Leading Them Off A Cliff: The 2014 EditionJuly 23, 2013 8:37 AM EDT ››› ARI RABIN-HAVT
After two successive election cycles of pushing extreme picks that cost the Republican Party at least half a dozen Senate seats and most likely control of the chamber, conservative media figures seem content to do it all over again.
At his RedState.com blog, Fox News contributor Erick Erickson warned fellow conservatives of "the Hatch Effect" stemming from the conservative Utah senator's primary challenge in 2012. Hatch, Erickson writes, "had been a conservative warrior for a long time, he sounded conservative, and we'd need him in the fight against amnesty."
Yet some in the conservative media, including RedState, who "fretted that Hatch might return to the ways of Ted Kennedy's best friend on the right were drowned out by a near unified conservative front."
Hatch, after winning reelection, committed a cardinal sin by voting for the immigration reform bill.
The lesson according to Erickson: "This year, some long time Republican Senators are going to get primary challengers. There will be large megaphones declaring just how conservative those Senators are. There will be people trotted out to remind you that for decades these have been the men we relied on to save us from big government."
He continued: "There are no indispensable men and unless conservatives are wil[l]ing to take the scalps of a few of their so called 'heroes' who've grown in office, the fight for freedom will continue to be undermined once these men have another six year term under their belt."
After the embarrassing failures of Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Joe Miller, and Ken Buck, the conservative media are still willing to drive the Republican Party over a cliff.
Former Fox News contributor Liz Cheney, who is challenging Wyoming's incumbent Republican Senator Mike Enzi, appeared on Rush Limbaugh's show yesterday. Enzi's record as the chamber's eighth most conservative senator was too obviously ideologically impure for today's right-wing media.
The praise did not stop there. "After all the great things Dick Cheney has done for our country over his long brilliant career, Liz Cheney might turn out to be one of his biggest contributions of all," Rush told his audience.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell found out yesterday he too will face a tea party primary challenge from Matthew Bevin, a Louisville businessman. McConnell be warned -- Erickson told his readers "[y]our bias should be toward credible primary challengers."
Yesterday at Salon Alex Seitz-Wald wrote about the "shady products" conservative media figures peddle to their audiences. He noted "Last week, preeminent conservative blogger and Fox News contributor Erick Erickson was busted hawking a pricey but dubiously valuable financial advice newsletter to his readers."
In the conservative movement, he wrote, "peddling shady products to your most loyal listeners and readers is the rule, not the exception."
For the third cycle in a row, right-wing media figures once again seem intent on foisting unelectable candidates on the Republican electorate. One can't help but wonder if they are just pushing another in a long line of shady products.