Consultants — Vivisection Has Its Place

Considering the treatment that Republican consultant Stephen Schmidt and his minions gave Sarah Palin during and after the 2008 campaign, it is a safe bet that few followers of C4P are Schmidt fans.

So all should enjoy Jeffrey Lord’s American Spectator piece on The Quisling Consultants. Everyone should read the whole thing, but here are a couple of samples:

The real problem the Republican Party faces is the rise of a political consulting class that feeds off the beast that is the federal Leviathan.


What Mr. Schmidt does — and by no means is he alone — is depend on the growth of government to so entangle the private sector that it needs people like Steve Schmidt to simply stay alive. So when it comes to candidates — or talk radio hosts or the Tea Party or anybody that wants to take an axe to the insatiable beast that demands your tax dollars — Schmidt and company will use their Establishment podiums to go after them.


They have long ago turned their backs on conservative principle and are aiding and abetting the behemoth that is literally bleeding America financially dry. …The real problem for the Republican Party isn’t Rush Limbaugh and the "conservative entertainment complex." It isn’t the Tea Party. It isn’t you. . . The real problem is the Quisling Consultants.

I will add a consultant story that I heard recently from a friend who was involved in a state campaign a couple of years ago. The political consultants running the campaign had a sideline  — they owned the company that bought the media. So this company collected a 15% commission on all buys. The result was an emphasis on big buys in big markets so that the the commission could be earned with minimum effort, even though that was not where the effort was needed. My friend’s candidate lost.

Apparently, this double role of political consultant and media placement firm is common (though I do not know if it applies to Schmidt). If you fast forward to 2012, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on media buys to support Republicans, obviously to inadequate effect. The Obama campaign was working at a different level, and much more successfully, with social media, specialized sites, community storefront operations, and other targeted operations.

It would be interesting to autopsy the exact relationships during the 2012 campaign so as to understand where the consultants’ true interest lay. Erick Ericson at Red State had a good piece on this:

The fifth floor of 66 Canal Center Plaza [in Washington] reveals a tangled web of incestuous relationships among Republican consultants who have made millions all while the GOP went down the tubes. Here the top party consultants waged war with conservative activists and here they waged war with the Democrats. On both fronts, they raked in millions along the way with a more fractured, minority party in their wake. And they show no signs of recognizing just how much a part of the problem they are.

It is not surprising that the consultants are among those bemoaning the idea of a circular firing squad (though of course they are busy shooting the Tea Partiers in the back at every opportunity), and urging that we all get along in the interests of some vague future improvement.

This effort at phony harmony seems misplaced. Honest autopsies are the only way to improve. In particular the donors who supported the conservative effort in the election need to know whether and how much they got snookered for the sake of commissions on media buys and other consulting fees. If the autopsies turn into a bit of vivisection of consultants, so be it.

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  • TheresaAK

    More proof…the GOP is going the way of the Whigs..

    Good riddance GOP and Demoncrats…

    • HuntingMoose

      I am a true believer that competition gives better results.

      Lets start that 3rd party and have the GOP (and democrats) work for the votes instead of taking us for granted.

      I am not rooting for a 3rd party but it is clear that the status quo will not be better than even temporarily a third party.

      • socon

         I agree.  I support a meritocracy.  The Republican party has outlived its usefulness.

      • willegge

        It happened in Canada during the 80’s 90’s. The Conservative party of Canada were fed the same bunk the repubs are being fed today. "Change your formula" which is code for, "you cannot be truly conservative and win". "Drop social issues" they tell us even though the Dems have increased their intensity on social issues, such as same sex marriage, abortion rights via the fluke women and racism that they harp n continually. The Conservative Party of Canada caved just like the Republicans are doing now and we in Canada were left with another liberal party, hardly any difference. But when the election came the conservatives lost every seat in parliament except for 3 or 4, unprecedented. It would be like the republicans ending up with 4 seats in congress. The reason a New truly conservative Party arose, who won enough seats became the official opposition. Conservatives got sick and tired of RINOS, and spoke with their vote. The Conservative Party learned a hard lesson and eventually united with the new party and became the New Conservative Party of Canada, which has done very well. I think that is what needs to happen here the GOP just will not learn otherwise.

