Paul Talley notices something interesting about the Club:

We know what [the Club for Growth thinks] about Rick Perry since they have produced new Presidential White Papers on him. Their opinion: eh, not bad, but not great. […] What I find fascinating when I read the Club for Growth White Papers is that generally only politicians who aren’t governors get great scores. The Club for Growth loves Michele Bachmann. That’s mainly because she has the freedom to toe the ideological line. She has never been forced to balance a budget in a politically diverse environment. So if you are a governor, and especially a governor from a non-ideologically pure state, then prepare to get your hat handed to you by the Club for Growth.

There’s a lot of places you can go with this, but to me it indicates that the Club For Growth is not a very smart group of people. From a right-wing perspective, Rick Perry is about as good a candidate as you can find. He might have some electability problems in the general election, but his record is pretty darn right-wing and he holds any number of fringe right-wing beliefs with apparent sincerity. But the Club For Growth oddly thinks that a backbench congresswoman with no experience running anything is a better fit for the presidency than a guy who’s been running a big state for a dozen years. One almost suspects that the Club is trying on some sort of Hudsucker Proxy strategy to tank the party and pick up the pieces afterward. I mean, really? Michele Bachmann? They think that Michele Bachmann would make a great president simply because she votes conservatively, which pretty much means that any Republican from a safe district would make a great president in the eyes of the Club For Growth, while even the governors of the reddest states are completely unacceptable. This is not a standard that makes any sense at all, even from a right-wing perspective. If you’re a right-winger, you obviously want someone who’s right-wing as president, but you also want someone who can do the job. And, while I dislike the guy, Perry’s got the resume to be taken seriously. Bachmann doesn’t.

Put simply: a President Bachmann would face roughly the same constraints as a President Perry or a President Romney. All three would answer to the same Republican elites, all three would have to deal with the same Republicans in Congress, all three would face the pressures of the electorate. It’s doubtful that Bachmann would accomplish more than Perry on an ideological basis simply by being more right-wing in her voting record–let’s recall the example a certain one-time most liberal senator. On the other hand, someone without any executive experience is probably not going to be able to handle personnel as well as someone who has it. Or to use all the tools and powers of the office to move their base’s priorities. Or to have a proactive, agenda-setting executive attitude. And so on. Much like liberals who think that everything would be better if Obama gave more angry speeches, influential conservatives seem to think that purity of record is paramount. But there’s little reason to think that Bachmann is well prepared to actually do the job of running the country, and while she might or might not be more personally right-wing than Perry, it’s dubious that she’d accomplish more right-wing policy advances than Perry. Very dubious. Really, this is enough to say that any right-wingers who give money to Club For Growth now have some solid evidence that they’re throwing their money away.

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