Republicans have forgotten nothing and learned nothing
The upcoming 2014 midterm elections should be a golden opportunity for Republicans to win back the Senate (while retaining the House) and thus creating a momentum on which to capitalize as they try to retake the White House in 2016. But not if the Tea Party and the Club for Growth have anything to say about it.
In theory, everything should go Republicans’ way. The incumbent president’s party usually loses seats – sometimes big time – in midterm elections, and in 7-8 winnable states Democratic incumbents are either retiring (Harkin in IA, Rockefeller in WV, possibly Johnson in SD), running in red states (AK, LA, AR), or underfunded (NH). There are also other potential, though less feasible, pickups (e.g. OR and MT). Also, the economy shows no sign of recovering, will almost certainly not recover as long as Obama is in office, and Obama has veered far to the left. By any standard, this should be an easy election for Republicans to win.
But it won’t be, because extremist Republicans and the fringe of the conservative movement, including the Club For Growth of the Democratic Caucus, have decided to fire their arrows at good, mainstream conservatives and moderate Republicans instead of the real enemy (the Democrats).
The party and the country will both pay a heavy price if these extremists succeed.
We’ve seen this happen several times already. In 2010, when most Americans were angry at Obama and the oversized Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, the Tea Party and the Club for Growth of the Democratic Caucus still managed to throw away several winnable Senate seats by supporting extremist against mainstream Republicans in states like Delaware, Nevada, and Colorado. They gave the GOP doomed-to-lose candidates: Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, and Ken Buck.
In 2012, winning back the Senate was going to be more difficult than in a midterm year, given that Obama was on the ballot and many Democrats rode his coattails. Still, Republicans had a chance, given that they were only 4 seats shy of a majority.
Yet, Republicans lost badly. On net, instead of winning seats, they actually lost two, growing the Democratic caucus to 55 members. This was primarily due to extremists like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, both of whom were supported by the Tea Party and both of whom threw away otherwise perfectly winnable seats. Richard Lugar, who would’ve otherwise been a shoo-in for reelection, was defeated in a primary. In Missouri, Todd Akin snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by opening his mouth about abortion and rape and saved Claire McCaskill, who would’ve otherwise been easily defeated.
Their idiocy not only cost them their races, but also cost other Republicans theirs, because their Democratic opponents reminded the voters that however nice Scott Brown, Tommy Thompson, and George Allen were, they were members of the party of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock.
Those disasters should’ve been a wakeup call that Republicans must, from now on, nominate only electable – THE most electable – candidates and avoid bloody primary battles.
But it’s clear that Republicans, like the Bourbons of the Restoration Era, have forgotten nothing and learned nothing. And pseudoconservative publications like the American Spectator continue to fool Republicans into thinking that the reason Republicans lost was because they weren’t “conservative enough” and that “conservatism” and “communicating the message better” will suffice to win future elections. But that’s jut an easy, lame excuse for avoiding the unpleasant fact that the voters simply rejected you.
And so, fooled by the likes of Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Jeff Lord of AmSpec, and Richard Viguerie of ConservativeHQ, Republicans continue to delude themselves and to oppose the only candidates who stand a chance of winning future elections. And that puts their chance of winning back the Senate and retaining the House in grave peril.
In West Virginia, the Club for Growth of the Democratic Caucus opposes mainstream moderate conservative Shelley Capito, as if she were a Massachusetts liberal. In Georgia, extremists have just forced incumbent Sen. Saxby Chambliss – a solid across-the-board fiscal, defense, and social conservative – to retire under the threat of a primary challenge. And who’s the favorite for the GOP nomination? Rep. Paul Broun, a Todd Akin clone who believes that the evolution theory – proven scientifically over and over again – is a lie “from the pits of hell”.
In Iowa, likewise, extremists have given incumbent Rep. Steve King – who has never won anything beyond his solidly red district – the upper hand in the race against solid conservative (but not extremist) Tom Latham, who is being smeared with gossip that he’s “close to Speaker John Boehner” – a toxic name among Republicans. In Louisiana, former Rep. Jeff Landry may win the nomination, although thankfully in the Bayou State, the most electable candidate, Rep. Bill Cassidy, is also the favorite to win the nomination.
So in at least four states, extremists are already at work to deny the nomination to the most electable candidates, even though all of them are mainstream conservatives and haven’t done anything egregious to deserve a primary challenge. This is more than enough to deny the GOP a Senate majority for the third time in a row. In the worst case, the GOP could lose seats again.
