Any regular reader of this site knows they don’t have to question by conservative credentials, both fiscally and socially I am in the conservative camp for most if not all issues.
That said It is my belief that the Freedom Works and Senate Conservative Fund’s endorsement of Matt Bevin, Mitch McConnell’s opponent in the Kentucky primary is bad for Kentucky, bad for America and bad for the Tea Party movement. I further believe they should be spending to ensure that McConnell become the next majority leader of the Senate.
I will admit that McConnell is not the perfect Senator, at least IMHO, on the other hand the only perfect person I know is my wife, but I wouldn’t support her because she is a Democrat. But charges that McConnell supported Obamacare are simply asinine. While he did vote for the final deal to end the shutdown, it was politically time for the shutdown to end. Just because McConnell didn’t strap on a suicide belt and blow up the Capital Building to prevent a vote does not mean he supported the legislation.
Overall McConnell is a decent conservative, in 2012 the ACU gave him a rating of 100%, Club For Growth gave him a 75%, Family Research Council gave him an 85%, and The National Journal reported he took the conservative side on votes 83%. But even his OK conservative record is not the primary reason to support McConnell.
The primary reason to support McConnell is Harry Reid, in the coming 2014 elections conservatives have a real chance to fire Reid from his job as Senate Majority Leader.
Why does that matter? It is the Senate Majority Leader who sets the agenda for the Senate. Remember the shut down? Remember those bills that were passed by the house and tabled in the Senate? If a Republican was Senate Majority Leader a bill to defund Obamacare would have been sent to the President (as well as other bills passed by the House and ignored by the Senate).
It’s not that Mitch McConnell is the only Republican who can handle the position, but by supporting races where a conservative can pick up a seat against a Democrat, conservatives can more than likely get their way, than causing an incumbent to spend extra money on a primary, damage him politically and make it harder for him to win in the actual election contest.
There are 36 Senate Seats up for grabs in 2014, twenty-one are Democratic seats. The Republicans need to win six of those Democratic seats to take over the Senate and control the agenda in the senior house. While not easy winning those six seats is very doable. The most vulnerable Democrats are Pryor (AR), Levin-retiring (MI), Begich (AK), Harkin-retiring (IA), Landrieu (LA) and Hagan (NC). And don’t be surprised if one of these, Franken (MN), Shaheen, (NH), and Warner (VA), find themselves in extremely competitive battles.
The Freedom Works and SCF goals should be winning six out of the above nine, especially since should conservatives win six of the contests above, they will join with the other Senate conservatives and become a big enough faction to have control over any GOP Senate Majority leader. The same way the House Conservatives have a big say in what Speaker Boehner does (the shut down for example).
Its a matter of resources, by spending funds against McConnell and some of the other Republican incumbents (none are perfect conservatives but none of which are particularly “RINO”) those incumbents are being forced to spend money in primaries taking away from their final election dollars. Those extra dollars spent in primaries, as well as the monies the SCF for example are spending on their primary battles against incumbents, could be better spent to elect those six more Republicans to and gain control of the Senate.
I am reminded of a scene in the play 1776, where Ben Franklin is urging John Adams to drop the anti-Slavery text that would cause the resolution for independence to fail in the Continental Congress:
First things first, John. Independence; America. If we don’t secure that, what difference will the rest make?
First things first, Freedom Works and SCF, Senate majority, control the agenda. If we don’t secure that, what difference will the rest make?