The good, the bad and the stupid. A report on PA primary election results and what’s next for conservatives.
“This is our challenge; and this is why here in this hall tonight, better than we have ever done before, we have got to quit talking to each other and about each other and go out and communicate to the world that we may be fewer in numbers than we have ever been, but we carry the message they are waiting for. We must go forth from here united, determined that what a great general said a few years ago is true: There is no substitute for victory.” Ronald Reagan at 1976 GOP Convention after his defeat
“The third rule of ethics of means and ends is that in war the end justifies almost any means….” p.29, Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals
“Those who cannot remember history are doomed to repeat it.” George Santayana (or less diplomatically but more bluntly phrased: “Stupid is as stupid does.” Forrest Gump)
Fascinating difference between the tactics of the anti-establishment candidates running in the GOP primary this past Tuesday and their challengers. And, nothing different in the past, including the usual complaint that “the machine” and “the money” beat us. Did some of these folks just wake up this year? Are they incapable of learning anything from history?
First, I will summarize: some of my candidates won, some lost, and in some cases I saw mixed results in Pennsylvania this past Tuesday. I have no complaints and happily endorse every GOP candidate who won their primary even against my favored candidates. More later. On now, to the good, the bad and the stupid.
When Ronald Reagan lost in 1976, he ended his brief and extemporaneous remarks televised on national TV with the clarion call “There is no substitute for victory.”
Well now. How can a loser call for victory? What did he mean as he echoed the phrase we’d heard from him in defeat, that “the cause goes on”?
Now you watch, because the Media Matters or Daily KOS folk who are assigned to RED STATE are most likely going to go crazy about this but here it is:
Reagan said that even in defeat we must fight on, that each primary and election is but a single war in an ongoing battle between right and wrong, good and evil, the light and the dark.
Reagan meant that you and I and those who yearn for a RED STATE America must never be dispirited by a loss in a single battle. We must never, ever think the lesson is, give up.
How we can go on to victory can be seen by what Reagan did in 1976.
In defeat, Reagan went out and campaigned for the candidates who were closest to his philosophy around the United States and who had won their primary and were then the official candidates for U.S. Senator and for Congressman.
In the next 2 years Ronald Reagan spoke out on a variety of issues and helped some of those who shared his views win primary elections and general elections.
Ronald Reagan’s followers saw the fundraising appeals he sent out, heard his call to arms and they followed him into more battles in the future. Some we won, some we lost, but our army held together during the weeks, months and years following that defeat in Kansas City, 1976. It was a byproduct of those efforts – not the goal or purpose – that Ronald Reagan’s army held together well enough that they were able to help him win the GOP nomination for President and the Presidency four years later.
Today, some of our best conservative leaders in Pennsylvania – like Andy Shaw to name one – were defeated. I hope and I pray that this is but their start as conservative leaders and that his narrow loss to “Planned Parenthood’s favorite Pennsylvania GOP State Senator” was but a single battle in the long war that will continue against the liberal left.
I hope that we will see Rick Santorum, Andy Shaw and others who carried our banner into battle this past year, carry on by supporting the candidates who speak for our values, speak out for what we believe in, make a difference, build our army and go forward to block the liberal left and win for the values voter, conservative right in the future.
I pray that we won’t see another Christine O’Donnell, who terribly disappointed so many of us not because she lost, not because the leftwing and their “water carriers” within our midst defamed her, but because when she was knocked down she stayed down, she never used her name recognition and her giant mailing list to build our cause and to help other candidates and other organizations but faded away so that today she is only useful as an example of what “not” to do after you lose.
Just as happened two years ago there were some victories and some losses – some good people lost once again.
So much for “the good.” And now, the bad:
I quoted Saul Alinsky because I saw some candidates who very much reminded me of that quote.
Foremost, among the users of the tactics of Saul Alinsky in the GOP primary in Pennsylvania this past Tuesday is losing candidate Steve Welch, whose TV ads kept repeating what a great conservative he is and how his closest competitor is a liberal.
