Not to put too fine a point on it… but what in the world is going on over at the National Republican Senatorial Committee?
Communications Director Brad Dayspring is suddenly out there in the news putting out a “story” that the Senate Conservative Fund used its money to make Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny a bestseller. Read the e-mail, here:
WHOA! Senate Conservatives Fund spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to make Mark Levin’s book a bestseller http://t.co/8VXaUrisJf
— Brad Dayspring (@BDayspring) January 9, 2014
This is part of the NRSC’s apparent strategy to go after the SCF because of the latter’s support of conservative Senate candidates challenging the GOP Establishment in various Senate races around the country.
Well, aside from the issue of conservatives versus the GOP Establishment, one can only marvel at the Dayspring attack on, of all people, Mark Levin. First, the Dayspring charge is… there’s no way around the word… a flat lie. One only has to do a quick check to learn that the SCF was promising paperback copies of Mark’s book….years after the book appeared in hardcover in 2009 and became an immediate bestseller. To say the obvious, Mark Levin’s books are bestsellers because of… Mark Levin. He writes the books himself, all of them based on his extensive knowledge of the Constitution. They have struck an incredibly responsive chord with millions of people, as has Mark’s show. The SCF had nothing — zero — to do with the success of Liberty and Tyranny or any other Levin book. Mark was writing bestsellers long before the SCF even existed, making the charge even more preposterous.
But there’s a larger issue here that goes well beyond the breathtaking incompetence Dayspring displayed in making a charge that was so easily checkable.
Make no mistake (and I say this as someone whose one-time boss, the late Pennsylvania U.S. Senator John Heinz, served not once but twice as chairman of the NRSC), the key to what goes on with an NRSC staffer is what is in the mind of the boss.
Just today Governor Christie is facing the music over “Bridgegate” — the closing of the George Washington Bridge as a result of hardball politics being played by his staff. Christie says he had no idea, and has fired the staffer involved. Whatever the fallout from this, there will be plenty of people who will connect the conduct of the Christie staffer to the culture and tone set for his administration by Christie himself.
It is safe to say that Brad Dayspring isn’t sitting over there at the NRSC sending out such an incredibly stupid attack without thinking he is serving the political needs of the NRSC and its current head, Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, and the ultimate GOP Senate boss, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The mindset displayed by Dayspring is identical to that displayed by the now fired Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly.
Is this true? Has the NRSC actually declared war on Mark Levin and conservative talk radio?
Is there more coming? Attacks on Sean Hannity? On Rush?
Dayspring has a history of getting in trouble, with Politico reporting a while back on a blowup involving Dayspring when he worked for House GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor. The “heated clash” resulted in Dayspring’s departure from Cantor’s staff.
The fact that Dayspring still has his job after this bald lie about Mark Levin leads to the belief he is in fact following the dictates of the Senate GOP Leadership. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that once the GOP conservative base understands Dayspring’s attack as the Senate GOP Establishment turning on conservative talk radio there will be repercussions.
Beginning with cutting off funding for the NRSC as a whole or individual GOP Senators running for re-election.
Most prominent in this category is Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, already involved in a hot Kentucky primary against conservative Matt Bevin.
Mark Levin, wasting no time responding, has now posted the following on his Facebook page:
Now, let me be clear. I hold McConnell and the chairman of the NRSC — Jerry Moran of Kansas — personally and politically accountable for the sleazy intimidation tactics of their current and former staffers. My opposition to McConnell's re-election is underscored by pathetic behavior like this. Conservatives should not give a dime to the NRSC, money which is used to pay the salaries of these hit men and empower McConnell, et al.
I will address this more fully on my radio program tonight.
McConnell and Moran are playing with dynamite here. Regardless of McConnell’s own race, there will be conservatives around the country who will instantly try and tag the NRSC’s behavior as typical of Establishment — or GOP Establishment Senator — X. Effectively viewing attacks on Mark Levin and/or others in conservative talk radio as collaboration with President Obama and Democrats.
In 2014, a year which should be a very good one for Republicans, this is deadly. Combined with the news over the holidays that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove are out to sink conservative candidates, this latest missive out of the NRSC is an appalling move.
So Mark Levin takes to the airwaves tonight and this story will gain even more traction.
Will Brad Dayspring get the Bridget Anne Kelly treatment? She the Christie aide whose now infamous tweet has her fired as of this morning?
Or, conversely, if Dayspring stays, is this essentially an NRSC declaration of war on conservatives in talk radio — not to mention in the larger base of the GOP?
We shall see. Stay tuned.