[promoted from the diaries — streiff]
Most Republicans prefer to vote for the most conservative candidates in elections. Lets face it, nobody is inspired by moderation, compromise, and beltway-style politicking.
Yet somehow establishment Republicans continue to get elected.
One of the reasons is their money advantage. Another is the apathy of ignorant voters who perform the “civic duty” they learned about in school by dutifully checking “R” on the ballot box. But most voters are at least mildly interested in where a candidate stands on the issues. They aren’t motivated enough to actually peruse the voting records of incumbents (lets face it, it is a bit complicated), so instead they look towards endorsements for assurance.
The majority of Republicans aren’t tuned into the fine details of politics. They aren’t aware of specific bills and strategic alliances that occupy Washington. What they mostly care about are core issues, such as the economy, gun rights, and abortion. If a candidate, particularly an incumbent, stands with them on those issues, they will support them.
So it is really detrimental to grassroots-backed, constitutional conservatives when groups like the Chamber of Commerce, National Right to Life, and the National Rifle Association throw their weight behind establishment and/or moderate Republicans.
When those groups make an endorsement, the standard Republican is subconsciously filling out a checklist in their head. Here is something along the lines of what they are probably thinking:
“I support capitalism, and the candidate is endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce.”
“I’m pro-life, and the candidate is endorsed by the National Right to Life.”
“I support gun rights, and the candidate is endorsed by the National Rifle Association.”
“Ok, looks like I’ll be voting for this candidate!”
The effect of this is to stonewall the efforts of genuinely conservative candidates and their supporters.
Most of us are aware of the actions of the Chamber of Commerce, or the “Chamber of Crony Capitalism” as Mark Levin calls them. Rather than supporting free markets, the Chamber promotes policies which help big business. There is a difference between the two. Pro-big business can mean supporting more regulations, tariffs, bailouts, subsidies, and a loose monetary policy.
OpenSecrets reports that the Chamber in 2014 has spent nearly 10 million (so far) for establishment Republicans, and 1 million opposing conservatives like Chris McDaniel and Bryan Smith. You can see who all they have supported and opposed at the link.
More surprising to many conservatives are the endorsements by National Right to Life. NRTL has endorsed Lindsey Graham, Thad Cochran, Mitch McConnell, Pat Roberts and Thom Tillis for Senate in 2014. All of these endorsements are primary endorsements, and these are the only candidates NRTL has endorsed for Senate. In the North Carolina Senate primary, Tillis, who supports abortion exceptions, was opposed by two staunchly pro-life candidates in OB-GYN Greg Brannon and Pastor Mark Harris. NRTL has been taking an moderate stance for a while now, opposing Rep. Justin Amash’s amendment to defund all abortion providers, and kicking out Georgia Right to Life from the national network for being 100% pro-life.
[UPDATE BY ERICK: While I share many of the concerns about NRTL that this diarist has, the information on GRTL is wrong. I was active in the replacement of GRTL as an affiliate of the NRLC. It was not because they were not 100% pro-life. It was because they operated like unreasonable jerks who were doing more harm than good for the pro-life cause in Georgia. I am on the board of the new Georgia Life Alliance.]
The National Rifle Association has long taken a compromising stance on gun control, and this shines through in their endorsements. They frequently endorse Democrats, including liberals like Harry Reid and Ted Strickland. They love establishment Republicans too. As you can see thanks to OpenSecrets, the NRA has been in the tank for establishment candidates this cycle, spending nearly $300,000 in support of Rep. Mike Simpson, and over $100,000 for each of Mitch McConnell and Thom Tillis (Tillis repeated pro-gun control talking points in the Senate debate.)
The actions taken and the endorsements made by these organizations is unacceptable. They believe now is the time for moderation and compromise. They are happy with the status quo.
It’s past time true conservatives reject these organizations. Stop sending them money, burn your memberships cards, and join organizations that actually represent your values. instead of supporting the Chamber of Commerce, support the Club for Growth. Instead of supporting National Right to Life, support the National Pro-Life Alliance. Instead of supporting the NRA, support Gun Owners of America and the National Association for Gun Rights. These are uncompromising organizations with plans for action.