For the last year, the left has engaged in an organized campaign to drive Rush Limbaugh off the air. Knowing they cannot go after Rush Limbaugh directly, the left has launched repeated boycotts against any advertisers who dare advertise while Rush Limbaugh is on. Consequently, some advertisers decided to stop advertising at all on political talk radio, depriving the genre as a whole of resources.
And it still hasn't hurt Rush Limbaugh.
Mitch McConnell has decided to embrace the same strategy in his war against the Senate Conservatives Fund. He can't attack the Jim DeMint created Senate Conservatives Fund outright, so instead he will launch an all out war against anyone who does business with the Senate Conservatives Fund.
This story, from the New York Times, is intriguing. McConnell has demanded, via the National Republican Senatorial Committee, that anyone who wants GOP support stop hiring Jamestown Associates. The organization is used by a number of Republican elected leaders and candidates. In fact, Senator Ted Cruz uses Jamestown Associates. So does Governor Chris Christie. For that matter, Senators Marco Rubio, Roy Blunt, Mark Kirk, Dan Coats, and Pat Toomey have all benefited from Jamestown Associates. Outside groups hired Jamestown Associates to make independent expenditures on behalf of those Senators. [edit: JA did not directly work for those Senators, but handled independent expenditures on their behalf]
But McConnell is perfectly happy destroying a private company his Senate Republican colleagues use because Jamestown Associates also helps the Senate Conservatives Fund. And the Senate Conservatives Fund just endorsed Matt Bevin against Mitch McConnell.
McConnell would rather rule in Hell than serve in Heaven. He'd rather be minority leader, than have a Republican Senate majority without him. Updated: From the comments by Darin H: "Apparently McConnell would rather serve in Hell than even bother with Heaven."
It's all the sadder still in that McConnell worked against Ted Cruz's effort to defund Obamacare. 280,000 Kentuckians are losing their insurance. But McConnell would rather drive a private enterprise out of business than fight for those Kentuckians losing their health insurance. If only McConnell had put as much energy into stopping Obamacare as he has stopping a business that does work with the Senate Conservatives Fund.
Outside observers have listed the Kentucky Senate race as a toss up. It does not lean McConnell's way. This is very important to note. This is very important to understand. The polling in the race is terrible for McConnell. Charitably it breaks even against an empty suit of a Democrat. McConnell has already spent over $6 million. He is the weakest Republican incumbent up for re-election in 2014. Were it another Senator, McConnell would be pressuring him to retire.
McConnell has never been the grand strategist some claim he is. He is a bully who tries to get his way through intimidation. The New York Daily News notes McConnell aide Josh Holmes alluding to the movie "A Bronx Tale" with this quote:
“S.C.F. has been wandering around the country destroying the Republican Party like a drunk who tears up every bar they walk into,” Holmes said. “The difference this cycle is that they strolled into Mitch McConnell’s bar and he doesn’t throw you out, he locks the door.”
Mitch McConnell is the thug in the bar who controls through intimidation. He badgers, bullies, threatens, and cajoles others into giving him his way. Because of his position, most yield to his intimidation. And when others do not yield, he goes after their associates.
But there is a new paradigm of empowered grassroots activists at work. They are not intimidated. They will not be silenced. They do not fear McConnell. They hate him and want him out of office. McConnell has always relied on an alliance of staffers who've moved to K Street to get rich. He gives them access, they make lots of money, then they return money to his campaign coffers. It is a loyalty that extends to a lobbyist class now attacking the Senate Conservatives Fund because their gravy train may be ending. But it is a loyalty that does not exist at the grassroots level within the conservative movement or even Kentucky.
The only tactic McConnell can respond with is driving private businesses into the ground if they dare help those opposed to him — no matter who else they help. Senate Republicans and challengers in the races to be decided next year need to understand the bottom line here — Mitch McConnell is making it the NRSC's job preservation of Mitch McConnell, damn the rest of the candidates. Don't believe me? Where are the other groups the NRSC is blackballing? Right now, the only ones being blackballed are the ones who are on the opposite side of Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.
I'm giving another $100.00 to the Senate Conservatives Fund. If Mitch McConnell wants to bleed the NRSC dry to save him at everyone else's expense, I'm happy to make that happen. Or, he can just retire.