Author Topic: The staggering price of crushing the tea party  (Read 209 times)

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Offline Once-Ler

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The staggering price of crushing the tea party
« on: June 26, 2014, 03:09:18 AM »

National Republican leaders are toasting primary season as a smashing success over activist conservatives that has put the hard right on the ropes and given the Washington GOP the slate of candidates it wanted for 2014.

Those victories, however, have come at a staggering cost — and Republicans are painfully aware of the price of putting down an intraparty insurrection.

Establishment-aligned groups have already spent some $23 million on independent expenditures propping up favored House and Senate candidates in contentious primaries, according to a POLITICO review of Federal Election Commission records. By comparison, Republican nominees raised and spent that amount in the 2012 North Dakota, Indiana and Nevada Senate races combined — three of the most competitive campaigns fought that year.

The scope of the effort to suppress activist-backed candidates has been broader and costlier than is widely understood, covering at least 20 House and Senate primaries from North Carolina to California, and from coastal Mississippi to the outer tip of Long Island. The loose coalition of establishment forces encompasses two dozen advocacy groups, industry associations and super PACs that have raised and spent millions on behalf of Washington’s chosen candidates.

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan said the “quote ‘establishment’” had successfully divided up the primary map this year to avoid duplicating one another’s efforts. Eventually, Duncan said, outside groups on the right may realize that they’re better off working with the national party than raging against it. Indeed, in many cases this year, national party favorites have tacked well to the right to win their primaries.

“I think we have to keep on winning. I think we have to show up and make sure that our candidates are not going to be complacent and that they start early,” Duncan said. “That wake-up call certainly seems to have gotten through.”

Nearly a third of the establishment money has come from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The business lobby’s spending in this year’s toughest primaries has about equaled the $7 million that the conservative Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund have spent together on the most fractious elections — excluding races, like the Senate campaigns in Arkansas and Alaska, where there’s been no meaningful clash between establishment-sanctioned outside groups and the activist right.

And the $23 million figure isn’t even close to a full accounting of what D.C.-backed candidates spent to win their nomination fights. Candidates themselves, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Cornyn of Texas, have collectively spent tens of millions more from their campaign accounts.

Top Republican strategists and party officials say they have no regrets about going all-in against flawed primary candidates. In a perfect world, they say, the whole expensive ordeal would be unnecessary. With conservative outside groups routinely bumping off incumbent lawmakers and prized recruits, it’s simply the cost of doing business — now and perhaps for the foreseeable future.

Former George W. Bush White House political adviser Scott Jennings, who is steering a pro-McConnell super PAC this year, likened the heavy investment to a sports team that fields its strongest players possible midway through a playoff series.

“There may not be a game seven if you don’t have a game six, so you have to spend to win,” Jennings said. “In a world that you could script without the realities of the world we live in, you’d never spend a dollar until you get to the end of your general election. But that’s not the world we live in, and it’s OK.”

After the Chamber of Commerce, the most prolific spenders have been American Crossroads, which spent $2.4 million boosting Senate candidate Thom Tillis in North Carolina and tearing down three-time New York congressional candidate Matt Doheny; and the National Association of Realtors, which put nearly $2 million into protecting a half-dozen GOP incumbents. National advocacy groups such as the National Rifle Association and the American Action Network have gone to bat, with the NRA rushing to Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s aid and AAN helping nominate state Sen. Lee Zeldin in a New York congressional primary this week. The moderate Republican Main Street Partnership played heavily both in Mississippi and in a different New York congressional race upstate.
Jeff B/DDHQ‏@EsotericCD More 6mo into 1st year of Trump's term & he's already looking into pardoning himself & his family We bought this ticket, we're takin' this ride.

Offline Once-Ler

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Re: The staggering price of crushing the tea party
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2014, 04:37:49 AM »
Jim Malone - What are you prepared to do?
Elliot Ness - Everything within the law.
Jim Malone - And then what are you prepared to do?

The "Citizen Kane" of my generation - "The Untouchables."

The GOPe is fighting for it's life.  The GOPe can not afford to deal with reckless and embarrassing primary challengers from the fringe right like Steve Stockman, Matt Bevin, and Dwayne Stovall

How do you stop an angry ideologically crazed and irrational movement willing to commit (political) suicide for their cause?  Dubya did it by declaring a doctrine that the US would not wait to be attacked.  We were going to be preemptive in our interests and he proved it with a disproportionate response after 9-11 with our liberation of Iraq.  He killed the dream of Bin Laden and the islamic terrorists.  They thought that the US was a "paper tiger."  They thought all Presidents were like the simpering cowards Clinton and Obama.  The islamic terrorists thought we would tuck our tail between our legs and run away like we did in Beirut, and Bengahzi. 

Politics is war by other means, to misquote Carl von Clausewitz.  I don't mean to equate the Tea Party with fundamentalist Islomoterrorism.  The Tea Party is Hell-pavingly well intentioned, but to me they are both disconnected with reality and and counter productive to their cause.

IMO, and in reality, the Tea Party and groups like Club for Growth, Heritage Action, Freedomworks, and Tea Party Patriots declared war on the GOPe last year.  They promised to primary the GOP leadership and they promised to back those candidates with what the SCOTUS calls "free speech."  Then in October they promised the grass roots would stand up and demand fiscal conservatism.  Rush Limbaugh would say "Conservatism works every time it's tried."  But the people rejected conservatism and it was clear to the GOPe that to stay in power a representative needs to be elected by voters in a general election not just a primary election.  The fantasy peddlers made good on their promise to primary the GOPe.  The GOPe responded with overwhelming force and the will to do everything.  That is how you win.  The GOPe is killing the dream.

A few months ago several on this board were calling for a truce.  A need to mend fences and bridge the gap between the GOPe and the far right.  I disagreed.  You negotiate after you win.  "Never stop fighting till the fight is done." Here endeth the lesson.
Jeff B/DDHQ‏@EsotericCD More 6mo into 1st year of Trump's term & he's already looking into pardoning himself & his family We bought this ticket, we're takin' this ride.

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