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Republican Establishment Claims Victory

The consequences of running and winning without a clear conservative platform, which I detailed earlier this week, are becoming clear, as the Republican establishment – which runs the Party – seeks to take credit for Tuesday’s victory.

According to an article Friday in The Hill, “Has the Tea Party been Tamed?”, establishment forces are making clear that keeping ideological conservatives off the ballot was a key to victory and will be in the future. This no doubt will include the presidential primary sweepstakes in 2016.

From The Hill:

Establishment Republicans are crowing that their resounding wins Tuesday night repudiated the Tea Party’s insistence that ideological purity is key to electoral success. The national party made an early and aggressive play to neutralize conservative challenges and make sure the most electable candidates won the party’s nominations, to great effect.

“We said we were going to be the Nick Saban of recruiting, we were going to recruit the best candidates, put them in the right position,” National Republican Senatorial Committee Political Director Ward Baker told reporters Thursday. “We decided we couldn’t be Akin-ed anymore. No more witches, no more gaffes.”

In the end, conservatives won just one of their competitive primary fights in the Nebraska Senate race, lost all of their incumbent challenges and worked with establishment Republicans to support less-than-ideal candidates to achieve the shared goal of taking back Senate control . . .

A broader debate building within the party, over the scope of GOP policy goals, could exacerbate tensions. Both McConnell and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have said they want to initially pursue smaller, bipartisan accomplishments, like approving the Keystone XL pipeline and a bill meant to encourage the hiring of veterans.

The 2014 election was a huge wasted opportunity, in which Republicans could have created a national platform to generate a conservative wave resulting in a mandate to make the sometimes-wrenching changes that will be needed to save this country. They did this in 1994 and the results were impressive, including welfare reform, partial Medicare reform, growth in free trade, and a balanced budget – all with a Democrat serving as president.

Instead this year, GOP technocrats and politicos focused on statistics and getting out the vote, which would be great if the result had significant meaning.

Rather, what we have is a feel-good moment that will pass as Boehner and McConnell try to reach compromises with Obama and conservatives lob bombs from the fringes of power, making themselves and the base feel great but achieving little.

Meantime, absent an affirmative, conservative mandate other than hating on Obama and his policies, Republicans are more likely than not to lose the Senate in 2016, when more GOP than Democratic seats will be up. And the Party machinery will go all out to nominate for president an “electable” Republican lacking the convictions to take the difficult steps that lie ahead if we are to leave a safe, thriving nation to our children.

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23 Responses to Republican Establishment Claims Victory

  1. I think the slant of The Hill is towards the Democrats and they are exaggerating the divide between conservative and establishment Republicans when, in fact, the future may hold a civil war among the Democrats. I was very upset the way Cochran won the run-off in MS and with the comments of Mitch McConnell, but I think across the country the Republicans played to the constituency of each state individually. Conservatives were elected: Tom Cotton, for example, openly ran on being pro-life. Reince Priebus deserves some recognition for running a finely tuned and sensitive campaign that was neither wholly conservative or establishment.

    I also am going to wait until January when the new majority takes over to see what it will do before I start condemning it. I was dismayed by the headline on Red State Wednesday morning already declaring a state of war between the two factions.

    • Keep in mind also that Boehner removed anyone affiliated with the Tea Party from committees.
      Both McConnell and Boehner are against the Tea Party and their influence in this Country.
      Both are RINOs and I hope that they both will lose their positions after the new congress convenes in January.
      Many candidates would serve the Nation better than these two.

      I would like to see Ted Cruz or Mike Lee as the majority leader in the senate.
      I would like to see Trey Gowdy as the Speaker of the house.

      Whether that happens,……time will tell.
      Problem is, we can’t vote one way or the other.

      • And for all that boasting — someone should ask them about all the support they didn’t give Gillespie, who without their help, came within 1% of victory.

        That said — we made remarkable gains.

          • McConnell probably did well against Bevin and Lundergan Grimes both because the people of KY know it’s advantageous for them to have a US Senate Majority Leader from their neck of the woods.

          • Yes he was. And I do not condone it. But for the times ahead we will need someone who knows the Senate, its procedures, its rules and hopefully how to use them to enact death by a thousand cuts.

            Harry Reid was no piker. And there are a lot of Harry wannabes.

  2. It was not a “huge wasted opportunity” – if you look at the individual races (congressional and gubernatorial), the Republicans had principled, disciplined candidates with positive attitudes about their agenda and the future (“Happy Warriors,” if you will). Same was true with the state legislatures…Republicans now control 67 state chambers, while the Dems control only 28.

    This goes well beyond “politicos focused on statistics and getting out the vote.”

      • I am counting on the idea that they have a plan. They have not put the planned program on the table at this point. Correct me if I am wrong, and point out why, but I feel they did/do not want to give them a chance to find argue against it.

  3. The best lies contain a large kernel of truth, and this one is no exception. The Tea Party has suffered from having well-meaning kooks on the ballot. Quality candidates with no hidden skeletons are imperative. But quality CONSERVATIVE candidates are the real answer. If we run Marvin Milquetoast (aka Jeb Bush) against Hillary, we are likely to get destroyed. A real, rock-bibbed, well-spoken conservative will win.

    • Name one rock ribbed conservative.
      Tea Party candidates are described as ‘kooks’ by rock ribbed GOP members that despise them.

      Compare the ‘kooks’ with Pelosi and Reid.

    • How to read the political scorecard: The person the MSM approves as a Republican candidate for POTUS in 2016 (as they did, more or less, for McCain in 2008), is the Republican candidate guaranteed to lose against the Democrat candidate. That’s how they roll. That’s what they do.

  4. From what I can tell some sort of uncomfortable rapprochement was reached during this election — an example of that might be Cruz campaigning or supporting Roberts. That said, the Establishment will quickly destroy that by making hay of it and dumb statements like those of Ward Baker.

    They don’t have much time and they better get there act together. That said, I have a suspicion that a fair amount of procedural type responses are in play for when Obama can no longer contain himself and busts out in his L’Etat C’est Moi mode, wearing, of course, no clothes. Or at least I hope so.

    • I agree completely, and if the Republicans want to win the presidency in 2016, they have to find a candidate who will satisfy both wings of the party like a Scott Walker. I think they know this.

      • I can’ t remember which show but Walker was on one of the evening FOX programs and he presented really well. There’s a winner in that one. He gets it done.

        I thought he was more energetic in that interview then I have seen him in the past. So perhaps he can energize his public image.

        • I voted for Walker 3 times in the last 4 years and want to vote for him for President. He says what he’ll do and does it. He is principled and ran a straightforward campaign. The anti-Walker commercials were awful. The unions hate him but he still wins because he’s an honest man.

  5. Came to mind — History’s written by the victors, they say.

    We’ve seen what the Dems have done with the country’s history — best the conservatives take over now.