The defeat of former Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Bob Bennett (R-UT) in their respective primaries in 2010 has engendered a new paradigm in GOP politics. No longer do liberal Republicans run honestly on their records in the primaries. That would create a recipe for instant defeat. Instead, they lie their way through the primaries, painting themselves as conservative heroes, and often tainting their conservative challengers as unreliable conservatives. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was the first to pioneer this strategy in 2012. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has followed this strategy to a tee. The two most recent examples are Reps. Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Renee Ellmers (R-NC).
Simpson is close to being unseated by Bryan Smith in Idaho’s Second District. In an act of desperation, he went up on broadcast television with an ad that touts his support for a balanced budget amendment, spending cuts, repealing TARP, and defunding Obamacare. Meanwhile, he tosses the meaningless, yet derogatory, label of “personal injury lawyer” at his opponent.
To anyone who knows Simpson’s record, this is possibly the most dishonest ad ever run during a campaign cycle. He obfuscates all of the consequential votes he’s taken that have actually been signed into law, such as massive spending increases, debt ceiling increases, and funding for Obamacare, and replaces them with vacuous show votes that he knew at-the-time would never pass. Most egregiously, he has the impertinence to say that he voted to repeal the Wall Street bailout while failing to mention that he voted for the original bailout that was signed into law!
Nobody who has followed Simpson’s career – supporter or opponent – believes he is a conservative. Even the American “Conservative” Union gave Simpson a failing grade of 46% last year. Yet, he has the superior firepower to completely lie to his constituents about his voting record while co-opting the conservative message – a message he has been repudiating for years.
Next up is Renee Ellmers running for reelection in North Carolina’s Second Congressional district. As we noted a few weeks ago, Ellmers is one of the most ardent supporters of leadership and a passionate supporter of amnesty and open borders. After a major dustup with Laura Ingraham over immigration, her liberal allies sense that she might be vulnerable to Frank Roche in the May 6 primary. Breitbart is reporting that FWD, which is funded by Mark Zuckerberg and run by McConnell acolytes, is up with ads promoting Ellmers as……tough on the border and against amnesty!
“Renee Ellmers is a conservative fighter for North Carolina,” a narrator reads in the television version of the ad, while pictures of Ellmers move across the screen. It continues:
“Ellmers voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment to cut the debt and stop the wasteful spending in Washington. She’s protecting Fort Bragg and Pope Airfield from massive defense cuts and working hard to secure the border and fix our broken immigration system once and for all. No amnesty, period.”
The ad then lists the D.C. phone number for Ellmers’ congressional office and advises viewers to “call Congresswoman Ellmers and tell her to keep fighting for conservative solutions.”
Folks, you can’t make this up!
One would think that with Ellmers proudly supporting “a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented” and with the polling for such a proposition supposedly skyrocketing to majority support, they would eagerly and honestly promote her real beliefs. Yet, they know that their views don’t sell at the ballot box, so they have to co-opt our views – even as they fight to the death against our solutions. That is why they are touting Ellmers as against amnesty and that is why Mike Simpson is running against TARP.
Undoubtedly, many establishment Republicans will win reelection. We cannot change the entire political class in one election cycle. However, not a single one will win reelection running on their true beliefs. They will overwhelm us with their liberal campaign cash, ironically, promoting positions that are antithetical to their actions in Washington.
This just goes to show that, despite their unlimited resources, the members of the political class are a bunch of cowards. They lack the courage to come out of the closet and propagate their big government views during the primaries.