Newest GOP primary target: Mike Lee?

posted at 11:21 am on October 23, 2013 by Allahpundit

The establishment strikes back. Well, the Utah establishment anyway.

One word, my friends: RINOlution.

As a result, Lee’s approval ratings in Utah have cratered, and prominent Republicans and local business executives are openly discussing the possibility of mounting a primary challenge against him. Top Republicans are also maneuvering to redesign the party’s nomination system in a way that would likely make it more difficult for Lee to win reelection in 2016…

Spencer Zwick, a Utah native and national finance chairman for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, was more direct, calling Lee a “show horse” who “just wants to be a spectacle.”

“Business leaders that I talk to, many of whom supported him, would never support his reelection and in fact will work against him, myself included,” Zwick said…

“You don’t have ideological wack-jobs,” [former Utah Gov. Jon] Huntsman said. “For all of its labeling as a red state, underneath it all Utah is a pretty pragmatic Western state, a just-get-it-done ethos.”

There’s a lot going on here. One: Whatever you think of Lee’s “defund” strategy, he’s not just a “show horse.” Last month he introduced a credible tax reform plan to help the middle class that was widely well received by conservative wonks. One of the misfortunes of “defund” is that it sucked away some deserved attention Lee might have gotten for that proposal. Two: Not all of this is local Utah politics. As Erika noted the other day, business interests nationally are quietly organizing to target populist Republicans who were willing to risk an economic hit from a shutdown in the name of waging a broader ideological battle. John McCain, in fact, admitted that it was business groups that have been urging him to run again in 2016, knowing that he’ll be a bulwark against the populists in the Senate. Utah is one front in a wider war. Three: Some of this is local Utah politics. It was Bob Bennett, remember, who was ousted in the first big grassroots tea-party coup against longtime GOP incumbents in 2010. Mike Lee is the guy who replaced him. Establishment figures in Utah, whether out of disdain for Lee’s style, friendship with Bennett, or pique at having lost their pipeline to influence in Congress might be looking for revenge. Knocking off the man who knocked off Bennett and replacing him with someone more centrist would be a huge symbolic victory for the establishment both in Utah and nationally.

But how will they do it? Aha:

Even before the shutdown brought Mr. Lee to national prominence, some Utah party and business leaders had begun a $1 million petition drive to overturn the state’s caucus system that brought him to power. That system, which gives grass roots delegates a large say in picking party nominees, toppled incumbent GOP Sen. Robert Bennett —a more conventional conservative—in 2010 amid a wave of anger over passage of the health-care law. Mr. Lee went on to win the seat that November…

Republican circles are now rife with talk of who might challenge Mr. Lee in 2016. So far, no one is firmly raising a hand. But the Count My Vote initiative to do away with the state’s caucus system, backed by many of the state’s largest GOP donors and business names, represents perhaps the best-organized effort in the country to counteract the tea-party wave in the 2010 elections.

Mr. Lee could face a tougher route to re-election in 2016 if GOP caucuses are replaced with a direct primary. That would allow a more centrist candidate to make an appeal to all Republican voters, not just the activists who dominate caucuses, political observers say.

It’s hard to beat a tea partier at a GOP caucus/convention. Passionate grassroots righties will turn out in force while squishy centrists won’t and there’s little that money can do to change that. Replace the convention with a statewide primary, though, and then you can carpet-bomb Lee, who’s not a prolific fundraiser, with ads. His support has taken a hit with voters there: A BYU poll conducted during the shutdown put his favorable rating at just 40 percent, which doesn’t tell you much about where it’ll be come 2016 but feels weak enough to have several potential big-name challengers buzzing. One, per WaPo, is the former chair of the state GOP, who admits openly that he’s considering running because he’s “exasperated” with Lee; another is Dan Liljenquist, who tried to unseat Orrin Hatch last year in the primary and who published an op-ed two weeks ago criticizing Lee for having damaged his effectiveness in the Senate. Huntsman would be another obvious possibility, although grassroots conservatives’ contempt for him as a supreme “No Labels” RINO might galvanize more tea-party support for Lee than a lower-profile challenger would. Per the Journal, some people are even batting around the idea of backing one of Mitt Romney’s sons to unseat Lee. Dave Weigel notes that Romney ran far better in 2012 in Utah than Lee did in the big Republican year of 2010, so the Romney brand is a real asset.

