In a September 15th, 2010 Wall Street Journal article, “Rove Fires Up Talk on O’Donnell”, Rove Fires Up, Republican strategist Karl Rove’s off-the-cuff comments about Christine O’Donnell’s victory as the Republican nominee for Delaware’s Senate seat were examined. Rove’s reaction to a move in the “right” direction by the defeat of Rep. Mike Castle, labeled a RINO (Republicans In Name Only) due to his liberal voting record, was very perplexing for staunch conservatives.
The WSJ article included the following Hannity-Rove exchange from Fox’s “Hannity” show:
Hannity: “You may be right in the end, I don’t know. We can look into our crystal ball and can say things. I would argue back to you gently that I don’t think we can make progress in stopping the Obama agenda with rhino Republicans that, you know are not going to be there when the solid votes are needed.”
Rove: “I agree. But we also can’t make progress if we have candidates who got serious character problems, who cause ordinary voters who are not philosophically aligned with us to not vote for our candidates out of concern of what they said and what they do.”
Is Rove implying the Republican Party has previously only offered candidates with impeccable character or that we should only offer candidates that would appeal to “voters who are not philosophically aligned with us”? If he is referring to Independents, polls indicate they want candidates that oppose big government, growing deficits and excessive taxation which the “Tea Party” candidates best represent.
Republican leaders and strategists, like Rove, should welcome the “Tea Party “candidates with open arms. They represent average Americans that were brave enough to run for public office in spite of the current environment of attacking the person and not the issues. Instead of rolling out the red carpet, they tout the “Buckley Rule” which is to support the most conservative candidate that is electable. The fallacy of this rule is it believes that the Republican Party, and not the voters, know which candidate is “electable” and compromising the principles and ideology that conservative voters revere is the price of victory. The Republican Party’s support of candidates like Castle and Scozzafava clearly evidence of this fallacy and that their choice of candidates has not always been in line with their constituents. Once these victorious RINOs like Senators Snow, Collins, Graham, as well as Rep. Castle, get in office, they often vote with Democrats on key issues such as Sen. Graham and Rep. Castles support of “Americas Power Act”, a.k.a “Cap and Trade”. While the Republican Party can say they had an electoral victory with these candidates, are they representing conservative principles?
It is unfathomable at a time when conservative voters are energized and united that the Republican Party would betray its own platform and candidates. Unless, of course, the true agenda of the Republican Party isn’t to restore America back to its founding principles and values but to restore its own established, elitist power base. A glaring example of elitist mentality is the comments of Senator Isakson (R-GA) after meeting senate nominee, Sharon Angle.
“She’s a fiscal conservative and that sort of thing. But it was not the kind of speech you would make if you were speaking to the unwashed back home, so to speak.”
Sen. Isakson was not referring to voters bathing habits, but as the Encarta Dictionary defines, “unwashed” is an offensive term referring to the lower social classes or masses of ordinary folk. This superiority complex may explain the less than enthusiastic embracing by the Republican establishment to stand by “Tea Party” candidates like Christine O’Donnell.
Reactions from defeated establishment Republican candidates also demonstrate their sense of entitlement and elitist mentality by rejecting their own constituents’ voices. They have ranged from changing party affiliation (Gov. Charlie Crist, FL- I), running a write-in campaign (Murkowski-AK) and refusing to support the voters chosen candidates (Mike Castle,R-DE & Bill McCollum, R-FL).
The real issue here is that both parties have forgotten that they are elected to be servants of the people not to have the people serve them. The elitist mentality has dominated the leadership of both political parties for too long. Our Founding Fathers foresaw that pride and greed were human traits that needed to be resisted by our elected officials; however, should they fail, the people needed tools to change and restrain government. Those tools include our rights to free speech, bear arms and vote. We have exercised our free speech at town hall meetings, huge rallies and local protests. Our elected officials have turned a deaf ear to our cries, but they can’t ignore our vote.
One solution, a stronger third party, would divide the conservative vote thereby benefitting the Democrats in the short term. Alternatively, there is progress by the Republican Party in addressing the concerns of conservative Americans with the recent release of the “The Pledge To America.” If Republicans, like Rep. McCarthy (R-CA), continue to focus on restoring the Republic, complying with the Constitution, and repealing bills that expand Federal government power then there will be a slow re-development of trust and loyalty. However, if the Republican Party continues to believe that they are superior to the “unwashed” common folk, they will be the ones getting a “bath” in upcoming primaries and elections.