As Digby noted, it seems the Republicans are now trying to kill the Frankenstein monster they created:
Karl Rove was instrumental in creating this monster. Now it's got a mind of its own.
It's hard to know how this will play out. The Tea Party is really just the re-branding of the far right of the Republican Party. But it may just be that the establishment made a mistake in doing that. They don't see themselves as Republicans anymore. They see themselves as a distinct movement that wants to explicitly run the Republican Party.
The wingnuts have always had real power within their Party but they didn't know it. Now they do. And they have spent the last 30 years having people like Karl Rove rev them up and expand their egos into believing they represent a majority of Americans and have a responsibility to hew to their principles no matter what. It was a good way to market conservatism. But it was never true.
As they try to pick up the pieces from last fall’s defeat, the establishment and Tea Party wings of the GOP are at each other’s throats.
Karl Rove, fresh off the multi-million dollar disaster that was 2012, has launched a new initiative, The New York Times reported Saturday. Known as the Conservative Victory Project, the group, a spin-off of Rove’s American Crossroads, will help recruit establishment Republicans, as well as defend Senate incumbents against challenges from more conservative candidates.
The aim, in a nutshell, is to push back against the Tea Party and bring the GOP’s nominating process back under the control of the party’s Washington power-brokers. In recent cycles, Tea Party-backed Senate candidates have won the Republican nomination over more moderate GOPers, only to be defeated in the general election. In several cases—think of Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” remarks—they’ve been done in thanks in part to campaign trail slip-ups that more seasoned candidates might have avoided.
But the news has triggered a full-blown revolt among conservative activists, both inside and outside Washington. Read on...
And here's more from Steve Benen: Welcoming the Conservative Victory Project to the field:
The Conservative Victory Project is the latest effort from Rove, and will exist as an appendage of sorts to the American Crossroads super PAC.
Its efforts will not go unchallenged.
Roll Call reported over the weekend that the Senate Conservatives Fund, founded by former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint (R), is already condemning Rove's new project.
"This is a continuation of the establishment's effort to avoid blame for their horrible performance in the 2012 elections," Senate Conservatives Fund Executive Director Matt Hoskins said. "They blew a ton of races up and down the ticket because they recruited moderate Republicans who didn't stand for anything. Now they want to use this new PAC to trick donors into giving them more money so they can lose more races."
Club for Growth spokesman Barney Keller echoed the sentiment: "They are welcome to support the likes of Arlen Specter, Charlie Crist and David Dewhurst. We will continue to proudly support the likes of Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz."
Hoskins and Keller have a point. On the other hand, so does Rove. In fact, the great irony of this fight is that neither side of the Republican divide has any credibility at all.
Rove's American Crossroads raised breathtaking amounts of money in 2012, promising right-wing donors an impressive return on investment, and proceeded to lose nearly every race Rove targeted. Right-wing groups, meanwhile, weren't much better, and helped nominate ridiculous candidates that led to Democratic victories.
Rove and his allies argue, "Listen to us or we'll be stuck with another bunch of candidates like Akin, Mourdock, O'Donnell, and Angle." Simultaneously, the Club for Growth and its allies argue, "Listen to us or we'll be stuck with Karl Rove's 99% failure rate."
The opportunity for a round of bitter proxy fights will materialize very soon: Steve King in Iowa, Paul Broun in Georgia, and Joe Miller in Alaska are each poised to launch right-wing Senate bids, and by most measures, these candidates are so far from the mainstream they're very likely to fail -- after winning their respective primaries.
The Conservative Victory Project will likely try to take them down during their respective primaries, and even-further-right-wing groups will push in the opposite direction.
It won't be pretty, but Democrats will love every minute of it.