Key question: Will national establishment Republican groups get involved or will a primary against one of the heroes of “defund” be too hot for them to risk in 2016? They’ll be sorely tempted to jump in — not because they have any special animosity for Lee, who’s way more low-key in his criticisms of them than a loud-and-proud flamboyant populist like Ted Cruz is, but because at a minimum they might be able to suck tea-party money into Utah to protect that seat and away from primary challenges to GOP incumbents in other states. If they can force TPers to fight there, they’ll take that — putting the grassroots on the defensive means they’re less of a threat to go on offense elsewhere. If they can’t force TPers to fight there, they’ll take that too — that’ll leave Lee in real jeopardy of being primaried, which, like I said above, would be a big symbolic victory for RINOs everywhere. Then again, at the rate we’re going, the GOP and the tea party will be two fully separate entities by 2016, so maybe this is all academic.


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How dare he try to stop Obamacare!

forest on October 23, 2013 at 11:23 AM

“You don’t have ideological wack-jobs,”

When fighting for fiscal sanity, and against the biggest entitlement program since welfare and medicare becomes “ideologically wackjobiness”– then the GOP is dead..

melle1228 on October 23, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Lee will crush whomever does the establishment’s bidding and dares try to unseat him.

bluegill on October 23, 2013 at 11:26 AM

You related to Allah Huntsman, AP?

NotCoach on October 23, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Two: Not all of this is local Utah politics. As Erika noted the other day, business interests nationally are quietly organizing to target populist Republicans who were willing to risk an economic hit from a shutdown in the name of waging a broader ideological battle.

A PARTIAL shutdown. 28% of federal workers were furloughed.

slickwillie2001 on October 23, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Spencer Zwick and Jon Huntsman? Sounds like sour grapes.

monalisa on October 23, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Mika and joe are thrilled

cmsinaz on October 23, 2013 at 11:28 AM

I knew this one would make the main page…Bif is so upset he said, “I’m going to tell my dad about this”

d1carter on October 23, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Like I said in my headlines post, the “establishment” Republicans here, including the Big Name in local opinion, Doug Wright, is fully on board this push to kill Lee. They fully embrace this attempt to kill the “Tea Party.”

But I think Obama’s going to screw it up for them with a spectacular face plant on Obamacare…. proving Lee was right.

I’m more worried about the push to kill the caucus system here–they really are going full out. And their explicit goal is to weaken the “Radicals”.

Vanceone on October 23, 2013 at 11:29 AM

I say, BRING IT, BANKERS!
The rank & file will grind you to a pulp in Utah, just as they do in Texas. Two days notice to prep for a rally and 1400 people show up to give Ted Cruz a 13 minute ovation in Arlington, Texas. Only one of SEVERAL such rallies down here.

michaelo on October 23, 2013 at 11:29 AM

“You don’t have ideological wack-jobs,” [former Utah Gov. Jon] Huntsman said.

John Huntsman Sr doesn’t have a backbone.

I’ll take “wack-job” over spineless appeaser.

portlandon on October 23, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Spencer Zwick, a Utah native and national finance chairman for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, was more direct, calling Lee a “show horse” who “just wants to be a spectacle.”

All that and yet not one word about how hate-filled and, at times, downright murderous, is the Mormon “Church”? C’mon, willya, present the entire story.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on October 23, 2013 at 11:30 AM

RINOlution

It figures that the only people the Establishment will actually fight is the Tea Party. If they could get up half as much ire over the Dems, they might actually find they could accomplish something. Of course, that supposes that they would ever want to, which seems doubtful.

Bitter Clinger on October 23, 2013 at 11:30 AM

“You don’t have ideological wack-jobs,” [former Utah Gov. Jon] Huntsman said.

Criticizing Lee on tactics might get some traction, but attacking on ideology just shows that the attacker is a progressive. Lee was trying to stop Obamacare. Is ideological opposition to the Obamacare train wreck wacky?

forest on October 23, 2013 at 11:31 AM

This is the same Mo split Beck alludes to on ocassion.

