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June 18, 2014 5:26 PM The Answer’s Always “More Conservative!”

By Ed Kilgore

So after Jack Kingston made it into the runoff and then sprinted into an early lead in the GA GOP SEN finals on the basis of remaking himself from a career appropriator into Fighting Wingnut savagely battling against The Welfare and Common Core, what’s his opponent, David Perdue, to do? Respond in kind, of course, per this report from Greg Bluestein of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

In his first TV ad of the long-ago GOP primary for U.S. Senate, David Perdue called himself “the outsider.” Apparently, the word doesn’t have the same charm in a hot summer runoff.
The campaign unleashed its first attack ad in the GOP Senate runoff this morning with a 30-second spot that proclaims the businessman as the “true conservative” in the race and questions Rep. Jack Kingston’s spending on earmarks. The word “outsider” doesn’t receive a mention.

In Georgia as in so many Republican primaries, it’s all about who’s more conservative. It does not appear it is possible to be too conservative (though Thad Cochran is trying that attack-line on Chris McDaniel in Mississippi), though it is possible to have too little money to let voters know you’re the most conservative (viz. Paul Broun in the Georgia race, Sam Clovis in Iowa).

As I often observe, it’s impossible to imagine a congruent dynamic in the Democratic Party. Yes, there are a few places where the “most progressive” line has traction. But not in the entire country, which is where the “true conservative” totem seems to have salience among Republicans, despite their regular corporate displays of Reagan idolatry and their regular repudiations of past GOP policy positions as “liberal” or even “socialist.”

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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