Club for Growth
|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
- Not to be confused with the clubs people are growing on their body
The Club for Growth is an American conservative political activist group.
The Club for Growth successfully grows the Democratic Party by clubbing sitting Republican incumbents over the head with primary challenges from the far right. Congressional seats in states as diverse as Maryland and Idaho have swung to Democratic control after Club for Growth-backed candidates won their Republican primaries. Most recently an impending primary challenge from a Club for Growth leader drove center-right Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania to switch to the Democratic Party.
The Club for Growth is the best friend the Democratic Party has right now. Send them money and prizes, and make sure nothing happens to them.
It could be argued that the left wing of the Democratic Party has its own equivalent of the Club for Growth, in the form of the "better Democrats" campaigns on purity-troll sites like Open Left and Daily Kos, which will do for the Democrats what the Club for Growth has done for the Republicans, i.e. drive the sensible center out and leave only the fringes in charge. They have been notably less successful than the Club for Growth, in that they have only managed to flip one seat from Democrat to Independent (Joe Lieberman). Moreover, most of the Democrats doing this focus on left-wing districts with center-left to moderate representatives and Senators, and thus more likely to support a more liberal politician; Club for Growth went after the Senators from Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, two moderate to liberal states that were not going to support a more conservative politician anyway. Oddly, the closest thing the Democrats have to Club to Growth in terms of damage done is the centrist PUMA, who tried to use Birtherism against Barack Obama, and which would later inspire right-wingers to do the same.