by Melissa Clouthier | September 7, 2010 11:51 am
At the beginning of this primary season, way back a thousand years is what it feels like, I made a decision: Support every conservative in every race everywhere no matter what. Why? Because if there was ever a year where a conservative could get elected, it would be this year.
Some races weren’t so obvious. For example, the three primary candidates in Nevada looked okay, and I would have been happy with any of them, so I didn’t say much. No point in endorsing, or conversely, slamming, someone who might end up be the nominee when they all seemed okay.
Other races, the stronger candidate electorally was the incumbent–like John McCain–but I felt that he had so often compromised Republican (forget conservative) principles, that I didn’t care if a ripe turnip ran against him. My philosophy? Anybody But McCain. Likewise, in Alaska, I supported Joe Miller’s last minute push because he’d be a solid, stalwart conservative. Lisa Murkowski wasn’t horrible, but the state is red and deserves a nice conservative candidate. So, I supported him.
Marco Rubio was a no-brainer. I supported him right off the bat. Charlie Crist was not what America needed at all. Rubio was exactly what America needed: Young, conservative, smart, bilingual and not the same-old, same-old establishment Republican. What flummoxed me: The GOP top brass felt so strongly about Charlie Crist. But then again, the old boys network is all about doing one’s time, being a faithful soldier over years and years (or be born into the right family). In short, the Republican party is not a meritocracy, it’s a political bureaucracy not unlike unions. Do your time, hang in long enough, and you’ll get a bump up.
I want a Republican Party that is merit and philosophy-based not tenure-based. The old GOP system has gotten us horrendous national candidates.
Which brings us to Mike Castle, the DeDe Scozzafava of Delaware. He’s a popular governor in a blue state. He can get elected. He’s done his time and then some. HE IS 74 YEARS OLD.
Do you mean to tell me that the Republicans have such a shallow bench that they couldn’t find one younger, fresher Republican to run in Delaware? You mean to tell me that there is no bench in Delaware and that a 74 year old careerist was the best they could do?
Because here’s my thought: A Christine O’Donnell or practically any decent Republican could win–even in Delaware–with a little bit of help. It’s going to be that kind of year. We all knew, except for maybe the GOP leadership, that it was going to be that kind of year.
Once health care passed, I knew it was all over for the Dems. They made their choice: they chose their socialist dream policy and chose to sacrifice any House gains, even ownership of the House, in service to radical ideology. And Barack Obama in particular didn’t care, because Democrat malcontents in the House made his life difficult anyway. Without them, he’d have someone to blame and he wouldn’t have to pretend to try to appease anyone.
Did the Republican leadership see the self-created Democratic disaster for what it was? If they did, they chose legacy Republican picks anyway. They didn’t go for the new, fresh, smart and interesting. They went for old-diehards to run. They wanted people winning elections who are used to the status quo because they wanted power at all costs, even if, as in Castle’s case, it meant sacrificing every political plank of the Republican party.
For me, these establishment picks meant a couple things: The Republican party cared little about policy. They cared little about principle. They cared about re-obtaining power which would mean making deals with the big government devil.
And it will mean disgusting deal-making. Just wait.
No lectures from people about pragmatics. This is not a year for pragmatics. Pragmatic political decisions come in years like 2008–when the tide is turning against you and you’re likely going to lose it all otherwise. You start a body count and you make tough choices.
No, 2010 is a year for principle because even winning both the House and Senate will be the slimmest of victories. So you choose good, solid conservative candidates, call it a rebuilding year and look to 2012 when the kit and kaboodle will be up for grabs. And then, you go big and strong and all full-frontal assault.
It is 2010, the Democrats have fumbled the ball, Republicans have recovered and they’re playing like they’re on defense in the last two minutes of the game.
But that’s not where we’re at. We’ve recovered. We’re 2nd and yards and making good progress down the field. No need for baby plays to set us up for a field goal or hysterical Hail Mary’s. No, now is time to advance the ball and then ram it down the Democrats throats, down by down, marching down the field with a healthy team.
Instead, we act as though we have to put the game in the hands of a 74 year old feeble kicker. No. We. Don’t.
Hot damn. Is everyone watching soccer and baseball now? No one likes violent ground acquisition sports? No one likes planning the whole game? Everyone acts like every time we get the ball will be the last time. No it won’t.
Conservatives could have scored even bigger in 2010, then we’re about to. Republicans, as per usual, do the lazy, easy, scared, defensive thing when it comes to politics. And then they wonder why every “pragmatic” (also known as cynical and short-sighted) decision comes back and bites them in the ass–well, bites some. The big government types are happy as mama pigs to create more entitlements. That’s how they get more power.
Some people in the commentariat are seeing power and salivating and will be sitting, stunned when the very ones they helped elect kick them in the teeth, hard. When these big government Republicans start wheeling and dealing with the White House…when the American people see that it doesn’t matter, again, which party is in charge–they’re all the same. When the public and Obama blame Republicans because they have the one vote majority and then, Republicans have a tougher time in 2012 and President Obama has a foil to run against.
Remember Bill Clinton? So the Republicans lose two ways: The general electorate blames them. And the base blames them.
Fleeing in a winnable fight is frustrating.
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