April 19, 2012

“McCain and Daniels Defend Lugar”

What Republican establishment?

Mitch Daniels and John McCain are coming to Sen. Dick Lugar’s rescue, POLITICO has learned.

The Indiana governor and the Arizona senator have cut ads on Lugar’s behalf that are likely to air in the closing weeks of his neck-and-neck Republican primary contest.

While the details of the commercials are unclear, two GOP sources confirm that the two political heavyweights are featured in television and radio spots encouraging the election of Lugar to a seventh term.

[...]

[...] the pair of high profile surrogates would make a powerful closing argument for Lugar, whose polling lead in the May 8 primary has evaporated in recent months.

Lugar, who hasn’t lived in Indiana in years, and who sported a 71 conservative rating in 2010 (77 lifetime), is being challenged by a constitutional conservative, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, best known for his legal challenge to Obama’s bailout and takeover of Chrysler on behalf of Indiana pensioners.  Lugar, conversely, has moved increasingly to the left over the years — and is Obama’s “favorite” GOP Senator.

But none of that matters to Party Republicans:  this is all about tenure and membership in the fraternity of big government g0-alongs, about ruling class bona fides, simply put — and the GOP establishment seems yet again intent on beating back conservatives (whether they’ve already been elected, as is the case with Ron Johnson; or are running against incumbents, as is Mourdock; or are running as the more conservative of the potential candidates, as is Ted Cruz) in order to keep their control over Party leadership positions, constitutionalism be damned, conservatism and “purity” be damned.

We’ve already been force-fed a moderate / progressive Republican as the presumptive nominee for President, and I’ve used more than enough space here detailing how Romney’s positions often match Obama’s, with respect to policy.   And now the Republican leadership in both the House and the Senate is working hard to hobble any conservative upstarts who threaten to upset the DC status quo.

If we can’t get a conservative nominee for President because the Party won’t ever support one, and the GOP establishment is willing to work harder to defeat conservative primary challengers to incumbent Republicans moderates than it is to attack President Obama on his record, what’s left for us?

Is our Party forever to be the Party of McCain and McConnell, Romney and Lugar,  Boehner and Graham?

If so, why should we be expected to support it?

The time is rapidly approaching where we’re going to have to make difficult choices.   Which, frankly, shouldn’t really be all that difficult.  The question is, how far are we willing to go for the constitutional ideals that made this country what it once was?

I submit that rewarding the GOP time and again with our votes — even as they work to thwart our wishes — is a losing proposition, even when we win elections doing it.  That’s not a popular sentiment among the “just win, baby!” pragmatists, but then, they don’t much like us anyway — and when push comes to shove, they oftentimes display an ideological affinity to progressives insofar as power is their ultimate goal, and how they get there doesn’t much matter.

The time is rapidly approaching where difficult choices are going to have to be made. And the key to making the right choice is to admit that, frankly, the choices aren’t really that difficult at all.

Just do it.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:52am
25 comments | Trackback

Comments (25)

  1. Staunch me !

  2. The Mad Magazine vocabulary word that best sums up my reaction: blech.

  3. From the more things change the more they stay the same category. We really do need change but of the constitutional variety. The GOP is not going to get my vote.

  4. I know as the election gets closer it’s going to be tempting to think about voting for Mittens. I need to suppress that feeling.

  5. John McCain would have been more than happy to take Joe Lieberman as a running mate. Joe Lieberman has a lifetime ACU rating of 16.

  6. Gotta admire Politico‘s leftist stick-to-it-iveness:

    Earlier this month, Democratic pollster Fred Yang argued that while there’s no quibbling with Daniels’ popularity, there are doubts about its transferability to other Republicans.

    “[T]he Republicans in the legislature have a net positive rating of 38% favorable and 36% unfavorable, which is better than the Democrats in the state legislature (32% favorable, 39% unfavorable). Not only is the GOP legislature perceived only marginally better than the Democrats, but also the GOP woefully underperforms the GOP governor,” Yang wrote for Howey Politics Indiana, in a piece assessing Lugar’s chances of re-election.

    Nary a word about the Indiana Democrat’s flight from responsibility last year, which, we wouldn’t want to mention that!

  7. I know as the election gets closer it’s going to be tempting to think about voting for Mittens. I need to suppress that feeling.

    Just remember that Orrin Hatch has admitted that he despises you.

