EDITOR OF REDSTATE
On November 2, 2010, the Republican Party made its largest single day gains in the House of Representatives since 1948 and, I have been told credibly, the largest gains of any political party in local, state, and federal races combined in more than 100 years.
19 state legislative bodies ultimately flipped to the GOP. Of the 18 states that will gain or lose seats in Congress for the next decade, the GOP controls 12 of the 18 Governor’s Mansions. The Democrats have been wiped out except among coastal elites and majority-minority districts. The GOP, long said to not be able to make inroads in New England, now controls the Maine Governor’s Mansion, the Maine legislature, the New Hampshire Legislature, a New Hampshire Senate seat, and several congressional seats.
Nonetheless, the Senate Republicans are unhappy because they thought they should have won the Senate. Never mind that few people think the Senate GOP has learned a single lesson from 2006 or 2008. But instead of taking responsibility, they are forced to blame someone. Much like Mr. Obama blaming the voters for Democrat losses by not appreciating what he’d done for them, the Senate GOP is blaming conservatives. And the face of that blame belongs to Jim DeMint.
In the past 24 hours, Senate Republicans and some RNC sources are blaming Jim DeMint directly. Instead of blaming Senator DeMint, the NRSC duo of John Cornyn and Rob Jesmer, and to a lesser the RNC, should blame themselves.
Here are the facts.
1. Jim DeMint is being blamed for Sharron Angle’s nomination in Nevada. DeMint specifically did not endorse nor campaign for Sharron Angle prior to her nomination. Even here at RedState, I backed Danny Tarkanian.
2. Jim DeMint waited until the end of the Delaware Primary to endorse Christine O’Donnell and, frankly, I’d rather Chris Coons than Mike Castle. You may not think you would, but you would. But that is beside the point. O’Donnell was a week away from the primary and already ahead in the polls before DeMint said one word or spent one dime.
3. In Colorado, and this is the biggie, Ken Buck barely lost. The NRSC, shortly before the end of the Colorado Primary, sent millions to Jane Norton freeing her up to attack Ken Buck to be anti-women. Michael Bennet then picked up Norton’s campaign attacks and clobbered Buck.
4. Likewise in Colorado, neither the NRSC nor the RNC funded a GOTV program. They relied on the Republican Governor’s Association, which left Colorado when Dan Maes cratered.
5. Instead of pouring in additional resources to Washington, Colorado, etc., the NRSC sent $8 million to California in the last week for Carly Fiorina who lost by somewhere around ten points.
6. In Alaska, Jim DeMint did nothing to help or support or fund Joe Miller until after he became the Republican nominee. Not including the NRSC, Jim DeMint spent $727,000.00 to help Joe Miller. The rest of the Senate GOP members
combined contributed roughly $25,000.00 each. [correction: I didn't write that last sentence correctly and have updated]
7. GOP Senate candidates underperformed their polling at around 3% in most races. Why? Because the NRSC did not fund a ground game operation, nor did the RNC. They either left it to Karl Rove or Haley Barbour. There was not, as in past years, a mass exodus of GOP Hill Staffers from Washington to the ground in swing states.
But there is an even greater, larger point. None of this would have happened had the NRSC not decided to dictate to Republicans in the several states who their Republican candidates should be. Christine O’Donnell’s and Sharron Angle’s wins were largely reactions to what the NRSC was doing.
Compare this with the House campaign body, the NRCC. After getting clobbered over the NY-23 race and Dede Scozzafava, the NRCC took a hands off approach and let local voters choose their candidates. Not the NRSC. It doubled up around the country igniting a civil war with the grassroots — a civil war that would have never happened but their getting into Florida and doubling down.
The NRSC’s argument amounts to telling the world that voters exercising their right to pick their candidates are stupid and Jim DeMint is stupid for siding with the voters.
One final thought — the NRSC would have you believe that Arlen Specter was more viable than Pat Toomey and Charlie Crist was more viable than Marco Rubio.
Would you rather have Pat Toomey or Arlen Specter?
Would you rather have Marco Rubio or Charlie Crist?
You’re damn right it was a necessary fight and the NRSC and RNC have no one to blame but themselves.