From Business Insider: “How Mitch McConnell’s War On The Tea Party Could Backfire.”
More than any other campaign in the 2014 election, McConnell’s is a battle for control over the GOP. If he can defeat Bevin and Grimes while challenging SCF and other conservative groups, it will prove that the establishment still has power within the party. If not, it will give the Tea Party yet another boost.
However, McConnell’s war is not an isolated battle. By challenging the Tea Party in a public manner, he’s forcing other GOP candidates to pick sides. Like with Sasse, candidates cannot simultaneously receive support from conservative groups and have the minority leader’s blessing. As Strong writes, “being Switzerland isn’t really an option.”
This is a risky strategy for McConnell. He’s starting a GOP civil war, something Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has long tried to avoid. The rift in the party could have electoral consequences. An onslaught of negative ads both aimed at and produced by Republicans will hurt the party as a whole and nasty, divisive primaries could cause some Republicans to stay home in the general election.
Boehner repeatedly capitulated to the Tea Party during the government shutdown, because the greatest risk to the House GOP’s majority was a civil war. He had no choice, but to appease them. With Obamacare’s disastrous launch, the chances of Democrats retaking the House have fallen to zero. Now, Republicans have a huge opportunity to take back the Senate. But McConnell’s tactics could reduce those chances.
I love how the Republican Establishment tells folks “you can’t attack” a RINO–you have to support the label–but when it comes to non-Establishment types, their instructions don’t apply to them.
Hey, we’ve seen this movie repeatedly in recent years: Democratic Party failures and impossibly utopian policies leave the D-boys preeminently vulnerable, but the Republican Establishment rushes in to snatch defeat from the lap of sure victory.
Here we go again… unless my Kentucky neighbors can put a stake through McConnell’s heart, and send this taxpayer-dollar-sucking-political-vampire home, for good.