OK, so Karl Rove can raise millions more to start another PAC to:
Option A. Develop databases, software, and field offices to match Barack Obama’s vaunted permanent campaign organization which has morphed into Organizing for Action, a PAC funded by friendly corporations and George Soros and dedicated to supporting the Left’s agenda; or
Option B. Focus the new Orwellian-named Conservative Victory Project, on the pointed objective of preventing the nomination of conservatives for the Senate.
Surprise. He chose Option B. So sad.
There was hope that we had gotten over the intramural Senate suicide when Jerry Moran of Kansas replaced John Cornyn of Texas as chair of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Jim DeMint of South Carolina retired to lead the Heritage Foundation rather than foster insurgencies against inadequately conservative incumbent Republicans. Apparently not so for the Republicans who again have a reasonable chance of capturing the Senate in 2014, needing to pick up 6 seats with 20 of the 33 available now held by Democrats.
The headline trumpeted by Rove and the ecstatic media is that bad nominees in the last two cycles cost the Republicans at least four easy seats – in 2010 Sharon Angle in Nevada and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware; in 2012 Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana. Everyone gets it. Bobby Jindal gets it. The New York Times gushes over Bobby Jindal getting it.
For a good discussion of the conservative grass roots battles in 2010 and 2012, see Erick Erickson’s editorial on Red State. Certainly the comments of Akin and Mourdock cost them winnable seats and provided brand-damaging talking points in other campaigns, but there is a broader picture. Upset conservative victors over Republican-establishment moderates have included Marco Rubio in Florida (Charlie Crist), Mike Lee in Utah (Bob Bennet), Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania (Arlen Specter), Rand Paul in Kentucky (Trey Grayson), and Ted Cruz in Texas (David Dewhurst). Of these, at least Rubio and Cruz have legitimate presidential potential. This is the vitality of the Party.
And there have been too many others of the style sought by Rove who snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory without the “aid” of the Tea Party – Tommy Thompson (Wisconsin); Rick Berg (North Dakota); Denny Rehberg (Montana), George Allen (Virginia), Heather Wilson (New Mexico), Linda Lingle (Hawaii). Elections are won by good candidates running good campaigns in the right environment.
But back to the beginning. Hopefully Sheldon Adelson, the Koch brothers, or someone else will support Option A. And, as Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post writes (with a somewhat different slant), the era of Karl Rove is over.
This week’s video is a clip of the funniest commercials from the “lights out” Super Bowl. Some here in San Francisco are questioning the play-calling of our leader in the final moments of the contest; we Republicans have recently had a similar experience on a more important national stage.