Republican aristocracy, Karl Rove
How GOP Insiders Will Fail in Civil War
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Now the United States is hearing “The Establishment Strikes Back.” But this campaign against the tea party will fail, because false assumptions dominate the thinking and plans of America’s Republican establishment. GOP insiders have now declared war on the tea party. They are promising during the 2014 U.S. elections to restore business interests to dominate the GOP, and weaken the tea party influence.
“Hopefully we’ll go into eight to 10 races and beat the snot out of them,” said former Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio. According to the National Journal, “LaTourette’s new political group, Defending Main Street, aims to raise $8 million to fend off tea-party challenges against more mainstream Republican incumbents.” La Tourette explains: “We’re going to be very aggressive and we’re going to get in their faces.”
Trouble is: America’s Republican aristocracy does not understand the tea party or what is motivating the grassroots insurgency. Republican insiders cannot respond to what they do not understand.
First, too many ‘mainstream’ Republicans candidates spend money like drunken sailors. They vote for more spending, bigger deficits, more business-strangling regulations, bigger government, and ballooning national debt. They must eventual buckle to higher taxes.
Political gurus put on an act, saying that the divide falls between fiscal issues and social issues. But establishment candidates are not fiscal conservatives, they only play fiscal conservatives on TV. The tea party revolt is against the GOP’s rampant fiscal irresponsibility.
The tea party aims to put the United States’ finances in order, lowering taxes, and balancing the budget. The charade of pitting ‘business interests’ against the tea party will not fool businessmen for long. The GOP establishment is bad for business.
Second, the grassroots is demanding genuine change. Until they see actual change, ain’t nobody listening. GOP elites don’t get it: The grassroots is like a wife who has been cheated on, who is refusing to listen to her adulterous husband’s excuses. So when GOP aristocrats ‘warn’ us about tea party candidates, their arguments fall on deaf ears. Voters must see a genuine change of heart before they might start listening. Hell hath no fury like a voter whom the establishment has lied to (once too often).
Third, conservative candidates thrive when attacked by GOP elites. The morning after Christine O’Donnell won the September 14, 2010, primary, her website displayed a fund-raising goal of $50,000. Then, news spread that Mike Castle refused to endorse the choice of the voters and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) was refusing to help. Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham that morning then Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity that afternoon urged their enormous audiences to donate.
Christine’s fund-raising blew through $1.1 million by 1:30 PM. She only asked for $50,000 that day. Conservatives ultimately gave $7.4 million. Steve LaTourette’s entire budget is only $8 million, spread across 10 campaigns.
Contributors gave $7.4 million for the pleasure of sticking their thumb in GOP guru Karl Rove’s eye. The more the establishment snubbed sweet and sympathetic Christine, the more conservative donors wanted to slap Republican elites across the face with their own donation. Those donations were a rejection of the very establishment who now imagine we will suddenly start listening to them.
Third, the U.S. political establishment is gripped with a shared fantasy: If only voters had known about candidates’ “baggage,” voters would have nominated the liberal Republican insider instead.
Yet the ‘baggage’ was very well and widely known before those primaries. Grassroots voters simply don’t care about the smears against their candidates. A flawed conservative beats a flawless liberal Republican any day, the grassroots is firmly convinced. The establishment insists the exact opposite is true. That is a central question sharply in dispute.
Elites thundered mightily before the primaries, loudly warning the voters don’t you dare nominate so-and-so. Republican voters heard – and completely rejected – that message.
Political analysts keep making Christine O’Donnell’s U.S. Senate race the centerpiece of the Party’s struggle. So we are forced to revisit it. Attacks claiming ‘baggage’ began in December 2009, long before the September 10, 2010, primary. But the more GOP royalty told voters they mustn’t vote for Christine, the more enthusiastically voters lined up to kick Mike Castle out. The very act of telling Republican voters whom they ‘must’ nominate convinces them to volunteer and vote for the other guy.
Fourth, the grassroots rejects the ‘baggage’ argument fundamentally. They know that the GOP elites have never learned how to answer false smears against Republicans. Conservatives are convinced that it isn’t ‘baggage’ that is the problem, but the unwillingness and inability of supposed Republican geniuses to deal with false smears by liberals and the mainstream media.
Even Ann Coulter has adopted false narratives about Delaware. Delaware’s uncontroversial 2012 Republican nominee – ‘baggage’ free – got only 29% of the vote, contrasted with O’Donnell’s 40% in 2010. So, our dear and beloved Ann, with ‘baggage’ your friend and mine Christine got 40%, of the vote. No baggage got you 29% of the vote in 2012. The real problem is that the GOP aristocracy sabotages its own candidates and doesn’t know how to win elections. It would be better for Ann Coulter and indeed Christine O’Donnell to work on providing training to Republicans on campaign techniques than to belittle the brave souls who dare to go into the arena to fight for our country.
Fifth, Republican moderates lose in primaries because they are often simply bad candidates. On December 8, 2009, Karl Rove came to Broadlands in Delaware to rally the tea party in support of Mike Castle. Russ Murphy, head of the Delaware Tea Party Patriots, was one invited to the summit. He granted me an interview.
Initially, Karl Rove alienated Delaware’s tea party leadership by blovating about Karl Rove and his own supposed importance. Having thoroughly disgusted the tea party leaders with his arrogance, Rove finally got around to commanding them to support Mike Castle. Eyes rolled as Rove misrepresented Castle’s record.
Russ Murphy stood up and told Karl Rove that Mike Castle was losing because he wasn’t meeting with the voters. Christine O’Donnell was winning because she was showing up. Christine took the voters’ questions and answered them. Mike Castle was dodging and hiding from the voters.
Simply put, Mike Castle was a bad candidate, Christine was a good candidate. Delaware is a small State which, like New Hampshire, prizes personal contact with the candidates.
Karl Rove – who claims to know campaigns – could have taken Russ Murphy’s tip straight back to the Mike Castle campaign. Rove could have insisted that Castle start getting out there and talking to voters. Nope. Instead, within two weeks, a professionally prepared, expensive dossier of smears against Christine O’Donnell started circulating among Delaware journalists and Republican activists. Neither Karl Rove nor Mike Castle could figure out that if you ignore and snub the voters, they probably won’t vote for you.
So, the Republican aristocracy has decided to try something new: They are going to attack tea party candidates and warn grassroots voters they must nominate moderates. But that is not new. It’s old. That is the same failed game plan insiders have been trying over and over. And they keep failing miserably at it. Refusing to acknowledge or address the real problems, GOP elites keep playing out vain hopes of getting a different result. The establishment doesn’t understand why it has a problem.