GOP Continues to Battle the Base

On Friday Scott Rasmussen wrote an article called “Republican Establishment Declares War on GOP Voters”. While I believe a more appropriate title would be, “Republican Establishment Opens New Front in the Long Fought War on GOP Voters”, I do agree with most of Mr. Rasmussen’s analysis. He claims that the fiscal cliff deal is being sold as a bi-partisan agreement by establishment GOP, while 7 out of 10 Republican voters disapproved of the deal, and 7 out of 10 Democratic voters approved of it.

Establishment GOP thinks it has a primary problem, because incumbents who have been in D.C. for decades, and are essentially liberals in disguise, have been losing some primaries. Since some of these races then went to the Democrats, the GOP uses this as proof that the Tea Party is harming the GOP’s prospects. But this line of thinking only makes sense if the ultimate goal is to have a Republican majority in both houses. Well, seeing as “government spending in America has gone up in every year since 1954 regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats are in charge”, my goal is not simply a Republican majority in both houses–an establishment GOP majority would not solve our problems, at best it would slow down the pace at which we are sprinting towards dictatorship.

So, according to Politico, the Washington team is gearing up a new effort to protect incumbents and limit the ability of Republican voters to successfully challenge establishment candidates.

That makes sense to those whose sole goal is winning a majority in Congress rather than changing the course of government policy. Seen from the outside, though, it sounds like the professional politicians are saying that the only way to win is to pick more candidates like the insiders. Hearing that message, the reaction of many Republican and conservative voters is, “Why bother?”

The GOP’s real primary problem is suppression of legitimate, free market, limited government, pro-constitution candidates. Ron Paul was shunned by the party establishment, despite being the only consistent limited government candidate for President. The GOP pulled dirty moves to suppress his influence at the national convention, and went so far as to kick Ron Paul delegates out of the convention center. Now that’s a good way to pump up the base before a tough election! No, libertarians, Paulites, and fiscal conservatives stayed home, because, “Why bother?”.

Scott Rasmussen’s remedy is for the GOP establishment to act as mature party leaders, instead of attempting to retain political power, and special interests. He says that mature party leaders would look into why only 50% of Republicans have a positive opinion of the highest ranked Republican in the land, Speaker Boehner. Could it be because he is a traitor to the GOP base for kicking the most libertarian members of the caucus out of their assigned committee positions? Its okay to be ticked off, you aren’t alone, “two-thirds of Republican voters believe GOP officials in Washington have lost touch with the party’s base”. So why are we still here?

Are we still hoping to reform the GOP and make it into a libertarian Constitutionalist party?

To succeed, this course would have to include some painful medicine for the establishment, such as giving up corporate welfare programs that benefit their friends and allies. It also would require helping Republican voters identify primary candidates who challenge the establishment but could be effective on the campaign trail.

This is a much tougher course to follow; one that would benefit the party and the nation. Unfortunately, by seeking to protect the insiders from the voters, all indications are that most establishment Republicans would rather blame the voters and keep their perks.

Which is why my remedy is, start anew! Forget the pathetic establishment who cave to their no new taxes pledge. Forget the wimps who are ready to jump on the gun-banning bandwagon when they should be clearly articulating that guns in the hands of responsible citizens lowers crime. Forget the corporate cronies who won’t defend the free market because they made their money on pork, bailouts, subsidies, government backed loans, grants, or insider trading. We should not be satisfied by the candidate who won’t rob as much from us, or who only violates the bill of rights a little, or who expands government at a slower rate. Enough if enough.

In the 2014 elections a new party with libertarian constitutional roots should make it’s debut, circumventing GOP primaries, and preventing the projection of past Republican follies onto new candidates. Let’s call the new party the Vigilant Independent Party, or VIP. We will set a goal for a number of house seats to be claimed in the 2014 midterm elections by VIP’s, and collect pledges from the libertarian elements of the GOP that they will switch to the VIP if the goal is met. Then we can identify districts with strong libertarian majorities, or large swaths of independent voters, and field strong candidates from the district that will appeal to the grassroots, while being supported by the larger VIP movement.