Lot of Cali tech money went into that state and it’s never been the same.

budfox on October 23, 2013 at 11:31 AM

The Empire Strikes Back.

abobo on October 23, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Criticizing Lee on tactics might get some traction, but attacking on ideology just shows that the attacker is a progressive. Lee was trying to stop Obamacare. Is ideological opposition to the Obamacare train wreck wacky?

forest on October 23, 2013 at 11:31 AM

For Huntsman it is. Remember, he was willing to take a job from Obama.

Bitter Clinger on October 23, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Key question: Will national establishment Republican groups get involved or will a primary against one of the heroes of “defund” be too hot for them to risk in 2016?

Sure, if they’re eager to be in the minority in Congress and hand the White House to the Dems for a 3rd straight term.

Doughboy on October 23, 2013 at 11:33 AM

I don’t necessarily agree that Lee should be replaced, but the caucus system for primaries is undemocratic and should be junked. I don’t care whether they’re conservative activists or moderate party bosses, nobody should be deciding who a nominee should be in a smoke-filled back room.

Any candidate who expects to win a general election should have to face a proper primary of all the state’s GOP voters.

KingGold on October 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM

I say, BRING IT, BANKERS!

michaelo on October 23, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Bankers?

thebrokenrattle on October 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM

The Vichy Republicans fight harder and get more indignant with conservative Republicans.

portlandon on October 23, 2013 at 11:36 AM

These Business Groups and establishment suckers better be careful. The more they protest, the more populist it is going to get. And in turn make their life more difficult.

antisocial on October 23, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Huntsman: pro-amnesty, anti-tea party, habitually accepting and furthering liberal talking points, endlessly going on about how “extreme” conservatives are, always whining about “purity” tests whenever anyone dares express preference for a genuine, principled conservative. For “No Labels Conservative” and Morning Joe favorite Huntsman, the principled conservative is always at fault.

bluegill on October 23, 2013 at 11:37 AM

The GOPe does not want to win another national election do they. They are willing to split the party in order to keep their graft going. I guess they’ll just kiss dem azz because it makes no difference to them and their business cronies where they get their money and power.

I for one am ready to leave the party. Let it all burn.

Vince on October 23, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Vanceone on October 23, 2013 at 11:2

Having lived in the Midwest for many years, one of the weirdest things in Utah is the caucus system. I found it truly bizarre. Maybe where you live only the high information voters showed up, but in my district, everybody showed up. And I found the caucus unsettling, because I saw people who started out being against Hatch being swayed by having prominent locals looking at them while they voted. Seemed very lefty to me.

Kristamatic on October 23, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Any candidate who expects to win a general election should have to face a proper primary of all the state’s GOP voters.

KingGold on October 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Depends on the state. Not all of them have closed primaries. The rats have been known to show up to help the GOP pick their candidate. I’m okay with some other method if the enemy is going to rig the results of a primary.

Happy Nomad on October 23, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Big crony strikes back.

the_nile on October 23, 2013 at 11:42 AM

I don’t give a rip what Benedict Huntsman or others of his ilk have to say.

The Republican party civil was is ON! Bring it, RINO squishes!

Common Sense Floridian on October 23, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Lee was trying to stop Obamacare. Is ideological opposition to the Obamacare train wreck wacky?

forest on October 23, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Haven’t you heard? They think small government conservatives are now “right wing extremists.” I am quite sure that the things self-styled “Republican moderates” are saying on the internet are being said by Republican officials behind closed doors (and not as much as they used to, given how loud they got during the shutdown).

Doomberg on October 23, 2013 at 11:42 AM

I think this is wishful thinking among Utah Democrats, who are in a distinct minority. Among Republicans in Utah, I only hear support for Lee and for what he tried to accomplish. Lee has always rubbed liberals in Utah raw, but Utah hasn’t changed it’s reputation as the reddest state in the Union over night.

Owain on October 23, 2013 at 11:43 AM

For every RINO in Utah there are 15 Tea Partiers

Windsweeping on October 23, 2013 at 11:44 AM

We all need to fund Mike Lee.

F*ck the RINOS!!

HondaV65 on October 23, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Soo, what you’re saying here is “Send DeMint money.”

Alrighty then; I’ll do that.

M240H on October 23, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Spencer Zwick, a Utah native and national finance chairman for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign,

If this guy had any sense of shame he would never open his mouth in public, again, after having been part of that pathetically disastrous Mittens campaign.

