Republican establishment

Sorry, Washington Republicans, but it’s absolutely acceptable to criticize candidates who want grow the federal government

Voters are often told that conservatives should not challenge Washington-backed big government Republicans, because doing so could lead to Republican defeat. Yet it often seems that Washington Republicans don’t follow their own advice. It prompts the question, when does the Washington class really view it as appropriate to criticize Republican candidates?

Mississippi is one example. Washington Republicans asked Democratic voters to support their candidate, Sen. Thad Cochran, in his primary election. This was a violation of Mississippi law, so conservative state Sen. Chris McDaniel is challenging the result.

This prompted Ann Coulter to write that Chris McDaniel was a “sore loser” whose supporters “don’t care that they’re gambling with a Republican majority in the Senate.”

This is not the first time Ann Coulter has complained about conservatives from the South or other locations around Middle America. Last October, she complained that conservatives in Minnesota had not done enough to help Sen. Norm Coleman win re-election against Sen. Al Franken, writing, “The inability to distinguish Coleman and McConnell… from Obamacare-ratifying Democrats is…insane.”

Rand Paul hires top Establishment GOP fundraiser — and that’s a good thing for the grassroots.

Rand Paul 2016?

According to National Review Online’s “The Corner,” Kentucky Senator — and prospective 2016 Republican candidate for President — Rand Paul has hired incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s top fundraiser, Laura Sequeira.

NRO reporter Eliana Johnson writes:

Rand Paul is bringing on Mitch McConnell’s national finance director, Laura Sequeira, to play a key fundraising role at his political-action committee ahead of an expected 2016 presidential campaign.

Over the past two years, Paul, a tea-party darling, has labored mightily to woo establishment donors into his camp. Sequeira’s arrival will certainly help with that. She is fresh off the campaign trail, where she helped McConnell, the incoming Senate majority leader, raise millions for his reelection campaign.

Paul’s fundraising shop now includes operatives with reach into both the Republican establishment and its insurgent wing: Sequeira joins Erika Sather, the former director of development at the Club for Growth, on Paul’s fundraising team.

In a thorough investigation of “McConnell world” last week, POLITICO highlighted Sequeira’s role on McConnell’s re-election campaign. According to the most recent reports available to Open Secrets, the McConnell campaign raised just over $31 million for the 2014 cycle.

Defeat Thad: Democratic operative working with pro-Cochran PAC to turn out voters for a Republican runoff

The runoff strategy for Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) and his Republican establishment supporters wasn’t exactly a secret. They know Cochran needs to get Democrats to crossover to beat Chris McDaniel in the June 24 runoff, so, naturally, they’ve hired a Democrat.

The Jackson-based Clarion-Ledger reports that the so-called “Mississippi Conservatives PAC” is working with a Mississippi Democrat to get African-American voters to support Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) in Tuesday’s runoff:

A Democratic political operative says he is working with Mississippi Conservatives PAC to drum up votes for U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran.

James “Scooby Doo” Warren said he has put together a get-out-the-vote (GOTV) plan and is “putting it in place across the whole state.” Warren said he is not working with the Cochran campaign itself but for the PAC and Bishop Ronnie Crudup Sr.

Crudup is the pastor at New Horizon Church, which shares an address and chief financial officer with a newly formed super PAC that ran print advertising in the primary supporting Cochran.

Thad Cochran’s consultants and supporters are exploiting him to line their own pockets

Thad Cochran

To Whom It May Concern:

Few things are more valuable to a man than his dignity — especially when that man has given more than four decades of his life in public service to the people of his home state.

Thad Cochran is a good man.

No matter your personal opinion of his voting record, Senator Cochran has worked tirelessly to be the most faithful of sons to the state of Mississippi. Many believe — this author included — that Senator Cochran has done what he believes is best for the people of his state.

Unfortunately for Senator Cochran, ambitious people in positions of influence have forced a long and grueling primary process upon the senior senator from the Magnolia State. These ambitious and ruthless people are knowingly exploiting a man who has become as vulnerable as one of our own grandparents.

In recent weeks, it has become increasingly apparent that Senator Cochran’s faculties aren’t what they used to be.

At first, Senator Cochran made an odd joke about doing indecent things to animals as a child. Then, Senator Cochran didn’t remember making those comments.

And then, Senator Cochran didn’t know Eric Cantor lost his primary. On this point, the author can give Senator Cochran a pass. Candidates locked in tough races don’t often focus on other campaigns.

Conservative Rebel Alliance a huge threat to Republican Empire: GOP freaking out over potential challenger to Boehner

John Boehner

All may have been forgiven last year after nine Republicans voted against John Boehner’s (R-OH) close reelection for Speaker of the House. But Politico reports that his supporters are planning to punish any member of the House Republican Conference who votes against him at the beginning of the next Congress (emphasis added):

Boehner’s friends are trying to make sure that a small pocket of tea-party-aligned Republicans won’t have a chance to derail his speakership next year. And if they try, they could be punished.

A group of his closest allies — including fellow Ohio Republicans like Pat Tiberi — are discussing tactics such as trying to change GOP Conference rules to punish members who do not support the party’s nominee during a floor vote. A lawmaker who bucks the Republicans’ choice for speaker could lose committee assignments — or worse. Boehner’s allies have already stripped some Republicans of their committee assignments for straying too far from the team.

In a sign of force, some of Boehner’s friends are considering releasing a letter with the names of several dozen GOP lawmakers pledging to vote for no one else besides the speaker — making the election of a more conservative rival logistically impossible.

