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The Grassroots, The Establishment and Karl Rove

edbell | 05 March, 2013 14:30

Several months have passed and conservatives are finally recovering from the ravaging of freedom aka Election Day 2012.  Untold thousands of patriots worked diligently to place the latest GOP "electable candidate" in the White House. Now we're being told Constitutional conservatives and especially 'tea party' are poisoned brands.  In local, state and county GOP offices, many elected officials and disgruntled losing candidates are trying to place the blame on 'extreme' grassroots activists and their chosen candidates who scared away potential Independent voters. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Sadly. the Republican establishment knows better. Read any article about Republican failures in November 2012 and two candidates, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock are trotted out as examples of tea party failure. In both cases, the tea party was not the culprit.  Todd Akin was a product of Claire McCaskill and Harry Reid's financial influence in the Missouri primary. Their goal was to get the weakest possible Republican on the ballot against Claire McCaskill. They succeeded. From that point, the conservative grassroots attempted to drag Akin across the finish line even after Akin's stupid statement.  In Indiana, the grassroots carried Mourdock to an impressive primary win. Immediately afterward, embittered Senator Lugar, his acolytes and the Indiana establishment offered scant support. Lugar never gave public support to Mourdock.  Classy guy.  The tea party was kicked to the sideline throughout the summer and fall. In spite of it all, Mourdock was ahead in the polls until his unfortunate statement. A candidate failure in tandem with tepid state and national GOP support - by no means a tea party failure.

The Tea Party is also the pipeline for diversity that only receives lip-service from the Republican establishment.  No one would expect this new generation of ascendant conservatives to include Senator Tim Scott, an African-American, Cuban-American Ted Cruz and Indian-American Governors Bobby Jindal and Nicki Haley, all from the supposedly racist South. 
These are the people Democrats say don't exist on the right and they may not be on the national stage, but for the grassroots Conservative movement. It could also be assumed that each of these officials would prefer to delete the hyphenated term, opting to be an American.

The landscape would be quite different if top-down Republican power brokers still held an iron grip on the primary process. GOP elites, meeting in their back room echo chambers, seem convinced the path to success requires defeating primary candidates rising-up from the grassroots. GOP leaders like McConnell, Cantor and Boehner are frustrated with insurgent members of their own party demanding an immediate path to lower deficits and defunding of Obamacare.  They fear the rock-ribbed conservatives who have joined their ranks and see constant conflict dealing with highly-principled conservatives like Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey, Utah's Mike Lee or Kentucky firebrand Rand Paul.  The GOP leadership laments Conservatives that exhibit the resolve of Patrick Henry.  These patriots did not get elected to attend DC cocktail parties and they won't automatically vote for brokered deals by the House leadership. These are the folks Karl Rove hopes to deter early in the primary process.

Karl Rove, has been a political advisor to the GOP for many years and he has no desire to relinquish that role. He has decided to put big PAC money behind protecting the status quo. His ironically named 'Conservative Victory Project' will turn the PAC's money hose on the grassroots citizen activists who put the House back in GOP hands in 2010.  He wouldn't dare admit that the Tea Party movement has done as well or better than the GOP establishment.  Protecting entrenched Senators like Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, and Lamar Alexander is the priority for Mr. Rove and his donor cartel.  Mr. Rove begs to differ, "This is not tea party versus the establishment," Rove said. "I don't want a fight."  That statement will be tested as Club for Growth targets nine RINO's in heavily Republican districts for potential primary challenges. If Karl spends PAC money to support the incumbents, the divide may resemble a certain canyon in Arizona.  Two philosophies are vying for dominance in the Republican Party. Rove's view is that the party and the seat trumps ideology and founding principles.  The Conservative grassroots say that without core values and the resolve to boldly assert them the seat and even the gavel are worthless.  The grassroots would tell you that this is a center-right country and selling freedom and prosperity will provide the values and the gavel.  Thankfully, it's not Karl Roves Party.

Will GOP elites and Rove's PAC succeed in blocking small government, free-market champions from primary victory?  Not a chance.  This tactic will backfire in spectacular fashion. Along the way, Mr. Rove may become irrelevant.  The casual 'low information voter may not know the players, but they know one of the 23 million unemployed or underemployed and they see shrinking paychecks, reduced hours, absurd regulations and overgrown preschoolers fighting in the DC sandbox. Engaged activists realize that GOP political experts like Karl Rove once touted Charlie Crist, Bob Bennett, Arlen Specter, and David Dewhurst as sensible, "electable" candidates. These were people who could "reach across the aisle."  By the way, two of those individuals left the Republican Party after losing to those 'unelectable' rabble-rousers Marco Rubio and Pat Toomey.  Even looking ahead to 2016, Karl and the establishment seem eager to continue promoting moderate clones like Jeb Bush. If memory serves, America's founders despised dynasties.

If the media were our only source if news, one would think the Senate membership could be counted on one hand. Attention remains focused on Senators like Mike Lee and Rand Paul, who not surprisingly, are the only two with a perfect rating from Club for Growth?  There's little doubt that Sen. Ted Cruz will also join their ranks as he articulates founding principles and applies the Constitution to key issues. This inordinate vitriol is proof that these men are speaking truth in a town that prefers tepid moderation and massaged rhetoric from their Republicans.  This small band of renegades for liberty are surrounded in DC, but still getting kudos from taxpayers.  Karl Rove wants no more of these 'characters' in DC and his PAC aims to shoot for moderation in defense of the status quo. To quote former Senator Barry Goldwater, "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice." But who would have believed quoting the Bill of Rights or demanding that our federal government be restrained to its enumerated powers would be labeled extremist rhetoric?

Will the grassroots always choose superior candidates to those selected by party power brokers? Of course not. But the people who leave their lives in the real world to endure the scrutiny of candidacy have a passion for reform and deep love for the ConstitutionThey eschew the ego-fueled ambition of career politicians and actually believe in the
once common American tradition of public service.  

 

 
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