Michelle Malkin reported today on her web site the latest effort by Republican consultant Karl Rove to move the party in the direction he believes will lead to GOP success. The new group, which will be independent from the Repubican National Committee or other official GOP groups, will be called The Conservative Victory Project. The group claims it will be active in GOP primaries for the purpose of supporting what it believes is the most conservative candidate that can win the general election.
The new group will come to the aid of incumbent Republican politicians, and establishment-backed nominees, who are facing challenges from the right from Tea Party-backed, more conservative nominees. Many establishment Republicans believe that some of the nominees supported by the Tea Party movement were too far to the right to win general elections, and blame the losses in races by such candidates in the last two election cycles as costing the GOP a chance at regaining majority control of the U.S. Senate.
The rise of more conservative and Tea Party movement supported candidates challenging incumbents and GOP establishment-supported candidates in Republican primaries has raised concern by many activists and party leaders in the GOP. In the 2010 election cycle, the GOP establishment supported incumbent Congressman Mike Castle for the Delaware senate seat while many conservatives and Tea Party members supported his primary challenge, conservative activist Christine O'Donnell. O'Donnell proved to have too much baggage to be a viable candidate for a U.S. Senate seat, the alleged boyfriend/campaign staffer David Hust who allegedly was her roommate in the townhouse that supposedly also doubled as a campaign headquarters and then the infamous “I am not a witch” television spot that clearly signalled the end of her campaign. Christine O'Donnell and her quixotic campaigns are great material for someone like the later gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson to write about.
O'Donnell wasn't the only Tea Party backed candidate to self-destruct in what many believed was a winnable general election. Last year, Indiana's state treasurer Richard Mourdock defeated moderate incumbent senator Richard Lugar and appeared well on his way winning the seat. Mourdock appeared to have a solid record in public service as a mainstream conservative Republican, and the abortion comments that cost him the election were unexpected.
Likewise, in Missouri, the “legitimate rape” gaffe by Republican nominee Todd Akin clearly cost him that race, which is why many conservative and Republican activists called him to resign from the race at the time.
Malkin writes about the new Karl Rove group, “Rove and his Tea Party-bashing minions will point to the losses of Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, and others as justification to tighten his grip on the party in the role of Chief Decider.”
While some of the Tea Party-backed candidates did in the general election against the Democrats, many of them have won their elections and have become successful senators. Of those Tea Party-backed Republicans that won, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah is viewed as a rising star while Kentucky's Rand Paul and Florida's Marco Rubio are both seen as likely presidential candidates in 2016.
The Rove group appears to view the Tea Party movement as a threat to incumbents, and the GOP's chances of retaking control of the senate, and therefore intends to support and defend mostly incumbents and establishment-backed Republican candidate in contested primaries.
Coming soon: ConservativeReform.com the future of the conservative movement and victory in 2014 and 2016 for Republicans begins here.
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