War of the "Advocacy" groups Posted by: McQ
on Tuesday, February 20, 2007
The left has MoveOn.org, the well financed and effective advocacy group which has been integral to advancing the "progressive" and anti-war agendas. Now comes the "Victory Caucus" led by conservative talk-show host Hugh Hewitt.
It's purpose, per Politico.com (which, btw, if you don't read, you should) is to "counter the anti-war MoveOn.org."
Its first target, however, are the 17 Republicans who voted for the non-binding House resolution which condemned the surge. First up is Republican Ric Keller of FL.
Keller is a prime target, organizers say, because of his House speech last week comparing the Iraq war with a neighbor's unkempt lawn. "Imagine that you have a next-door neighbor who refuses to mow his lawn, and the weeds are up to his waist," Keller said. "You mow his lawn for him every single week. The neighbor never says thank you, he hates you and sometimes he takes out a gun and shoots at you. Under these circumstances, would you keep mowing his lawn forever?"
Politico notes that Keller is a surprising target given his conservative bona-fides, but Dean Barnett answers:
"The Iraq issue transcends partisan politics," Barnett said. "Keller may be a rock-ribbed conservative but on the biggest issue of our day, he's got it wrong."
Most of the 17 Reps from the House aren't in competative districts, so unseating them, even in the primary, which is the focus of the Victory Caucus, is unlikely.
[T]he Victory Caucus hopes to shame Republicans into sticking with their leaders on upcoming votes on defense spending. "This is a means of getting out a message," said Dean Barnett, a member of the Victory Caucus Board of Governors. "We're letting the political class know there's a huge chunk of people out there that want victory."
I bring this to your attention to note that the right seems to finally be joining the advocacy fight. It'll be interesting to see if the Victory Caucus is able to attract financing and grow as MoveOn.org has. And just as interesting will be watching to see if it is able to have any real effect. MoveOn.org's effect has been spotty at best:
Liberal bloggers have already been involved in several high-profile primary battles with limited success. They helped Ned Lamont topple Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman in the Democratic primary, but he lost in the general election and Lieberman was elected as an independent.
They also were unsuccessful when Democrat Ciro Rodriguez fell short in his primary challenge against Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas. Later, Rodriguez came back to defeat Republican Rep. Henry Bonilla in a December special election.
Never acknowlege your mistakes, never redeploy to the rear, leave your troops hangin out with long supply lines in a deteriorating tactical situation. Politics and Ideology first. Strategy and tactics last.
If they take out the moderate republicans over this, we may end up with president Kusinich
The Chinese have a saying, "Kill the Chicken to scare the Monkey" and this is what the DailyKos crowd tried to do with Lieberman (and others) in 2006. It didn’t quite work 100%, and yet after Lamont won the primary, all the Dems had to find a way to become anti-war and fast. Imagine if Lieberman had lost!
The key to this idea would be to choose a "chicken" to kill in the primary to make the point to the "monkeys" that they had better wise up. This tactic could be very effective in taking down RINOs or forcing the GOP to face up to the base on various issues (e.g. spending)
The ideal chicken would be the guy who voted the party line, except for that one issue in particular, because you can make sure the primary becomes a referendum on that issue alone.