The saddest part of the American Socialist Superstate is that people who have been utter failures and incompetents have no compunction about getting on a soapbox and publicly parading more of their retarded lunacy. Affirmative action has finally reached down to include inept morons (sans skin) in the list of protected groups.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on October 23, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Meanwhile, it Arkansas:

Arkansans Blame Democrats for the Shutdown

From Arkansas Business, some evidence that not everybody blames Republicans for the shutdown — even in a state with a Democratic governor and a Democratic senator:

Results from the 15th annual Arkansas Poll, conducted by the University of Arkansas, found respondants blaming President Barack Obama and the Democrats for the partial government shutdown.

The poll, conducted from Oct. 10-17, also showed declining approval ratings for Arkansas’ two Senators, Republican John Boozman and Democrat Mark Pryor, who faces a tough re-election challenge by U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

When it came to the partial federal government shutdown, Arkansans blamed the president and Democrats. A full 37 percent of respondents and 39 percent of likely voters blamed President Obama and the Democrats for the shutdown. Only 26 percent of respondents and 27 percent of likely voters blamed the Republicans in Congress.

Likewise, generic ballot questions went in Republicans’ favor:

The poll found the 2014 elections “too close to call” but that likely voters “were more likely to choose someone from the Republican Party” in elections for the U.S. House of Representatives or state Legislature for which no candidates were specified. In all, the poll found likely voters “leaning right.”

None of this is to say that the Republicans didn’t sustain damage during the shutdown, nor that Republicans didn’t sustain more damage than Democrats overall. And the usual caveats apply: generic ballots are pretty useless and the 2014 elections are a long way away and were never likely to hinge on a partial government shutdown in late 2013. What this does demonstrate is that the story is more complex than some have suggested. Would that those making breathless predictions remembered as much.

Resist We Much on October 23, 2013 at 11:47 AM

When this type of attempt occurs, the sound you will hear. Is the sound of folks fed up with the GOPe leaving. Whigs.

Bmore on October 23, 2013 at 11:49 AM

And while we engage in internecine warfare, the Dems take all of government.

Thanks Ted, ‘ppreciate it.

bobs1196 on October 23, 2013 at 11:51 AM

I think this is wishful thinking among Utah Democrats, who are in a distinct minority. Among Republicans in Utah, I only hear support for Lee and for what he tried to accomplish. Lee has always rubbed liberals in Utah raw, but Utah hasn’t changed it’s reputation as the reddest state in the Union over night.

Owain on October 23, 2013 at 11:43 AM

This is exactly right. We moved to Utah a few years ago from Ohio. In Ohio, the Tea Party had to have rallies and put out yard signs and be really vociferous and get their message out. Here- Tea Party is so much the default state, that people don’t even really identify themselves as Tea Party- they don’t have to. People are died in the wool conservative. Conservative thought is common, acceptable and expected. Coming from lefty North Eastern Ohio, I find Utah to be delightful. All this blather from our token Progressives in just noise.

Kristamatic on October 23, 2013 at 11:52 AM

bobs1196 on October 23, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Enjoy your Whigs.

Bmore on October 23, 2013 at 11:52 AM

I don’t know. If others are like me, I am sick of it. I’m tired of being called a stingy racist because I want to enjoy the life I am still working hard to keep. I will probably get over it but right now I don’t see us coming out of this in anyway near what the Founders expected.

Cindy Munford on October 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM

I think if party incumbents, long-time Washington denizens, their political operatives in the states and groups like the Chamber of Commerce want a civil war, they are going to get it. Most party members, what’s left of them anyway, have nothing to lose at this point anyway. The answers (and responses) are not coming from Congress anyway.

Just be prepared for one thing; continued electoral irrelevance.

The people in Washington, no matter which side of the aisle they sit on, are largely responsible for the problems we face today.

In a lucid moment, you would think the GOP would figure this out and fight for the people- instead of trying to destroy other party members and wasting precious resources.

Instead, they are going to undermine popular candidates and use the party apparatus against other members, instead of the Democrats who are clearly superior strategists (and growing despotic masters) in the political arena.

By the way, you won’t be doing any of that with my donations. They’re staying in my wallet.

