Karl Rove, Conservatives And The Battle For The GOP’s Soul
SAHIL KAPUR FEBRUARY 8, 2013, 6:21 AM 1199
A battle between Karl Rove and the far right is the latest front in a growing civil war for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and clarifies the contours of the struggle.
On one side are the establishment Republicans, who recognize the changing face of the American electorate and want their party to win elections in the future. In this battle, they are represented by Rove and his new Conservative Victory Project, unveiled this week, which is targeting unelectable (read: extremely conservative) candidates in Republican Senate primaries.
“There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected,” Steven Law, who will run Rove’s new effort, told the New York Times. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.” Law is also president of the Rove-backed American Crossroads and CrossroadsGPS.
On the other side are the ultraconservatives, who believe the road to success involves full-fledged, uncompromising dedication to their tea party principles. These are right-wing groups like FreedomWorks and GOP Senate hopefuls like Reps. Paul Broun (GA) and Steve King (IA), who are the types of far-right candidates Rove is expected to target.
“The Conservative Victory Project represents the latest round in a fight that’s been going on for decades,” said Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College. “Since the origins of the modern conservative movement in the mid-1950s, purists and pragmatists have been battling for dominance in the GOP.”