Debate Magazine

Karl Rove Takes On The Tea Party

Posted on the 05 February 2013 by Reasoningpolitics @reasonpolitics

GYI0000601337.jpgYes, that Karl Rove. He is among many establishment Republicans who are trying to rid themselves of the crazy and unelectable candidates that the Tea Party has put forth.

Mother Jones reports:

No more Todd Akins. No more Richard Mourdocks. No more Republican primaries that produce divisive, gaffe-spewing GOP candidates.

That’s the aim of a new super-PAC, the Conservative Victory Fund, spearheaded by Karl Rove and his big-money juggernaut, American Crossroads. Rove’s new project plans to raise millions of dollars from the biggest GOP donors and then spend it on hard-hitting television ads and mailers during GOP primaries in marquee Senate races. The goal, as the New York Times reported this weekend, is blocking future Akins and Mourdocks from winning Senate primaries, while paving the way for less-divisive candidates with broader appeal and better odds of winning the general election. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win,” Steven Law, the president of American Crossroads and a force behind the Conservative Victory Fund, told the Times.

David Frum likes the idea, but doesn’t think it addresses the core issues at hand in the GOP:

The real challenge for American Crossroads is that the GOP’s political problems cannot be fixed at the SuperPac level. SuperPacs make ads. That’s it.

But if you want to advertise a message about the middle class, you must first policies that offer something to the middle class.

If you want to reach out to new voters, you must do so in real space, not only via TV and radio.

Republican won’t get very far with a division of labor that allows extremists to write the policies, while the pragmatists write the ads.

What the Republican party needs now is a full-spectrum, self-conscious alternative to the extremism that has gripped the GOP since 2008. Just as the “movement conservatism” of the 1970s challenged from within an out-of-date party elite, so today the Republican party needs a new movement of modern-minded, progressive Republicans to challenge the ascendancy of Tea Party conservatism.

Even so, independents, moderates, and progressives ought to be happy with this development, and not because Republican infighting can lead to Democratic victories. No matter what happens, Republicans are still going to be part of the government. Wouldn’t you prefer to deal with rational conservatives looking to make a deal rather than ideological zealots prepared to wreck the economy to get what they want?


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