Marcus Traianus on October 23, 2013 at 11:54 AM

How this all turns out depends on how much of disaster Obamacare is going to perceived to be. While I think Obamacare is the type of disaster that should aid Cruz and Lee, I suspect that the MSM will find some way to lie about it such that Cruz and Lee don’t gain from the disaster.

thuja on October 23, 2013 at 11:54 AM

business interests nationally are quietly organizing to target populist Republicans who were willing to risk an economic hit from a shutdown in the name of waging a broader ideological battle.

Weren’t there some guys who once said “We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor”?

tnjeff on October 23, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Cindy Munford on October 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM

I think it is going to come down to the States exerting their rights. I expect we will see more and more civil disobedience, which will spread to state governments.

Kristamatic on October 23, 2013 at 11:56 AM

What’s happening in VA is going to happen all over the country if the fake “Conservatives” get there way. Terry McAuliffe is one of the most corrupt politicians in history and he is winning because the “Conservatives” think they can purify the Republican Party.

It is all a ruse.

These conservatives are actually socialists they don’t want to admit they like the direction the Democrats are taking the country so they are “purifying” the Republican Party to make sure the Democrats can “fix” the country.

“Conservatives” are socialists in conservative clothing.

Stop believing them.

petunia on October 23, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Cindy Munford on October 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM

You are exactly right, ma’am…as usual.

Is it just me, y’all, or is the pressure against Reagan (i.e., Tea Party) Conservatives basically coming from The Vichy Republicans, the Democrats and the Main Stream Media?

The people I’ve spoken to, in America’s heartland, and down here in Dixie, are solidly behind the efforts of Lee, Cruz, Palin, West, and other Conservative Leaders. Average Americans are sick and tired of the Washingtonian Status Quo.

kingsjester on October 23, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Please. 3 years is an eternity for political purposes. This is utterly meaningless.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on October 23, 2013 at 11:58 AM

“Conservatives” are socialists in conservative clothing.

Stop believing them.

petunia on October 23, 2013 at 11:56 AM

You are a sheep.

Schadenfreude on October 23, 2013 at 11:58 AM

antisocial on October 23, 2013 at 11:37 AM
michaelo on October 23, 2013 at 11:29 AM
Vince on October 23, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Sounding quite a bit like Occupy Wall Street in here.

thebrokenrattle on October 23, 2013 at 11:59 AM

What we need is more Mitch McConnell, Johnny Mc and Peter King!

d1carter on October 23, 2013 at 11:59 AM

In America

Schadenfreude on October 23, 2013 at 11:59 AM

And while we engage in internecine warfare, the Dems take all of government.

Thanks Ted, ‘ppreciate it.

bobs1196 on October 23, 2013 at 11:51 AM

You are like the MSM who blames the Repubs for their failure to negotiate in the shutdown.

The warfare has to do with the GOPe coming out and calling their own party members “wackobirds” “extremists” etc. I see the GOPe starting war on the tea party-not the other way around.

Thanks bobs,appreciate it.

melle1228 on October 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

For every RINO in Utah there are 15 Tea Partiers

Windsweeping on October 23, 2013 at 11:44 AM

If that were true, you should want a Utah GOP senate primary in 2016. I would be tremendously shocked if the establishment candidate against Lee didn’t get at least 40% of the vote. I think an establishment would face good odds of winning.

thuja on October 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

d1carter on October 23, 2013 at 11:59 AM

I know you, so, you made me laugh with that one.

kingsjester on October 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

So the GOP establishment is trying purge its ranks of the only people who were trying to do anything about the travesties of this Obama administration.

What a disappointing joke they have become.

Sterling Holobyte on October 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM

From a lib:

Democrats Are Stupid, Too

Even many Republicans agree that they lost the battle over the shutdown and the debt ceiling. The Tea Party walked the country to the edge of economic ruin and their party to the edge of political catastrophe until Republican leaders in Congress flinched. Maneuvering themselves into that defeat was an act of insane recklessness by Republicans and a political gaffe of the first order. Perhaps they’ll do it again in a few months.

Democrats, though, have little to celebrate — and I’m not talking about the shambolic rollout of the health-insurance exchanges. Republicans saw their approval numbers sink with the debt-ceiling standoff, but not nearly as badly as you might have guessed. This should be making Democrats think…

Mild Backlash

Why has the anti-Republican backlash, such as it is, been so mild? Here’s an obvious yet strangely neglected answer: Much of the electorate, while deploring the Tea Party’s nihilistic tactics, thinks the movement has a point.

