They're coming to get Harry Reid.
Harry Reid’s reelection is more than two years off, but the Koch brothers’ political machine is already methodically laying the groundwork that will be used to try to take him out.
The efforts in recent months have been largely subterranean, but they are unmistakable. A handful of nonprofit groups in the vast political network helmed by allies of the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch have established or expanded permanent ground operations in Reid’s backyard. Focused on wooing key demographics like Latinos and veterans, they’ve also paid for ads assailing the Senate Democratic leader.
Basically, it boils down to this: nobody loves the Senate Majority Leader, and if Reid runs for re-election in 2016 he's undoubtedly going to be facing Brian Sandoval, the very popular and term-limited Republican Governor of Nevada. That combination of a horde of enemies and a top-shelf candidate has gotten the Reid machine rattled, although they'd rather chew broken class than admit it. Since Harry Reid is currently polling remarkably badly against Sandoval, the efforts for 2016 have already taken on the aspect of a hastily-built firewall. For one thing, Harry Reid has already hamstrung the Democratic candidate for governor and thrown him to the wolves:
[Harry Reid] told reporters at his office in Reno on Monday that [Bob] Goodman’s campaign telephoned him a few days ago to ask if he would participate in a fundraiser, but, “I said no.”
“I have these candidates I have to help raise some money and I want it to be meaningful,” said Reid, who is helping Democrats seeking all Nevada’s other constitutional offices, especially Lucy Flores in what is expected to be a hotly contested race against Republican Mark Hutchison for lieutenant governor.
“Raising a few bucks for him is not going to help him,” Reid said about the international trade and investment consultant who didn’t actively campaign or raise any money for the primary. “Bob spends most of his time in China.”
...and for another, Reid's entire strategy - if you can call it that - is to try to get a Democratic Lt. Governor elected so that Brian Sandoval won't run in 2016. His pick - Lucy Flores - has... a lot of money and organizational support; but whether that will beat Sandoval's handpicked 'running mate' Mark Hutchinson (who has access to Sandoval's support) has yet to be determined, or even convincingly argued. I also don't think that the current Democratic majority in the Nevada state legislature is going to survive the election, which will go a long way in making a Democratic Lt. Governor not that big of a deal.
But in some ways it's irrelevant: contra the Politico article, I suspect that most of the groups that will be going after Harry Reid would be going after him if Reid's opponent was Bozo the Clown. And they're going to do that because while getting Harry Reid out of office is business, for these guys it's personal, too. Harry Reid made it personal. Harry Reid has been accusing his opponents of being a bunch of secret anti-American totalitarians, and he did so in the nastiest way possible. I am not a libertarian, per se, but I am familiar with the people who are - and Harry Reid is everything that they detest in an American politician. He has no fixed principles. He has no shame. He has no compunction against feathering his own nest with public funds. In fact, Harry Reid flaunts the fact that his riches comes not from actual work, but from manipulating the system and collecting favors.
And, worst of all, Harry Reid has the unmitigated gall to suggest that he's one of the good guys. And that his designated devil figures are the bad guys. That grates. So you can fully expect that every person that Harry Reid has attacked will be coming for him in 2016. With fat checkbooks and fully-staffed field offices in tow. And they'll happily trade Harry Reid for Brian Sandoval: it'll be a definite step up for everyone concerned.
Admittedly, so would be swapping out Reid for Bozo the Clown.
Moe Lane (crosspost)