C’mon. RINOs can’t do a little high-fiving after their guy (who’s not much of a RINO, by the way) pulled off a big win in North Carolina? Granted, granted, some of the celebrating is excessive, but let’s be real. If Ben Sasse nukes Shane Osborn next week and then Matt Bevin upsets Mitch McConnell, there’ll be fireworks lit throughout tea-party America. Why wouldn’t there be?
Her full statement is at the first link above, but here’s the meat of it:
Congratulations to candidates in yesterday’s small pool of state primary elections who will now move on to their respective general elections. Now, knock off the gloating. The GOP establishment must ratchet any kind of arrogance way down and get in touch with independent, constitutional conservatives who build the base of the party. They do the thankless work to put boots on the ground for your campaigns, and they show up to vote if you give us good reason to vote. Anything less and we will not secure victory for America this fall.
Surely, politicians and high paid D.C. consultants, you realize we all need to work together after these valuable competitive primaries that offer good debate and clear awareness of candidates’ positions, right? It’s extremely off-putting to witness post-primary smugness. Well-funded campaigns that rub a victory in the face of primary challengers’ supporters sure don’t endear the winning campaign to voters who are beyond tired of the selfish political games that have gotten the country into the mess we’re in. Your gloating causes apathy, if not downright disgust, among concerned citizens who want to remind you: “It’s not about you.”
You’re perpetuating an “us versus them” mentality with this gloating. That does our cause of defending our republic and all our freedoms and opportunities no good. Are we not on the same side, standing firm on all platform planks that empower the people instead of growing government? The people you’re mocking comprise the base of your own party, remember? To paraphrase the great Ronald Reagan: Rein it in and humbly learn how much we can accomplish together for America when we don’t care who gets the credit.
I dunno. If I were an amnesty shill, I’d be hugging every illegal in sight this morning to celebrate Renee Ellmers’s victory in NC-2. Pop the champagne, Mark Zuckerberg! Reform is coming. But seriously — there is, most assuredly, an “us versus them” mentality between donor-class Republicans and grassroots conservatives, and it goes both ways. There wouldn’t be a tea party without it. How many posts have I written this year alone about Boehner strategizing to stab the base in the back on immigration? The donor class is socially moderate, supports big business and government cronyism as needed, is very much unwilling to tolerate shutdowns or debt-ceiling standoffs even in a noble cause, and of course is proudly pro-amnesty. Grassroots righties are socially conservative, disdain cronyism, are willing to stand on principle even it hurts the party or the economy in the short term, and oppose amnesty. (Foreign policy is more of a muddle.) The two sides agree broadly on lowering taxes and deregulation; that’s the linchpin for the whole coalition, but it’s a cold peace maintained by sides that see each other as culturally and philosophically suspect. You’re bound to see that on display to some extent after contested primaries. Again, imagine the roars of exultation on the right if Bevin beats McConnell. QED.
If you want to tweak a gloating RINO today, Molly Ball, Matt Lewis, and Dave Weigel have a better way to do it: Remind them that, thanks to the tea party, even the “establishment” candidates are more conservative than they used to be. The entire center of gravity in the party has moved right — not so far right that congressional Republicans are willing to hit the debt ceiling but sufficiently far right that Boehner feels he now has no choice but to appoint a select committee on Benghazi. Tea partiers aren’t where they want to be with their representation inside the Beltway, but they’ve made undeniable progress. That’s a reason for even righties to celebrate today.