Conservative Movement Still Fomenting Self-Immolation For Fun And Profit

WASHINGTON - MARCH 16:  U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) (2nd R) stands with House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) (L)
WASHINGTON - MARCH 16: U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) (2nd R) stands with House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) (L), Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) (2nd L), House Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) (3rd L) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) (R) as he speaks at a news conference to unveil a new GOP television ad against President Barack Obama's health care legislation, at National Republican Committee headquarters on March 16, 2010 in Washington, DC. Democrats seem to be determined to push through health care bill over heavy Republican opposition. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

Here's an extraordinary pair of paragraphs from GOP strategist Brian Walsh, writing in the opinion pages of U.S. News And World Report:

In fact, the Senate Conservatives Fund and Heritage Action, the political arm of the once well-respected Heritage Foundation, have spent more money so far on attack ads this year against House and Senate Republicans than the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic National Committee, combined. All the while, virtually every Senate Democrat up for re-election in 2014 – all of whom were the deciding vote on Obamacare – has been given a free pass by these groups.

You see, money begets TV ads which begets even more money for these groups' personal coffers. Pointing fingers and attacking Republicans is apparently a very profitable fundraising business. It's also a detriment to the future of the Republican party and the critical effort to defend the House and win back the Senate in 2014.

Hat tip on this to Alex Pareene, who got another opportunity to explain how the "conservative movement is essentially a self-perpetuating fundraising machine." The business of enforcing purity control within the GOP ranks is booming, even if it fails to help the GOP govern. And the knives that carved up rock-ribbed Republicans like South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis, Utah Sen. Bob Bennett and Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar are out once again. This time, they're aimed vaguely in the direction of GOP figures with well-established conservative pedigrees, like Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander and Texas Sen. John Cornyn.

Walsh -- who used to serve as Cornyn's chief communications strategist, a factoid that perhaps explains why he's motivated to criticize groups like Heritage in this fashion -- notes that despite the fact that "staunch conservative" Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) served ably as the "chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee," winning a "a net gain of 63 seats" in the 2010 midterms, he has nevertheless become a top target of the conservative movement's well-funded Purity Keepers:

Yet this week, the Senate Conservatives Fund – a super PAC run out of a Capitol Hill townhouse by operatives of former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint – called Sessions a "Texas RINO" (that's a Republican-In-Name-Only for those unfamiliar with the term) and threatened to "actively recruit and fund a primary challenger" against him next year.

In a widely-distributed fundraising email that harkened memories of General Custer exhorting his troops before the Battle of Little Bighorn, SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins went so far as to write, "We can't sit back and let wishy-washy Republicans like Pete Sessions destroy our freedoms."

Remember, Sessions is the guy who wrested the speaker's gavel away from Nancy Pelosi and put it in the GOP's hands! So, what has he done wrong?

Per Walsh: "As chairman of the House Rules Committee, Sessions does not appear willing to help march Republicans off a political cliff and risk the House majority by shutting down the government – cutting off checks to military families and seniors and putting at great risk the recent spending cuts achieved through sequestration – over a fantastical fight to 'defund' Obamacare."

Whatever cause Sessions was hoping to serve, it's since become a racket.

Conservatives Eat Their Own for Profit [U.S. News And World Report]
The right’s self-defeating new business scheme [Salon]

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