Thursday, October 29, 2009

The incomprehensibility of the Club for Growth

Sullivan asks, "What would be worse for the GOP - a Hoffman or Owens victory?"

Probably a Hoffman victory. Owens winning would exacerbate intramural Republican tensions and lead to some recriminations, but the same dynamics would probably continue. Hoffman winning would mean that he'd have to defend the seat next time around, presumably as a Republican. Such a race will cost lots of money and probably won't be won. Hoffman doesn't know the district, is too far to the right for the district, and seems more interested in becoming a conservative firebrand than an attentive representative. And next time, he won't have the advantage of a split in the moderate vote. But the broader implications of this race will be enormous. Club for Growth will have a very real scalp to hang on its wall, and their power will increase immensely. Their threats to enter contests will be taken much more seriously by Republicans, and the end result will be that representatives will become more inclined not to work with President Obama or engage at all on substantive issues. Ever wonder how AIPAC became such a powerhouse? It started very similarly, actually...

This is, quite simply, a power play. The Club will probably push the GOP those last few inches over the cliff in the process of taking over the party, as now is seeming more likely since they've set themselves up as the financial wing of the Tea Party movement. One wonders why they're not spending money to defeat moderate Democrats in winnable seats instead of shrinking the GOP one seat at a time. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever for a minority party to initiate ideological purges--when you're down like that, you need all the help you can get. All I can think of as an explanation is Milton--"Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven." My guess is that the Club's theory of Republican revitalization is something of an underpants gnomes problem.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.