The platform could include a multifaceted vigilance over our government and elected officials; fiscal responsibility, the restoration and protection of the bill of rights, non-aggressive foreign policy, and elimination of several government agencies. I’m thinking Ron Paul can help lead the charge, and collect a pledge from Senator Rand Paul. Rep. Amash, and other Republicans removed from their committee assignments by GOP leadership would be prime VIP pledges. The individual donors to the GOP can be scooped up to fund these VIP candidates who will truly represent the base’s ideals. Maybe even in my home state of Massachusetts, where over 50% of the electorate are registered independents, we can flip one of the 9 Democrat held House seats.

A man can dream, can’t he?

6 thoughts on “GOP Continues to Battle the Base

    • I see momentum as the advantage. Since the Libertarian party is already established, the excitement, headlines, and novelty wouldn’t be there. I’m not sure what the Libertarian party leadership is like, but they haven’t seemed to focus much on house seats, or any kind of plan for expansion. To me at least it would seem easier to attract people to a new party, than to a party that has been pretty silent, and fielding Pres candidates without making many waves.
      I also see a new party attracting more young people than the Libertarian party (even if its for the wrong reasons, new, exciting). And a lot of people that are anti-internet regulation, and anti-foreign aggression may attach a stigma to libertarians in their mind, but would see a new party as preferable to either of the current major ones. So someone who doesn’t have a hardcore “get the government out of my business” attitude may still support the new party because of the foreign policy or internet freedom, but would have written off the Libertarian party.
      So I guess what I’m saying, and I could be wrong, is that it would be a waste of time to try to grow the Libertarian party, or revitalize the Republican party, and the best hope for serious change is to start a new movement that would be unstained by earlier biases toward libertarians or republicans.

      • I agree that the Libertarian Party is at a certain disadvantage due to its pre-established status, but this also holds some advantages. The Tea Party seemed to be the beginning of a new party back in 2008, but it eventually got hijacked by statist Republican leadership and religious nutjobs. The Occupy Movement could have been the beginning of a new party, but it was too focused on hippie ideals and was hijacked by those willing to commit violent acts to achieve their ends. Both of the groups suffered from a lack of cohesion and distinct guidance; ironically, in the end, they fell apart because they weren’t established.

        The Libertarian Party suffers from the same issues as any other third party, whether new or old: They’re not entreated to the same access to funding as the Democratic party and the Republican party, and they’re excluded from national debates. It’s difficult to get the message out when third parties are blocked at every turn by the establishment Democrat/Republican parties.

        I only mention this because any new party will suffer from the same disadvantages. The Democratic and Republican parties have been particularly ruthless in stamping out any other competition. I’m not saying that growing the Libertarian party is the answer, and I’m not trying to be the wet blanket who sits back and says, “It’s impossible to start a new party.” I do believe it’s possible to overthrow these parties, but the question is how? Money plays such a huge part in our political system, and without necessary funds and strong leadership, any new parties will lose coherence in the same manner that the Tea Party and Occupy Movements did.

      • I see what your saying, so maybe it is more the strategy of these third parties that I want re-thought. For instance, I think the first step to showing people that you’re a serious party, is getting politicians elected. The Libertarian party should not only focus on fielding pres candidates that will not get elected, they should focus on state level politicians and congressional seats. That is how you build a movement, from the bottom up. I think more people would take their Pres campaigns seriously if they got 10-15 House seats, and maybe a Senate seat of a Governorship somewhere. Some house seats are a reasonable goal, and I believe the Libertarian party could identify some house seats that would be relatively easily captured, either in a strong libertarian district, or in a strong independent district.

  1. “That is how you build a movement, from the bottom up.”

    Absolutely agreed. Third parties do have local candidates, but I’m not sure to what extent. I think the reason they try to get into the presidency is to get their names out to as many people as possible at one time. But you’re right — this tactic, whether money has played a part or not, has not been incredibly effective.

  2. Pingback: Media Bias Prevents Constructive Discussion | Joe Jarvis

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