The Daily Caller had the three-minute version of Levin’s rant against the GOP establishment as personified by Karl Rove and Steven Law, in their effort announced yesterday to create the “Conservative Victory Project” to stop grassroots conservatives from winning Republican nominations…
The full 27-minute version of the audio can be found at the Right Scoop.
Levin is spot on, for all the reasons he outlines in the long version.
The fact is, the establishment likes to point out the failures, at times, of the Tea Party movement in selecting Republican candidates and use those failures to make the case that crazy Tea Partiers will destroy the GOP. You’ll hear lots of “Sharron Angle” and “Christine O’Donnell” and “Richard Mourdock” as the reason why the GOP doesn’t currently control the Senate, for example.
Except you don’t hear much about Tommy Thompson, Rick Berg, George Allen, Connie Mack, Pete Hoekstra and Carly Fiorina from the establishment types. And you won’t hear a lot about Mitt Romney, either.
In almost all of those cases, the establishment poured money into boring, retread candidates whose conservatism was either poorly articulated or functionally nonexistent. And the party who foisted those candidates onto its conservative base found that the base wasn’t energized to support them.
Meanwhile, what energy the party has comes courtesy of guys like Scott Walker, Ron Johnson, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, and women like Nikki Haley and Deb Fischer. The establishment won’t talk about them, because they weren’t hand-picked establishment types but rather Tea Party favorites.
Should the Tea Party vet its people better? Of course. Most of the Tea Party movement is relatively new to politics and it’s natural to expect some growing pains and mistakes along the way.
What’s Karl Rove’s excuse? He’s been around forever, and other than a couple of incredibly close presidential race victories against incredibly weak Democrat opponents does Rove really have the kind of track record that indicates Republican money and support should go where he says?
Not since 2008 he doesn’t.
Rove poo-poohed Rick Perry as a presidential candidate, then ran some $300 million in TV spots for Mitt Romney that nobody even remembers. He took all that money and couldn’t move the needle a millimeter against the worst president in American history.
And now he wants to say it’s Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock who made him look bad?
Yesterday Erick Erickson said it was a good thing that Rove, Law and the rest of the Old Regulars atop the Republican Party are now waging war against the base, because based on their track record they’ll lose once again and perhaps they’ll get out of the way…
Thank God they are behind this. In 2012, they spent hundreds of millions of rich donors’ money and had jack to show for it.
It is interesting though. The people who brought us No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, TARP, the GM bailout, Harriet Miers, etc., etc., etc. are really hacked off that people have been rejecting them. In 2012, about the only successful Republican candidates were the ones who directly rejected the legacy of these people.
So now they will up their game. They don’t like being shut out. They blame the tea party and conservatives for their failure to win primaries. They’ll now try to match conservatives and, in the process, call themselves conservatives.
I dare say any candidate who gets this group’s support should be targeted for destruction by the conservative movement. They’ve made it really easy now to figure out who the terrible candidates will be in 2014.
But Rove and Law have the ears of big-money GOP donors, and their message is that the hoi polloi out there will run psycho candidates who can’t win.
Sometimes this won’t be a problem. Sometimes there will be Republican candidates acceptable to both the Tea Party and the establishment. But where there is a difference, the arrogance of Karl Rove and Steven Law to suggest they know better than the Republican voters in the states those candidates will run in what’s best for the party and conservatism threatens to tear the party apart.
We shouldn’t demonize Rove or Law. We should attempt to stick to Reagan’s 11th commandment and try not to speak ill of other Republicans. But the Conservative Victory Project is set up as an explicit violation of that 11th commandment; namely, to block anti-establishment candidates from winning elections. And while they might think they’re improving the GOP in doing so, what they’re actually doing is tearing the party apart.
The money Rove is raising needs to be spent discrediting the Left’s establishment, not fighting off challengers to the establishment on the Right. Hopefully his donors will see that and act accordingly.
UPDATE: As if on cue, former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) jumped in and announced plans to form a PAC to counteract the Conservative Victory Project…
“It’s a healthy debate to have,” Walsh told Human Events Tuesday. Earlier in the day, Walsh took to Twitter to announce his new venture.
“I’m filing the paperwork to form a super PAC to support freedom-loving conservative alternatives to @KarlRove on FOX,” the tweet read. Walsh was defeated for a second-term in 2012 by former Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth in a severely gerrymandered district.
The news comes on the heels of the news that Rove is starting a new venture called the Conservative Victory Fund where he will fund more viable conservative candidates, a move in response to the losses of Rep. Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock in Missouri and Indiana, respectively during the 2012 cycle where their comments on rape derailed sure Republican pickups in the U.S. Senate.