Karl Rove and his Crossroads GPS crapped out in the last election by backing the wrong candidates and getting skunked by Tea Party entries like senate candidates Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. So they’re regrouping.
The group, the Conservative Victory Project, is intended to counter other organizations that have helped defeat establishment Republican candidates over the last two election cycles. It is the most robust attempt yet by Republicans to impose a new sense of discipline on the party, particularly in primary races.
“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.
The first test of the group’s effort to influence primary races could come here in Iowa, where some Republicans are already worrying about who will run for the seat being vacated by Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat. It is the first open Senate seat in Iowa since 1974, and Republicans are fearful of squandering a rare opportunity.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is already planning to run for Harkin’s seat. As previously noted, Mr. King is about as far out there on the fringes of the right wing of the GOP that he and Michele Bachmann are basically indistinguishable. (Speaking of Ms. Bachmann, she’s weighing a run against Al Franken in Minnesota next year.)
The funny thing is that Karl Rove is basically the man responsible for the growth of the Tea Party movement, at least indirectly. Now he’s fighting off the very monster he’s created.
Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.