Opting for oblivion: Establishment Republican donors want Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush

It’s almost like the Republican Party wants to lose in 2016. The New York Times reports that the party’s establishment donors and fundraisers will line up behind Jeb Bush should the former Florida governor decide to run for president:

In private conversations that are now seeping into public view, some of them are signaling to Mr. Christie’s camp that, should Mr. Bush enter the race, their first loyalty would be to him, not to Mr. Christie, according to interviews with more than two dozen of them.
[…]
“They feel good about Jeb,” said Barry Wynn, a fund-raiser for George W. Bush and a former chairman of the Republican Party in South Carolina. “They don’t have any questions about his integrity.”

The family name, he said, remains a powerful draw. “They love the Bush family,” Mr. Wynn said. “They love the whole package, and they feel Jeb is just a part of the package.”

In interviews, a number of the donors and fund-raisers acknowledged that the interest in Mr. Bush was a measure of the creeping doubts about Mr. Christie’s ability to either fully rebound from his troubles or to win over conservative skeptics to secure the Republican nomination.

Yeah, the Republican establishment has done such a great job picking the party’s nominee in the last two presidential cycles, why shouldn’t they get to decide it again. The picture presented of Bush is so disconnected from the reality, it’s hard to know where to begin.

Chamber of Commerce paying to protect Republican establishment

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

For all the election wonks out there, the upcoming elections will be an unending parade of political statistical analysis. So, this will be fun, at least for the people that enjoy wading through the numbers.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce already knows this, so it is investing in some candidates that are in theoretical danger of losing primary challenges. Regardless of whether or not anyone thinks that people like Jack Kingston and Thom Tillis should be supported for reelection, the Chamber thinks it’s the right move.

While there is a certain degree of populist energy behind more conservative or libertarian candidates this year, the bottom line remains that they are largely in untested waters. Yes, there have been good showings for some “third-party” candidates, but probable winners are few and far between.

Imagine this like placing money on a horse in the Kentucky Derby. Sure, it’s fun to put a few dollars down on the long-shot, but when you’re talking about a serious bet, the best bet will be the favorite.

“Establishment party” is starting to be considered like a profane phrase in many conservative circles. The problem remains the same as it has been for the past six years — the people in those circles rarely travel outside of their pleasant little echo chamber.

They regularly hear from fellow conservatives about how great their candidates are, and get hammered with polling information that is weighted in favor of the people they support. In other words, they’re complaining about party leadership being tone deaf to them, as they sit in their little circles with their friends that agree with them.

Mike Lee defends push to defund ObamaCare

There has been significant push back in from the Republican establishment over efforts in Congress to defund ObamaCare. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has been leading the effort in the Senate to cut off funding rather than delay parts of the law, which could lead to a government shut down.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) panned the plan to defund ObamaCare, telling a talk radio host that it’s the “dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of.” Karl Rove, who is no fan of fiscal conservatives, recently tried to stoke fear in Republicans, writing in an op-ed that a government shutdown could cost the party the House of Representatives.

In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Lee defended the push by fiscal conservatives in the Senate to defund ObamaCare, noting that it’s “not about liberal or conservative,” but rather “Washington versus everyone else.”

“[W]e always knew ObamaCare was going to be unaffordable. We now also know that it’s going to be unfair. The president has said that he’s not ready to implement this law. And because he’s not ready to implement it, he’s going to selectively enforce it,” Lee told Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday. “He is going to, you know, give a big pass to big business while simultaneously telling hard working Americans, individuals that they have to comply with these laws demands or else they’ll face stiff penalties under federal law.”

Conservatives need to get back to limited government roots

There is no doubt that the Republican Party is at a crossroad with many questioning the direction that should be taken to bring them back to electoral success. The biggest obstacle to moving the GOP back to its limited government roots is the political establishment — the dealers and the consultant class — who want to the party to take the road to victory by selling out limited government principles.

This creats a problem for conservatives, many of whom are still trying to make sense of the 2012 election. Many realize the dangers that lie ahead by kowtowing to the party’s political establishment, but they’re weary of trying to stand in their way. They’ve actually bought into the line that the freedom movement is to blame for the problems that have plagued the GOP. Yes, there were some bad candidates that ran in 2012, but the Republican Party’s brand was damaged long before voters ever headed to the polls.

In a recent piece at Commentary, Matt Welch, editor of Reason, explained that conservatives need to start actually practicing what they preach when it comes to limiting the size and scope of government:

Reagan biographer suggests conservatives consider Gary Johnson

Ronald Reagan biographer Craig Shirley, author of Rendezvous With Destiny and Reagan’s Revolution, is not very fond of the Republican establishment. Nor is he particularly pleased with Mitt Romney’s treatment of The Gipper:

Romneyism—like Bushism and McCainism—is about wiping Reaganism away from the Republican Party.

Romney has made it clear in the past his abhorrence of Ronald Reagan. Romney is about personal power, plain and simple.

Shirley thinks Republicans may have hit a new all-time low, stating that Romney “could be the most despised choice since Richard Nixon.” He does have an alternative though, suggesting that “conservatives will seriously consider walking away and looking at the candidacy of Gary Johnson.”

With the Republican primary effectively over and Mitt Romney the presumptive nominee, it will be interesting to see if any prominent conservatives buck the GOP and endorse the Libertarian candidate, or if they all collectively hold their nose and support Mitt Romney. There is another option, of course, and that is to refrain from endorsing anyone. This was the option taken by Gary Johnson himself when he became the only sitting Republican governor not to endorse George Bush in 2000.


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