I was far from convinced and thankfully, so were PA GOP voters who nominated Tom Smith, who echoed and reeked of “traditional values” in both how he spoke and in what he spoke. Unlike Sam Rohrer he has no long history of supporting conservative causes (which is why I voted for Sam Rohrer for the third time – once for Governor as a write in last time, and before that in the GOP primary for Governor).
Unlike Sam Rohrer, the official candidate of the GOP State Central Committee (you know – the people who told us Arlen Specter was their ideal as a U.S. Senator), candidate Steve Welch, had money and he used it to try to win the GOP nomination.
I will happily vote for the man who defeated both the liberal/opportunist Steve Welch and my candidate Sam Rohrer, the GOP nominee for U.S. Senator Tom Smith and strongly recommend him, unpersuaded by those who say his past a Democrat should disqualify him. I note that some said that about former Democrat Ronald Reagan also, when he ran for Governor of California.
But other candidates in the GOP primary this past Tuesday here in Pennsylvania besides Steve Welch reminded me of Saul Alinsky as well.
Without naming names I will give a very specific example, one that should be conclusive to all except Ron Paul supporters who would privately concede that I am correct but never, ever here publicly.
The Ron Paul organization learned a lesson from past campaigns. Since I do not agree with them on foreign policy and most especially do not agree that “there’s no difference between the GOP and the Democrats” and I do not like their smear tactics against conservatives (everybody can’t be a “neocon” you fools!!) I’d easily go along with calling their candidates “the bad” to return to the title of today’s article and the second third of today’s message.
Any dedicated Ron Paul “organizer” knows that most traditional values and mainstream conservative voters would be very reluctant to ever vote for a Ron Paul candidate for Delegate or Alternate Delegate to the Republican National Nominating Convention in 2012.
Pennsylvania, like many other states, has a separate “beauty contest” to see who you favor for President – Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul.
The Presidential primary “beauty” contest results showed Ron Paul getting clobbered with 13.2% of GOP votes versus Romney’s 58%. Even the candidate who had withdrawn the week prior, Rick Santorum, beat Ron Paul with 18.3% of the vote.
So how can you elect GOP Convention Delegates for Ron Paul for President, if only 1 out of 8 voters like your candidate? How can you get a majority of voters in any Congressional District to elect your slate of four candidates in each congressional district?
Study Saul Alinsky. His basic message to the far left when he wrote his book, dedicated to that other revolutionary group of an earlier age who like the Ron Paul “organizers” also cannot stand “the establishment” and also sees no difference between the GOP and the Democrats, was simply this:
Lie. And demonize your opponent, always making it personal.
Put more softly, Alinsky urged, don’t reveal your true colors. Deny everything, and blend in with society, while constantly attacking “the establishment” and always making it personal.
Most people are either stupid or gullible so you will get away with it. This is the teaching of Saul Alinsky (not my view so do not misquote me) – and there are some who participate in GOP primary elections who would deny it, would attack anyone (such as the undersigned) who reports the truth: they proudly use the tactics of Saul Alinsky, including deception and misdirection, to get votes and support from conservatives who if they knew the truth, would NEVER vote for such candidates.
Of course, just like any Alinskyite, they would bitterly DENY that they are lying even when you caught them red handed using these tactics of deception and misdirection. They would also use the Alinsky tactic of demonizing whoever wrote that about them (watch – if any of theirs are reading this you will see, you will recognize them by their fruit).
In the 4th congressional district of Pennsylvania, some of the Ron Paul candidates won election as GOP National Convention delegates or alternatives, running such a campaign of deception and misdirection, while carefully and purposely hiding their true colors.
Those who voted for these Ron Paul “revolutionaries” would be shocked to know their true colors. Why? Because here is what I read about them:
On their facebook pages, NOTHING about Ron Paul except for ONE of their eight candidates, ONE.
