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Conservatives &Politics Richard Falknor on 28 May 2009 12:15 pm

Will New Money,Tea Parties Spur Changing of GOP Guard?

“Republicans suspect that Powell’s upbraidings are designed to create a party of which he and Obama would approve — a substantially liberal, socially inclusive, race-sensitive party that doesn’t step on corporate toes but rather helps build cartels.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)– –  Chris Stirewalt in the Washington  Examiner.

General Colin Powell’s ideal party might well be shared by too many Beltway Republicans.

Unfortunately some statewide Republican Establishments might also find the corporatist but politically-correct model tempting to the degree they depend on large-organization money.  Tertium Quids’s Norman Leahy points us to Tuesday’s FREE luncheon where gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell carefully steers his course in this Virginia gathering “of the titans of business, education and politics in Northern Virginia.” The back-and-forth with candidate McDonnell is illuminating. (Conservatives will want to encourage Mr. McDonnell to sign the no-new-taxes pledge.) But somehow this FREE [Virginia Foundation for Research and Economic Education] gathering doesn’t sound like a meeting of the Reason Foundation’s Mobility Project or even plain-vanilla smaller-government voices.

War Among the Elephants

Throughout May, we have written here and here and here on an underlying but growing national theme the Examiner’s opinion editor Mark Tapscott yesterday  termed

“internecine war . . .heating up between the professional political consultants who run the Washington GOP establishment and insurgent conservatives beyond the Washington Beltway, who are fed up with seeing their money go to anti-life, big-spending, tax-hiking people like Arlen Specter and Lincoln Chaffee.”

RedState Weighs in on NRSC Primary Meddling

A key grass-roots insurgent is RedState’s Erick Erickson who explained on Monday – –

 During World War II, the Vichy Regime arguabl[y] ran France as an independent nation, but were puppets of the Axis powers. In Norway, a similar situation occurred under the illegitimate regime of Vidkun Quisling. Today we use the word ‘quislings’ to refer to those who collaborate with and help the enemy.

Call Powell, Ridge, etc. quislings, Vichy Republicans or whatever you like, but one thing is clear — these respected men have chosen to use their positions and media adoration to take on not Rush and Dick Cheney, but conservatives.

Earlier this month NRO’s Jim Geraghty asked – –

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.”

On May 19, Erick Erickson counseled

“The NRSC has decided to play favorites. And their favorites are increasingly at odds with the base of the GOP. If the NRSC wants to distance itself from the base, the base should distance itself from an NRSC that is showing increasingly bad judgment.

They can take cold comfort in thinking we’re just upset because they endorsed a liberal. The reality is we expect them to in some cases. But this case they did not have to, should not have done so, and must be made to pay a price.

Here is the list of donors to the NRSC. I encourage you to go through the list. If you see people you know, tell them how the NRSC wants their money, then wants them to shut up.”(Underscoring Forum’s.)

Tea Parties Also Protest Republican Establishment

Mark Tapscott makes a key point —

 The fact that just doesn’t register with Washington GOP establishmentarians is that the Tea Party Protests seen around the country in April were aimed as much against them as they were against the tax and spending policies of Obama and the Democratic Congress.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

From very recent observations around Washington, we certainly agree. And just last April 15, the National Republican Senatorial Committee support for senator Arlen Specter became one of the grievances raised at the Reston, Virginia Tea Party.

  Getting Around Beltway Republicans in the Florida Senate Race

National Review on Line’s (NRO) Kathryn Jean Lopez notes governor Mike Huckabee’s endorsement of Marco Rubio in Florida commenting “I wonder if Sarah Palin winds up down there before long. And she won’t be campaigning for Crist.”

NRO’s Lopez cites this CNN report – –

“Rubio’s campaign picked up another endorsement closer to home on Wednesday, that of Jeb Bush, Jr., the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The former governor, who remains popular among Republicans in Florida and nationally, is a Rubio mentor, but he has so far avoided weighing in on the Senate race.”

Free Marketers or Crony Capitalists?

Jonah Goldberg makes the split between the grass roots and the GOP Establishment more explicit in his April 6, 2009 National Review article (subscription only) — “Democrats and Businessmen, Sitting in a Tree . . . Big corporations love free enterprise, as long as it isn’t too free.” Goldberg elaborates – –

” . . . [W]e’re constantly hearing from strategists who insist that the answer is to loosen up, baby — become more socially liberal while staying fiscally conservative. The key problem is that fiscal conservatism, whatever its merits, isn’t economic conservatism in the free-market tradition of Hayek, Friedman, Reagan, et al. As a generalization, when people say they are fiscal conservatives but social liberals, what they are really saying is that they are, simply, moderate liberals. Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Arlen Specter, and the rest aren’t socially conservative, and they aren’t economically conservative either.”

. . . . .
“Reaganite, pro-life conservatives also tend to be Reaganite free-marketers. Phil Gramm, the greatest deregulator of the last 20 years: pro-life. Ron Paul, the libertarian crusader: pro-life. Christine Todd Whitman and Colin Powell: They’re pro-choice and pro-activist-government.

The really odd part about it all is that full-spectrum conservatives greatly outnumber the socially liberal crowd — yet they’re supposed to be the problem. They — heck, we — enter the party as cheap dates and in due course become battered spouses. We make apologies for CEOs who don’t care what we think, and we never complain about the ingratitude of institutions we support. We fight for free-trade agreements and tax cuts, and they repay us time and again by jumping into bed with Barack Obama. And they don’t even bother to wash off the smell of his cologne.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Mark Tapscott is right on target when he concludes here – –

 “If the NCCF [link added by Forum] effort succeeds in raising a significant amount of funding and is able to make a difference in upcoming primaries like the Crist-Rubio contest, even as the Tea Party Protests expand, then the infrastructural heart of a new GOP could be in place.

This struggle is among the most important political stories of 2009 because upon its outcome depends in great part whether there will be a genuinely effective opposition to Obama and the Democrats in the years ahead.” (Underscoring Forum’s)

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