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Conservatives &Politics Richard Falknor on 12 May 2009 02:06 pm

What Can the Republican “Establishment” Be Thinking?

As some Republican Party nabobs flee from conservative candidates and positions, long-time conservative Richard Viguerie understandably wrote last Sunday – –

 “To learn where to position themselves, some big-government GOP loyalists are going on so-called listening tours. The trouble is, skulking around the country on pandering tours isn’t leadership. Politicians, lobbyists and campaign consultants who caused the problem cannot fix it. You can also rebrand damaged goods all you want, but they’re still damaged goods, which is why GOP establishment leaders are incapable of understanding the problem — it’s them.”(Underscoring Forum’s.)

         . . . . .

The political establishment is averse to conservative boat-rockers, which is why conservatives should withhold financial support from all GOP national committees and establishment politicians but support principled organizations and candidates. They should run candidates for every party and public office except when there’s a principled incumbent conservative.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Read the entire Viguerie piece here.

Today National Review on Line’s Jim Geraghty asks – –

Must National Committees Jump Into Primaries?

John Miller questions the wisdom of the NRSC’s[link added]immediate endorsement of Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio in the Florida Senate primary. I would only add the question, how many Republicans have ever said, “Thank goodness the NRSC intervened in that primary”? (Underscoring Forum’s.)

National committees intervening in primaries certainly has a messy history — Ramesh wrote about some cases of NRCC intervention in Kansas in 2004, and Matt Lewis wrote about some cases in 2006.”

John Fund in the Wall Street Journal’s “Political Diary” today writes that governor Crist – –

“was lobbied heavily by Republican recruiters from Washington who believe that, with approval ratings of 66%, Mr. Crist is the best bet to hold the seat for Republicans.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

As we reported early this month before former governor Tom Ridge announced he would not be a candidate for U. S. senator from Pennsylvania – –

“. . . [T]he National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) apparently continues in its anybody-but-Toomey mode to replace Arlen Specter in the U. S. Senate next year. Former governor Tom Ridge is reportedly the most recent Republican establishment addition to their Pennsylvania stable of acceptable Senate candidates.  From Pennsylvania, the Lincoln Institute’s Lowman Henry here writes about the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee’s “resounding slap on the face” of Pat Toomey and thus of the Keystone State’s conservative base.

The NRSC support for senator Specter slightly over a fortnight ago was one of the grievances raised at the Reston, Virginia Tea Party.”

Focussing for a moment on the Old Line State, here is how some of the newspaper-reading Maryland public must see the state Republican nabobs as they once again ‘pile on’ state Party chairman Jim Pelura – –

“For some, the price is wrong for GOP gala” –reports Alan Brody in the Gazette

“‘I think that low level is a mistake and shows the lack of sophistication in the current leadership, which is why the party finds itself in such a significant financial hole,’ said Dirk D. Haire, who chairs the House and Senate Republican Slate committees, which raise money for incumbent GOP lawmakers.”  (Underscoring Forum’s.)

“‘The Maryland Republican Party has shown no strength in being able to raise funds to be competitive, and I think this is just another example of it,’ said former state GOP chairman John M. Kane, a frequent Pelura critic. ‘Unfortunately, they’re more interested in ideology and grass roots than they are in raising money to fund either one, and that’s been their failing through the last couple of years.'”
(Underscoring Forum’s.)

Here is the translation of these Maryland quotes for rank-and-file Republicans:

The Maryland Republican Establishment’s purpose is to protect incumbents even in the primary. The message? Don’t even think about the kind of housecleaning that Viguerie (and many other conservatives) suggest.  And forget about “ideology” and “grassroots” — you’ll take what the Party dishes out and you’ll support the incumbents with an “R” after their name.  If they didn’t vote the way you wanted, they must have had a good Establishment reason.  Either go with the program — or, heh heh, run yourself. 

Commentator Viguerie likely gets to the root of the matter when he declares–

Democrats have nothing to fear from today’s Republican Party leaders. That’s why Democrats have taken to targeting Rush Limbaugh and others who aren’t in formal leadership positions in the GOP but who forcefully articulate a conservative vision.”

What can they be thinking?

Maybe the big donors and consultants helping shape Republican “Establishment” decisions from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) to Annapolis to Richmond are the folks who can best answer that question.












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