That’s right. Of eight candidates running pledged to Ron Paul – four as Delegate and four as Alternate, only ONE of those four I could find a facebook page that indicated their strong support for Ron Paul.
Apparently, he didn’t get the Saul Alinsky memo, or else, he is “rebelling” against the rebels. Whatever. 7 out of 8 Ron Paul candidates carefully HID their association with and their dedication to Ron Paul or saw fit not to have a Facebook page which happened to mention this.
And that one Facebook page out of the eight, will of course, not be read by MOST of those Christian-conservative activists who voted this past Tuesday, nor by most GOP primary voters, because it is the Ron Paul forces, like their brethren of the radical left, who employ social media, while Christian conservatives mostly continue to slumber on, either without any social media at all or only checking their Facebook page every week or so.
But Saul Alinsky would tell you to use misdirection not simply evasion.
So listen to what I read for some of their candidates – the Ron Paul candidates – at the Christian PAC website, Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation. This is the questionnaire that ACTION of PA York Chapter circulated to each candidate, and then put their answers on their website as a voter guide:
Note that only ONE candidate of the full slate of eight Ron Paul candidates (which you can only find by looking for the official Ron Paul website by the way), mentioned her support for Ron Paul in this questionnaire. And only ONE candidate of these eight (not her) mentioned Ron Paul on their Facebook page.
This is the triumph of Saul Alinsky “deception and misdirection” if ever we will see it.
The response from Christian conservatives OUGHT to be and I hope will be: there is power in those tactics of the dark side, which can only be banished with MORE light. Here is the truth, albeit after the fact- here is what they really wrote, and notice for yourself that only ONE of them says a word about Ron Paul.
This is the response to the questionnaire which was then posted on the website of Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation, of several of the Ron Paul candidates (their words):
ACTION OF PA’S 2012 VOTER GUIDE – DELEGATE TO THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL / CONVENTION 4th DISTRICT
* (candidate 1, name withheld)
I am a wife, mother, Registered Nurse and relentless pro-life activist. I know God’s laws
are above all others. The life issue is the most important one for me and the reason I am running for delegate.
Uncommitted — want most pro-life candidate elected
* (candidate 2, name withheld)
I am running for alternate delegate because I was solicited by my friends and neighbors in Pennsylvania to represent the interests of conserving the principles of our country’s founding.
* (candidate 3, name withheld)
I am running as a delegate because I want to make sure the Republican nominee maintains a Constitutional platform of limited government and conservative principles.
Mitt Romney, but will respect the vote of Pennsylvanians
* (candidate 4, name withhold – the only one to mention Ron Paul)
I want to represent Congressman Paul and do what I can to assist in his endeavor, as I believe he is one of the few truly honest statesmen left standing.
(the candidates for alternate delegate were not listed at ACTION of PA webpage so I had to go to a Ron Paul page to get their names, and look for their facebook page to see – that out of EIGHT candidates for alternate delegate or delegate only ONE mentioned Ron Paul there)
Now, I am sure the lawyers in our midst will say that this is not an example of lying (with the ONE exception immediately above, out of eight candidates). And since my namesake was a lawyer, in fact as some may have forgotten the lawyer most responsible for the bill of rights, I will defend myself by saying your assertion is at best, arguable, and at worst, disingenuous.
Claiming to rebut my calling these candidates “liars” is a strawman argument because I did not call them liars. I said they are using misdirection and/or deception. I did not call anyone a liar, although clearly one could make such an argument.
And people have been arguing about “the ends justify the means” long before Saul Alinsky’s quote which I cited at the start of today’s offering. Hence, a Paul supporter who either quotes Alinsky or uses words to that effect while denying the link, might offer this:
“I truly do believe what I wrote, so I am not lying.”
So I will repeat: I did not say it is a lie, because I acknowledge someone who uses misdirection and deception can argue he is not a liar. Any lawyer can help you understand why (a) these are not lies and (b) why so many non-lawyers hate lawyers.
