Alexander Burns wrote an article about The Club for Growth for politico.com on December 22, 2012. I have supported The Club for Growth in the recent past and want to share my perspective on the reality compared to some of Mr. Burns’s reporting.
The Club for Growth focuses on candidates and policies at the Federal level. Those candidates and policies must promote economic freedom and all that goes with it. Club for Growth philosophy is well documented.
Here are a couple of excerpts from Mr. Burns’ article along with my commentary.
“The conservative outside group amassed a decidedly mixed record in 2012, spending millions to support hardline candidates in primaries and general elections.” – The record was indeed mixed but what does “hardline candidates” mean? Should a candidate be characterized as “hardline” because they promote economic freedom, responsible Federal spending, and limited government? I thought those were core principles of our nation’s founding and success. So, to Mr. Burns a candidate that promotes government control of the means of production and limitless Federal spending must be “mainstream?” Mr. Burns fails to explain what he means but is happy to leave his reader with the "hardline" characterization.
“…the Club is utterly unapologetic for its slash-and-burn approach to intra-party politics.” – The Club for Growth in my experience does not slash and burn anything, and has no reason to react to someone else's expectation for an apology. The Club is against candidates that do not support its principles and philosophy and it is for candidates who do. That’s it. Mr. Burns again leaves the reader with an unexplained and unsupported characterization.
“…the Club’s leadership called for the defeat of House Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B” proposal to resolve the fiscal cliff, calling it an unacceptable combination of tax increases and phony spending cuts.” – Well, does Mr. Burns support tax increases and phony spending cuts? Does any American? Mr. Burns also incorrectly connects John Boehner's "Plan B" proposal with resolution of the fiscal cliff. There was never any possibility "Plan B" would have resolved anything.
“…there’s no organization that provokes more frustration among GOP elites than the Club, and no electoral force with the same potential to wreak havoc on establishment-backed candidates.” – Mr. Burns loses a opportunity to educate his readers here by failing to note that “GOP elites” and “Democrat elites” are the same thing. They both believe in bigger government and in their own prescient policy making righteousness, to the detriment of economic freedom. Both, therefore, are unlikely to be supported by the Club for Growth as a matter of fact, not emotive fervor.
“And while it has helped produce national GOP stars like Cruz and Rubio, the Club has also ushered into office far more marginal members, such as the trio of congressman – Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, David Schweikert of Arizona and Justin Amash of Michigan…” – Perhaps Mr. Burns would do his readers a favor by defining what is meant by the characterization “marginal members.” Does he imply that Cruz, and Rubio are not “marginal” but the others are? What kind of reporting is this? Can't politico.com find reporters who can write accurately and fully explain themselves?
To his credit, Mr. Burns ends with a quote from the President of the Club for Growth, “Plan B was never going to be the law. It was never going to be the final deal. And we were never smart enough to see how it got you to a good deal,” he said. “We don’t think it’s a good week. We think it’s a bad week. No one’s offering a pro-growth solution to the fiscal cliff issue.”
Regards, Pete Weldon