Much was made of the New York Times article earlier this month that detailed how Karl Rove has created an offshoot of American Crossroads to fund candidates in Republican primaries that are, in the estimation of well heeled GOP donors, “more electable”. At Breitbart.com, Ben Shapiro described it as Rove having declared war on the Tea Party. Ben Howe made a similar observation at RedState. The consensus among Conservatives is that this new Super PAC, The Conservative Victory Project, is blaming the Tea Party Movement for failed Republican candidates. From the NYT Article:
There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected,” said Steven J. Law, the president of American Crossroads, the “super PAC” creating the new project. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.”
The effort would put a new twist on the Republican-vs.-Republican warfare that has consumed the party’s primary races in recent years. In effect, the establishment is taking steps to fight back against Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations that have wielded significant influence in backing candidates who ultimately lost seats to Democrats in the general election.
Never mind that Todd Akin, the Rockefeller wing’s whipping boy, was supported far more heavily by the Democrats than the Tea Party. The objective of this new effort skews the well known rule first articulated by William F. Buckley. Buckley never said we should back “the most conservative candidate who can win”, as Law implies. He said that we should back “the rightwardmost viable candidate”. There’s an enormous distinction between electable and viable, and mangling the intent of “The Buckley Rule” muddies the waters on what it truly means to advance the conservative movement.
Well, there are members of the RNC who are far more aligned with Tea Party values than many may realize – members who were just as surprised and disappointed with Rove as we are. Solomon Yue, the National Committeeman from Oregon, co-founded the Republican National Conservative Caucus. This is a large bloc of voters within the RNC that is strongly aligned with Tea Party objectives. Mr. Yue, working with Suzanne Gallagher, the new Chair of the Oregon Republican Party, will be advancing a resolution at the April meeting of the RNC that will encourage each state party organization to work with Tea Party groups to conduct joint candidate recruitment.
In email correspondence, Mr. Yue stated,
The GOP controlled House has been surrendering their congressional power to Obama on two recent votes: the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling increase without getting spending and debt reductions. This will not only damage the constitutional check and balance … it will also motivate more Tea Party candidates to run against establishment candidates during the next primary.
Rove’s targeting of Tea Party candidates will take away our leverage (running Tea Party candidates against RINOs in the primary) to force soft Republican congressmen and senators to hold the line for us. As a result, we will lose more of our freedom in the next four years. Defending freedom will soon be equivalent to taking a moral stand [like] opposing slavery. Failure to doing so will turn GOP into the next Whig party. Rove’s move could split GOP (currently around 36%) into two minor parties: [a hypothetical] Freedom Party (perhaps 26%) and old GOP (10%). But the problem is that we are looking at DNC (38%), non-affiliated (26%), Freedom Party (26%), and old GOP (10%) – more like a European multiple-party system than a two-party representative form of governance.”
This is why it is imperative that the Tea Party continue to fight to bring discipline back to the GOP. We must continue to hold the line for fiscal conservatism and personal liberty, whether the Karl Roves of the world like it or not. This resolution is likely to pass at the upcoming RNC meeting. While non-binding, passage of this resolution will send a strong message to Republicans, Conservatives and Tea Party activists that the grassroots will not simply accept defeat from the party elites who would just as easily roll over on our core conservative values.