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The GOP Establishment needs a clue

May 17, 2010

A year ago on May 1, 2009 a Rasmussen poll reported that 69% of GOP voters thought the party was out of touch with their base. The report stated that the number had changed little from a survey just after election day 2008. On October 22, 2009, it was 73%.

When is the party going to get a clue?

Maybe the defeat of Senator Bob Bennett by grass-roots conservative Mike Lee in Utah will give pause. Or Gov. Crist’s withdrawal from the Florida GOP primary under pressure from Marco Rubio. Both men, by the way, are supported by Senator Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund, which I’ve highlighted before.

In Colorado, the party’s State Assembly is this week and I’m a delegate. RSCC pick Jane Norton has decided to petition on to the primary ballot just in case.  Her campaign under Josh Penry has gone negative and just today I got an email from a prominent supporter of hers attacking Ken Buck’s character and distorting his record.

Last week I got an email from the Scott McInnis campaign making a fine distinction between McInnis, who held a “consistent” stand on immigration versus Maes, whose stand “evolved”…to end up in the same place. Who cares? Only a lawyer trying to win a debate.

This is politics as usual. These negative personal attacks are what the American people are sick of. This year the fight in the Republican party is about principle: does the party stand on the conservative principles it says it does? More importantly, do it’s candidates? Arguments like “I have more experience in politics” and “I know the players, I can get things done” don’t hold nearly as much weight as they may have in the past. In fact, they are liabilities.

Here’s the clue: if you want to win in the primary AND go on to attract independents and even non-Marxist Democrats, then you had better show that you are a person of principle and that those principles prominently include limited constitutional government, fiscal responsibility and the free market.

This year’s election is not about your political career; this is a battle for life and liberty. If you’re not in this for God and the Constitution, get out now.

  1. May 18, 2010 1:15 am

    AC, don’t hold back or anything. I’ve been interviewing Colorado candidates lately, taking the pulse, and of course watching the national stage. 2010 is further removed from 2008 than 1910, imho. I have a strong feeling that the title of your excellent blog will come to pass this November. Because we sure aren’t purple at this point in Colorado, unless you count bruised and battered.

  2. May 18, 2010 6:27 am

    Did I vent? I’m just appalled that with so much at stake, some politicians can’t seem to rise above petty politics. But that might be one reason we got here in the first place. We’ll just have to throw them overboard with the rest of the tea.

    As always, thanks for your perceptive comments.

  3. May 18, 2010 11:16 am

    “Vent.” Not at all (especially by my standards). The GOP is way too incrementalist, when we need radical change yesterday. Since yesterday is gone, we need it now. I just saw a link to Eric Cantor’s You Cut deal asking voters what they would cut from the budget. Unfortunately, the menu was a little limited, and only put on the table less than 3 percent of budget issues. The most reviled items weren’t even on the list.

    I’ll see if I can find a link to it.

  4. May 18, 2010 11:50 am


    If we’re not purple at this point in Colorado, then what are we?

  5. May 18, 2010 2:57 pm

    I got the same email from the Jane Norton supporter and I was highly irritated! I was also a bit shocked by it. I wrote about it on my blog…clearly I vented 😉 I am really confused by the email as Jane is not participating in the assembly process anyways. Why is this woman emailing El Paso County delegates with negative attacks on Ken Buck??

    Love your blog!

  6. May 18, 2010 3:00 pm

    Tried to post a comment…don’t know what happened so I will try to re-post now. I also received that email from the Jane Norton supporter. I was very irritated by it and a bit shocked. I do not understand why she is sending out this negative email to El Paso County delegates when her candidate has chosen to not participate in the assembly process. I vented about it in my blog today!

    I enjoy reading your blog.

  7. May 18, 2010 5:33 pm

    Here’s a link to the Boston Globe in which they quote a pundit saying the same thing I did: incumbency and even a claim to inside knowledge of the system is no advantage this year.

  8. May 18, 2010 6:08 pm

    Chris: We’re black and blue. AC: Rand Paul just crushed Grayson.

  9. May 18, 2010 7:59 pm

    Hurrah! I was out gathering signatures for Colorado’s free health care choice ballot initiative, and this was good news to come back to.

    The people are getting their mojo back–and it underscores the theme of today’s post.

    BTW, Marco Rubio is again ahead of Crist the independent 38-31%.

  10. May 19, 2010 12:04 am

    Speaking of negative campaigning, I broke this story today about Ali Hasan’s desperate and over the top (even by his standards) smear campaign against JJ Ament.

    He even launched a special negative campaign website, populistly labeled, Maybe it’s just me, but it seems a candidate for Treasurer should at least have taken Econ 101.

    AC – I was hoping to do some “live blogging” during the assembly. I’ve got some other delegates and candidates lined up to help report. We all had such fun when the Post did it at the caucuses, I thought maybe you’d be interested. Why don’t you email me off-blog.

  11. May 19, 2010 2:01 pm

    Hear, hear!

  12. May 20, 2010 2:08 am

    Chris, I realized I may have missed your point the first time around (too much pre-assembly excitement and lack of sleep). We (the People) are not just purple, but more like red. I meant the government in place is not purple, but a midnight blue that needs to be reclaimed. After all we do have all three branches of CO government in extremely leftist hands.

  13. May 20, 2010 6:44 am

    …and as Jeff says, we need to remember that we’re red, white and blue.

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