The Widdershins

Septuagenarian Mutant Ninja Turtle…

Posted on: November 1, 2013

Here’s hoping everyone is smoothing out after their sugar high — a Widderful Friday to all.

The war has begun.  The insurgent band of conservative fundraising juggernauts, the Club for Growth, Heritage Action,TMNT McConnell FreedomWorks, and the Senate Conservatives Fund have declared war on the incumbent Republican members of the Senate.

This band of guerilla warriors are under the direction of former senator Jim DeMint, lately the million dollar baby of the Heritage Foundation.  The featured dancing monkey of this fundraising binge is none other than nine-month Senator Ted Cruz.  Cruz has gladly brought his Canadian birth from a Cuban father to the task of determining who the true American conservatives are.

The opposition to this Tea Party fueled Death Star is the Supreme Council of traditional Republican forces.  These forces are led by an unlikely commander, Sen. Mitch McConnell.  This is lining up as a regular “East Side Story” between the Sharks and the Jets.  I don’t know which side is which, but the bad blood between DeMented and McTurtle runs deep and it is a feud about who is the “mostest” Conservative.

A little context would be helpful here.

First and probably most importantly, Mitch McConnell is a brilliant and unrivaled political strategic thinker.  There is no reason he should be a five-term Senator first elected when Kentucky was a solidly Democratic state.

The secret about Mitch is that no one particularly likes him.  He prefers his politics smoldering as only a scorched Earth politician can.  If he had been an undertaker, he would gladly visit the graves of the deceased on the hour to make sure they were still buried.  As a politician, he operates on much the same philosophy.  His sharp elbows are really poisoned laced switch blades and he is particularly adept in using them.

As a political operative and strategic thinker, I really respect Mitch McConnell — much the same way I would respect a two-ton rabid rhinoceros  in heat.

On the other side, the conservative groups mentioned above have committed to retire six southern Republican senators as well as Arizona’s Jeff Flake with Tea Party challengers.  Six-figure media buys have already begun.  The DeMint/McConnell blood feud began while DeMint was still in the Senate before DeMint landed in his plush Heritage Foundation office, a once respected conservative think tank funded in large part by the Brothers Koch.  Few people expected the Heritage Foundation’s determined path to be this overt in their Republican Party coup.

Second to these considerations is the brilliance McConnell has demonstrated in neutering Tea Party opposition in his own election.  As his campaign manager, McConnell hired Jesse Benton, a family member of Ron and Rand Paul.  Benton has been passed around by Tea Party challengers like the last roach at Woodstock.  Benton has been able to splinter the various Tea Party factions within Kentucky making McConnell’s challenger, Matt Bevin, scrounge for support.

With his own primary pretty handily covered, McConnell declared war on the Tea party insurgents this week. Shortly after the government shutdown ended, McConnell contacted almost all Senate Republicans to apprise them of the rising storm. Two notables he failed to contact: Ted Cruz and his trusty sidekick Mike Lee. McConnell’s advice to his fellow Tea Party targeted Republicans — a full frontal assault on the outside fundraising groups calling them frauds that are shilling for donations to keep their own doors open and their leaders employed.

Conceited Pic CruzWhat does this mean for the rest of us on the sidelines of this internecine Republican battle?  I think it’s good news.  Anything that can weaken Tea Party influence is a good thing for the country.  There are too many problems going unaddressed due to their uncompromising and dangerous obstinacy.

Of course McConnell isn’t doing this out of some sophisticated sense of altruism.  His motto is and always has been, “First do no harm to his own campaign.”  Mitch is also on the cusp of a career long goal — complete evisceration of any campaign finance limits.  His thirty-year siege against campaign finance reached its apogee with Citizen’s United and now McCutcheon v. FEC sits before the Supreme Court.  McCutcheon would erase any aggregate campaign donation limits — McConnell’s idea of nirvana.

McConnell wants to be Senate Majority Leader.  McConnell wants corporations to exhibit their free speech directly into Republican campaign bank accounts.  McConnell wants to destroy anyone or anything standing between him and these goals.  As far as the Tea Party is concerned, we can take solace in “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” and wish him well in his efforts to lay the Tea Party to rest.

Politically during the coming months it is going to look like the christening day massacre from The Godfather.  When it comes to the part where Michael Corleone is asked if he renounces Satan, he answers in the affirmative.  When you ask the same question to both sides in this Republican turf war, I wouldn’t be surprised if they answered, “Is he available?“

This is an open thread.

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6 Responses to "Septuagenarian Mutant Ninja Turtle…"

The enemy of my enemy is my friend perhaps?

The fact that these guys are being primaried by people to the right of them is rich. They wanted Citizens United and they won it. Good luck to them.

That picture will haunt me.

chat@3: Oh I know what you mean. Yikes!

Hey guys, the Light Fare post is coming up in about an hour. Crazy thing about the gunman. I was just thinking about how many of these attacks there have been lately, and wondering if there is really any way to prevent them as long as we have guns.

@5: Not much at all.

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