    • mark1955

      Exactly! The GOP has reached the point in History,similar to the ‘Whig Party’ in around 1854,where the repubs have become an exact mirror image of the dem Party. There is no reforming it. They are Rotten and collaboratively Treasonous to the core along with their dem buddies.

       This little "Farce" we are witnessing with Benghazi,where repubs like Susan Collins are all of a sudden full of "Outrage" over Susan Rice is a smokescreen to destract us from her collaboration in voting Obamacare out of committee and her soon to be sell-out along with Joe Lieberman on the internet censorship bill they are sponsoring,which will wipe out any kind of anonymity any of us have on the Web.

       The scripted battle that McConnell and Boehner are waging against Obama,on the all of a sudden made up "Fiscal Cliff",is pure theatre,to make uus think they are putting up a fight,before they cave as we all know they will.

       Every step of the way the repubs had a chance to destroy Obama’s agenda and they alway’s pull some repub out of the Hat,to further our enslavement: Snowe and Collins, helping vote Obamacare out of  Commitee. Scott Brown being the final vote out of committee with ‘Dodd/Frank,Tom Coburn being the single vote by ‘Unanimous Consent’ with the ‘Food Safety and Modernization Act’. Numerous repubs where it takes fully 60% of the senate "Present" to pass the ‘Start 2  Treaty’ reducing our nuclear deterrent force by 70%,easily defeatable by the repubs,yet somehow they even passed that. And Obama will be back for the rest of our nuclear arsenal.

        Every single step of the way we have told the repubs to stop this madness and they have flipped us a Giant "Bleep You"! There is no reforming the repubs at this point. We need a new Party!

  • Shane Ladd

    The Republican Party is moribund and should be buried. Why waste time on an autopsy?

    • HuntingMoose

      Autopsy is for lessons to be learned. So buried, yes, but after the autopsy

      • socon

        I believe a thorough autopsy is necessary!  Burial is optional.

        • PAWatcher

          socon, I agree the autopsy is necessary,  then the offal should go to the democratic party where it will be right at home. ………Romney was real comfortable at lunch with the obamas after he helped  fleece the conservatives of their money, he never addressed or acknowledged US. The Bushs hobnob with the Kerrys and Clintons. They’re all one big happy bipartisan family in DC………….time to end the sordid incestuous corruptionn of the DC family…………time they met the unwashed non relative masses called the TEA Conservatives, they need to move farther to the Left IMHO……or as you said go straight to he11. 
          I love the word offal and thanks to Virginiagentleman I’m using it every chance I get. I’m going to say it to every liberal I know- they’ll think I’m saying awful …………as , oh Kathy you’re offal when you say obama is wonderful……LOL

          • socon

             I don’t know about the "unwashed" part.  lol

  • HuntingMoose

    I think you got the address for those consultants wrong.

    It is not. "The fifth floor of 66 Canal Center Plaza" but "The fifth floor of 666 Canal Center Plaza"

  • Kathleen

    Excellent article.  Thanks for the heads up.  These quislings need to have their source of supply cut off.  I know if Sarah runs, she will not be availing herself of their services.   And frankly, they may even be one of the reasons she didn’t run.  It’s possible the GOP told her that if she didn’t use the services of the "approved" consultants, she wouldn’t get any support from the GOP national headquarters.  Just a theory on my part, but…..

  • Audrey_I

    These political consultants caused Mitt Romney to run the worst presidential campaign in the past hundred years. 

    The Republican Establishment that shares power with the Democrat make up the Ruling Class. The Republican Establishment is only interested in making sure their own members are elected and to hell with anyone else. Furthermore, the Republican Establishment enjoys their minority status.

  • socon

    Jeffrey Lord is one of my heroes.  He, like Mark Levin, has always supported Sarah.

