By Sam Foster
When I saw the title of this Politico article hit my twitter stream this morning, I didn't bother to read it at first. I knew what I'd find and I knew that the Politico wouldn't get the story straight. Now that it is up at the top of Memeorandum, I figured I'd do a bit of explaining.
The back-and-forth following an otherwise triumphant election amounted to a significant ratcheting up of the internecine battle that has been taking place within the GOP for the past year.
That was really the only germane portion of the article. So let me make three points on this:
1) Take any Republican grumbling with a grain of salt. Republicans is what Republicans does and nothing upsets me more than the power jockeying around and after elections. There is backbiting and character assassinations as a list of candidates hope to head for the Presidential ticket. Still, this is what the Republican Party does.
In the case above, there are many new Senate candidates who owe much to Jim DeMint and there are some candidates not showing up (Mike Castle) who would have owed much to others. Regardless, Senate power players emerged from Nov. 2nd with a different hand than they had expected a year ago, which is why some Senate power players are pointing fingers at other Senate power players.
2) The argument that "other candidates" would have won, is more of a knee-jerk gripe due to shifting power in the Republican Party than a viable argument. NY-23 actually had a reverse Tea Party situation, where the Republicans ran an insurgent against the Tea Party candidate. The Republican candidate got the nomination and support from the defeated Tea Party candidate, but lost the election. The lesson? The "we pick the winning candidates" argument from Republican Establishment is as much a fairy tale as it is capricious.
3) There is a battle to move the Republican Party to a fiscal conservative platform. This doesn't fit well for the long-time Republican power structure that has remained in office on social conservatism. Ceding the argument means ceding power.
So, let me sum it up: power, check; power, check; and more power, double check.
A useful task for Republican Senators would be to look at DE, CO, and NV. Analyze what happened and find a platform and candidates that are acceptable to the growing fiscal conservative base and the spit and polish hacks. On the other hand, stupidity would be continually standing up for a candidate that voted for Cap and Trade like Mike Castle at a time when fiscal conservatism is winning the argument of public debate.