This is how the game is played. When the GOP leadership bows in obeisance to the US Chamber of Commerce or crypto-Democrat PACs like Republican (hahahaha… can’t breathe…. must call 911) Main Street Partnership and sells out their few and malleable principles for campaign donations, this is completely fine. After all, the “business of America is business” said the beau ideal of the GOP leadership, Warren Harding. But when conservatives act in concert, that is a VERY BAD THING:
Lawmakers and political operatives aligned with House GOP leadership are growing increasingly concerned that the powerful conservative outside group Club for Growth is taking marching orders from their arch-nemesis: The House Freedom Caucus.
Critics say the Club’s endorsements appear to go beyond the typical support of outside groups for like-minded candidates that one would expect, to something approaching an unholy coordination between a group of lawmakers and a big-spending conservative organization. There’s no daylight between the candidates the groups have gotten behind: All Club-backed House contenders this year are members of, or endorsed by, the Freedom Caucus.
Club officials deny working in concert with the Freedom Caucus.
One Republican operative working on a House race, however, said a Club staffer told him explicitly that the group would back whomever the House Freedom Caucus supports. And a GOP lawmaker charged that the group has abandoned its independence.
The House Freedom Caucus may very well be the only conservative force left in the Congress after most of the GOP members of both Houses either endorsed Trump over Ted Cruz or ran to lick Trump’s boots once it looked like he was going to win.
Intentional or not, having the heft of the well-heeled Club behind it means more power for the Freedom Caucus — and more problems for Ryan. The group, which often votes as a bloc, has stymied Ryan’s recent efforts to pass a budget as well as a legislative response to the Orlando shooting massacre. With funding to keep the government open set to expire Sept. 30, its members are vowing to block any spending measure that they don’t agree with.
The caucus is poised to maintain or expand its influence next year. Ten to 20 Republicans are expected to lose reelection, all but a few from the mainstream of the party. That means the Freedom Caucus will almost certainly make up a larger share of the GOP conference.
And then there is this howler:
That outlook is causing consternation among establishment types, who complain that Freedom Caucus members constantly demand that leadership and their aligned super PACs stay out of Republican primaries themselves.
But [Club spokesman Doug] Sachtleben countered that leadership has, in fact, gotten involved in a couple of the same primary races as the Club, so there’s no reason for the conservative group to hold back. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) stumped for two candidates running against the Club’s picks.
They are right, conservatives have, across the board, demanded that the leadership, the RNC, NRCC, and the NRSC stay the hell out of contested primaries. But they never have. Just look at the 2014 cycle with the NRSC intervened in Mississippi to reelect the superannuated, doddering, befuddled, corrupt and adulterous Thad Cochran. They did it by branding his opponent, state senator Chris McDaniel, as a racist and recruited Democrats to vote in the open primary.
We’ve seen the utter fecklessness of the GOP leadership on full display this election cycle. They refused to support any of the conservative candidates in the field and after Jeb Bush and Scott Walker flamed out they fell in behind Donald Trump as the guy they thought would be the most likely to let them continue to sup and the trough of public largess. Now they have their preferred candidate and they are belatedly realizing that the senators and representatives that he will take down with him are Establishment loyalists. They are rightly panicked.
This informal alliance is probably the only way forward for a GOP that does not represent Trumpism and the GOP Establishment should be thinking about signing on rather than fighting it.