The Times did not explore Steven Law's win-loss record. As executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 1998 and 2000, Law's work ended up with zero gains in 1998 and four seats lost in 2000. The Times didn't want to remind anyone how Rove "the Architect" predicted in 2006 that the GOP would retain control of both houses of Congress, and he proceeded to lose them both.
Wouldn't that information help the public evaluate just how much the Republicans need Team Rove's new "discipline" to win?
When it comes to winning, they supported Sen. Robert Bennett over Mike Lee (who won the seat) in Utah. The GOP moderates preferred Lt. Gov David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz in Texas in 2012. The list seems endless.
These candidates are not the ones that journalists want the public to remember. Instead, the national media gorged itself on 2012 Senate candidate Todd Akin's comments on abortion and "legitimate rape." This is where media bias on deciding what is a gaffe (and what is not) matters. It was never a gaffe when Senate candidate Barack Obama ran in 2004 (and 2008, and 2012) after having voted four times in the Illinois Senate to allow abortions after the "fetus" became a baby outside the womb. Absolutely nobody with a press pass found that idea ideologically extreme or scientifically bizarre.
I don't remember Rove making an ad about that extremism, but Rove and the Times have already settled on Iowa Congressman Steve King as the potential Akin of 2014 if he runs for the Senate. The Times repeated Democrat opposition research, that King had compared illegal immigrants to bird dogs and that King denounced Nancy Pelosi and her "Stasi troops" for insisting on eco-friendly light bulbs and other federal mandates.
In the end, this is not a fight between Democrats and Republicans. This is between the Reaganites and the same old moderate Republicans who insisted Ronald Reagan was far too extreme to be elected in 1976 and then in 1980, when Rove worked for George H. W. Bush. They thought the Doles and McCains were always the smart money against the Democrats. It's a fight between Republicans who want to not only run as conservatives, but govern as conservatives, versus the Bush-Boehner-McConnell never-mind approach.
Conservatism is in no way synonymous with defeat, and "conservative victory" isn't even attempted by those who were never conservatives to begin with.