Much has been made about Sarah Palin's comments on going third party. I just have one problem with the comments about Governor Palin's remarks.
Though she was answering a question about going third party, I did not and still do not interpret her remarks as expressing an outright willingness to go third party. Governor Palin has long been a disruptive candidate and, as a disruptive candidate, has worked from inside the party to change its ways. When she says things like,
more and more of us are going to start saying, ‘You know, what’s wrong with being independent,’ kind of with that libertarian streak that much of us have. In other words, we want government to back off and not infringe upon our rights. I think there will be a lot of us who start saying ‘GOP, if you abandon us, we have nowhere else to go except to become more independent
I read it as more of an endorsement of free agency, so to speak, than a new third party. And I agree with this. It is what I and others have been doing for some time.
In short, conservatives upset with the Republican Party need to go rogue or go home. While LUR and I read Governor Palin's comments differently, I agree completely with his solution – take over the GOP.
After all, my working theory right now is that the GOP is a dead man walking and whichever side of the fight possesses its body gets all the parts that come with the body, from state parties to the national apparatus.
So work to take it over and, concurrently, open your checkbook to outside conservative groups fighting on your side. Start funding the organizations that actually have a solid track record of finding, funding, and running disruptive challengers within the party. The four I recommend are:
The Senate Conservatives Fund, which looks like it may even be ballsy enough to fund a challenge to Mitch McConnell.
Heritage Action for America, which Republicans in Congress have taken to routinely blast for daring to hold them accountable and challenge them when they get squishy.
Club for Growth, which Republican Leaders in Congress routinely attack in the press, anonymously no less, for being uncompromisingly in favor of smaller government and small government candidates.
Madison Project, which is fearless in finding top notch grassroots candidates to challenge incumbent pukes.
Nationally, the GOP is pursuing a terrible piece of immigration legislation. Many of the Republicans who support it campaigned on securing our borders first. They lied to the conservative base to get their votes. A good number of the Republican leaders pursuing immigration are doing so because they listen to the moneyed interests that support it. They could care less about the base because the base doesn't cough up money and has not shown a willingness or ability to fight a war of attrition within the party.
But there are others in the party who hold the conservative base in outright contempt. They want a new base and see immigration reform as the first step to replacing conservatives, particularly evangelicals. These people, instead of urging the GOP to take up populist measures that play well with the middle class and blue collar voters would prefer immigration reform, mitigation of climate change, and technocratic nonsense that plays well with rich white liberals and no one else. If conservatives do win, these Republicans will use their columns, blogs, and TV appearances to bad mouth the conservatives as simple minded hicks and rubes.
In Ohio, John Kasich has declared Jesus wants him to expand medicaid under Obamacare. In fact, State Treasurer Josh Mandel has been outspoken against Kasich's plans to expand Obamacare inside Ohio and tax tracking. Kasich's response has been to veto funds for Mandel's office.
Kasich has repeatedly been telling people that one day we'll all stand before our Maker who will ask us what we have done for the least of these. Kasich will say he expanded government. I do not know about the rest of you, but I talk to Jesus every night and he has never told me to expand government to help others.
Put bluntly: I could care less if the Democrats beat John Kasich in November. I could care less. If the GOP is going to expand Obamacare and taxes we might as well let the Democrats be in charge. And I think that's the point Sarah Palin was getting at — the conservatives who are upset should stop behaving like they belong to a party that does not want them and instead go rogue. Primary John Kasich and if the conservative does not win, stay home (EDIT: metaphorically stay home. In reality, just don't vote in the gubernatorial box or vote for someone else running for that office).
Yes, this is controversial, but consider the evidence:
- In Nevada, Sharron Angle won and not only did Jim DeMint have to step in to give the Nevada GOP money after the national Republicans failed to help, but to this day the GOP establishment blames conservatives for the loss.
- In Colorado, the GOP spent its budget running negative ads against Ken Buck after it was abundantly obvious to everyone that Buck had the primary in the bag. Then, in the general election, the GOP — surprise — didn't have the money it needed to run the race. Buck still won independents by double digits, but lost a very close election with a statewide collapse of the Colorado GOP.
- In Indiana, Richard Mourdock probably could have survived a very close election despite his fumble if Dick Lugar, the loser, and the rest of the GOP, were not sabotaging him, bad mouthing him, and pulling out the welcome mat.
"Oh," you say, "those were bad candidates."
In Florida, the GOP lined up behind Charlie Crist and went out of their way to push Marco Rubio out of the race.
- In Kentucky, they all lined up with Trey Grayson against Rand Paul. Then in the general election, many of them ran away quickly from Paul when he made controversial remarks about civil rights.
- In Utah, after Bob Bennett lost, Bennett actively campaigned against Mike Lee and the establishment lined up behind Bridgewater.
- In Texas, the establishment lined up pretty uniformly behind David Dewhurst against Ted Cruz and, once Cruz won, there was more than one on background Senate GOP staffer bad mouthing him to the press.
Time and again when less conservative or moderate Republicans win, they expect the conservatives to hold the line. You know what? Conservatives do. But when the moderate to liberal Republicans lose, they run to the media, blame conservatives, and start supporting the other side.
It is time conservatives behave the same way. From the Dakotas to Ohio to Kentucky to Louisiana to other parts of then nation, conservatives should get involved, find really good candidates, and work like hell to win. And if they lose, consider free agency. Make the Republican who wins earn conservative trust instead of letting him presume he has their vote.
I don't think Sarah Palin was flat out endorsing a third party and I don't either. But I think she was, like me, suggesting conservatives stop being such cheap dates.
Follow LUR's advice. Get involved at the local party level. Take over precincts, counties, and states. Find good candidates to challenge incumbent senators and congressmen. Stop taking for granted that the faces of the GOP really have your interests at heart and stop letting them take your vote for granted.
Again, I recommend you get behind four groups:
At the RedState Gathering, I intend to introduce you all to some of these disruptive candidates who are going to challenge incumbent Republicans — even some in leadership — and also go up against some of the candidates the GOP is already telling you that you must support in order to win. Let's go rogue, but from within not from without. And win or lose, make sure the GOP knows it cannot take you for granted.