by Rod D. Martin
July 30, 2015
A lot of people are upset with “the Republicans” and some say there is no path forward in supporting “them.” I got a note today to that effect:
There are not now two, distinct, major political parties. There are only Big Statists and Little Statists. Expecting the GOP to be anything other than Little Statists is unrealistic.
As if Ted Cruz and Karl Rove are identical.
Now I’m a huge fan of Angelo Codevilla’s The Ruling Class, and I’ve given away tons of copies (if you haven’t read it, you must). But that’s just the point. Codevilla distinguishes between “the ruling class” and “the country class” and in doing so, points out the massive divide between Beltway Republicans and everyone else, including virtually all other Republicans, elected and otherwise. Those inside — in both parties — tend to share common interests that are opposed to the rest of us who are not.
But even granting that disconnect between the Beltway GOP and the rest of us, how are Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Louie Gohmert, Clarence Thomas et al. not “inside”?
There is a civil war inside, one facilitated by good candidates and countless activists through the primary process. Our enemies are indeed in control. But our friends are ascendant. There aren’t enough of them. But we’re about to have another election.
Do we have to win every seat, everywhere? No. Let’s be serious: most of the cowards — the ones who vote with their leadership or with the Democrats while pretending at home to be opposed — would vote with our friends if our friends controlled committee assignments and campaign funds.
We need numbers. Not every seat everywhere. But enough to change the leadership, and with it, the narrative.
But the fact that Ted Cruz is not Majority Leader or Louie Gohmert Speaker is not the same thing as “the Republicans are all sell outs.” They aren’t.
Codevilla is certainly not guilty of this, but far too many Republicans are. Pitting this as “all of us” vs. “the Republicans” or “the GOP” just disillusions the voters, donors and activists who must stand with our better leaders, our insurgents in Washington as it were, if they are to have any chance of success.
And they absolutely do have that chance. Donald Trump isn’t ahead because people fully understand all the ins and outs of his positions (I certainly don’t): he’s ahead because he’s (loudly) not the Establishment. Scott Walker was beating Jeb Bush almost from the outset. As of July 1, Ted Cruz already had over 120,000 donors. Bush had 12,000: less than a tenth! For perspective, the entire Republican field had 79,000 donors combined at this point in 2007. And you may have missed it, because the media focused on the numbers most favorable to Bush, but Cruz raised 30% more hard money than Bush, in half the time.
People are fed up, not just with RINOs but with anyone who speaks in the language of Washington. There are far more good people inside the Beltway than there were in 2009. And the fact that they aren’t making the impact we’d prefer is not for lack of trying (note well Cruz’s filibuster and government shutdown), but rather a combination of numbers, seniority (Boehner and McConnell were there long before the Tea Party) and twice losing the White House.
Lumping all Republicans together at the very moment when we can finally break through — and when we absolutely must — is both inaccurate and unhelpful. No matter how discouraged, we must avoid this laziness both of thinking and of speech. We’re about to have a primary. It will take every one of us and everything we have to beat the Republican Establishment, much less the Democrats afterward.
But we can: the numbers couldn’t be clearer. This is not the time for bellyaching, but rather the time to rally the troops and resources for that fight.