Are the right-wing groups trying to help Reid? Well, in a roundabout way, yes. Recall that former senator Jim DeMint (who founded the Senate Conservatives Fund and now harangues “establishment” Republicans from his perch at Heritage) said he’d prefer 30 “real” conservatives in the Senate than 60 mushy ones. Well, Reid agrees. Reid and his fellow Democrats want to govern, set the agenda, block the other side’s legislation and influence the national debate. That is best achieved by keeping the GOP as a rump minority of loud and extreme voices who will be a useful foil and who will dissuade the public from ever putting Republicans in power.
It’s not that the right-wing groups love Reid; rather, they have mutually compatible aims. If Republicans are pure and aggrieved (because they are in the minority), Reid is happy and so are these groups and the hard-right blogs and talk-show hosts who back characters such as Matt Bevin, Greg Brannon, Milton Wolf and Chris McDaniel.
How do Republicans foil Reid? By supporting the candidates he is attacking, not out of contrariness, but out of an appreciation for the necessity of nominating mainstream and viable Republicans. A Senate with 60 Republicans, including many from purple or blue states who may differ with those from deep-red states on some issues? It’s the far right and Harry Reid’s collective nightmare.