Over the next few days, we will hear a great deal about the meaning of the Iowa Caucuses, as pundits and bloggers will sift through the demographic data to interpret trends, and voter preferences. There were two obvious winners. There were several losers.
The Big Loser tonight in Iowa: The Club for Growth.
I’ve written quite a bit about The Club for Growth’s ongoing jihad against Mike Huckabee.
With each salvo launched by Pat Toomey and the Club for Growth, the Huck has seemed to gain additional momentum. Each time a new “White Paper” has been released (there have been three so far) the level of skepticism towards CfG has grown. Among a large portion of the conservative coalition, the Club for Growth is no longer viewed as an honest broker. After spending upwards of $700,000 in attack advertising with the stated aim of derailing Huckabee, and future buys pending in Carolina, Huckabee went from low single digits in the polls to this solid victory in the opening act of the 08 election.
Toomey will, no doubt, claim that the message just isn’t getting out, and will order his troops to increase the volume, exaggerations, demonizations, polarizations, and continue the promotion of small-tent conservatism that continues to drive the Club towards irrelevance. In fact, I noticed today over on the CfG blog that they were still looking for reasons to explain Toomey’s primary loss to Arlen Specter.
This time? “Did Specter break the law to beat Toomey?”
Last time? Well, Toomey blamed it on Stephen Moore’s lack of managerial acumen, despite the Club for Growth spending over a million dollars in negative advertising aimed at Specter.
After his election defeat, Toomey was able to build alliances on the Board in order to force out Moore and the rest of the brainpower that was originally responsible for the rise, relevance, and prominence of the Club for Growth.
There is only one reason Toomey was unable to beat Specter: Pat Toomey executed a poor strategy. Sooner or later, Steve Stephens and the rest of the big boys on the CfG Board are going to realize that Toomey’s execution during this election cycle has been equally poor. Frankly, I haven’t seen any really good stuff from CfG since the “Blowing in the Wind” ad.
Hopefully, along with that realization will come the affirmation that social conservatives are their allies, not their enemies. I’d love to see them go after the Democrats with the same fervor that they’ve gone after Huckabee. Oh, and while y’all are at it, how about using some of that supposed expertise to do a fair critique of The Fair Tax?
also at ConservaBlogs,
great analysis at American Thinker,
another great analysis at NYT,
and also at caucus blogs