The D.C.-based right-wing groups, it’s now patently obvious, have no clue how to pick insurgent challengers to knock off those “squishes” like Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) or help win back a seat where the incumbent Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) is vulnerable.
In Kentucky, Sam Youngman reports on the downhill slide of Matt Bevin, the most heavily hawked right-winger by groups such as the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project, asking “Is this the end of Matt Bevin?” He explains: “The revelation last week that Bevin signed a letter to investors praising the 2008 bank bailouts, combined with Bevin’s tortured explanation and repeated condemnations of the bailout, make for a potentially fatal political blow. To McConnell’s re-election team, it represented ‘the final piece of the puzzle.'”
Youngman reports what few on the far right will admit: Bevin never really became a viable challenger. (“Bevin, the Louisville businessman challenging McConnell in the May 20 Republican primary, already was struggling mightily to raise money and gain traction against the much better-funded and more well-known McConnell.”) Nevertheless, right-wing groups have poured millions of dollars into its top five Senate races, including the Kentucky candidate. (Bevin is also the candidate who had a get-together with John Birchers.)
The McConnell campaign has been bird-dogging Bevin for months on other purported misrepresentations. Today a spokeswoman for the campaign tells Right Turn that Bevin’s campaign is based on misrepresentations, “as he has been untruthful on everything from where he went to school, to his business background, to where he stands on the issues and he has been exposed.”
Candidate failure is hardly a unique phenomenon on the far right. In North Carolina, the GOP has an experienced, telegenic candidate in the state House, Speaker Thom Tillis. But not the right-wing groups. They put their hopes on Greg Brannon. Today, the political reporter for the Raleigh News Observer reports that in a civil trial he’s been held responsible for misleading investors.
Put aside for the moment the merits of the positions and the effectiveness of the strategies (e.g. shutdown, hit the debt ceiling) advanced by groups such as FreedomWorks, Senate Conservatives Fund, Madison Project, a number of national tea party groups and a smattering of right-wing media. If you invest your donors’ money and your endorsement in entirely unsuitable candidates, pretty soon donors, and everyone else, will regard your operation as a joke. The good news for Republicans is that these candidates self-destructed well before the primary. However, viable GOP candidates have had to spend time and money fending off their wacky competitors. That’s a big favor to the Senate Committee — the Democrats’.