*** GOP establishment strikes back: This year was always going to be about two big political stories -- President Obama’s ability to work with congressional Republicans (on the budget, immigration), and the Republican Party’s effort to define itself after its shellacking in 2012. And today we examine that second story. The Sunday New York Times reported that the Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads organization is creating an offshoot, called the Conservative Victory Project, to counter the influence of groups like Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund. Its mission: to spend money in GOP primaries to make sure that candidates like Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Sharron Angle, and Christine O’Donnell don’t become the nominees for key Senate contests. “In effect, the establishment is taking steps to fight back against Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations that have wielded significant influence in backing candidates who ultimately lost seats to Democrats in the general election,” the Times said, adding that the Conservative Victory Project’s first effort could be in Iowa, where conservative Rep. Steve King is mulling a Senate bid.
“Both the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund … mocked the new initiative as yet another hapless establishment-side attempt to muzzle the GOP base,”
After their electoral drubbing last November — their second straight in a presidential contest — Republicans have faced a choice. Do they change their policies or their tone?
For now, many top Republicans in Washington seem to have opted for the latter, deciding that a more articulate re-statement of the party's long-held principles will suffice in their effort to attract new voters to the GOP.
"I wouldn't say shift in policy," pollster Jim McLaughlin said of his advice for fellow Republicans. "Republicans have to make adjustments there, but they have to stick to their principles."