    Not surprising really–Mr. Lord worked in the Reagan White House.

  • CBDenver

    Anthony Codevilla wrote that in this country there is a ruling political class and a country class (/   Who is this political class that rules over us?  "What really distinguishes these privileged people demographically is that, whether in government power directly or as officers in companies, their careers and fortunes depend on government".    The Democrat and Republican party both represent the political class.  Federal elections are the equivalent of office politics to decide who gets to be the next CEO.  The Republicans haven’t got a chance because they have the baggage of the party platform that talks favorably about smaller government, private enterprise, entreaupaneurship, and the like. 

    Some people say that conservatives should abandon the Republican party once and for all.  But maybe the GOPe should abandon the Republican party since they have already abandoned all the principals it stands for.  Let them go join the Democrats.  They would be much happier there

    • WayofLight

       Should we have a third party, THE central platform should be that any law effected on the public must also be effected upon our public servants.

  • generictrainee

    They are an integral part of the problem.

  • AJ40

    In response to Audry,
         I disagree with you on one point.  Romney didn’t run the worst campaign in American history, only one of the worst.  Actually, from the point of view of campaigns only, it was a  fair campaign, considering he lost by only 3%, even if many of those votes were anti-Obama voters.  But Romney’s focus was to narrow on the jobs and economy only.  He was taken in by the standard Republican line that since the jobs and economy were so bad that a landslide for him was inevitable.  But we’ve got to remember that even during the Great Depession, FDR was relected 3 times.  Romney was a weak candidate.  He sounded good, patriotic, and conservative but he is a very  liberal Republican.

    • Freempg

      Romney is what liberals used to be before they became Marxists.

      • socon

         So true.  Very smart observation.  Brutal.

  • MaMcGriz

    "This effort at phony harmony seems misplaced. Honest autopsies are the
    only way to improve. In particular the donors who supported the
    conservative effort in the election need to know whether and how much
    they got snookered for the sake of commissions on media buys and other
    consulting fees. If the autopsies turn into a bit of vivisection of
    consultants, so be it."

    I agree.

  • Founders1791

    Steve Schmidt is the most failed political adviser ever. So bad it is a wonder how he earns a living doing it. All these guys hired him and failed.

    1993 failed Univ.of Delaware Political Science Program
    1995 failed (R-KY) Will T. Scott run for Attorney General
    1998 failed (R-CA) Tim Leslie run for Lt.Governor
    1998 failed (R-CA) Matt Fong run for Treasurer
    1999 failed (R-TN) Lamar Alaxenderr run for President
    2008 failed (R-AZ) John McCain run for President

    "Game Change" – PRODUCER: Tom Hanks DISTRIBUTOR: HBO, Bill Maher ACTORS: Julianne Moore, Ed Harris, and Woody Harrelson POLITICS: 100% are Obama campaign contributors and activists.

    Movie is panned as untrue political propaganda

    One reason people like this switch parties is basic economics and lack of talent to pivot after their failures. Schmidt simply had nothing to offer republicans without sugar daddies in the Rove Cabal so he sold out to democrats. He joined fellow turncoat Charlie Crist whom we all know because his campaign manager was Mitt Romney’s …Stuart Stevens.

    John McCain & Mitt Romney, each hardcore moderates, both failed miserably to "see traitors in their midst" who not only failed but stabbed the party in the back while doing it.

    Sarah’ compass was true when she referred to a Mitt candidacy, "..we need someone who ‘naturally’ turns right…", versus someone who consistently turns wrong.

  • Freempg

    Hypothetical: For those who advocate a third party, how many would put forth the effort to make it happen (money, boots on the ground and not just talk) if it had to be done without Governor Palin having anything to do with it, including making any commitment to accept its nomination? I think it’s safe to say no one.

    We may want to stop deluding ourselves to think a third party will magically appear without her leadership, and then what would it be, the party of Palin? That cult of personality stuff won’t fly.

