While perusing yesterday’s Open Thread, I came across a back and forth some in the comment section were having about something that Hugh Hewitt posted on his website. As many of you know, in 2011 and 2012 Hewitt was one of the biggest Romney cheerleaders in talk radioland. It’s also safe to say he is not exactly a supporter of Governor Palin. Hewitt posted something penned by two dudes named Garrett and Brian Fahy. They don’t seem to be too happy about Mitch McConnell being challenged from the right in next year’s Kentucky GOP primary, and have come to the conclusion that conservative insurgents have been and will continue to prevent the GOP from attaining a majority in the United States Senate. The Fahy brothers decided to illustrate their point by attempting to be amusing or something like that. They entitled their opus The Majority Convention Committee. Here are some of the relevant passages: (emphasis added)
Secretary: Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats, this meeting of the Committee for the Prevention of a Republican Senate Majority (Majority Prevention Committee) is called to order.
Let’s get down to business. We’ll start with introductions then cover our agenda items. But first, what’s our motto? PURITY OVER POWER! Let’s say it again: PURITY OVER POWER!
Ok, that felt good. Now, introductions. Here with us tonight are some very esteemed members that we would like to recognize. Please identify yourself as your name is called. We’ll start with the men.
Todd Akin, good to see you. Richard Mourdock, thanks for coming. Both of you had a tough time with the female vote, I but I see that hasn’t scared away our female members.
Sharron Angle, so glad you could make it. Christine O’Donnell, thank you for coming, it must be hard to show your face in public.
As you all know, the Majority Prevention Committee would not be here with you and your leadership. You all showed us the way. Oh, sorry, we forgot our Chairwoman Emeritus, Sarah Palin. Sarah, thank you for coming all the way from Alaska. You, more than anyone else, have played an instrumental role in supporting our Committee and each of these candidates. For your leadership and your example, we sincerely thank you.
So, in the eyes of the Fahy boys, Governor Palin is the chief culprit as to why the GOP does not currently control the U.S. Senate. This has been a myth perpetuated by the GOPe for three years now, but the Fahy brothers take it further. They perpetuate myths within a myth. Let’s take a look at the four losing candidates they depict in their satire- Akin, Angle, Mourdock, and O’Donnell. By the way, if these four seats had gone GOP in ’10 and ’12, the GOP would have 49 seats-still a minority. Oh, that pesky simple arithmetic.
Todd Akin- shortly after winning the Missouri Senate nomination for the GOP last August, Akin had the Gaffe Heard Round The World. This enabled a vulnerable Claire McCaskill to trounce Todd Akin in November. But, as we all know, Governor Palin did not endorse Todd Akin. She endorsed Sarah Steelman. So did many other Tea Party activists. Governor Palin went all in for this race. She did a radio ad, a TV ad, and spent hours in the stifling Missouri heat and humidity to give a speech on Steelman’s behalf and then serve the nearly thousand rally goers dinner long after the rally had concluded.
When Akin made his stupid comments, Governor Palin joined many conservatives in calling on Todd Akin to drop out of the race so the GOP would have to chance to win the seat. Akin didn’t listen. So, I think it’s safe to say that if more GOP voters in Missouri had listened to Governor Palin, Claire McCaskill would be back in Missouri today, and Sarah Steeleman would be the Junior Senator from Missouri. GOPe myth shattered.
Sharron Angle- Sarah Palin did not endorse Sharron Angle in the Nevada Senate GOP primary in 2010. Let me repeat that for the 6,452,843,942nd time. Sarah Palin did not endorse Sharron Angle in the Nevada Senate GOP primary in 2010. She stayed neutral. Governor Palin’s father, Chuck Heath, did get involved in the Nevada primary. He endorsed and campaigned for Danny Tarkanian, son of the legendary UNLV basketball coach. To this day, there are so many media outlets that repeat the falsehood of Governor Palin endorsing Sharron Angle, and point to is as one of her big endorsement “mistakes.” It’s a lie. Another GOPe myth shattered.
Richard Mourdock- yes, Governor Palin did endorse Richard Mourdock in his challenge against Dick Lugar. Mourdock made a Todd Akin-lite gaffe shortly before the election and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Yes, this was a huge disappointment since Indiana was a GOP seat in a red state. There was no excuse for Mourdock losing that race. However, blaming the loss on Palin is patently dishonest. Mourdock defeated Lugar in the primary by over 20 points. He was already in the lead when Palin endorsed him. This was actually one GOP primary where Governor Palin’s endorsement didn’t have a huge impact. Yes, it helped, and once Palin went public with her endorsement, it was a signal to the GOPe that the race was over. But, Mourdock was going to win this race anyways- Palin endorsement or not. Conservatives in Indiana had had enough with Lugar straying from conservatism, and he had been in the Senate since the Van Buren administration. It was time for him to go. Palin’s endorsement of Mourdock had nothing to do with the GOP losing that seat last November. Nothing. Another GOPe myth shattered.
Christine O’Donnell- even this one falls apart. Yeah, O’Donnell as a bad general election candidate, and has handled herself even worse since losing to Chris Coons. The case can certainly be made that Governor Palin’s last minute endorsement of O’Donnell put her over the top in her primary race against Mike Castle. Let’s say Palin stayed out of the race and Castle was the GOP nominee. Would he have defeated Chris Coons? Exit polls showed that Coons would’ve beaten Castle, too. But, if Castle did win, would he have been a better Senator than Coons? I believe the two most overused terms in politics today are RINO and neocon. However, when it comes to Castle, the term RINO fits him like a glove. He was one of a few House GOP memebers to vote for Cap And Tax. Think of the major issues that have come before the Senate lately- gun control, amnesty, tax increases, spending, funding Obamacare. Would Castle have voted with the conservatives on any important issue? No. A Senator Castle would have made John McCain look like Ted Cruz. Who cares if someone has an R next to their name if they are going to vote with the Dems on every crucial issue? Another GOPe myth shattered.
It’s really quite remarkable how quickly arguments made by the GOPe against conservatives, and especially Governor Palin, fall apart after just a basic examination of the facts. The narrative that Governor Palin is responsible for the GOP not having a majority in the Senate is quite stupid, yet unfortunately still common. But, what is even more remarkable is that the very people who name Palin as the chief culprit for costing the GOP a majority in the Senate turn around and claim she is irrelevant, and her endorsements of underdog, come from behind candidates like Ted Cruz, Deb Fischer, and Nikki Haley played no part in their victories. If her endorsement has no impact on a winning candidacy, then you would assume her endorsement has no impact on a losing candidacy. Right? But that doesn’t fit the GOPe narrative. So, they go and make crap up. I have come to expect nothing less from the boys over at GOP, Inc.
Update by Doug: The “Palin cost us the Senate” calumny first surfaced at the conclusion of the 2010 mid-term election during which Governor Palin did more to elect Republicans than the entire GOP Establishment combined. The results were historic. Governor Palin’s role in that enormous electoral blowout was immense — and indisputable. Immediately prior to the election, when it was clear to even the GOP Establishment just how influential Governor Palin had become, a concerted effort was undertaken by self-anointed GOP leaders to “stop Sarah Palin”. Not coincidentally, it was about this time the Republican punditocracy came out in force to “blame” Governor Palin for the GOP’s failure to retake the Senate. At the time we took a comprehensive look at the validity of this narrative which was being promulgated primarily by pundits of the Joe Scarborough ilk and former Bushies like Karl Rove and Michael Gerson. We promptly concluded that their claim was ludicrous on its face and lacked any basis in reality. This wasn’t surprising, of course, but what I do find surprising is that people continue to push this fantasy.