Here’s the situation on the ground: if the GOP makes significant gains in the United States Senate, it will be in spite of the best efforts of the Senate Republicans.
- The Senate GOP stood with Charlie Crist and conservatives stood with Marco Rubio.
- The Senate GOP stood with Arlen Specter and conservatives stood with Pat Toomey.
- The Senate GOP stood with Trey Grayson and conservatives stood with Rand Paul.
- The Senate GOP stood with Bob Bennett, then that other guy, while conservatives stood with Mike Lee.
- The Senate GOP stood with Sue Lowden and conservatives stood with Sharron Angle.
- The Senate GOP stood with Jane Norton and conservatives stood with Ken Buck.
In a few cases, like in California, the Senate Republicans beat the conservative. In a few cases, like Washington and Wisconsin, the Senate Republicans and conservatives stood together.
But that’s not good enough.
The Senate GOP, the odds against them for a Senate majority anyway, are seeking to use the recalcitrance of their conservative base to blame the base for not getting the majority.
Even so, the two men have seen their party’s chances of making major gains in the Senate threatened by their inability to push their preferred candidates through several GOP primaries
I’ve been around the block enough to know a line like that does not appear in a story without someone involved in the story pushing a narrative. In fact, we are seeing that across the board. The Senate GOP is intent on taking all the credit for all victories in November when, in fact, they opposed a significant number of the candidates who will be on the ballot in November.
Likewise, consider this:
So far, McConnell has attended nearly 240 political events, fundraisers and meetings for Republican candidates this cycle, more than any other Senate Republican besides current NRSC Chairman John Cornyn of Texas. At the same time, McConnell used his clout as GOP leader to rake in $2.6 million for GOP candidates, while maxing out donations from his own war chest to GOP nominees in key races. And he’s seen trusted aides leave to work on the country’s most closely contested races, including in Nevada, Washington state and at NRSC headquarters.
What the story does not mention is McConnell saw trusted aids go to Florida to work against Marco Rubio. He saw trusted aids go to the NRSC to work against conservatives. And I dare say Jim DeMint has done more financially through the Senate Conservatives Fund than Mitch McConnell has done.
But then the media would never give DeMint credit for expanding the Senate. The narrative set, with the help of the Senate GOP, is that the number would be greater but for Jim DeMint.