FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
NRSC to Target Mitch McConnell
The NRSC announced today that it will be spending money to defeat Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky primary.
Well, at least that is the implication of their statement, according to Politico:
Burned by intraparty warfare the last two election cycles, the Senate Republican campaign committee may take a heavier hand in contested primaries next year to push their preferred candidates across the finish line, a top official said Tuesday.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee’s move would mark a dramatic shift from 2012, when the committee sat out contested GOP primaries to avoid meddling in the party’s internal affairs. But after witnessing several candidates emerge in 2010 and 2012 in states that could have handed the GOP a Senate majority, top officials now are prepared to change course.
“Would we spend money in a primary? Yes, we would if that’s the right move at the time,” Rob Collins, executive director of the NRSC, told reporters Tuesday. “There are no rules. I treat every state differently. The path to getting a general election candidate who can win is the only thing we care about. So where we agree with everybody: Awesome, let’s work together. Where we don’t: We do what we think gets us to a majority.”
Let’s put aside the fact that Republicans are far from winning a majority in the Senate. As yesterday’s ENDA vote showed (for the thousandth time), Democrats enjoy a supermajority on even the most radical ideas, thanks to years of Mitch’s failed leadership. With 20-25 Republicans who can always be counted on to support the Democrats, we have a lot of work to do in order to win a majority. But let’s assume that the goal is to get 51 warm bodies that will pretend to be Republican once in a blue moon. The only way that happens is if the NRSC supports Matt Bevin to ensure that McConnell, the Christine O’Donnell of the election cycle, does not throw away a safe seat.
As we’ve noted before, there is no other incumbent in a 23-point Romney state who is even close to being vulnerable in a general election. Yet, in the midst of Obamacare and the war on coal, Mitch is losing to a Hollywood-style liberal in Kentucky. And this is after spending an unprecedented amount of money one year out in a cheap state. In 2008, he had to spend $21 million in a scorched-earth campaign just to hold onto the seat, even with Obama weighing down Democrats on the ballot.
Moreover, he is already showing the signs of a losing candidate. He is constantly on defense against Grimes’s vacuous attacks. Instead of boldly counterattacking on this ‘war on women’ nonsense, McConnell acts all apologetic about the deceptively-named Violence Against Women Act, touting his support for the original bill.
When Grimes started attacking him for excessive partisanship in Washington, Mitch responded by groveling before her with defenses of how bipartisan he has been with Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer.
There are obviously ideological differences within the party at this point. For example, many of McConnell’s former staffers and current money bundlers are major lobbyists for amnesty, the internet sales tax, and corporate welfare. These people accuse us of pursuing ‘profit for purity’ while they pursue profit for perfidy as they lobby for Obama’s biggest priorities. They clearly stand to lose their livelihood if McConnell goes down. Mitch is just too big to fail.
However, putting aside the schism in the party, can anyone say with a straight face that they are trying to win seats for Republicans while supporting the only person in Kentucky who can lose the seat?
Since we all know that the NRSC is so dedicated to electing a Republican majority, one can only conclude that they will be working against McConnell in the primary.
The road to a Republican majority is not paved with Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.