Politico’s Mike Allen and Kenneth Vogel have an interesting story today on an effort that has been in the works for about a year in which an all-star list of Establishment Republican operatives are seeking to duplicate what the Democrats did in the past decade in order to regain congressional majorities and put somebody in the White House.
“The network, which doesn’t have a name, attempts to replicate the Democracy Alliance, an umbrella group — founded in 2005 and funded by George Soros and other billionaires — and to borrow tactics from liberal groups established to help Democrats regain power after eight years of the Bush administration.
“Two organizers of the Republican groups even made pilgrimages earlier this year to pick the brain of John Podesta, the former Clinton White House chief of staff who, in 2003, founded the Center for American Progress and was a major proponent of Democrats developing the kind of infrastructure pioneered by Republicans.”
The major powers behind the movement, according to Allen and Vogel, are former Bush White House political strategist Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, a close Rove ally who has occupied a number of high visibility political jobs in recent years.
“The operating assumption of Rove, Gillespie and the other organizers is that despite the historical dominance of Republican fund-raising and organizing, the GOP has been outmaneuvered by Democrats and their allies in recent years, and it is time to strike back.
“’Where they have a chess piece on the board, we need a chess piece on the board,’ said Gillespie, who is involved in all five groups in roles ranging from chairman to informal adviser. ‘Where they have a queen, we shouldn’t have three pawns.’”
Notably absent from the new GOP conspiracy – at least as described by Allen and Vogel – is evidence of an understanding that the Internet represents a paradigm shift in the essential context of national politics. There is also no evidence from the Politico piece that the Tea Party movement represents an “Army of Davids” uprising that is, frankly, fed up with establishment Republicanis,
Instead, fund-raising, organizing and advertising are described as the main priorities of the group. There’s nothing new in those priorities.
Establishment GOPers have always preferred to talk about money, organizing, and advertising rather than focusing on the substance of what the party’s office-holders and candidates propose and actually accomplish.
Put another way, it sounds like more of the same-old, same-old from the national GOP – prescribing more money, management and marketing as the key to political success instead of standing for permanent principles, proposing programs based on those principles, and then actually reforming government according to those principles.
Go here for the rest of the Allen/Vogel story, including descriptions of the five organizational pillars of the effort and names of more of the people involved.