Pat Toomey, the former head of Club for Growth is running against Arlen Specter in the 2010 Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary. A lot of conservative purists are probably saying "good riddance" to the moderate Specter who voted for the Obama Stimulus package and is a social moderate. Toomey has made career out of going after "RINOs" or "Republicans in Name Only." But as David Jenkins shows, while he might have purged the party of moderates, he isn't good at getting his purist candidates to get to Washington and stay there:
In 2006, the Club strongly backed Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey’s primary run for the Rhode Island Senate seat held by then-Senator Lincoln Chafee. The bloody primary battle depleted Chafee’s campaign coffers and increased his negatives, enabling Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse to eke out a victory.Regardless of how much conservatives were annoyed by the moderate to liberal Chafee, the reality is that a less moderate Republican would have virtually no chance to capture that seat. A recent survey by Gallup found Rhode Island to be the most pro-Democrat state in the nation, with Democrat and Democrat-leaning voters holding a 37 percent advantage.
Also in 2006, the Club helped Tim Walberg defeat incumbent Joe Schwarz in Michigan’s 7th Congressional District, and backed the intemperate Bill Sali in a crowded GOP primary field vying for Idaho’s 1st District seat. Both managed to win the general election that year, but were swept out of office in 2008.Schwarz was a far better fit for the evenly balanced Michigan 7th than Walberg. In 2004, Schwarz beat Democrat Sharon Renier by 22 percent (58% to 36%), while Walberg in 2006 edged her out by only 4 percent. In 2008, Walberg lost the seat to Democrat Mark Schauer by 2 percentage points
.And if you think Toomey isn't that great of political gamesman, the following is truly a craptastic piece of art:
It takes a truly magical reverse Midas touch to identify and elect a Republican who cannot hold onto Idaho’s 1st District seat that, with a Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI) score of R+18, is one of the most heavily Republican districts in the nation to now be represented by a Democrat.
Toomey's "magic touch" has only been magic in sending more Democrats to Congress. There's a few lesson in this: the first being that those who make an enemy of the good over the perfect ends up losing.
Dennis Sanders - A pastor living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has worked on centrist Republican issues for years, including stints as President of the Minnesota chapter of Log Cabin Republicans (a gay/lesbian advocacy group) and Republicans for Environmental Protection. Dennis blogs at NeoMugwump and happily lives with his partner Daniel and serves two cats, Morris and Felix