By Teresa Welsh |
The long simmering war between the GOP establishment and the Tea Party has finally come to a boil. Last week Karl Rove, the "brains" behind the Republican super PAC American Crossroads announced the creation of a new super group, the Conservative Victory Project.
I'm a Democrat who believes who believes in the axiom that the best thing to do when Republicans are lined up in a circular firing squad is to stay out of the way, watch, and enjoy the spectacle. Rove's brainchild is wrong on so many levels that I don't know where to start.
But I'll start with visibility. Up to this point, the war between the Republican Party has been confined to party confabs like state conventions and cocktail hour at the Heritage Foundation. The creation of the Conservative Victory Project means that the battle will be a lot more visible taking place on television in front of the faces of millions of voters.
What is worse, two feet of snow in the Northeast or Karl Rove's two feet of clay? Then there's the question of effectiveness. American Crossroads was a miserable failure in 2012. Rove's super PAC spent close to $200 million, almost all of it in races where the Republican candidate lost. If the Conservative Victory Project performs as poorly against the Tea Party as it against did the Democratic Party, then there will be even more hapless Tea Party candidates like Christine O'Donnell and Todd Akin who win primaries and lose to Democratic candidates. If Rove wants to spend millions of dollars to defeat Tea Party candidates instead of Democrats, I'm all for it. Democrats are licking their chops at the prospect.
If Rove and his moneyed minions were serious about taking on the Tea Party, they should have done it before the Tea Party took over the Republican Party in 2009. If Rove and his acolytes were really serious about crushing the extremists in the GOP, they would step up to the plate and take on Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity who rile up the crazies in the GOP daily. Hannity may rhyme with sanity but the two words are not synonyms.
A Tea Party official suggested the name: Conservative Victory Project group was "Orwellian" because the real goal of the group was to defeat conservative candidates. I don't get a vote but in my opinion, a more appropriate name would be the Republican Defeat Project.
About Brad Bannon President of Bannon Communications Research
Ford O'Connell Republican Strategist, Conservative Activist, and Political Analyst
Jamie Chandler Political Scientist at Hunter College
Lara Brown Author of 'Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants'