In a warning shot to outside conservative groups, the National Republican Senatorial Committee this week informed a prominent Republican advertising firm that it would not receive any contracts with the campaign committee because of its work with a group that targets incumbent Senate Republicans.
Even more striking, a senior official at the committee called individual Republican Senate campaigns and other party organizations this week and urged them not to hire the firm, Jamestown Associates, in an effort to punish them for working for the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group founded by Jim DeMint, then a South Carolina senator, that is trying to unseat Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, and some other incumbents up for re-election next year whom it finds insufficiently conservative.
Thus the civil war inside the Republican Party has spread into the politico-industrial complex. I’m trying to think how blacklisting contractors who work for Tea Party candidates will do anything constructive. Aside from inflaming the base, isn’t that kinda going after low-hanging fruit?
What about the sugar daddies financing these folks? It’s fine to go after an ad agency, but what about the people paying the bills? What about the Koch Brothers or people like Nashville’s own Lee Beaman, a generous contributor to affiliated groups like the Club For Growth (a major backer of Ted Cruz) and Americans For Prosperity. Wonder if any of these people will get their hands slapped? It doesn’t sound like it.
The problem with the Republican Party, as I’ve written a gazillion times, is that the moderates are already extinct from a functional perspective. Even the most reasonable Republican imaginable, once elected, ends up playing on the same team as the knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who remain stubbornly committed to failed policies and ignorant ideas like “defaulting on our debt is just a pin-prick.” Time and time again we see the so-called “moderates” kow-tow to the mouthbreathers; this is how we ended up with a shuttered government for two weeks, folks. Even our spineless governor, Bill Haslam, is too weak-kneed to take on the fringe.
I’m reminded of a quote from a book I read years and years ago — I think it was Asne Seierstad’s The Bookseller Of Kabul — where a Pakistani man says he doesn’t support the brutal tactics of the Taliban in nearby Afghanistan, but he thinks Pakistan could benefit from “just a little bit of the Taliban.”
But there is no “little bit.” It’s all or nothing. And it’s the same with today’s Republicans. There’s no “little bit of the Tea Party,” it’s the whole thing. They just shut down the entire government because the moderates are extinct as a party force. That should tell you something right there.
The fact that party leadership still thinks they can control this beast they created without going after the Hydra’s head — the Koch billions — is just pathetic.