Just to give you one example: “Your honor, my client’s position is that he did not lie, but the person saying that is using smear tactics and is a hypocritical Christian.”
Notice, the lawyer can say this even if he knows that his client is a damned liar and even if he knows that the person who wrote that about his client is a Saint (which I am of course, NOT saying that I am). The lawyer would point out that he (a) did not say it is true, and (b) did not say it is his belief.
This shows why people detest lawyers. It also should illustrate how someone who supported Ron Paul for President would happily use the tactics of Saul Alinsky.
Alinsky would cheerfully echo Marxist doctrine in teaching you that what is morally right is what produces victory, and what is morally wrong is that which will not help you win.
And that means, the practitioner of these tactics, is using exactly the same tactics on values voters and on Christians, that the liberal left uses. Same tactics, same target, same purpose: defeat us and take power.
And that brings me to the final part of today’s offering: The stupid.
Now I want to start out by apologizing to any dear Reader who thinks I am calling you stupid. All of us are in some area, uniformed. I am hoping that those who did not know what I am about to share will not take insult but will be informed and guided for the future.
You are only STUPID in my view, when you keep repeating the behavior that never works, keep repeating the behavior that never gets you a good result. Others have said that such behavior is insane but I think it is actually a slight bit more charitable to ask you, isn’t that STUPID?
I was sad that Sam Rohrer didn’t win last time. But if you don’t work to raise money and build an organization you will get the same result this time, that you got last time. There are plenty of candidates across America who did the same thing and who should have known better.
Better campaign organization, including building lists of supporters and doing the necessary fundraising, are not tasks that happen happen by themselves. This is hard work and also requires some knowledge (see my previous article).
Fundraising is the least popular, least enjoyable part of a campaign, according to both winners and losers. Yet it is one of the things which when done properly and in advance, separates the winners from the losers, especially so in primary elections.
And in fact, money begets money – so the more you raise early, the more you will then thereafter, raise.
Speaking out on the issues of concern to conservatives and finding who your friends and allies are in advance, is not something that happens on its own, nor something which you can ignore for a few years then suddenly do a “make up” in the final 6 months before voters cast their ballot.
You’ve either been there in those battles, or else, you have not.
If you were there, you either were speaking out for our conservative beliefs or you were not. If you did that, then you either reached out and made new friends, or you did not.
And if you did all of this and failed to keep a list of your new friends you simply cannot make up for that failure in the last six months.
By way of comparison, I remind you of the career of two people: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, both schooled in the tactics of the very Saul Alinsky whose name appears so prominently in my offering today. Hillary did a paper on Alinsky and was offered a job as an Instructor on graduation, and Obama actually accepted and was both an Instructor at the Alinsky Institute in Chicago, and then a “community organizer.”
Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama used issues, made lists, learned and did fundraising and then put it all together in a well planned campaign. Unlike so many of my conservative friends who did not do so well this past Tuesday.
Which is why I am dwelling on this topic in my offering of 2 days ago (read HERE) and again today.
All too often we have candidates who think that by being a great speaker or by being right on “the issues” they can simple coast to victory in a primary because “God” will make it so, and “the people” will “rise up.”
Silly goose. That is like opening up a lemonade stand in your backyard behind a tree and a fence where no one will see you, instead of on the front sidewalk where there is traffic.
God does in fact, help those who help themselves. God does in fact, prefer you and I to be better organized, and to start thinking about this further in advance.
A campaign that has no money and has no volunteers is usually the one that also had no business plan (see previous article on this topic, which I rather inartfully called the “Conservative Primary Losers Checklist” but which is more correctly the “Winner’s Checklist to Win Next time”).
The anti-establishment radical left always makes the claim that we conservatives have the money and the corporations and they have “the people.” Their answer is to “speak truth to power” (they claim) and to use their “people power” advantage to overcome the monied interests, throw them (us) all out, and take over.
