Over the past week, Karl Rove and his allies have been under fire. After creating the Conservative Victory Project, an initiative aiming to renovate the Republican Party and win control of the Senate, Tea Party leaders and commentators have found fault with this effort as inauthentic and pro-establishment.
The concept of the Conservative Victory Project is fairly straightforward — it will be a super-PAC that aims to support candidates who are deemed likely to win general elections. The project strives to counter the efforts of other organizations that have helped to defeat establishment Republicans over the past few election cycles. By forcing Republican primary candidates to prove their electability and supporting those that do, conservative strategists like Rove hope to usher in more congressional victories for the Republican party in coming races.
The initiative, however, is quite unpopular among Tea Party members and conservative activists, who hold that establishment Republicans like Rove have been unable to excite the conservative base. Conservative talk radios, blogs, and television have spent the past week in vehement criticism of the Project and its proponents, pointing to a mounting division between establishment and activist members of the Right. Indeed, the plan has sparked much opposition from wealthy, anti-establishment conservatives, who are likely to begin devising their own counter-plans for candidate support.
As conservatives collectively strive to maximize their victories in future congressional races, it will be interesting to see which side of the debate will prevail, and to what end. While the emergence of the Conservative Victory Project sheds light on the frustrations of the Republican establishment in dealing with the changes in the landscape of the Right, only time will tell whether this Project will achieve results, and whether or not the face of American conservatism shifts in one direction or another.