News flash: Most Americans don’t share the Democratic Party’s instinctive devotion to higher taxes and a bigger federal government. An enraged and unhinged minority of voters apparently wants to see the liberal agenda attacked by any means necessary, even if it means paralyzing the government and wrecking the economy. But a far wider segment wants to see the progressive program at least questioned and held in check — and who will do that, if not the Republican Party?

Continue…

Resist We Much on October 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM

The GOP needs to quit fighting, I hear the term RINO thrown around so much I’m not sure I know who it applies to anymore.

There is one central theme in all these polls (whether it be the Esquire, NBC/WSJ, AP or any other recent poll) that should unite us all, government is too big and intrusive in our lives.

Tater Salad on October 23, 2013 at 12:02 PM

The RINOs underestimate the grass roots and a couple of Sarah Palin fundraisers at their own peril.

Dongemaharu on October 23, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Thank you Messrs Cruz/Lee for exposing the thugs in the GOP. We already knew the ones in the Pelosi/Reid/obama camp and the media.

Schadenfreude on October 23, 2013 at 12:03 PM

kingsjester on October 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

LOL…I’m looking forward to the fight.

d1carter on October 23, 2013 at 12:03 PM

d1carter on October 23, 2013 at 11:59 AM

I know you, so, you made me laugh with that one.

kingsjester on October 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Practice trolling. Gonna take an awful lot of practice for d1carter. Lolz!

Bmore on October 23, 2013 at 12:04 PM

These conservatives are actually socialists they don’t want to admit they like the direction the Democrats are taking the country so they are “purifying” the Republican Party to make sure the Democrats can “fix” the country.

“Conservatives” are socialists in conservative clothing.

Stop believing them.

petunia on October 23, 2013 at 11:56 AM

So, how much do you spend on tinfoil each year, my dear?

Just a ballpark figure…

Resist We Much on October 23, 2013 at 12:04 PM

The R azzholes in DC and outside forget that there would still be a speaker Pelosi without the

T axed
E nough
A lready

Party

Schadenfreude on October 23, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Stop believing me.

petunia on October 23, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Me,me,me,me,me….You are a parody of Marsha from the Brady bunch, right?

Bmore on October 23, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Resist We Much on October 23, 2013 at 12:04 PM

ROFL!

kingsjester on October 23, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Primaries are more democratic than caucuses. As long as it’s a closed primary where only voters registered as members of that party can participate, I’d rather see all caucuses replaced with primaries. It’s too easy for a handful of Paulbots/Ronulans, hardcore activists, or party bosses to get their favored candidate nominated in a caucus scenario. Sometimes to the detriment of choosing a nominee that has demonstrated he/she can stand up under withering attacks and effectively represent GOP principles.

Jill1066 on October 23, 2013 at 12:05 PM

What does it say about the republican party, that instead of letting the people pick their choices for representative, “The Party” feels it can dictate who should be the candidate? How about a new rule, no political party can spend money on candidates in primaries. Once you’ve made it out of primary, THEN the party WILL back you. Would be fair, right? I mean we HAVE to support the MOST electable candidate right? How is someone not on the ballet electable?

Caesar2075 on October 23, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Please. 3 years is an eternity for political purposes. This is utterly meaningless.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on October 23, 2013 at 11:58 AM

I am trying to think about what the political issues were in October of 2010, and all I remember was a Tea Party focused solely on economic issues getting ready to win an election. But no issue from that time period still burns with importance to me.

thuja on October 23, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Resist We Much on October 23, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Now, if Joanna and MJB show up, we’ll know that they’ve sounded the “Concern Horn”.

kingsjester on October 23, 2013 at 12:06 PM

The last few years have been horrible but at least they have taught us one very important thing.

The Republican establishment has absolutely failed at implementing conservative change because it does not want to implement conservative change.

Now the question is, what will we conservatives do about it?

18-1 on October 23, 2013 at 12:07 PM

I would love for them to try to primary Lee…the establishment would have no chance in hell.