This is a many decades old strategy of the Marxist left, popularized by Saul Alinsky and very often quoted and used by some Tea Party, 912 and “patriot” newcomers who so often don’t even realize that they are so exactly parroting the leftwing. It is also a line routinely used by Ron Paul supporters.
In fact, it is why I end today’s article with this third segment entitled “the stupid.” Because if you fall for this “we are the people that’s why we have no money/organization” silliness then you are echoing the left and you deserve to be fooled and to lose.
The finalists in the closing week of the U.S. Senate race and the U.S. Congressional race are not the “purist conservatives” who kept arguing that they were fighting the guys who “had the money.” That convinced no one because those using it were very obviously seen by most everyone as simply making excuses for their own lousy performance.
No, the finalists in the 4th district were Chris Reilly and Scott Perry who did the work to raise the money and who then had TV commercials, direct mail and nice literature to go along with the volunteers they were able to recruit. The finalist in the U.S. Senate race wasn’t Sam Rohrer but the two who were on TV and who also sent out voter mail and nice literature.
You cannot overcome the money and GOP establishment advantages of a Steve Walsh simply by making a great speech/performance at the PA Leadership Conference and winning their straw poll by a huge margin, sadly. Sorry Sam Rohrer. I don’t like it, but that is the truth.
If each time we conservatives lose we simply complain “money/the establishment beat us again” and then go home, the less conservative candidate always wins the primary and then of course, the general election.
Money also buys nicer cars, nicer homes, nicer clothes and better healthcare. And people who are better organized and have a business plan very often, are the ones who have more money.
So we are supposed to sit the general election out also, since you cannot beat “the money” and “the establishment” candidates, or throw our vote away on a third party candidate in a close race to see who will control the U.S. Senate or Congress or State House?
And then, next time around we simply repeat the same thing again, and get the same result again in the primary?
Wrong. Why not begin organizing right now? Why not make a commitment right now to stay active and build our cause?
The “establishment” candidates can and are beaten but only when we are better organized and start much earlier, whether it is we who want to support winners or the candidates themselves – we are all in this together so Dear Reader, don’t be blaming everything on the candidate. What will YOU bring to the “table” next time, to help your candidate organize better?
If you ran for office or if you supported a candidate for office who lost, why not look around and find one or more conservative/values voters type organizations you can support and stick with them? Why not become one of that group’s leaders? Why not start well in advance to build our cause?
Why not look at how one builds lists, how one impacts public policy questions, how one can recruit others to join you?
How about doing what Ronald Reagan said: go out of here, and despite a defeat, tell others about our cause so that next time, there are more of us, and along the path to that future victory, we can put up more of a fight on the issues we care about, and do a much better job of influencing public policy debate?
So, like other conservatives, I have some disappointments during this year’s primary season. Here in Pennsylvania, for Governor, the candidate I supported, Sam Rohrer, lost as he did last time.
Rohrer lost by a very, very large margin, as he did in his run for Governor. He lost while the winner raised more money, recruited more volunteers and spoke a conservative message with their voice amplified by those dollars and those volunteers. He didn’t raise the money last time and he didn’t raise the money this time.
My candidate for President, Rick Santorum, also lost, even as he earned more votes and won more states than any other challenger to the “establishment” candidate since Ronald Reagan (and WOW do the liberals hate it when you say that!!).
Another candidate I supported to topple Planned Parenthood’s favorite GOP State Senator in Pennsylvania, conservativee Andy Shaw running against Pat Vance, also lost, having been outspent by a wide margin.
My first choice for the GOP nominee for Congress, lost by a large margin (Chris Reilly). At least he ran a competitive race as far as organization, money and volunteers, and his commercials featuring Senator Pat Toomey (actually an independent group) were fabulous.
