Tuesday, February 02, 2021


There's a famous anecdote about Mitch McConnell:
Lexington Herald Leader reporter John Cheves tells a story from Mitch's brief stint as a teacher: “He went into the first day of class, walked up to the chalkboard to these political science students and said, ‘I'm going to teach you the three things you need to succeed in politics and to build a political party.’ And he scribbled on the chalkboard and stepped away and the three things were money, money, and money.”
That McConnell belief is the most logical explanation for this:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday blasted Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s embrace of “loony lies and conspiracy theories” as a “cancer for the Republican Party.”

“Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality,” McConnell said in a statement first shared with The Hill. “This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”

McConnell didn't mention Greene by name in his three-sentence statement, but his rare, scathing remarks about a freshman GOP lawmaker from the other chamber suggests he recognizes the potential damage her violent rhetoric and bizarre conspiracy theories could inflict on congressional Republicans as they try to take back both the House and Senate in next year’s midterms.
I've questioned whether rich donors will contine to withhold campaign donations from pro-election-theft Republicans. My guess is that the money flow will resume fairly soon. However, McConnell appears not to be taking any chances. He's clearly doesn't believe that the Marjorie Taylor Greene model -- collect lots of cash from small donors and lower-level fat cats -- will work for the candidates he hopes will win him a Senate majority in 2022.

Notably, a Koch Industries PAC gave to Greene last year, but then asked for its money back after some of her crackpot pronouncements were reported. And now I see this at Politico:
A constellation of conservative groups that rallied behind former President Donald Trump during his first impeachment is sitting this one out, confident that the outcome is preordained.

The groups have gone quiet on social media, eschewing the pro-Trump tweets and calls for action that dominated their Twitter feeds last time Trump was approaching a Senate trial. Others said they are content to watch from the sidelines — opting to preserve their war chests for the 2022 midterm elections — or are still considering if and how they will get involved.

“We’re really more focused right now on a lot more of the Biden policies and executive orders,” said Peter Vicenzi, director of communications for FreedomWorks, which became an unofficial rapid response operation during Trump’s first impeachment in the fall of 2019.

During the impeachment trial in January 2020, the Tea Party Patriots did calls to action, urged supporters to call congressional offices, hosted conference calls to discuss messaging and talking points, and sent materials to voters. The group also sent 47 tweets condemning or criticizing the process. So far, this go around, it has only shared five impeachment-related tweets since the House impeached Trump again on Jan. 13, according to a POLITICO review.

“It would be news to me if any serious conservative organization was involved,” said one conservative strategist.
Politico's conclusion?
The hesitance of conservative organizations to join the impeachment fracas suggests that the political drama isn’t motivating Republican voters as they, and others, grow confident in Trump’s acquittal.
Yes, it might be that -- but I also think some of these groups have concluded that the Trump/Greene wing of the GOP is bad for the GOP, and thus bad for business. Congressman Adam Kinzinger's decision to start a new anti-Trumpist PAC suggests that he believes there's money to be collected from wealthy donors who liked the pre-Trump, pre-Greene, pre-QAnon party -- which wasn't exactly moderate -- but think the Trump years took the GOP a bit too far.

We'll see if the money shifts the Republican balance of power -- and we'll see if McConnell, Kinzinger, and the Kochtopus can lure voters back.

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