    IMHO we need to attack the GOPe while they are down. Rather than abandon the battlefield for control of the GOP machinery we should fight if only on another front to take conrol of the RNC by getting rid of the rancid prince Reince Priebus.

    JC Watt’s may not be our guy but at least he’s making noise.

    ‘My concern right now, and I don’t say this necessarily as a candidate [for RNC chairman], my concern is that as a Republican, every single Republican in America ought to be concerned about what has happened in 2008 and 2012,’ Watts said in an interview with POLITICO. ‘In this business, if you’re not growing, you’re dying.’

    Watts would not identify who is lobbying him to challenge Priebus, and reiterated that he has not made a decision to definitely jump into the race."

    • Ed from justice

      Watts, is not a choice really…. He is Obama on steroids when it comes to leadershlip skills.   Lets forget about being PC.. Lets find a real principaled leader.  That may be rather hard, since most people who are good leaders have a job already.  Do we have any women veterans … (retired military would be good ) who have leadership training and expeience and are in the fortyish age group who  would be willing to step up one more time for their country.  I agree totally on the third party thing it would only elect Democrats.  I guess that is ok at least you know what you are up against.  See you all down the road.  Gotta get back to keeping the folks who depend on me employed.

      • everythingispolitics

        What don’t you like about Watts, and why would liking watts be PC. We will make no in roads with minorities with attitudes like this. Take it from this black male conservative.

  • RepackRider

    A year ago the GOP was rubbing its hands with glee, anticipating the vast sums of cash made available by the Citizen’s United decision.  With virtually unlimited funding, Romney spent about four times as much for each vote he received as Obama.  And lost.  Romney paid big money for services that Obama got from unpaid volunteers.  This failure to get "bang for the buck" does not say much for Mr. Romney’s vaunted "business experience."

    With the influx of hundreds of millions in PAC money and no financial consequences for failure like one would have in a "real" business, people lined up at the Romney trough and made a lot of money.  To them, getting paid was more important than winning.  Ironically, all that "free money" pumped into battleground states may have turned employment figures and the local economies in Obama’s direction.

    I say pay "consultants" AFTER the election, and then only for winning.  In REAL jobs (like mine) failure is punished.

  • irishcoins

    Jeffrey Lord has done well illuminating the dark and sinister forces that enveloped the days leading to the Oct 5 Announcement.  The tactics of using heavy donors to send emails proclaiming they were not supporting your potential candidacy must have taken their toll, when combined with the threats against her family, including against Bristol in the gay bar in CA.

    The key to winning this propaganda war, at this time, and the battle for control of the reins and soul of the GOP, is to win over those donors, which might be considered the "grass roots" of the Quislings, that went down the Schmidt Quisling Path.  Yes, they are big donors, but individually they are winnable.  The way to do that, in my opinion, would be best done by a bit of subtle ridicule.

    It is necessary to make sure potential big time donors see they have been conned, and the reasons for it, and by whom.  This needs to be Gov. Palin’s teaching moment.  A wood shed moment needs be sought with each.  It is not enough for Gov. Palin to sing this to the tune of "…I told you so."  The goal is always to win those hearts and souls.

    The goal always is to enlarge and expand the tent.  Gov. Palin is not just at war with the ignorance of the masses that would be followers of Quislings.  There will always be those that would seek benefit and influence at the expense of liberty for all.  It will take a leader such as Gov. Palin to use this as a teaching moment to show the folly of what happened.  Those donors that sought influence with the Quisling need to be ridiculed in a way that not just embarrasses them, but also challenges them to a higher good.

    Gov. Palin, in the words of Mark Levin, is the "natural" for this.  Should the Governor take to the war path in the spring, there will be many victories and large chunks of territory conquered quickly.  The eye must be kept on just what the Quislings are doing, and they must be won over to the Governor’s cause, and to the Cause of Freedom and a higher good, first one, then three, then a majority.  This will set up a Path to the Presidency that will not suffer fools from within her own party, and keep her enemies in front of her.

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