Why you should be taking advantage of this NRCC offer.

Let’s start with the NRCC’s incentive program for last-minute 2Q donations that they announced yesterday:

Every dollar you give through tomorrow, June 30th, will be quadrupled. So if you give $5, we’ll make it $20. If you can afford $25, we’ll make it $100.

That’s four times the impact of a normal contribution, and it will be put to immediate use replacing Pelosi’s puppets in Congress with principled, conservative Republicans.

At this point, somebody has reflexively started a very long comment on why this offer should be ignored. While he’s writing it, let me explain why you shouldn’t.

There’s anger over those eight GOP Yes votes for that cap-and-trade monstrosity. I share it. There’s also a movement afoot to deny the NRCC money until they… do something. Repudiate sitting members, or beat them with sticks, or put a big P around their necks, or something like that. It’s a natural reaction. It’s also the wrong reaction, for three reasons.

1). It’s an over-reaction. Wherever you stand on the NRSC‘s current strategy – and it’s not as clear-cut a situation as you might expect – the central problem that activists have there is that the NRSC seems vulnerable to the following scenario:

  • Support the incumbent over the challenger.
  • Challenger does not win.
  • Incumbent hurts the GOP somehow.

The two most obvious examples are Chafee and Specter, and now they seem to be gearing up to do the same thing with Crist/Rubio.  In other words, GOP activists want the NRSC out of the primary business; again, you may think that’s a bad idea, but it’s definitely the central point of disagreement.  In the NRCC’s case, their primary strategy – vote en bloc against the Democrats’ bills if they’re not going to be allowed meaningful input – is one that the base actually agrees with.  What happened is that in one test vote eight legislators broke with the GOP, including the NRCC.

2. Punishing the NRCC does not punish (mostly) its renegade legislators.  I say ‘mostly’ because two of them are in the Patriot Program, and the NRCC does need to reassess their membership in that.  Of the rest, two are probably running for Senate seats (which will make them the NRSC’s worry) and the rest are probably safe enough anyway.  So; we go after 25% of less than 5% of the GOP, over a bill that we’re already targeting half a dozen Democrats over:

Those likely to find themselves with targets on their back after the 219-212 vote: freshman Reps. Harry Teague of New Mexico, Betsy Markey of Colorado, John Boccieri of Ohio, Thomas Perriello of Virginia and Alan Grayson of Florida and second-termer Zack Space of Ohio.

Which leads to…

3). It hurts GOP challengers worst, not GOP incumbents.  Below is a list of five of the best challengers for GOP seats.  Not all of them, by a long shot – but five representative races where we have a shot at taking out the incumbent.

AL-02 Bobby Bright Martha Roby
MD-01 Frank Kratovil Andy Harris
NH-01 Carol Shea-Porter Frank Guinta
OH-01 Steve Driehaus Steve Chabot
IL-11 Debbie Halvorson Adam Kinzinger

Who do you think will be funding them? For that matter, who do you think helped some of them get their campaigns running? The NRCC is in the middle – which is to say, it’s not done yet – of an extensive recruiting effort to make sure that vulnerable Democrats get credible challengers; and those challengers all have at least one thing in common. None of them voted Yes on Waxman-Markey.

Now, after all of this, you still want to lash out at the NRCC: fine. But no illusions: you are lashing out at it. You are not teaching a lesson; you are not giving negative feedback; you are not even punishing them. And you’ll need to deal with the implications of that. As for myself… well, I clicked the link and gave the NRCC twenty bucks. Which I don’t really have, given that I’m reduced to running personal fundraisers to get me a coach ticket to the RS Gathering. But losing what’s effectively a week’s pay for me these days is worth it if I can use it to hammer home that this is important.

And it is.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to Moe Lane.