That’s right, folks. Karl Rove, a former White House adviser who had a meltdown on Fox News on election night, and American Crossroads are creating a PAC dedicated to helping establishment candidates defeat conservatives in primary races:
The biggest donors in the Republican Party are financing a new group to recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s efforts to win control of the Senate.
The group, the Conservative Victory Project, is intended to counter other organizations that have helped defeat establishment Republican candidates over the last two election cycles. It is the most robust attempt yet by Republicans to impose a new sense of discipline on the party, particularly in primary races.
“There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected,” said Steven J. Law, the president of American Crossroads, the “super PAC” creating the new project. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.”
Look, you’re not going to get an argument from me that Todd Akin, who made the now infamous “legitimate rape” comment, was a terrible candidate. But he wasn’t backed by fiscal conservative groups like the Club for Growth or FreedomWorks — groups that pushed a fiscally conservative message. Richard Mourdock, who defeated Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), was a decent candidate done in by an ill-advised remark about abortion.
Rove, who was the brain behind George W. Bush’s brand of “compassionate conservatism,” will no doubt pick candidates who will toe the party line, never questioning whether a particular big-government policy is good for the country. It’s not about reducing the national debt or lessening the size and scope of government to Rove and company, it’s about Team Republican — winning elections for the sake of political power.
Can you imagine this group getting behind a fiscal conservative who takes on, say, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) or, if he hadn’t already opted not to run for re-election, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)? These guys have been the worst of the worst of Senate Republicans — they’ve been spending too much and willing to raise taxes.
If a group like the so-called “Conservative Victory Project,” we may not have gotten some great fiscal conservatives elected in the last couple of cycles, such as Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and others. Rove and his buddies are scared to death of them because they’re willing to shake-up the status quo.
If Rove wants a battle, bring it on.