GOPRanknFile on October 23, 2013 at 12:07 PM

We’ve got RINO’s in the open…we’re going to have to call in the firepower.

d1carter on October 23, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Now, if Joanna and MJB show up, we’ll know that they’ve sounded the “Concern Horn”.

kingsjester on October 23, 2013 at 12:06 PM

The most obvious plant in the history of plants.

NotCoach on October 23, 2013 at 12:08 PM

NotCoach on October 23, 2013 at 12:08 PM

She’s a sweetheart, isn’t she?

kingsjester on October 23, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Amazing how the GOP is discussing using the same kind of tactics the democrats will stoop to using, isn’t it?

The GOP is dead. There is essentially only one party now.

KMC1 on October 23, 2013 at 12:09 PM

I am trying to think about what the political issues were in October of 2010, and all I remember was a Tea Party focused solely on economic issues getting ready to win an election. But no issue from that time period still burns with importance to me.

thuja on October 23, 2013 at 12:06 PM

I vaguely remember some silly concern about some imagined thing called ObamaCare.

NotCoach on October 23, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Bring it.

Afterseven on October 23, 2013 at 12:10 PM

I hate fighters, I’m more of a “go along with the lifer crowd” kind of guy.

Bishop on October 23, 2013 at 12:11 PM

She’s a sweetheart, isn’t she?

kingsjester on October 23, 2013 at 12:09 PM

That’s one word for her I suppose. :P

NotCoach on October 23, 2013 at 12:11 PM

…I hope people are getting mad…in the “silent majority” !

KOOLAID2 on October 23, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Crony capitalists and their flunkies like Spencer Zwick have lots of money, but they can’t deliver that many votes.

It used to be said, “What’s good for General Motors (aka big business) is good for America.” That is no longer necessarily true. Exhibit A: General Electric.

bw222 on October 23, 2013 at 12:13 PM

The GOP is dead. There is essentially only one party now.

Once you realize this point – that the Republican establishment wants approximately the same scope and size of government…but with them leading it…the last 16 years of national politics begins to make sense.

18-1 on October 23, 2013 at 12:14 PM

What we need is more Mitch McConnell, Johnny Mc and Peter King!

d1carter on October 23, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Thanks Allahpundit.

tetriskid on October 23, 2013 at 12:14 PM

2016 is a long way off, and Utah is a very conservative state. If the Obamacare rollout continues to flounder, momentum could build nationwide for a delay in the individual mandate for Obamacare, and Mike Lee will be seen (like Ted Cruz) as “ahead of the curve” and will say “I told you so” all the way to 2016, possibly helping any Republican Presidential nominee who promises to repeal Obamacare.

Besides, Utah has several major National Parks, and the Utah state government agreed to fund their maintenance during the government shutdown, in order to help local businesses hurt by the lack of visitors during the shutdown. If this little “experiment” works, Utahns might favor a state takeover of the National Parks, if they believe the state could manage them better than the Federal government, and Mike Lee could become popular for having helped provoke the shutdown.

Mitt Romney is very popular in Utah because of what he did for the Salt Lake City Olympics, and his Mormon roots (Mormonism is the dominant religion in Utah), but it’s doubtful that he or his sons would want to oust a sitting Republican Senator in a safe red state. The Romney family also has roots in Michigan, and the bankruptcy of Detroit and the Romney reputation for “turning businesses around” could provide an opportunity there.

Steve Z on October 23, 2013 at 12:15 PM

The Vichy Republicans fight harder and get more indignant with conservative Republicans.

portlandon on October 23, 2013 at 11:36 AM

I believe that what motivate these Vichy Republican/RINO smears against people who would have preferred another strategy is a right-wing echo chamber. I am the type of person who annoys other people by talking about politics, and I talk to people across the political spectrum. When I talk to independents and right-wing Democrats (which is common among ill-informed voters even if it doesn’t exist among politicians), I try to make persuasive arguments for voting Republican. It’s almost impossible to get across what Cruz’s logic is to them. If we want to move this country rightward, we need to adopt strategies we can actually explain to the ill-informed center which is the pivot of winning elections.

thuja on October 23, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Bishop on October 23, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Ha! Lolz! Ha! ; )

Bmore on October 23, 2013 at 12:17 PM

thebrokenrattle on October 23, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Not sure what you are trying to convey by that one liner comment. Mike Lee is a fine candidate. Tea party constitutionalists are taking over the GOP, slowly but surely. That sound you hear is the sound of desperation from establishment. You have a problem with Mike Lee? If so, do you have a better candidate?

antisocial on October 23, 2013 at 12:17 PM

tetriskid on October 23, 2013 at 12:14 PM

LOL…

d1carter on October 23, 2013 at 12:18 PM

There is one central theme in all these polls (whether it be the Esquire, NBC/WSJ, AP or any other recent poll) that should unite us all, government is too big and intrusive in our lives.

