Forget the Presidential race. We can get back to it another day. This is the most important fight for the conservative movement in America right now and it happens next week.
Well, it was going to happen in January. But conservatives started gaining momentum. Naturally, Mitch McConnell had to go try to pull the rug out from under conservatives. Far be it for fresh ideas to enter into the hallowed corridors of Senate Republican power.
I’m talking about the Senate Republicans’ leadership fight for Vice Chairman of the Republican Conference. There is an election to fill that seat.
The election was to be held in January. The only declared candidate was Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin (HAFA Score 91%). But then Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri (HAFA Score 64%) announced this week he wanted the job too. Immediately after announcing his entry, Senator Mitch McConnell moved the election up from January to next week and began whipping votes on behalf of Senator Roy Blunt. [UPDATE: A McConnell staffer tells me Senator McConnell is not whipping for Senator Blunt. Actual senators tell me McConnell is whipping for Senator Blunt.]
Both Senators Blunt and Johnson are freshman senators. But prior to 2010, Senator Blunt spent 14 years in the House of Representatives. Prior to 2010, Senator Johnson was the CEO of a private manufacturing firm in Wisconsin.
I like both senators tremendously, but for conservatives Ron Johnson is a no brainer here. Senator Blunt’s thinking is the same thinking that has plagued Senate Republicans for a decade now — the same old ideas and same old strategies.
Ron Johnson is also one of the very unique bridge builders between conservatives and the establishment. He was the one Senate candidate in 2010 that both the GOP Establishment and Tea Party agreed on. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund, and RedState all aligned behind Senator Johnson in the primary.
One might think Senator McConnell and his colleagues would want to find some level of truce with conservatives and give them a seat at the table with Senator Johnson. Instead, they are ramping up the election to shut us out.
If we really want the Senate GOP to turn the corner, we need guys like Ron Johnson at the table. It is important that if you have a Republican Senator you call them today and ask them to support Senator Johnson for Senate Republican Conference Vice Chairman.
Frankly, rejecting Johnson for a seat at the table will be a big sign that the Senate GOP needs further cleaning in the primaries.