The Republican establishment’s favorite political guru, Karl Rove, has announced that he is using his considerable fundraising muscle to form a new Super PAC called “the Conservative Victory Project” to influence Republican primary elections and oppose candidates that he deems “unelectable.”
Rove and his establishment Republican allies cite the losses of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock in their respective Senate campaigns as proof such an effort is needed.
This is pure hogwash – both Akin and Mourdock made the comments that blew-up their campaigns AFTER they had won their primaries. There was no evidence going into the primary that either of them was “unelectable.” Indeed, the very fact that they each won a hard-fought primary against seasoned opponents is good evidence that, absent an attack of foot-in-mouth disease, either or both could have won.
Club for Growth President Chris Chocola had it pretty well right when he told NewsMax that, “I think there might be some money that is wasted because the question isn’t why Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock lost — we know why they lost,” said Chocola. “The question is really why did Heather Wilson in New Mexico, Rick Berg in North Dakota, Denny Rehberg in Montana, Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin, George Allen in Virginia and Linda Lingle in Hawaii — why did they lose?”
We could add Mitt Romney nationally and Connie Mack in Florida as well, but you get the point – there’s no evidence that running as a principled limited government constitutional conservative automatically made a candidate “unelectable,” and a whole lot of evidence that running as a Bush-type establishment Republican did make one “unelectable.”
Indeed, the big successes of 2012 were the election of principled constitutional conservatives such as Ted Cruz, Jeff Flake and Deb Fisher to the Senate, the election of conservative Mike Pence as Governor of Indiana and the election of Tom Massie, Trey Radel, Jim Bridenstine, Steve Stockman and other limited government constitutional conservative “boat rockers” to the House.
They join such small government constitutional conservative leaders as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio and Pat Toomey, Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and the 50-odd Members of the House -- such as Justin Amash, Tim Huelskamp and Walter Jones -- who stood for conservative principles and voted against the debt ceiling deal and other establishment Republican giveaways.
These limited government constitutional conservative successes portend that the end of big government Republicanism is drawing near.
Establishment Republicans and their allies in the establishment media, ever anxious to hold on to power, continue to try to blame “the Tea Party” and “radical” conservative voters who chose principled small government constitutional conservative candidates in Republican primaries for the election disasters of 2012.
Nothing could be further from the truth. It was the establishment candidates that got wiped out, while limited government constitutional conservative candidates, like Cruz, Fischer, Flake and Pence -- won.
In any logical universe, the architects of the 2012 disaster -- establishment Republican consultants such as Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie, Romney campaign senior adviser Stewart Stevens and pollster Neil Newhouse would never be hired to run or consult on a national campaign again and no one would give a dime to their ineffective Super PACs (such as American Crossroads or its new mini-me, the deceptively named “Conservative Victory project”).
Let’s tell it like it is: the Rove effort is merely the GOP establishment’s latest and hopefully last effort to keep the Republican Party a top-down Washington consultant-run organization, instead of the grassroots conservative political party it has been evolving into over the past 50 or so years.
Mitt Romney's loss, and the wipeout of the establishment Republican Senate candidates, was the death rattle of the establishment GOP. Far from signaling a rejection of the Tea Party or grassroots conservatives, the disaster of 2012 signals the beginning of the battle to take over the Republican Party and the opportunity to establish the GOP as the Party of limited government constitutional conservatism.