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Mississippi Republican Governor Haley Barbour addresses the Conservative Political Action conference (CPAC) in Washington, February 12, 2011.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Haley Barbour at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2011, where he might not be so welcome this year.
While Karl Rove is off doing battle against the tea party, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (a top figure in his party) has opened a new front in the GOP Civil War.
Last week, at a closed-door retreat in northern Virginia, Barbour told a large gathering of congressional staffers, including several leadership aides, that party officials should discourage donors from funding the high-profile conservative group [...]

Many in the audience applauded Barbour for his remarks, according to two sources in the room.

Mainstream Republicans should be upset at the Club for Growth's self-destructive tendencies. They had their heyday in the 2010 GOP wave by backing conservative insurgents like Sens. Ron Johnson, Marco Rubio, (former CfG prez) Pat Toomey, and Rand Paul. On the other hand, they help cost the GOP the Senate by helping Sharron Angle and Ken Buck defeat more electable candidates in their primaries.

In 2012, they were one of the earliest backers of Richard Mourdock's primary challenge in Indiana, an effort that cost Republicans the seat in the general. On the other hand, they backed the more electable candidate in Arizona's Senate race (Jeff Flake, who ended up winning in the general), and were a major factor in Ted Cruz's primary victory in Texas. Cruz, of course, is now auditioning for the role of "2013's Allen West" to great conservative acclaim.

Compared to Karl Rove's track record, the Club has been a success!

But "success" and "elections" are all relative terms when it comes to the GOP, a party that has now lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, lost seats in a year where the map was theirs for the taking, and lost the popular vote in the House, holding it by virtue of their own aggressive gerrymandering.

This is a party getting blown out of the water by the nation's fastest-growing demographics—Asians, Latinos, and millennials, not to mention women, the largest single voting block. They are a party that claims to "reinvent" itself in weekly confabs, only to find itself trapped in a political Groundhog Day.

Barbour is right when he says, "Politics can’t be about purity. Unity wins in politics, purity loses." Problem is, they created a monster designed solely to instill such purity, and they can't put that genie back in the bottle. This isn't like the old days, when the John Birchers were kept outside the GOP tent. These days, the crazies run the joint.

Originally posted to kos on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:45 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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