On a positive note, popular former SD Gov. Mike Rounds has an at least 50% chance of winning in his state – whether Tim Johnson runs for reelection or not – and in Arkansas, Republicans have a deep bench, although it remains to be seen if the strongest GOP candidate, Rep. Tom Cotton, runs for the Senate here. If he does, he’ll likely win. And in Alaska, disastrous 2010 candidate Joe Miller can’t find enough supporters even in his own party, so the GOP should defeat Mark Begich (D-AK), especially if he fails to block the move of a fighter wing out of Eielson AFB.
Republicans also have a pickup opportunity in NH, because incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has raised only a pathetic $300,000 for reelection. A well-funded Republican challenger who doesn’t have to undergo a bloodying primary battle would be a strong candidate.
But Republicans can win the Senate back only if everything goes their way. That means no protracted, bloodying, divisive primary battles (they only help Democrats) and no more unelectable, fringe candidates.
No more Sharron Angles. No more Christine O’Donnells. No more Ken Bucks. No more Todd Akins. No more Richard Mourdocks. No more Paul Brouns. No more Steve Kings.
Republicans can win the Senate back in 2014 – but ONLY if they keep the Tea Party and the Club for Growth of the Democratic Caucus at bay.
Folks, let’s focus on the REAL enemy: the Democrats.
“Mainstream republicans (republikrats)” are as much the enemy as demonkrats. they sell our the Constitution and We the People every day. karl marx rove has declared war on conservatives and your answer is to bow to tyranny. Not going to happen here. I WILL NOT COMPLY!!!!
I agree Bob. Perhaps Ziggy should read his own writings. See:
Guys, you don’t understand me.
I’m just trying to stop the intra-GOP Civil War, and to that end, I have decided to reprimand both the GOP Establishment and the party’s fringe.
The GOP SHOULD field conservative candidates, but not fringe, outside-the-mainstream candidates who can’t win the general election. For if the GOP doesn’t win the general election, NOTHING ELSE WILL MATTER. Only those who win the general election make the nation’s policy. Those who lose the election do not.
My argument, in a nutshell, is that the GOP needs to STOP nominating losing candidates like Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, Todd Akin, and Richard Mourdock, and fringe wackos like Steve King and Paul Broun (who are clones of Todd Akin), and STOP attacking decent mainstream conservatives like Shelley Capito and Saxby Chambliss.
United we stand, divided we fall.
There is no “fringe” in the party. There are conservatives and there is the NWO globalist establishment that is in lock-step with demonkrats. I often say, and it is true, that John F. Kennedy could not get the presidential nomination of the Republican Party in 2012 because he would be considered on the “fringe” of the party, ie too conservative. the party has lost its way and would rather play ball with dictators as long as they get a seat on the totalitarian bus. There is no common ground between the party ad conservatism any longer. The mainstream of the party has sold out. McCani, Graham, Boehner, McConnell and their ilk are as evil as Schumer and Obama. You fail to mention the karl marx rove candidates who lost, including mitty the poo, the all-white Obama. Meeley mouthed, “moderate” candidates don’t win and conservatives don’t win because the establishment doesn’t want them to win. They want their dictatorship not liberty.
There IS a fringe in the party, and that fringe is responsible for losing numerous elections for the GOP, including numerous Senate races in 2010 and 2012.
That fringe consists both of Republican purists who consider any stray from conservative ideology to be an apostasy meriting capital punishment and (more prominently these days) radical religious Republicans (like Akin and Mourdock) who place abortion and gay marriage above all other issues and demand a total abortion ban (no ifs, buts, or ands), even though it’s never going to happen. These people don’t care about anything other than social issues. They’d gladly vote for Adolph Hitler if he was the only candidate pledging to ban abortion and gay marriage. Those are the people who gave us Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock as Senate candidates. (And Connie Mack in Florida.)
What “Karl Marx Rove” candidates are you talking about? Other GOP candidates, like Rick Berg, Tommy Thompson, Scott Brown and Denny Rehberg did lose – but it was because their Dem opponents reminded the voters that however nice THEY were, they were Todd Akin’s and Richard Mourdock’s party colleagues and voting for them meant giving control of the Senate to the party of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock.
Those two idiots cost the GOP Senate seats across the entire country.