On the other hand, three of my four choices – who I endorsed in this space in advance for GOP Delegate to the GOP convention won (pledged to Rick Santorum: G. Edwin Matthias and Marilyn S. Gillispie and to Newt Gingrich, PA-LC co-founder Charlie Gerow, despite his still not wanting to be my Facebook friend).
I thank Chris Reilly, Rick Santorum, Sam Rohrer and Andy Shaw, and all of those who ran for office this year using principles and issues as their engine, even in defeat. Thank you, God bless you and your families and all of those who worked for you or gave donations to you, for the sacrifice you made to hoist up what Ronald Reagan called “the banner of no pale pastels but of bold and vibrant colors.”
But now is not the time, in defeat, to walk off the battlefield. It is the time Reagan urged us to stick with it.
So I proudly say:
I will support Mitt Romney for President because the speeches I have heard from him, especially this past week, are what I want to hear from my TV, my radio, on the internet and in newspapers for the next four years, not more of Obama and his minions.
I proudly support Tom Smith for U.S. Senator because foremost, he will vote to throw Harry Reid out as Senate Majority Leader, and will vote for most of the measures that add up to a conservative platform.
And I will proudly support State Representative Scott Perry to win the Congressional race because he will help keep Nancy Pelosi out and has a strong record of championing conservative values and views.
Yes, I know that you can say something critical about each of these choices – and I most certainly HAVE during the past 9 weeks, in many of the 102,360 words offered here on RED STATE, in 46 articles averaging 2,225 words each).
But the primaries are – for me here in Pennsylvania – over and done with, the battle lines are drawn and I see what is on my left – the forces of Obama, and who is carrying my flag into this battle.
So without reservation: I’m for Mitt Romney for President, Tom Smith for U.S. Senator, Scott Perry for U.S. Congress, and for the reelection of State Representative Seth Grove.
Does that make me a “straight line Republican” voter? Hold on there friend.
I wrote in Sam Rohrer for Governor last general election and if I lived in his district it would take a mighty powerful argument (which I’ve not heard) to convince me to vote in the general election for Planned Parenthood’s favorite GOP State Senator, Pat Vance instead of writing in the awesome Andy Shaw, who failed by just 300 votes in his bid to topple her.
Things are so much simpler in my district, where State Rep. Seth Grove, a past “Statesman of the Year” of Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation (ACTION of PA) in York County, ran against the same candidate as last time and increased his victory margin from 72% to this year’s 82%.
The challenger echoed the same material circulated by the libertarian and/or anti-GOP group which uses Glenn Beck’s name, which is anti-establishment, they are all the same thing, topple the bad guys and power to the people and oh, we have no money but we have the truth.
Good going – the incumbent increased his margin by 10 points over last time when he was challenged by the same person using the same arguments and no issue that I ever heard or read about where I agree with him and not with the incumbent.
How about, lets you and I who are mainstream conservatives, get out there now, and make sure our side wins this year 2012, so we can then push hard to enact the conservative agenda in the months and years after the election is over? Won’t we have a much more favorable hearing with most of those who won the GOP primaries, rather than knocking on the door of a liberal Democratic President, Senators, Congressmen and state legislators?
As Reagan said in 1976 in defeat, and I will quote it again to conclude: “This is our challenge; and this is why here in this hall tonight, better than we have ever done before, we have got to quit talking to each other and about each other and go out and communicate to the world that we may be fewer in numbers than we have ever been, but we carry the message they are waiting for. We must go forth from here united, determined that what a great general said a few years ago is true: There is no substitute for victory.”
HanoverHenry of RED STATE is Pat Henry on Facebook, and I’m on the lookout for new friends there. You can also communicate via private mail at Facebook, and I welcome new sources for my articles focusing on the conservative-Christian viewpoint in Pennsylvania. I appreciate your sharing this article elsewhere and only ask that you include this “disclaimer” in any reprints or sharing you do. And I thank those whose information have helped me with some of my reports, including those who do not wish to be quoted by name.
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