The old Buckley Rule is that we should back the most conservative candidate who can win the general election.What I find more and more is that the NRSC and others declare the person most committed to the status quo the most conservative and work to convince the rest of us that the others are too far right to get elected.What I have decided is that the Buckley Rule is a stupid rule because it is not a rule, but a saying jackasses use to crap on candidates they don’t like. They did not think Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Pat Toomey and many others in the Senate and House were electable.While they would point out, similarly, a list of conservatives who did not win, I’d say that’s the point. Views on electability differ and I don’t think you or I should take anyone else’s word for it. We should see for ourselves.RedState’s rule is simple. We back the conservative in the primary and the Republican in the general. If fortune smiles, we wind up beating the squish in the primary and winning the general. It does not always work out that way, but often it does. There are a lot of Republican incumbents who suck. They are neither kings, nor princes, nor dukes. They do not get to dwell in the seat until they themselves decide to vacate the seat. The people are allowed to boot them out of the seat.And I’m happy to help do that.I aim to win in 2014. I hope to help the GOP take back the Senate and keep the House. But I see no reason to advance on the Democrats with men and women little better than the Democrats they seek to replace. The guy from the NRSC at the RedState Gathering posited that no Republican should ever run against any incumbent Republican. In fact, he said the NRSC would do all it could to defend every incumbent against every Republican challenger and, taking it a step further, insisted that if they had to spend all their money foolishly on primaries and run out of money in the general elections and lose, it’d be conservatives to blame, not the NRSC for not knowing when to fold. The NRSC has become an organization committed to incumbent protection, not actually winning.So be it. We Republicans who value our principles should not give free rides to any incumbent solely by virtue of their incumbency. We conservatives should relish the opportunity to become scalp collectors. If the NRSC goes broke defending incumbents that Republicans in states seek to replace with better candidates, I am more than willing to help them go broke. And neither I nor you are alone in that willingness.
By Erick Erickson | 9:02 PM on August 05, 2013
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