Politics is a funny thing. Sometimes, the seemingly counterintuitive can become the reality, what you would not expect – based upon common sense – nevertheless is what happens. Much of this has to do with the fact that in a political system such as ours, it is easy for factional interests to become entrenched, pursuing politics for the sake of remaining in power rather than for the good of those they claim to represent. In such cases, you will find the entrenched power acting in ways that, to the uninitiated, often seem obtuse and nonsensical.
Such seems to be the case with the Republican Party. Conservatives have observed time and time again that the Party which supposedly represents their interests in our system nevertheless seems to take them for granted. Worse than this, often the entrenched interests within the Party hierarchy – commonly referred to collectively as the Establishment or the “GOP-E” – seem to be actively hostile to conservatives within the Party, often going to great lengths to stifle and block them at every turn.
There are few places where this becomes more apparent than in the way the GOP-E deals with conservative candidates who defeat moderate, Establishment candidates in primary races, or who misstep and provide an opening to the GOP-E for attack. Indeed, the Republican Party seems to be the only Party in living memory that actively seeks to destroy the electoral chances of its own candidates just to enforce the entrenched Establishment’s vision for the Party. In doing so, they don’t just hurt conservatives within their Party, but they actual help the Democrats retain seats and have greater opportunity to damage the nation as a whole.
The Democrats certainly don’t do this. Instead, that Party is more than happy to run seemingly right-leaning candidates in conservative districts in an effort to bolster their own chances for taking and retaining power. In 2008, a goodly portion of the Democratic wave was made up of quasi-conservative office-seekers attacking Republicans from their right flank, taking conservative congressional districts all across the South, the Midwest, and the Mountain West – traditionally areas of Republican strength. The GOP-E, for its part, has no problem reminding conservatives that in left-leaning districts, the Republicans who run need to be more towards the center – and in this they have a valid argument, up to a point. Yet, the GOP-E seems to also want centrist or liberal candidates for the Republican Party even in districts and states that conservatives can easily win. Hence, the seemingly nonsensical push for thoroughly unnecessary “moderate” Republicans, which only ends up undermining conservative enthusiasm, loyalty to the Party, and ultimately donation and turnout on Election Day. The GOP-E goes to great lengths to undercut conservative candidates across the country, placing its own narrow Establishment interests ahead of those of the nation and the Party as a whole.
Take, for instance, the curious case of Todd Akin, running for the Senate in Missouri. Read more from this story HERE.