Within 24 hours of Rep. Jeff Flake announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), the Club for Growth had raised more than $100,000
for his nascent campaign.
Very few groups (if any) come close to matching The Club's ability to swiftly reward friends of liberty and punish enemies of the free market. (I've been saying that
for a long time now.)
But Flake's ascendancy as the clear front-runner to replace Kyl also reinforces some other theories of mine, too
I've taken some heat for arguing that social-conservative groups lack the kind of organizational muscle that The Club wields. Flake's rise is evidence of that.
When you consider his questionable voting record on a number of hot-button social issues
-- including immigration
-- it's fair to wonder why he isn't facing a serious primary challenge for the nomination.
To be sure, Flake has a charming personality, and a solid conservative fiscal voting record.
But don't discount the fact that while Flake was announcing his candidacy -- and The Club for Growth was quickly raising funds for him -- social-conservative groups were largely mute on his record. What is more, they were not busy recruiting or funding a worthy opponent.
make a difference. In this case, fiscal conservatives have a group that can inject $100,000 into a campaign overnight. What do social-conservative candidates get? Maybe a press release proclaiming support.
I have also argued that while social-conservative groups are losing clout on the "gay" issue, they have essentially won on the "life" issue. Young people (even Justin Bieber
) seem to be increasingly pro-life -- which is good news in that it is the most important issue to focus on.
It just so happens that Rep. Jeff Flake has a solid pro-life voting record.
How much do you want to bet that if he didn't, things would be quite different?