Just as moderates are completely unrepresented in a Democratic Party that's dominated by liberals, movement conservatives often don't feel represented by the Republican Party. At first glance, this seems rather odd since most Republicans in Congress are conservative. However, it's a natural reaction to the Republican establishment that has its hands welded to many of the GOP's levers of power. The Republican Party may be mostly conservative, but there are a multitude of reasons that you can't trust the establishment Republicans as far as you can throw them.
1) They have supreme confidence without supreme competence. Conservative talk show hosts, columnists, bloggers and Tea Partiers don't always get it right. We make our mistakes. But, we recognize that. The problem with the establishment Republicans is that they make just as many mistakes, if not more, without ever being humbled by the experience. Karl Rove is a truly brilliant man and he's done a great service for conservatism by raising so much money to help Republican candidates (although he's now promising to torpedo conservative candidates in GOP primaries), but his strategic decision-making also turned Bush's second term into a Hindenburg style disaster that the GOP hasn't recovered from yet. How did the "Super-Committee" the GOP establishment championed in 2011 work out? Not so well. How about Harriet Miers? The comprehensive immigration reform battle in Bush's second term? John McCain? Mitt Romney? It's fine to think you're the smartest guy in the room, but if you can't back it up, don't expect everyone to ignore the dunce cap you're wearing and pretend that you're Einstein.
2) They always prefer moderates to conservatives. It should tell you something when the GOP establishment always, always, ALWAYS prefers the least conservative candidate. It backed Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey, David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz, Bob Bennett over Mike Lee, Trey Grayson over Rand Paul and Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio. Our two top "leaders" in the Senate, Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, both endorsed Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio, a guy who is now being touted as one of the frontrunners for the presidency in 2016. When the best and brightest of the GOP in the Senate were almost universally opposed by the GOP establishment, what message does it send to the base? It sure as hell ain't "You can trust us" or "We're on your side." The real message is, "We're so frightened by our own base that we'd rather back future Democrats like Charlie Crist and Arlen Specter than movement conservatives."
3) They stick with the same failed leaders. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have been in charge in Congress since 2006. What do we have to show for their "leadership?" Three bad election cycles out of four. John Boehner seems to mean well, but neither he nor McConnell can message their way out of a wet paper bag. In addition, McConnell has been outmaneuvered and outsmarted by Harry Reid at every turn and is polling so poorly that he's pulling a Todd Akin by running for his seat when he should be stepping aside for a more electable candidate. Reince Priebus did an excellent job of raising money at the RNC last cycle, but did nothing else well during a lousy cycle that his failure as RNC Chairman contributed to mightily. Everyone agrees that the GOP did poorly in the Senate in 2012; yet the head of the NRSC John Cornyn failed upwards to become the new Minority Whip in the Senate. William Buckley once said, "I'd rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston telephone directory than by the faculty of Harvard." Well, the GOP would be better led by randomly elected Republicans than the crew that's running the show.
Read the rest here...
- The Media's Favorite Fake Republicans (townhall.com)
- The Myth of an Impure GOP (nationalreview.com)
- Tea Party vs. Progressive Republicans - Battle for the Soul of the GOP (theblaze.com)