Lately, it has been “must-see” television for conservatives to sit back and watch the Democrats implode. Their bad judgment in pursuing impeachment against Trump, Nancy Pelosi’s stunt of ripping up the State of the Union speech, the Bernie Sanders situation, the craziness of the Squad, Mikey Bloomberg’s buying of the nomination, and debacle that was the Iowa caucuses have all been galvanizing moments. And while we wait for the results of the New Hampshire primary results, there is another task being overlooked by conservatives.
March is quickly approaching and with it a string of primaries. Everyone knows that President Trump will romp through the GOP primaries at the top, but there are important primaries down the ballot. We hear a lot of talk here and elsewhere about electing conservatives to office. This website bills itself as a “right of center” one (i.e., conservative) rather than a Republican one. Of course, the GOP is more amenable to conservatism than the Democrats, especially these days since they have gone fully to the Left. Yet, while we here (and elsewhere) endorse conservative values and policies, there are many within the GOP who say they are conservative, but who waver when they have to make tough conservative choices and cast votes if they are in Congress.
Right now, Mitt Romney is the proverbial whipping boy among conservatives for his impeachment vote, and rightfully so. But if we harken back to 2018, Romney was running for an open Senate seat in Utah. In that “primary,” he was not the choice of Republican delegates at the state convention. That choice went to a more conservative state legislator. But a primary was held and Trump, despite Romney trashing the President in the past and endorsing some policies that could not be considered conservative, endorsed him. There was a choice between Romney and Mike Kennedy, a conservative who was more involved in Utah politics than Romney. Trump could have stayed out of it and let the voters decide. At the party convention, neither Romney nor Kennedy received the 60% required to avoid a primary, but one thing was certain: it was grassroots conservative activists who favored Kennedy. And since we are talking about Utah, Kennedy would have likely won the general election and Trump would have had one more “not guilty” vote.
On March 3rd alone, Republican voters will go to the polls in key states like Alabama, North Carolina and Texas. There are several House and Senate seats that offer voters a choice between a conservative Republican and the next Mitt Romney. Conservative media has been largely silent on these races preferring instead to debate who Trump should take on in 2020 for the Democrats.
Given the Trump endorsement of Romney, in some instances the President himself, out of one-stop loyalty or regional politics as a reason, has endorsed some other questionable candidates in the past. Overall, the winning percentage of all Trump-endorsed candidates is 60.4%, which is not bad. However, delving into those numbers we see the following:
- 52.6% winning percentage for Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidates;
- 60% winning percentage for Trump-endorsed House candidates, and;
- 31.8% winning percentage for Trump-endorsed Senate candidates.
Going even deeper among Trump-endorsed candidates we find that 70.8% of incumbents endorsed won, a 60.7% winning rate in open races, but only 22.2% when he endorsed a challenger against an incumbent. Incumbency has built-in advantages, but it would depend, to a conservative, which incumbents he endorsed. This is where it becomes a little interesting since many on the list from 2018 either lost or were not all that conservative to begin with.
A perfect example is the open Tennessee Senatorial race this year in a being left vacant by the retirement of Lamar Alexander. In that GOP primary, Trump has endorsed Bill Hagerty. Hagerty was the ambassador to Japan and head of Tennessee’s Trump Victory campaign. However, in 2016 Hagerty was also a Bush delegate to the RNC convention in Cleveland. According to AP, Hagerty is “A longtime friend and adviser to former presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, Hagerty also worked on the White House domestic policy staff during the George H.W. Bush administration…”
Color me silly or naive, but Bill Hagerty seems rather “swampish” to this writer.
We on the Right must take notice of the cohesiveness on the Left. There is a world of difference between the GOP and Democrats, but the Democrats hold together better than Republicans. Doug Jones voted against the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh representing a state that Trump won by 28 points. Both Jones and Manchin voted for conviction in the Senate impeachment trial and Manchin represents a state that Trump won by 40 points. To wit, Democrat legislators deep in “enemy territory” consistently vote with their party. Can the GOP say the same? And when it comes to key issues like health care, immigration, the transgender agenda, and judicial nominees, Manchin and Jones likewise cannot be “conservative” or even moderate. They may say the right thing and use the correct political buzzwords (a/k/a BS), but they will vote with the Democrats. Does anyone really think Joe Manchin and Doug Jones will vote to defund Planned Parenthood? But rest assured, we pretty much know that despite the pro-life talk and their “A” ratings from pro-life groups, there are many Republicans who will back down.
In reality, not much has changed in the Trump era. There are still many Republican politicians- challengers and incumbents- who say the right thing to conservatives every two to six years to curry votes only to let down conservatives once elected.
As sure as March follows February, we will witness new dramas unfolding on the side of the Democrats. But what bearing does their drama have on conservatives? Nobody on the Right is going to have one iota of influence on who the Democrats choose. Granted…it’s great entertainment. But as we all laugh at that clown show as we eat our popcorn, will our side field candidates below the Presidential level who will provide a bold contrast to whoever or whatever the Democrats put forth?
Either we support conservative candidates, or we can bitch about and criticize the Mitt Romneys and the Lisa Murkowskis in the Republican Party from now until doomsday.