Green Room

Behind the ‘Not One Red Cent’ Rebellion

posted at 4:49 pm on May 16, 2009 by

We were standing outside the Continental Lounge in Rosslyn, Va., while the young Republican operative explained it to me.

“All they care about is getting their chairmanships back, and they don’t care how they get there,” said the operative. “They don’t want to spend any money, so they were looking for a self-funder.”

“They” are Republican senators, and what my friend was explaining was the otherwise inexplicable decision of the National Republican Senatorial Committee to endorse Charlie Crist in the Florida Senate race — 15 months before the primary!

As soon as this news hit the Internet on Tuesday, the outright stupidity of the NRSC and its chairman, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, became the No. 1 topic of conversation among conservative activists, including the journalists, bloggers and GOP operatives who gathered for Thursday night’s cocktail party at the Continental in Rosslyn, just across the Potomac River from Georgetown.

As Michael Bates says, we’ve seen this blunder before: In 2004, the NRSC backed Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter against conservative challenger Pat Toomey and, in 2006, the NRSC backed Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee against conservative challenger Steve Laffey. The pattern is clear: The national committee, controlled by the party elite, always backs the supposedly “safe” moderate candidate against the insurgent supported by the conservative grassroots. And then the “safe” moderate loses in November. (Come to think of it, this is pretty much what happened with Crazy Cousin John last year.)

But this latest move — well, it was a screw-up too far, the straw that broke the camel’s back, the spark that ignited a grassroots inferno. The Florida contest is not the case of the NRSC defending a Republican incumbent. Republican Sen. Mel Martinez is retiring, and it’s an open seat, a contest for which young conservative Marco Rubio has spent months organizing his campaign. For Cornyn and the NRSC to come bigfooting into this race more than a year before the 2010 primary was simply unprecedented.

“Treacherous b*st*rds!” I said, when I learned of the NRSC’s endorsement of Crist. Javier Manjarres of the Florida-based Conservative Republican Alliance, who had been promoting Rubio’s candidacy, was stunned by the news:

“In case the NRSC forgot, it was Governor Crist that openly supported the Obama ‘stimulus’ plan, and gave the plan political cover here in Florida. . . . Why does the NRSC issue an endorsement without even waiting to find out where the respective candidates stand on the issues?”

John Hawkins of Right Wing News called for Cornyn’s resignation, and Dan McLaughlin of Red State explained why Crist’s entry into the Senate campaign was a strategic blunder for the GOP. Then Red State founder Erick Erickson weighed in with a post titled, “Not One Dime to the NRSC.” 

 Well, after talking to some of my conservative friends Thursday night, it occurred to me that “not one dime” might be about nine cents too much.

NOT ONE RED CENT!

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

If it didn’t cost so much and a waste of time, maybe sending ONE PENNY would make a better impression. You think it’s worth sending the message?

Rovin on May 16, 2009 at 5:01 PM

We’ve got to do something, Rovin. If the grassroots are just going to lay down and be a doormat for these elite types, when (and why) are they ever going to respect you?

The Other McCain on May 16, 2009 at 5:16 PM

If you do send a penny, make sure it’s in one of their postage-paid envelopes.

Do they even still send those out?

cs89 on May 16, 2009 at 6:18 PM

The biggest problem that conservatives face is the Republican Party. The Party apparatchik at almost every level is clueless, indolent and self-serving. It is usually tougher to overcome the Party than it is to overcome the Democrat opposition.

thegreatbeast on May 16, 2009 at 10:41 PM

Nice work here The Other McCain… I’m on board 100% with your sentiments here. Purging the GOP of the “out of the mainstream elitist so called intellectuals” is an absolute must do! These people have lost touch with the base so badly, they might just as well be on another planet.

Idiots!

Keemo on May 17, 2009 at 9:05 AM

If it didn’t cost so much and a waste of time, maybe sending ONE PENNY would make a better impression. You think it’s worth sending the message?

Rovin on May 16, 2009 at 5:01 PM

I would rather send the Rubio campaign some $$$ instead. If we all could send a few bucks, and spread the word, it could make a huge difference in the primary and in the general.

hillbillyjim on May 17, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Cutting off all contributions will strangle the GOP. We need to support conservative candidates within the GOP and hammer the message home to Michael Steele and the rest of the Republicrats.

directorblue on May 17, 2009 at 2:23 PM

Cutting off all contributions will strangle the GOP. We need to support conservative candidates within the GOP and hammer the message home to Michael Steele and the rest of the Republicrats.

directorblue on May 17, 2009 at 2:23 PM
——————-
Director,

I fail to see where this is in conflict with the article.

Telling the party apparatus in DC to go pound sand doesn’t change that I’m active locally – although the {expletive} NRSC is doing their best to piss even that support away.

If they *WANT* to be Democrat-Lite, let ‘em form their own damn party!

Mew

acat on May 17, 2009 at 4:50 PM

“All they care about is getting their chairmanships back, and they don’t care how they get there,” said the operative. “They don’t want to spend any money, so they were looking for a self-funder.”

I submit that all “they” (both the NRSC and the RNC) care about is remaining on the big-government teat as the permanent-minority part of the bipartisan Party-In-Government. They would rather have 25% of the populace of their kind to lord over (insofar as the ‘Rats allow anybody other than themselves have any decision-making ability) than have to take a back seat to be part of a center-right majority.

steveegg on May 18, 2009 at 11:30 AM