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Friday, October 28, 2016

It seems 2014 may be the year Republican Party power brokers finally rein in their base. The business wing of the party, led by political operative Karl Rove and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have signaled that they will not back Tea Party Senate candidates this election season, opting instead to fund more moderate and business-minded conservatives.

The Republican Party schism, it seems, is a full-on assault by groups like the Chamber of Commerce to retake their party from radical Tea Party candidates. The move is part political pragmatism, part an attempt by Rove and Big Business interests to recast the Republican Party message to fit their ideology.

To ensure the party nominates intelligent and electable candidates, the Chamber of Commerce will spend $50 million to “support establishment, business-friendly candidates in primaries and the general election, with an aim of trying to win a Republican Senate majority,” the Chamber’s political strategist Scott Reed told the Wall Street Journal.

The Tea Party cradle that rocked Ted Cruz to the Senate and Sarah Palin to the presidential ticket has had disastrous effects on the caliber of the GOP’s candidates, according to “moderate” Republicans like Rove and Reed. For the traditional wing of the Republican Party, it’s not just that these candidates espouse a radical brand of conservatism, it’s that quirky campaigns tend to implode, leaving battleground seats open for Democrats to seize.

So 2014 is not going to be another year that business-minded Republicans let their Senate races be left to the “fools” of the GOP.

“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” Reed told the Wall Street Journal. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”

Rove offered similar analysis in March when he said on Fox News Sunday, “Our object is to avoid having stupid candidates who can’t win general elections, who are undisciplined, can’t raise money, aren’t putting together the support necessary to win a general election campaign.”

Who are the “fools” of the GOP that Rove would like to block from further damaging his party? People like Ben Sasse, a current Nebraska Senate candidate backed by Tea Party SuperPAC Club For Growth. Sasse, like other Tea Party candidates, favors apocalyptic imagery to get his point across. Speaking about Obamacare, Sasse said: “If it lives, America as we know it will die. If the idea of America is to live, it must be stopped.”

Further evidence of the patients running the asylum can be found in the crowded Georgia Senate primary. Paul Broun is the tentative favorite to win the race, and he openly speaks about his anti-establishment positions. “The establishment don’t [sic] want me to go to the U.S. Senate,” Broun told supporters earlier this year. “The reason for that is because when I go to the U.S. Senate, it will be Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Paul Broun. The establishment don’t [sic] want that.”

Broun’s positions make any moderate statement by his fellow Republican candidates ammunition for his far-right campaign. For example, fellow Republican, and Georgia Senate primary candidate, Jack Kingston said about Obamacare earlier this year: “A lot of conservatives say no, just step back and let this thing fall to pieces on its own. But I don’t think that that’s always the responsible thing to do. I think we need to be working for things that improve health care for all of us. And if there was something in Obamacare, then we need to know about it.”

Broun’s campaign pounced on Kingston after his statement in a press release. “It is clear that Congressman Kingston and Dr. Broun stand on opposing grounds: One supports fixing Obamacare, and the other supports repealing and replacing Obamacare with solutions that serve patients’ best interest, not government,” the press release reads.

Broun now leads Kingston by over 10 percentage points in the Republican primary. Thus, it seems the Republican establishment has its work cut out — even if it’s prepared to spend $50 million on “electable” candidates.

Photo: Petezin via Flickr 

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • daniel bostdorf

    The USA Chamber of Commerce and its state subsidiaries remind me of a form of a protection racket. Pay your dues or else.

    A protection racket is a scheme whereby a group provides
    protection to businesses through influence outside the sanction of the
    law. Through the credible threat of retaliation, the “racketeers” deter
    people from swindling, robbing, injuring, sabotaging or otherwise
    harming their clients….these clients being those that support the GOP right wing agenda.

  • Sand_Cat

    When Karl Rove becomes a “moderate,” surely at least some some people should have it dawn on them that our politics are skewed to the point of insanity.