I agree with Bob Russell and the rest of you in principle and I think even Zbigniew agrees with you. But the record of the last several elections cannot be ignored. We are divided and we loose. Mainstream America is – lets face it – Moderate at best. Changing that is going to take time.
What Zbigniew is proposing is that we need to approach the elections Tactically rather than use the Strategy of the Mace! Our Mace just isn’t big enough. We cannot bludgeon the Progressives out Washington in one fell swoop with what the apparent majority sees as the “extreme right”. I would love to see the Democratic Party just go away and the two main parties come down to the TP and the GOP as Conservative and Liberal (Like the GOP and Dems use to be). But that isn’t going to happen! Let’s get real and lets get crafty. A moderate Republican IS (although not by a lot) better than even a moderate Democrat! In other words don’t look to win the war in one Decisive Battle (i.e. the Japanese at Midway) but rather the long drawn out slugfest that it really is (like the Americans on Guadalcanal)!
We need to Unite! We are Not going to pull everything back to the middle of the road unless we do. (The middle of the road being somewhere between the Tea Party and the Republicans,) We lost the 2008 Presidential Election partly because we had a surge of the Tea Party that effectively split our votes.
Another example; in MT, a vastly Conservative State there are two Moderate Democrat Senators and a Democrat Governor! WT_?! Republicans by all logic ought to be in those positions! But they are not and part of that is because of the split in the conservative vote! If I were a Democrat I would be doing all that I could (behind the scene of course) to promote the competing party!
I am not against the Tea Part. But we ALL have to join the Tea Party in order for it to be effective! Can any of you guarantee that will happen by the next 3 elections?
Perhaps Zbigniew’s message is repugnant to many of you but he does speak truth; thanks for having the guts to say it!
Thanks, Darrell. I mostly agree with you. Yes, I’m saying that Republicans must unite, and we must fight the Democrats piecemeal, step by step.
We must also nominate ELECTABLE candidates – and remember that NO candidate, not even Marco Rubio or Mike Lee, is perfect or 100% conservative.
The GOP must elect mainstream conservative, electable candidates and avoid protracted primary battles. Otherwise, the shellacking of 2012 will be just the beginning.
We can’t get “moderates” out of Washington by putting more in. “Mainstream” politicians is what got us where we are. We don’t have the luxury of time. Both parties are enslaving us and putting more of them in there won’t help. Hagel will be confiremed with the votes of “mainstream” Republicans.
Actually, ZM, I think I do see where you’re coming from…The very best of candidates is useless if not elected…Zambonis work fine on the ice rink, but sure aren’t worth much in the desert… We are wandering in the desert, searching for leadership. Still we go off in all directions directions…creating ven more fractures in the Republican Party….Perhaps that’s due to a ‘lack of definition’ as to specifically ‘what’ is the GOP…Does anyone really know? What is a ‘Conservative’. a ‘Moderate’? And exactly ‘what’ makes them evil? ..Are the not all Americans that love this great Nation? …The word ‘fringe’ has a negative conitation that few wish to be associated with. so perhaps it isn’t a good choice to describe the various units…but you are on target, if we don’t Unite…WE FALL…We failed Stewardship 101 & are scrambling to make it up…This is the time to put our Machavillian complexes on the shelf, realilze this isn’t Burgr King & we can’t always have it our own way…The first thing is to STOP the labels & name calling of our own, the select THE most important traits we must have in a candidate, then work with each others most ‘must have’ & realize this is not ‘instant gratification month” & compromise does in no way mean to forfiet principals. It may mean waiting awhile for you perfect burger. It’s either that or starve…
I’ve know Bob Russell from his writings for some time & you’ll not find a more Christian Patriot than he represents…inspite of some disagreements, he is a man I respect & wuld be proud to work along side of, so hope he understands my intent & heart. WE CANNOT FAIL again to present candidates that the majority don’t know or will not vote for. (that’s a proven)
This is OUR COUNTRY….WE OWE HER THAT.
I’m not saying that Republicans should agree to nominate whatever worthless RINO shows up. I believe there are some RINOs who deserve to be defeated in the primary, namely, those who intend to vote for cloture on Chuck Hagel’s nomination. This includes Lindsey Gramnasty, Thad Cochran, and John McCain. The former two are up for reelection next year; McCain will be up for reelection in 2016.
