Not one red cent to the NRSC

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NotOneRedCentBlogAdLarge.jpgConservative Republican activists have long been wary of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), a political organization controlled by the Republican caucus in the U. S. Senate. The NRSC's official purpose is to help the Republican Party gain and maintain a majority in the Senate.

In Pennsylvania in 2004 and in Rhode Island in 2006, the NRSC invested resources to prop up liberal Republicans against conservative challengers. U. S. Rep Pat Toomey lost the 2004 Pennsylvania Republican primary to incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter by less than 2% of the vote. While Specter won re-election, he switched parties a few weeks ago and will be running for re-election this year as a Democrat. Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee won renomination in 2006 over Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey by a 53-47 margin. Chafee lost the general and left the Republican Party. (Laffey has written a book about the experience: Primary Mistake.)

You could make a case for the NRSC supporting incumbent Republicans, although it's a weak case if those incumbents oppose conservative Republican stances on nearly every issue.

But now the NRSC has gone one step beyond: The NRSC has endorsed Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a moderate, against former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, a conservative, in an open primary to replace retiring Republican Sen. Mel Martinez. No one has a problem with Crist entering the race, but the NRSC ought to let Florida Republicans make the decision rather than intervening on behalf of one candidate, and the least conservative of the two at that. Crist recently signed an anti-tax pledge as a Senate candidate, just as he's getting ready to break his pledge to Americans for Tax Reform not to raise taxes as governor.

Leading conservative voices in the blogosphere have responded vigorously. Erick Erickson of RedState has launched a Facebook group: Not one penny to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). Robert Stacy McCain has set up a special blog to track the NRSC boycott called Not One Red Cent.

The only thing these committees understand is money. If the money dries up, they'll have some incentive to change their ways.

UPDATE: Erickson says he's getting pressured to shut down the "Not one penny" group.

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S. Lee Author Profile Page said:

Something that needs to be recognized is that there are a few major areas in which one can be conservative or not: social policy, moral policy, economic policy, foreign policy, and the degree to which government should run your life.

I suspect you will find that most are conservative in one area but not in another. Someone with a libertarian leaning (generally considered to be a conservative-ish trait) will prefer moral issues be left to individual choice and the government butt out (i.e. pro-choice). Those who care only that a candidate condemn abortion might be perfectly happy with a free-spending candidate (which might explain how we got a bunch of that kind of Republican in office).

Although The Force and departed Jedi are the only ones who truly know what the purveyors of "moderation" have in mind, I hope they want the party to recognize the multiple, possibly conflicting, areas of conservatism. It is unreasonable to demand people be full tilt conservative in all areas lest they be derisively labeled a RINO. The emphasis needs to be on good government for the masses. Giuliani's moral views would be considered by some to be un-conservative, but most agree his social and economic policies were conservative.

"W" was not a particularly strong candidate. He was certainly ripe for defeat going into his second term. But the Democrats snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by allowing their ideologically "pure" left to force the nomination of a weak candidate.

It's interesting that "pure" ideologial conservatives pray for pure ideological lefties to prevail knowing that any candidate forced by them will be at a big disadvantage. But those same pure conservatives are incapable of understanding how that political disadvantage business works both ways. I suspect that the purveyors of moderation DO understand.

(Recognizing that the Florida example above might be nothing more than plain old politics and has nothing to do with ideology.)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 15, 2009 11:09 PM.

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