Thursday, November 04, 2010

Leave it to the US Senate establishment to be the problem

The senate has long been the home of failures. Bob Corker, Trent Lott, Lindsay Graham, Schumer, Boxer, Biden, Obama, Levin, Stabenow. I can go down the list. If you want to see bad policy become worse, wait for it to go through the senate. The senate saved the bailout and bridges to nowhere. The senate gave us the mandate in health care. The senate saved the gun ban from 93. We have some conservatives going into the senate now, and Trent Lott's pitching a fit. K-Street. Pork king Lott. Our 1994 gains were limited because of Lott's "Big Government Conservatism."

Speaking of Lott, remember this quote.

Former Senate majority leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), now a D.C. lobbyist, warned that a robust bloc of rabble-rousers spells further Senate dysfunction. "We don't need a lot of Jim DeMint disciples," Lott said in an interview. "As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them."

No, we need to tell Lott to stay retired.  Let's examine what happened while he was Majority Leader.
1996 - Gained two seats. (55)
1998 - No change (three major defeats down south preventing gains)
2000 - Lost five seats

Now this guy's on K-Street. The same K-Street establishment that lead to our ass-kicking in 2006/2008 and frankly lead us to Obama. Lott's at it again.

Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott put it plainly: “We did not nominate our strongest candidates.”

Had Republicans run Castle in Delaware and establishment favorites Sue Lowden in Nevada and Jane Norton in Colorado, Lott said, Tuesday would have turned out different.

“With those three we would have won and been sitting at 50 [senators],” he observed.

One, your don't know that. Two, other non establishment candidates won. Rand Paul in Kentucky. Ron Johnson in Wisconsin. Marco Rubio won big in Florida. Mike Lee in Utah. Alaska is still up in the air. Three, some establishment candidates lost this year too. Carly Fiorina. Four, the NRSC and establishment backbiting that went on caused extreme harm. Sharron Angle, Ken Buck (who also had to deal with a governor campaign clustermuck), Christine O'Donnell, and Marco Rubio had to deal with double flank by dunderheads who made the general election that much tougher for them. Angle and O'Donnell wern't my preferred candidates, but that's not my decision to make. That's the choice of the voters of that state, not the establishment. Compare that to New Hampshire, where Kelly Ayotte was supported by all sides (and won with 60%).

Besides that, who knows if they are going to do a Arlen Specter or Charlie Crist. Both of them bolted the party, despite having full establishment support in the primary. Specter went democrat and lost. Crist went independent and couldn't get 30%. Rubio and Toomey won despite the establishment. If the candidates are not acceptable to voters, they lose. That goes for primary and general races, alike. O'Donnell and Angle were bad candidates, more for their mouths than anything else. Rubio was an excellent candidate. Fiorina wasn't that good of candidate.

Speaking of NRSC, there needs to be new leadership there. Cornyn (someone primary him) and especially his executive directors need to be sent home. Primary Graham as well. I wrote this in September, particularly about the O'Donnell race (and I did not support O'Donnell).

I think the pundits are missing the point with the O'Donnell win and I think this still goes way beyond "tea party" and "moderate" and "liberal" and "conservative reasons." This stuff has been stewing since 2006, caught fire in 2008, and exploded with the stimulus and Obamacare. Spending and big government is one big issue, but the other one is simply attitude.

I was a family member's house last night and saw this headline on the TV. "NRSC won't spend money on this race." That's the problem that so many of the conservative base AND independents have, beyond any ideology. First off, even if the NRSC isn't going to donate money, they need to shut the hell up. Don't give away your game plan. Don't automatically write off competitive seats like a pussycat. Nobody respect that, from any ideology. Where a lot of the disconnect is though between the base, the tea party, Washington, and establishments is this attitude. Who works for who. The establishment and DC leadership thinks they are in charge, they pick their candidates, they appoint party leadership, and that they lead the way and that the base should follow their lead, no matter what. Grass roots vs professionalism, and they believe they are the professionals. That works when everyone is on the same page. When it isn't, then it doesn't work. Neither the base or the independents like being dictated to.
THAT is the big issue. These primaries are for the voters of the state. They aren't for Washington DC. I don't like coronations here in state. I despise them when they come from out of state. I didn't like being told to vote for Don Nugent at convention. I didn't. I'm even more less apt to follow a coronation attempt from Washington.