  8. Speaking of Democrat flight from responsibility, get a load of this photograph of the Senate Budget committee in session yesterday. Can’t hold the meeting without at least one Democrat, so there he is, Mr. Chairman Senator Conrad!

    Democrats: The Party That Isn’t There Where You Put Them!

  9. This is where the Tea Party needs to primary them out. I don’t think the efforts of McCain will go very well.

  10. If we can’t get a conservative nominee for President because the Party won’t ever support one, and the GOP establishment is willing to work harder to defeat conservative primary challengers to incumbent Republicans moderates than it is to attack President Obama on his record, what’s left for us?

    I’m waiting for all the pragmatic Republicans, from Jonah Goldberg to Medved to Hewitt to Kudlow to Rove to finally tell us when it’s okay to vote for what conservatives want. They remind us the way to change the GOP is from the inside. Leaving the GOP is futile and counter-productive.

    Well, here is where the axe falls. It’s a Senate seat with a conservative challenger against Lugar, as much a lifer in the Senate as Biden. Lugar has hardly been a conservative pillar of strength. So, do we get to vote for the conservative now? Do we get to expect prominent figures in the GOP to support him, or is this really what is appears… an incumbents-only club?

    Note to pragmatists: You are brewing a recipe for voter apathy. Hope it tastes as good as you expect.

    You keep telling us “The Democrat is worse, so don’t be a sucker, vote Team Pragmatist, gee oh pee!” Conservatives are beginning to think the GOP regards us as the Democrats regard blacks… plantation slaves. This may not work out for you so well.

  11. Romney / Graham 2012 – The Fighting Flaccids

  12. The only Senate Republicans with worse lifetime ACU’s are Snowe, Collins, Brown, Kirk, Shelby, and Murkowski. Blue staters, a former ‘rat, and someone who is in office because she defeated a more conservative Republican in a general election after losing to him in the primary.

  13. Romney/Daniels 2012! Because pasty white guys in suits won’t rock the boat.

  14. The choice has never been between Good and Evil. That choice is an easy one.

    The choice is between varying shades of Crappy. Any form of government is the sovereign individual’s voluntary ceding of certain freedoms in order that others won’t be able to infringe upon what is left. (Giving up the freedom to wantonly slaughter everyone and everything around you is a fair trade for being able to sleep at night.)

    “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

    Just do it, indeed… Repealing the 16th and 17th Amendments would be a good first step.

  15. I thought it made more sense to try to co-opt and reform the GOP from within than to start from scratch with a new party. If it turns out that I was wrong, and that the immune response from the Establishment is too much to overcome, then I may be disappointed at wasting 4 years on a losing battle, but I’ll still be up for more.

    My descendants will not live as indentured servants, nor will their education, jobs, health care, and every waking minute of their days be controlled by power brokers in Washington. If that means running to a new party, so be it. If it means running to Galt’s Gulch, I could be down with that, as well.

    I mean to misbehave.

  16. I submit that rewarding the GOP time and again with our votes — even as they work to thwart our wishes — is a losing proposition[.]

    The time is rapidly approaching where difficult choices are going to have to be made. And the key to making the right choice is to admit that, frankly, the choices aren’t really that difficult at all.

    With that in mind, were I an Indiana resident (which I am not), I’d vote against Dick Lugar —period.

  17. Pingback: The New Whig Party » Cold Fury

  18. Serious question (I’m not all that familiar with the intricacies of the inner workings of Republican Parties): why is it so difficult to nominate candidates and adopt platforms that are more to the right? Is it part of the party structure and voting rules?

  19. The Party backs incumbents and operates on a kind of seniority system, Marcopohlo. It rewards go-along, get-along team players and backs its own regardless of how they vote. They care about numbers, not ideology, because they want committee leaderships.

    The can and will withhold money for re-election campaigns, or threaten to redistrict areas to get rid of “problems.” And they have withheld money in campaigns against Democrats, which is why we still have Reid, who could have been defeated, had the GOP thrown in with Angle; instead, they pumped their money into the moderate Californians who lost big anyway.

  20. I think any elected Republican, or any party official, who endorses or otherwise attempts to influence the nominating process, should be subject to expulsion.

  21. Redistricting is more of a state thing. Which isn’t to say that the national party figures don’t try to influence redistricting, just that you can be a pain in John Boehner’s ass if the state party loves you. On the other hand, if the rest of the state’s delegation find you an embarassing boat rocker….

  22. Redistricting is more of a state thing.

    Yes, and states have GOP establishments.

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