August 21, 2012
An Open Letter to Republicans (Especially Conservatives) in America:
Do you not learn any type of lessons? They said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I guess that is also the definition of conservatism in voting.
For the second third election cycle, conservatives have chosen Senate candidates who cannot or will not win. Let’s look at them, shall we:
2008 (-8 seats and GOP loss of Senate)
- Colorado: Bob Schaffer and his ties to Abramoff; lost a GOP seat
- New Mexico: Steve Pearce, too conservative for the state; lost a GOP seat
- Virginia: Jim Gilmore, failed 2008 presidential nominee; lost a GOP seat
2010 (+6 seats, but not enough to retake control)
- Alaska: Joe Miller and the handcuffed journalist; held a GOP seat due to write-in by incumbent Murkowski
- Colorado: Ken Buck instead of more popular, moderate Jane Norton; failed pickup opportunity, Dem retain
- Connecticut: Linda McMahon instead of more moderate Rob Simmons; failed pickup opportunity, Dem retain
- Delaware: Christine freaking O’Donnell over Mike Castle. Castle would have picked up this seat in a blowout….gosh darn, this still makes me mad; failed pickup opportunity, Dem retains.
- Nevada: Sharon Angle instead of…anyone; failed pickup opportunity, Dem retains
2012 (yet to be determined)
- Connecticut: Linda McMahon (again) over more moderate Chris Shays: Dem favorite to retain
- Indiana: Richard Murdock over incumbent Richard Lugar; tossup status
- Maine: Conservative grassroots HATE Olympia Snowe, pushing her into retirement, easily losing this seat; Dem favorite to pickup
- Missouri: Todd Akin over Brunner or Steelman; one gaffe makes this a tossup versus GOP pickup
I will acknowledge the GOP base in some states made excellent decisions (Heather Wilson in NM, Tommy Thompson in WI) but Senate control is going to come down to 1 or 2 seats we could have won with better candidates.
The GOP base has to stop putting a litmus test on their candidates. You have to run the right Republican for certain states. Scott Brown isn’t the most conservative, but he’s the right Republican for Massachusetts. Same with Olympia Snowe/Susan Collins in Maine. The Democrats mastered this, picking up seats in 2006 and 2008 by running more moderate/conservative Democrats in states that lean more moderate/conservative: Florida, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, Louisiana.
If the GOP can’t win the Senate back in 2012, 2014 has to be the year if the right people are chosen for the right states. You have pickup opportunities in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, West Virginia, Montana, New Hampshire, and North Carolina and no GOP seats in moderate states up for grabs except Maine, and Susan Collins is the right choice for Maine. At the least, 2014 should be a GOP +6 year (and a guaranteed GOP +3 year, because no way Begich, Pryor, or Landrieu are re-elected).
Don’t screw it up, guys. Stop putting ideological purity before elections. If you run the most conservative candidate and they lose, what was the point? Better to have someone who votes with you 80% of the time than someone who votes with you 20% of the time.