The difference today than in the past is this. Conservative independents (Where most tea party activists fall) and the base republicans no longer are accepting dictates from party leadership. In the minds of most, they FUBARed the situation. A lot of this is aimed at NRSC and to a lesser extent RNC (Steele's foot in mouth). NRSC tried to run off candidates in primaries in favor of RINO's. Castle isn't a RINO. He's a liberal. Charlie Crist and Arlen Specter were RINO's. Now they are democrats. Lisa Murkowski is showing RINO tendancies and may run as a write in. Lincoln Chafee is a RINO who endorsed Obama. Joe Schwarz was a RINO on the house side and backed Mark Schauer. Why the hell are these idiots getting support from leadership IN PRIMARIES. Leadership needs to stay out of primaries and let the state electorate make the decision in the primary. It's leadership's job to elect republicans, not the coronation of their candidates.

In this election season, the majority of time the leadership has dictated a candidate, that candidate was defeated in the primary. That ought to send a message to DC, but DC doesn't get it at all. Charlie Crist quit and ran as a so called independent. Arlen Specter switched primaries and lost anyway. Bob Bennett's bailout votes cost him his job. Bob Inglis lost. Parker Griffith lost. Castle lost. Their preferred primary candidates in Colorado, Nevada, and Kentucky lost too. In Wisconsin, California, and Washington, their preferred candidate won. In New Hampshire (close to call), their candidate is winning barring recount. In Wisconsin, Washington, and New Hampshire, the preferred candidate is acceptable to many of the base as well.

The best thing the NRSC can do is stay neutral until the primary is over. If they do good work, the establishment candidates will get more support. If not, they won't. If O'Donnell and Angle were such bad candidates for the general as Lott says, what does that say about the people they beat? Don't vote for Cap and Trade. Don't be a big spender. If you follow that, you may win.

I ended with this.

1. Leadership needs to stay out of primaries and stop running their mouths. Primaries are decided by state voters, not leadership. Save your money, time, and mouths for the general election.

2. The base that does not like the "coronation" candidate needs to pick someone better who can win. Pat Toomey and Marco Rubio were very good choices. Others aren't.

3. Losers in primaries need to suck it up and take it for the team. One BIG reason a lot of so called establishment "moderates" are almost despised more than democrats are due to people like Charlie Crist, Arlen Specter, Joe Schwarz, Wayne Gilchrist, Lincoln Chafee, and many so called conservative pundits, Bush administration people (Dowd, McKinnon) and columists in the 2008 election. These assholes (not all moderates, but those I named) got their candidate who they demanded elected (McCain) in the primary, and then go out and endorse a leftist like Obama in the general. Many have LONG memories on that.

4. Pick a better establishment. Marco Rubio said this in his primary against Crist. This is most important. In the end, the establishment is picked by apathy. Party leadership (outside of caucus - NRSC, NRCC, etc) is elected. It's elected by activists. We need to do our homework and make sure the right people are elected. For me it is those that have their ear to the ground and at the same time are strong competent individuals who are good administrators and want to win in the fall.

Did DC learn its lesson? I hope so, but I doubt it.

DC hasn't seemed to learn its lesson. If it wants to win the senate, it better, or the dems will take control of all branches of government. These clowns were worse than Bush from 02-08. I haven't seen a lot of improvement. That better change, ASAP.


Angie said...

The war is what led to put ass-kicking in 2006 and 2008. Neither party is talking about that much these days.

Cantor has mentioned he's like to by-pass Congress and just fund certain other nations directly from the Treasury though - so I guess we can assume he's not going to be a constitutionalist.

Angie said...

And the NRSC ads in Alaska were not pro-Miller ads. They were anti-democrat ads designed to drive support to Murkowski.

Lowden was a weak RINO candidate. If she had won the primary, Reid would have cleaned her clock.

And the fact that the Senate was even in play was because the TEA Party generated enthusiasm. If the party favorites had been selected across the board, the independents would have stayed home.