Former Republican Michael Bloomberg must have decided the best way to help Republicans take back the Senate is by creating a Democratic Tea Party.
As POLITICO reports, gun control groups such as Bloomberg's "Mayors Against Illlegal Guns" are in the process of launching ads against red state Democrats MarkPryor (Arkansas), Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota), and Mark Begich* (Alaska).
President Obama's Super PAC, Organizing for Action, is also threatening to go after Democrats who don't toe the line on guns. As POLITICO properly notes, the race to watch is Pryor's, because the Bloomberg attacks could stick.
Bloomberg’s group has made its choice: Its radio spots in Arkansas will target the state’s African-American community, “without which Mark Pryor doesn’t have a prayer of getting reelected,” said Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
Mark Pryor, by the way, won by a huge margin in 2008 (in no small part because the GOP didn't run an opponent), but his 2014 general election will have to deal with some of the less-than-popular votes he's cast since, most notably a yes vote on Obamacare.
If, and that's a big if, Bloomberg's group, OFA, and others succeed in damaging Pryor to the point where he could conceivably lose the 2014 Democratic Primary, they'll have accomplished the wonderful task of helping Republicans take back a seat they didn't even bother to contest in 2008.
And if they accomplish that proud feat, and then keep at it in 2016, 2018 and beyond, famously centrist Michael Bloomberg will have played his own special role in further polarizing the United States and helping Republicans take back seats from moderate Democrats.
Thanks, Mayor Bloomberg, for the best gift you've given Republicans in your entire career!
*The original version of this post listed Lisa Murkowski instead of Mark Begich. My apologies.
Update: Read David Graham's writeup of remarks from West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who wishes Bloomberg took a softer approach to red state Democrats.