David Harsanyi

And just as surely, not every candidate can look the same. The Conservative Victory Project says that its aim is to institutionalize William F. Buckley's rule: Support the most conservative candidate who is electable. The most electable conservative candidate in the Northeast isn't going to be a social conservative. It's that simple.

"If ... people think the best we can do is Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, they're wrong," Rove recently explained. "We need to do better if we hope to take over the United States Senate. We need to get better conservative candidates and win." Rove may be the wrong person to play kingmaker, but what's wrong with the sentiment? Republicans, despite the belief of many grass-roots activists, don't have a crisis of philosophy (the party is about as conservative as ever); they have a roster problem. A message problem. A persuasion problem. Right or wrong, they're not winning arguments.

So though Rove's recent history might not be impressive, he's got a point: If Republicans worried as much about quality as they did about purity, they might be better off.

David Harsanyi is a columnist and senior reporter at Human Events. Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi. To find out more about David Harsanyi and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of "The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy." Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.