ZM, nor did I intend to sugesst we should agree on what ever candidate shows up. I meant that the ‘ideal’ candidate is not the same to us all & that each of us may have to wave a portion of ‘ideal’ in a give to get & work together to put in place a person that the majority can see as viable & work to get elected. If we continue to cling to an attitude of “my candidate or no candidate’, like Ron Paul, Romney, Gingrich,or unknowns, the pie will be so divided that no one gets a decent slice.
Sorry, I didn’t realize your emphasis was on Hagel, My Senators Cornyn & Cruz voted against him.
ZW,I am a Christian so, yes, those values are important to me and I will never be ashamed to stand on them. If I have to go against the most basic of my values to “win” what have I won? But that isn’t my entire point. You criticized “moderates” like graham, McCain yet you want to elect more just like them. Isn’t that a contradiction of terms? I don’t agree with everything Murdouch or Akin say but they stand for the values I stand for and your comparison with Hitler show a liberal bias that is outrageous. The problem with the republikrat party is that they are too much like the demoncrats. You want to demonize TEA Party values and seem happy to continue down the road we are on whereas I “live” TEA Party values and want to change direcions. This demonization and mis-characterization of TEA minded people cannot go unchallenged. Again, if we surrender our values, any values to win we ultimately lose because we can’t overcome evil with more evil. Brown and Romney came fromm the karl marx rove camp you support and to say every repu blikrat lost because of Akin is ridiculous. Conservatism wins when tried but the NWO globalists controlling the republikrat party will join the demonkrats to defeat the very same values that established this nation in the first place. I will always support people like Todd Akin because, even though he isn’t a slick politician who never “misspeaks” (how refreshing) he is a good, decent, fair-minded man. Your “sky-is-falling” attitude about these men is totally off-base and I think you know that. Most liberals know it all to well.
Bob, you are dead wrong.
Firstly, no, I do not want to elect more Senators like Gramnasty or Juan McCain-Feingold. I want to see more mainstream conservatives like Mead Treadwell, Bill Cassidy, Shelley Capito, and Tom Latham elected. At the same time, I want to oust real RINOs like Gramnasty and Juan McCain-Feingold from the Senate.
Secondly, Todd Akin is not a “good, decent, fair-minded man” and he doesn’t stand for any values against his political career (i.e. he’s a typical Washington politician of the sort that is ruining America right now). He’s a glorificator of rape and a moron who cost the GOP the Senate and, quite possibly, the presidency as well. He did not have to open his mouth and pontificate about rape and pregnancy – all that he had to do was to KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT. He opened his mouth solely to show off.
Moreover, when he made his infamous remark and destroyed any chance he might’ve had of winning, he refused to withdraw from the race and make way for a more electable Republican to step in, despite national CONSERVATIVE figures such as Reince Priebus, Sean Hannity, and Ann Coulter to withdraw. He believes he had some God-given right to be the GOP nominee. He proved that his ego was bigger than the Earth. He put his ego above the party and the country.
No one needed Todd Akin on anything. On abortion, he was hardly any better than the other two GOP candidates, John Brunner and Sarah Steelman, both of whom were and are solid pro-life (and across-the-board) candidates. Steelman was endorsed by Sarah Palin, BTW (and by most Missouri State Reps).
And yes, he and Mourdock DID cost other Republicans their elections, because as I said above, their Dem rivals reminded their voters that no matter how Tommy Thompson and Scott Brown were, a vote for them was a vote for the party of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. These idiots cost the GOP Senate races across the country and quite possibly the Presidency (Romney lost the female vote by 44:55).
Conservatism doesn’t win everywhere – it wins only in states and districts that are receptive to it. Conservatives don’t win in Massachusetts or New Hampshire. MA is the most liberal state in the country. Your diatribe against Scott Brown is uncalled for and despicable – he’s the only Republican to win a Senate election in Massachusetts in decades, and he is NOT a RINO – he’s a moderate Republican. The only Republican who can win in MA.
Romney was not a “Karl Marx Rove” candidate – he’s a mainstream conservative. He was the most electable of all Republican 2012 pres. candidates, except maybe Tim Pawlenty. He was able to win back NC and IN (despite Mourdock screwing things up in IN) and to win 59% of the white vote – a larger percentage than Ronald Reagan won in 1980 (56%). If the electorate of 2012 were as white as that of 1980 (or even 1988), Romney would’ve won and we’d be carving his face into Mount Rushmore right now.