Tater Salad on October 23, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Lots of Establishment Republicans and crony capitalists that support them actually don’t want to end big government. Examples: Mitch McConnell and the “Kentucky Kickback,” General Electric, any defense contractor, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, etc.

bw222 on October 23, 2013 at 12:19 PM

I’m sure someone has already pointed this out, but I wish the GOP Establishment, both state and national, would go after Democrats with the same ruthless fervor and contempt they employ when going after Tea Party and conservative Republicans.

troyriser_gopftw on October 23, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Sounding quite a bit like Occupy Wall Street in here.

thebrokenrattle on October 23, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Not even close. Small business’s political leanings are a lot more conservative than big bussiness’s. Tell me big business won’t take money and favors from whomever or wherever they can.

Vince on October 23, 2013 at 12:20 PM

This is just liberal wet-dream stuff the media and centrist GOP is piling on with to increase the effect of the shutdown. The RINO’s don’t have the motivated support to do any damage. They have money and that’s not enough.

The more issues which arise with Obamacare…the more reasonable Lee and Cruz become.

FreeManOtis on October 23, 2013 at 12:21 PM

You’re watching the birth of the TEA party in Europe and the failure of big gov’t in the US and elsewhere.

It’s way more than obama’care’…it’s capitalism versus socialism/communism.

More popcorn and smirks.

The sheeple around here are a weak lot.

Schadenfreude on October 23, 2013 at 12:21 PM

If we want to move this country rightward, we need to adopt strategies we can actually explain to the ill-informed center which is the pivot of winning elections.

thuja on October 23, 2013 at 12:16 PM

What? Could you flesh that out a little more? I don’t understand what your saying.

Vince on October 23, 2013 at 12:22 PM

This sounds like a Karl Rove strategy…he’d rather spend money to rid his party of upstarts than fight the socialists…

d1carter on October 23, 2013 at 12:23 PM

The RINOs hate legal Americans and their children as much as Nancy/Harry and obama do.

They harm them and their future equally, with NO shame, impertinently.

Schadenfreude on October 23, 2013 at 12:23 PM

business interests nationally are quietly organizing to target populist Republicans who were willing to risk an economic hit from a shutdown in the name of waging a broader ideological battle.

Weren’t there some guys who once said “We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor”?

tnjeff on October 23, 2013 at 11:55 AM

These guys aren’t those guys.

trigon on October 23, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Primaries are more democratic than caucuses. As long as it’s a closed primary where only voters registered as members of that party can participate, I’d rather see all caucuses replaced with primaries. It’s too easy for a handful of Paulbots/Ronulans, hardcore activists, or party bosses to get their favored candidate nominated in a caucus scenario. Sometimes to the detriment of choosing a nominee that has demonstrated he/she can stand up under withering attacks and effectively represent GOP principles.

Jill1066 on October 23, 2013 at 12:05 PM

You’re definitely right on that–we should have closed primaries in all 50 states. I would go one step further–that for Senate primaries, there should be two rounds–one round with multiple candidates, and a runoff two weeks later where the two top vote-getters from the first round go head-to-head. This system gave us Senator Ted Cruz.

There have been too many Republican Senate primaries where a candidate has won a three- or four-way race with 35% of the Republican vote, but has failed to “unite the base” and lost the general election. If we had runoff primaries in all 50 states, all our Senate candidates would have majority support among Republican voters before the general-election campaign. In this case, Republican VOTERS would decide whether they prefer an “establishment” or “Tea Party” candidate to represent the party.

Steve Z on October 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

It’s all about control the money that comes with it…

d1carter on October 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

If we want to move this country rightward, we need to adopt strategies we can actually explain to the ill-informed center which is the pivot of winning elections socialist.

thuja on October 23, 2013 at 12:16 PM

…from both sides, to be certain.

Schadenfreude on October 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

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