The Republican establishment's plan to avoid a repeat of the Todd Akin debacle ignores the real problem
BY STEVE KORNACKI
There’s no denying that Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock were embarrassments for the Republican Party in 2012, and that their nominations cost the GOP otherwise winnable Senate seats and complicated its efforts to take back the chamber. Similarly, there’s no doubt that Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle and Ken Buck were embarrassments for the GOP in 2010 and lost races that should have been gimmes for the party.
But a fight is breaking out on the right over the precise significance of these defeats, and what can be done to avoid a repeat in 2014.
In the wake of this month’s election, the outgoing chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Texas Senator John Cornyn, suggested the committee might junk its hands-off approach to Republican primaries going forward.
“What is the goal here?” he asked. “I think the goal is to elect principled conservatives in November, not just nominate somebody in the primary that has very little chance of getting elected in November. That doesn’t advance the conservative agenda, because you have to get elected before you can govern.”