RINOs and cowardly conservatives – Tea Party Nation


RINOs and cowardly conservatives – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

Conservatives always lament RINOs.  Conservatives ask why we end up with RINOs all of the time.

 

Where are the conservatives that can defeat RINOs?

 One of the worst RINOs in the Senate has been at work again.   But understanding how he got there might help conservatives rid the Party of these RINOs.

 Who is one of the worst RINOs and how did he get there?

 One of the worst RINOs is Bob Corker of Tennessee.  Corker, despite his pledge to the people of Tennessee that he was a conservative, has been a non-stop disaster for Republicans.

 When the Democrats need help, they can count on Bob Corker to help bail them out.   Corker almost singlehandedly revived the horrendous Dodd-Frank financial reform bill.

 Now he is riding to the rescue to save the Gang of Eight and their amnesty bill.

 How did we end up with Corker?

 He was a businessman in east Tennessee, who got the political bug.  He ran or the Senate and lost in 1994.  He became Mayor of Chattanooga and then in 2006, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist announced he would not run for reelection.

 Corker quickly threw his hat into the ring, as did two other Republicans.  They were Ed Bryant and Van Hillary

 Both Bryant and Hillary were good solid conservatives.  They had been swept into office as a part of the 1994 Gingrich revolution.  Both served three terms and then left.  Bryant ran for the Senate, losing to “Liberal” Lamar Alexander.  Hillary ran for Tennessee governor, losing to Phil Bredesen.

 As 2006, rolled on, the three men campaigned against each other for the Republican nomination for the Senate.

 While that campaign was going on, another campaign was going on in Tennessee.  Governor Phil Bredesen was running for reelection.  As two well-funded, well-regarded and experienced candidates were busy dividing the conservative vote for the Senate, Tennessee Republicans were desperately searching for a candidate to challenge Bredesen for reelection.

 Jim Bryson was a relatively unknown state senator who ended up running against Bredesen.  The term that was often used by political pundits to describe Bryson’s campaign was, “sacrificial lamb.”

 In August 2006, Corker won the three way primary with 48% of the vote.  The two conservatives split the majority of the vote.  Since Tennessee does not have a runoff system, Corker became the nominee.   In November, Bredesen handily defeated Bryson, carrying all of Tennessee’s 95 counties and gaining a second term.

 There are lessons to be learned from this.

 First, had conservatives united behind a single candidate, we could have had a conservative Senator instead of Corker.  Second, conservatives need to learn how to be very forceful with conservative candidates.  In Tennessee in 2006, one of the candidates for the Senate should have been told to drop out and run for governor. 

 Had that happened, in January 2007, Tennessee might have seen a conservative Republican Governor and a conservative United States Senator

 This is a lesson conservatives should and must learn as we look to the 2014 elections.

 While there are some squishy Republicans we should give a pass to because it is better to have them than a Democrat, there are some RINOs in solidly Red States that we must replace.

 Lamar Alexander is one of them.  Lindsay Graham is another.  Conservatives must do something we are unaccustomed to doing.  We must unite and get behind one candidate in each of those races and replace those two RINOs. 

 Several candidates are already talking about running against Graham.  Alexander has done a good job of trying to co-opt his potential competition but there are a couple of people who are thinking about running against him.  Once the candidates have announced, the conservatives in those states must unite to find someone who can defeat both Alexander and Graham.

 Winning the Senate is the crucial battle of 2014.  We need not only a Republican majority in the Senate; we need to replace some of the worst RINOs.  There are some RINOs that if we primary them, we risk losing their seat and losing control of the Senate.  But there are some, like Alexander and Graham, we can primary and not worry about losing the general election.

 Conservatives must learn from our failures of the past and act.  Only then can we put RINOs on the endangered species list.

 

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