As reported here yesterday and by Katie McHugh last week, and as mentioned yesterday by Ace and picked up by kingmaker Mark Levin last night, it’s time to reconsider any fist-pumping you might have done when Rep. Aaron Schock announced he was stepping down in scandal.
Aided by the national GOP, the Illinois’ GOP’s behind-the-scenes behavior — both before and after the resignation — show a party that isn’t so much following its obligation to police itself as much as one that realized Schock was quite terrible at dodging those external and internal controls. Leadership settled on Darin LaHood as a suitable replacement, and coached him towards their spineless, voter-disdaining strategy of publicly condemning leadership in preparation for joining it.
Last night, Darin LaHood had a first debate with Mike Flynn. Accept the term “debate” in its loosest definition. LaHood originally rejected any such forum, and has been self-parodically urging the district to “Vote Early” in the already-open early balloting, as if doing so could possibly be of any benefit to the voter, the democratic process, or to anyone but the candidate who fears he might later slip up or be further vetted:
(“Vote NOW. I respect your intelligence.”)
Further, LaHood insisted that the debate rules only allow each answer to run for 90 seconds, and that the candidates be barred from … speaking to each other. Namely, the requests of a self-assured public servant who intends to be accessible.
During the debate, in response to a question regarding the candidates’ opinions of House GOP leadership, LaHood said the following:
I have been very critical of the Republicans in Washington.
This was, of course, not news to House GOP leadership in Washington.
Because about five weeks ago, Darin LaHood flew from Peoria to Washington for a one-hour cocktail event at 27 D Street, SE, at which he was very critical of GOP House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and GOP House Speaker John Boehner, both of whom attended the cocktail event, having agreed beforehand to listen to his impending critique and perhaps sponsor it and deem it worth several thousand dollars per head VOTE EARLY VOTE DARIN:
Interestingly, Darin LaHood’s first major campaign funding came from the Republican Main Street Partnership, an organization founded by former GOP congressman and Boehner ally Steve LaTourette as a vehicle for supporting centrist, establishment Republicans and advising them on how to defeat challenges from the right.
Check their list of members and review those members’ prior campaigns: so far, Republican Main Street Partnership’s advice has generally proven to have been “pretend you oppose groups like Republican Main Street Partnership.”
The open exchange of governing ideas isn’t a means to the American project’s ends. It’s the end itself, embodied in one corner of American life. On an individual basis, the GOP rift between “moderate” and “conservative” often meets the healthy ideal of American discourse. But the rift occurring within Republican ranks hasn’t a thing to do with political philosophy anymore.
Those either in the mix or privy to the goings-on within GOP leadership know the party has been torn apart by bad actors involved in a power grab, and the bad actors — who are thriving within GOP leadership from the federal to municipal level — are indisputably connected to the “moderate” viewpoint. They have seized party power and are loathe to relinquish it, despite the clamor from party voters.
Most importantly — and precisely opposite from what you’ve heard from them — the establishment is engaged in a behind-the-scenes purge of their conservative ideological opponents from the party ranks.
Not vice versa.
When moderate Republicans complain about a conservative candidate’s supposed desire for party “purity,” they couldn’t possibly be more dishonest about the situations they know to be true and the clandestine tactics they are well-aware their machinery is employing.
GOP leadership, from D.C. to Peoria, is represented by “moderates” at a level far beyond a representative sampling of the citizenry. They also are responsible for the majority of party corruption and for the employment of the Washington reptiles whose existence was foretold by the Constitution, which was designed primarily to limit their damage.
Among other dangers, the country exists to protect us from the GOP establishment.
We’ve got two weeks to make this race a national strike on party leadership, just as Dave Brat was.