Oftentimes people rip the "establishment" or "leadership" and I sometimes am one of the ones that do so. In reality there are multiple establishments, not all of them alike. The "establishment" isn't always bad, but sometimes it is and then some. Even not all "Washington" establishment is alike.
Just as there are thousands of tea parties which are independent of one another, there are thousands of Republican Parties. In Michigan alone, you have at least 101 republican parties (State, County, District, Caucus) along with several dozens of Republican clubs (North Oakland, Greater Oakland are two prominent ones nearby) that are technically PACs but function as more of a political party than some official parties. Those clubs are often in large counties on a micro level.
From a strategy elections standpoint, some of the biggest ones are caucus. We unfortunately have no say on caucus, unlike County, State (and I'm undecided on state leadership), District, and even RNC indirectly. In Michigan, there's a house and state senate caucus, and nationally, we have the NRCC and NRSC. Democrats have their own equivalent.
The NRSC screwed things up bad...again. They reappointed Texas Senator John Cornyn, unanimously. I hope Cornyn learned some lessons from 2008 and changes up their executive directors a bit. Yes, there were some gains, but that was despite the NRSC. Let's look at the history of the NRSC under Cornyn's tenure.
1. NRSC endorses Arlen Specter in primary. Specter defected to the democrats despite all of the establishment support. Specter was unacceptable in both parties to Pennsylvania voters. They then were monkeying around in the primary some more because Pat Toomey could not win. Oh wait. Toomey won. If they understood history, Toomey won three times in a Gore/Kerry seat. He represented Leigh Valley area. That's Bethlehem and Allentown. Heavily union, steel areas Northeast of Philly. That's not exactly Lancaster or York (Which are about as Republican as Livingston County in Michigan). Toomey won there in his senate race, and even picked up Bucks County in Suburban Philly, along with all the Suburban Pittsburgh area. The NRSC wasted money and time supporting Specter and needed to stay out.
2. NRSC endorsed Charlie Crist. This one is worse. Crist wasn't even an incumbent. He defected as well after Florida primary voters would not accept him for his economic leftism, and got his ass kicked in the general, unable to break 30%. Crist won four counties, none over 50%. Meek won one. Rubio "couldn't win" either. Oh wait, he did. Rubio won all but five counties, and came within one percent of winning Palm Beach County of all places. He won the "lower Alabama" area as well as majority minority and democrat leaning Miami-Dade county. He even won Alachua County, Gainesville....the Ann Arbor of Florida. The NRSC wasted early money and needed to stay out.
3. They got involved in the Lisa Murkowski/Joe Miller primary. Looks like Murkowski won the general and got her revenge, but who knows what she's going to do now. The primary NRSC ads damaged Miller in the general.
4. Dumbass comments. Christine O'Donnell was a bad candidate who won the primary. I knew that, but the NRSC didn't have to announce they were backing out. They needed to shut the hell up and not say anything. That allowed the democrats to take their money out and spend it elsewhere, like Colorado.
If you go back further pre-Cornyn, the NRSC also got involved in Lincoln Chafee's primary against a moderate. Chafee won the primary, and lost the general. Chafee also later endorsed Obama. The NRSC ran negative ads against the other republican.
I didn't even get to the "unofficial support" these clowns did.
These primary fights not only pick favorites and breed resentment, but they also take resources away from the general election. It's the NRSC's job to support the republican nominee, not get involved in primaries. That money supporting Crist and Specter could have gone elsewhere. That support could have gone to Colorado, Washington, and West Virginia instead, where we had three close losses with winnable candidates. The money blown in California could have gone there too.
Leadership like that shouldn't get rewarded.