John Boehner

Primary Aftermath

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The first full-fledged primary night with the Republican Party establishment and its liberty-loving base going head-to-head is now in the books. And there’s no spinning it – it was a bad night for the good guys.

Daniel Horowitz at Red State has a good summary of what happened:

Kentucky: Horowitz notes Matt Bevin did very well in GOP strongholds in the northern part of the state, where Ditch McConnell needs a large turnout to win this fall. Thus, he is going to have to reach out to Bevin’s base. McConnell’s re-elect numbers are probably the worst for any incumbent Republican in a very pro-GOP cycle. For example, over 90,000 more people voted in Kentucky’s uncontested Democrat primary than voted in the hotly-contested Republican primary McConnell won. That is a bad sign for McConnell this fall. As is the the fact he got the lowest percentage of the vote in a primary of any Kentucky incumbent U.S. Senator since 1938.

Georgia: Horowitz points out establishment candidates David Perdue and Congressman Jack Kingston advanced to the run-off after easily spending more money than all the other primary candidates combined, and used that money to paint themselves as conservatives. For example, the pro-amnesty Chamber of Commerce came in big (millions) for Kingston despite the fact he signed FAIR’s no-amnesty pledge. So either he’s lying to the Chamber of Commerce or he’s lying to Georgia voters.

Pennsylvania: After spending well over a million dollars against a primary candidate who could only raise $10,000 per quarter, incumbent Bill Shuster barely managed to get over 52% of the vote. Translation: if his primary challenger, Art Halvorson (who has been on our show), had even a little more money Shuster would’ve probably lost.

Idaho: How did moderate incumbent Mike Simpson coast to victory against a solid primary opponent in a very conservative district? Horowitz answers with this: Several weeks ago, a family member of mine went to Idaho on a business trip. When he watched Fox News, all he saw was one ad after another from Mike Simpson, Mitt Romney, the Chamber of Commerce, and several big trade associations touting Simpson as a rock-ribbed conservative. “He is a leader on gun rights;” “Pelosi’s worst nightmare;” “standing up to Obama and Obamacare.” Once and a while he saw a Club for Growth ad against Simpson. He said that if he didn’t know any better from the information I gave to him, he would think Simpson was the only man in the race and a solid fighter on par with Ted Cruz. To the extent that he ever heard about Bryan Smith, it was something about a “liberal trial lawyer.”

Overall: Turnout was embarrassingly low all over the country in these primaries. Yet how many of those folks who didn’t vote will then complain this November about the lack of inspiring and courageous candidates they’re being asked to choose from?

While we don’t have to raise the money the establishment raises, at the very least we have to be able to raise (and willing to give) enough money to at least be credible. Instead we saw establishment candidates repeatedly win by running on our ideas, which we know they will then promptly abandon when they get to Washington, D.C.

Self-government begins with self. So until more of us are willing to take our civic responsibility seriously, we’ll continue to get taken for a ride by the GOP establishment. As I have been saying for a while now, Republicats and not RINOs are our main problem. RINOs are liberals and honest about it, but Republicrats are corporatists who have figured out how to steal our language and what lies to tell us in order to win elections.

Sadly, we have too many low-information voting Republicans who fall for it, if they’re even voting in the primaries at all.

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