitter divide in recent years. Two factions within the GOP have dug in their heels and have played a tug-of-war game to decide the direction of Republican leadership in the future. And while moderates separate themselves from core conservative principles in an attempt to appeal to a broader constituency, the split has created an obvious benefit for Democrats who present a more-unified front in their ideology.
Now, it appears that this war between conservatives and moderates has gotten more serious.
Karl Rove and Steven J. Law, president of American Crossroads, have joined together to create the Conservative Victory Project, a group that claims to dedicate itself to diminishing conservative influence within the Republican Party in an effort to secure what they believe to be more electable candidates for the Senate.
In short: Republicans are no longer at war with Democrats- they are also at war with themselves.
“The effort would put a new twist on the Republican-vs.-Republican warfare that has consumed the party’s primary races in recent years. In effect, the establishment is taking steps to fight back against Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations that have wielded significant influence in backing candidates who ultimately lost seats to Democrats in the general election…
The Conservative Victory Project, which is backed by Karl Rove and his allies who built American Crossroads into the largest Republican super PAC of the 2012 election cycle, will start by intensely vetting prospective contenders for Congressional races to try to weed out candidates who are seen as too flawed to win general elections.”
However, while Karl Rove and his allies can be credited with building the large Super PAC of the 2012 election cycle, it would be disingenuous to tout their accomplishment as an actual success as Mitt Romney did, in fact, lose the presidential race.
Rove and Law might suggest that the nature of their new effort is to secure more “electable” candidates, but we cannot overlook the fact that the last time they wielded influence to push upon the Republican Party an “electable” candidate, he, in fact, was not elected. As Tea Partiers across the country backed a variety of capable candidates, the eventual selection of Mitt Romney as a “safe” and “electable” candidate failed to energize the right.
Editor of Breitbart News, Ben Shapiro, noted,
“But it is American Crossroads and its ilk that have run the GOP into the ground. Spending millions of dollars on useless 30,000-ft. advertising campaigns during the last election cycle, training candidates to soften conservatism in order to appeal to ‘moderates,’ blowing up the federal budget under George W. Bush as a bipartisan tactic – all of those strategies led the party to a disastrous defeat in 2012. The Tea Party, which may nominate losers from time to time, also brought the Republicans their historic 2010 Congressional victory. If Tea Party candidates lose, it’s because they weren’t good candidates; if GOP establishment candidates lose, it’s because they weren’t good conservatives. The choice for actual conservatives should be easy.
But it isn’t. The Bush insider team that helped lead to the rise of Barack Obama insists that they, and only they, know the path to victory. As the Times reports, Conservative Victory Project won’t merely protect incumbents – it will challenge sitting Congresspeople of the Tea Party variety, including six-term Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, who may run for Senate. ‘We’re concerned about Steve King’s Todd Akin problem,’ Law told the Times – with whom he seems far too friendly. ‘This is an example of candidate discipline and how it would play in a general election. All of the things he’s said are going to be hung around his neck.’…
Grover Norquist correctly points out that the Rove mission is nonsense. ‘People are imagining a problem that doesn’t exist,’ said Norquist. ‘We’ve had people challenge the establishment guy and do swimmingly.’ In truth, conservatism wins elections so long as the messenger doesn’t implode. Rove’s view, however, is that conservatism takes a back seat to the best quasi-conservative messenger.
But victory for conservatives isn’t Rove’s goal. He’s a political insider par excellence, and he’s playing for his political life in the aftermath of 2012. If that means declaring war on the Tea Party, so be it.”