With the midterm election year upon us, it’s time to get ready for the battle ahead over the next 10 months. But, as we all know, the battle will not be limited to just fighting the Democrats in the general election in November. The GOP establishment is going to do everything they can to undercut the conservative movement and prevent advocates of small government from even making it to the general. Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator wrote a terrific piece that highlights this very fact. In addition to drawing attention to, among others, a piece in the Wall Street Journal and one by Tony Lee at Breitbart, he gives his own take on the subject, as well a reminding us of the struggles the President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher encountered during their rise to power. Some highlights:
Happy New Year.
While America was celebrating the holidays, the Wall Street Journal ran a page one story the day after Christmas headlined as follows:
GOP, Business Recast Message
Republican Leaders, Allies Aim to Diminish Clout of Most-Conservative Activists
The story said this right up front:
Meanwhile, major donors and advocacy groups, such as the Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads, are preparing an aggressive effort to groom and support more centrist Republican candidates for Congress in 2014’s midterm elections.
Karl Rove (i.e., architect of the American Crossroads SuperPAC), the Chamber of Commerce, and the Washington GOP Establishment have declared war on the Reaganite conservative base of the Republican Party.
Back in February of 2013 the New York Times ran this story on Mr. Rove’s Crossroads group, describing it as follows:
The biggest donors in the Republican Party are financing a new group to recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s efforts to win control of the Senate.
…The group, the Conservative Victory Project, is intended to counter other organizations that have helped defeat establishment Republican candidates over the last two election cycles.”
The Conservative Victory Project, which is backed by Karl Rove and his allies who built American Crossroads into the largest Republican super PAC of the 2012 election cycle, will start by intensely vetting prospective contenders for Congressional races to try to weed out candidates who are seen as too flawed to win general elections.
Let’s be clear.
This isn’t some petty squabble over the personality of candidate A versus candidate B. This is decidedly not about the ineptness of, say, Missouri’s Todd Akin (whom we urged to withdraw after his rape nonsense). Notice that none of the losing moderate candidates from 2012, whether Mitt Romney at the top or in various Senate or House races, are being cited by the Establishment as problems.
This is about whether the Republican Party will abandon its Reagan/conservative base — the base that elected Reagan in two landslides, Reagan’s vice president (running as Reagan’s heir) in a 1988 landslide, the Gingrich Revolution in 1994 and made John Boehner Speaker of the House in 2010 — to become Republican socialists, a paler version of the Obama/statist party. Obama Lite. Unwilling not only to challenge the President’s left-wing agenda but insisting on acceptance of that agenda — just a cheaper, better managed version of it.
This is exactly how the nation got into its $17 trillion debt in the first place — not to mention repeated GOP defeats at the polls — with too many Republicans using their time in office not to keep pledges of limited government but rather to grow the government. And the debt and deficit that went along with it.
As we have noted before, this fight is a mirror image of the battle that occurred in Britain between the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the “wets” — moderates — of her own British Conservative Party.
After the Tories lost the 1974 elections to Labour, in 1975 as she prepared to challenge Edward Heath — the Gerald Ford of British Conservatives — Mrs. Thatcher penned a column for the Daily Telegraph that said, in part, this:
Indeed, one of the reasons for our electoral failure is that people believe too many Conservatives have become socialists already. Britain’s progress towards socialism has been an alternation of two steps forward with half a step back…And why should anyone support a party that seems to have the courage of no convictions?
Americanize Thatcher’s point and this is exactly the problem posed by Mr. Rove, American Crossroads and the Chamber of Commerce.
To Americanize Mrs. Thatcher: Indeed, one of the reasons for our electoral failure is that people believe too many Republicans have become socialists already.
The Republican Party can control every last seat in Congress after 2014 and the White House in 2016 — and it will not make a lick of difference. Because just as occurred when Rove was a man with clout in the White House and John Boehner was on an earlier ladder of the GOP House leadership passing No Child Left Behind with Teddy Kennedy — the Washington GOP Establishment will do everything they can to fight efforts to limit the size and growth of the federal government.
Why is this?
The answer is as simple as it is blunt. Follow the money.