Rove’s Plan to Win Elections: Start a GOP Civil War.
It’s a problem that Republicans simply cannot ignore. In order to win a Republican primary, a candidate has to be acceptably insane. But, come general election time, what Republican voters think is acceptable everyone else finds unacceptable. And even when the nuts manage to get elected, people get sick of them in a big hurry. If the 2010 election was a big win for Tea Party Republicans, 2012 saw to it that many of those big winners turned out to be one-termers. So even when the nuts manage to eke out an election win, their political careers don’t have legs.
One man has a plan to reverse this trend. But the problem with his plan is that he plans to replace the nuts with a different class of nuts.
The organizers of American Crossroads hope to bring electoral victory to the Republican Party by defeating unelectable tea party candidates in GOP primary races. The new super PAC, called the Conservative Victory Project, will be run by American Crossroads president Steven Law and is supported by former Bush political adviser Karl Rove.
“There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected,” Law told the New York Times on Saturday. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.”
The Victory Project plans to oppose candidates like Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. Though running in places where Republicans were favored, the tea party-backed candidates lost the general election after defeating moderate Republicans in the primary. Many tea party candidates who were victorious in 2010, such as Allen West and Joe Walsh, also ended up being defeated by Democratic challengers in 2012.
The problem for Rove here is that he sucks. Not only did his Crossroads GPS PAC spend buttloads on the 2012 elections with nothing to show for it, but his history as a political strategist is awful. This is a guy who thought nominating Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court, invading Iraq in search of phantom WMD, and outing Valerie Plame were all good ideas. Because of Karl Rove’s masterful political strategizing, George W. Bush left office as one of the least popular presidents of recent times, with low approvals rivaling — and occasionally worse than — those of Richard Nixon.
This is the guy who thinks he can pick winners.
And the first sign that Rove’s completely screwing this all up is the fact that we even know about it. Rove decided it would be super-smart to shout his election strategy from the rooftops, ensuring that the ‘bagger base would be good and pissed off and ready to fight a Republican civil war. The smart thing to do would be to keep it to yourself and work quietly behind the scenes.
Democrats can be thankful that Rove didn’t do that smart thing. Now Republicans will blow insane amounts of cash winning their primaries, only to go into the general election pretty broke. This is what happened this cycle in Wisconsin, where former governor and Bush administration official Tommy Thompson had to waste his war chest fighting off Tea Party frootloops — as well as make seriously unwise statements to prove he was crazy enough to win a Republican primary. It’s one of the reasons we now have Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the first openly lesbian senator elected to that chamber and one of the most liberal politicians in Washington. The primary battle of Tea Party purity vs. electability ensured that the winner would not be electable. It’s hard to see how it would turn out any different any place else.
If a seat’s so competitive that electability is a factor, then Rove’s strategy to win it has already been proven a failure.
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