  • Dominick Vila

    Bear in mind that what most people consider bizarre opinions and behavior, it is regarded as a welcomed example of trying to preserve archaic values by those who fear change or an incapable of dealing with the vicissitudes of daily life, and the inevitable reality of a rapidly changing world. This is the same crowd that needs placebos to cope and blame their suppliers – and those who are trying to solve the socioeconomic problems they helped create – for their misery.
    In many ways, the Chamber of Commerce, ALEC, and other ultra conservative organizations are not too different from the Mafia.

  • charleo1

    What!? No fools on the ship of fools? Where pray tell are they going to find such an
    aberration? The T-Party will not go down without a fight! In fact, fight is all the T-Party
    is capable of. I will be honest here, and feign no attempt at modesty. Did we not warn
    these lovesick Republicans? Yes, we most certainly did. To which now it is necessary
    to remind our regretful detractors. You picked ’em, Brother. Now you deal with them!

  • jointerjohn

    The Chamber of Commerce has come to realize that while they were able to use the Tea Party to help them to their ends a couple of times, the masquerade is almost up. Many of these people who are staunch Teas are going to bolt like scalded mules when they finally arrive at the reality that the Chamber’s goals have nothing in common with theirs. As Tea Party zealots wake up and smell the corporate welfare this little love affair will get ugly. Congratulations republican party and business elites, you have given birth to a real problem child here. Getting rid of that child during an election year will cost you plenty.

  • howa4x

    This is what happens when you let the evil genie out of bottle. Republicans loved the energy that propelled them to take of the house but now realize that it may eat them alive as a national party. Rove had a hand in creating the Tea party so it is interesting to see he wants to destroy his creation. The Business community loved the social agenda of the far right since it took people’s attention away from them and the amount of money they were making. Problem is most Americans are appalled by it, and wining a national election became harder to do. The Chambers answer is to move toward the center.
    But now the chamber and friends are under attack from the new progressive wing of the democrats. DeBlassio won in NYC on income inequality as the central theme of his campaign, and president Obama is going all in on the same theme. States have raised the minimum wage through referendums that the chamber fought against. The voters saw the benefits and went against business,. This is all bad news for the Chamber. The other problem they have is the evil twin Koch bros have adopted the Tea party as their weapon of choice. They still have a war chest to elect the wakado’s, and evangelical businessmen will pour millions into religious leaning candidates. Rove is standing on shifting sands and I doubt he can turn the tide. If all else fails you might see the Chamber and other business sectors try to make a deal with likes of Hillary. That will be the change that will send Rove into the dustbin of history.

  • dmhlt_66

    If their rubric is going to be, “No Fools on Our Ticket” …
    Then the Repubican short list of candidates just fell to ZERO!

  • WhutHeSaid

    Mutiny on the Ship of Fools?

    Ha! The SS GOP has finally awoken from it’s night of debauchery with the lunatic fringe, and it isn’t a pretty sight. This was fairly predictable, of course, because any party that has to publicly deny that it is a witch is in real trouble.

    Tea Bigots hate everybody — even themselves. They won’t go down without an all-out attempt to cannibalize their own party, and the results will be humorous for people who’ve never worn a tin-foil hat. Expect to see a number of bloody Republican primaries where the sole survivor is too damaged to survive a general election. But the GOP is, after all, the party of big money, and there isn’t much money to be made by running around in a tri-cornered hat screeching that Obama is really Satan and the sky is falling.

    It’s going to be a very interesting show in 2014, and I personally doubt that it will be over in time for the 2016 elections. If the SS GOP doesn’t capsize by then, it will need to have a resurgence of sanity — something that has never been a Republican strength. One can only hope that the Democrats benefit from this comedic mutiny and don’t walk the plank of their own volition.

  • orange_capz

    Those who seize the opportunities afforded by liberty also have a moral obligation to address directly resulting negative consequences.

    • Paul Bass

      What does this condescending statement have to do with republicans not wanting idiots on their ticket??
      Please stick to the topic on hand and stop printing BS on every post.