Rove argues that Republican fortunes have been ruined by "far-right conservatives," but he's shamelessly calling this entity the "Conservative Victory Project." Yes, and I could call myself Ray Lewis, but it doesn't make it so.
Whaddaya know? The liberal Democrats at the Times love this idea. They call it "the most robust attempt yet by Republicans to impose a new sense of discipline on the party." They would love a group to "discipline" conservatives right out of the GOP nominating process. What the heck? They could call themselves "conservative," too.
It's reminiscent of all the reporters who desperately wanted Colin Powell to run for president in 1996 because apparently Bob Dole was too fringy, and, as Howard Fineman said at the time, reporters "want a Republican Party they can live with."
Only at the end of the Times story does a fraction of balance appear, when Grover Norquist is delicately quoted on how establishment candidates did not win in Montana (Rep. Denny Rehberg) or North Dakota (Rep. Rick Berg). That list is very incomplete.
Rove and Co. should also revisit how establishment moderates fared in other Senate races. Former governor Linda Lingle lost in Hawaii. Former governor Tommy Thompson lost in Wisconsin. Two-time self-funding Senate contender Linda McMahon lost in Connecticut. Sen. Scott Brown lost in Massachusetts. Five-term Congresswoman Heather Wilson lost her second Senate campaign in New Mexico. Chris Christie's 2009 campaign chairman Joe Kyrillos lost in New Jersey.
So how many moderate GOP challengers won in 2012? Not one. How many Tea Party conservatives? Three.
The New York Times quoted Rove staffer Steven Law on their alleged philosophy: "Our approach will be to institutionalize the Buckley rule: Support the most conservative candidate who can win." Uh-huh. So that's what Rove was doing when he supported Sen. Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in 2004. Before that term was over, Specter became a Democrat. That's what moderates were doing when they supported Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio in Florida in 2010. Crist, too, became a Democrat.
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