I would argue that it’s time we stop calling the Republican Party leadership “Republican.” I’m tired of people tying me to politicians like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Olympia Snowe, Mitch McConnell, etc. My views are oftentimes opposed to these folks, yet somehow they lead the Party I generally follow. How is that possible? I think that there must be a very real difference between Republicans (like myself) and the establishment Republicans who seem to lead our Party.
A recent Pew survey seems to verify the way I feel about our leadership. The majority of Republicans feel like the party must move further to the right. “Conservatives and those who agree with the Tea Party overwhelmingly favor moving in a more conservative direction, while moderates and liberals would like to see the party take more centrist positions. Yet the more moderate wing of the party is a minority generally, and makes up an even smaller share of the likely primary electorate.”
The starkest difference between Republicans and the Party itself is that roughly half of Republicans feel that the Party is not conservative enough on government spending. If we think back several summers ago to the birth of the Tea Party movement, the issue of government spending and taxes was their raison d’etre. The problems that gave birth to the Tea Party have not changed, and a large portion of Republicans want their Party to focus more on cutting taxes and spending.
The problem is that our leaders are the same guys who were part of the taxing and spending problems. We’ve watched them give in on “debt ceiling hikes” and other spending measures over and over again. There is no way we can trust them to become fiscally conservative when these leaders have been fiscal moderates their entire careers.
In a brilliant article, John Hawkins makes some great points about why the GOP “establishment” cannot be trusted. I cherry picked a couple of my favorites that really speak to the reason our leadership just can’t be trusted.
First, the leadership always lies about their conservative beliefs:
“When Democrats run for office, they lie about being moderates to get elected and then move to the Left. When Republicans run for office, they lie about being conservative and then move to the middle. So, when Barack Obama lies, it’s a lie about pretending to oppose gay marriage. On the other hand, when Republicans like Marco Rubio lie, it’s a lie about opposing amnesty for illegals. What that means is that there is never a time when conservatives can trust Republicans in Congress to just do the right thing. Every time gun control, immigration or spending comes up, we have to ramp the pressure all the way up just to get the Republicans in Congress to do the jobs they were sent to Congress to do in the first place.”
Secondly, they always back the more liberal candidate in a primary:
“It backed Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey, David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz, Bob Bennett over Mike Lee, Trey Grayson over Rand Paul and Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio. Our two top “leaders” in the Senate, Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, both endorsed Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio, a guy who is now being touted as one of the frontrunners for the presidency in 2016.“
Lastly, they’re not “movement “ conservatives:
“They’re not bad people (Well, Frum and Megan McCain may be) and we would likely agree on a lot of things, but they’re not movement conservatives. Their agenda is not our agenda, their goals are not our goals, and that means that ultimately, we can never trust them the way liberals can trust politicians like Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid.”
More proof (not that any is needed) can be seen when we look at where the big money flows to in our party. Recently the GOP’s biggest donors joined Karl Rove and the GOP establishment to push for the GOP to embrace the Gang of Eight Senate immigration reform. The difficulty for Republican lawmakers is that the vast majority of actual GOP voters do not support the immigration reform legislation. They use their money and influence to try to supplant the voice of the people and force OUR representatives to vote against our collective will.
Rush Limbaugh, who has long been the loudest voice for average Republican voters, is once again leading the way for Republicans. There was a time when he might have been considered part of the establishment, but not today. Rush is now advocating the potential overthrow of the Party leadership. “They’re not particularly crazy about conservatives… The Republican Party wants a new base.”
The point is obvious, isn’t it? The GOP leadership doesn’t speak for the Republican Party at large. In fact, we seemingly have two parties moving in different directions, and each side gets mad at the other when they do things their way. The answer is not a break-up, but an overthrow of the party leadership. It’s time to rid ourselves of “establishment” Republicans who don’t really speak for any large portion of the base. We’ve tried it their way, now it’s time they do it our way.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com