WOLF: Shaking the moss off the GOP

It’s time for the party to clean house

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Would you invest in a company with a string of failures as sweeping as the GOP establishment’s? Mitt Romney, John McCain and Bob Dole: All are products of the establishment, and all are failed candidates who opened the doors to the Obama and Clinton eras.

Even when establishment candidates do manage to win office — George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush — it’s a stretch to call their presidencies successful. The only undeniably successful Republican president of the modern era — Ronald Reagan — reached the White House by overcoming the opposition of the GOP establishment. Now the Gipper is considered to be among the greatest presidents in American history.

This pattern continues in the Senate. Today’s Republican superstars were yesterday’s GOP primary enemies: Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. Now the Republican establishment hopes you’ll forget that they opposed these men just as they did Reagan.

The GOP establishment does not pick winners. Consider former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, the establishment’s choice for senator. When primary voters chose Mr. Rubio instead, the contemptible Mr. Crist abandoned the party to run an independent campaign against Mr. Rubio and has now even become a registered Democrat. Never forget that this is the repugnant figure who the GOP insiders supported instead of Mr. Rubio.

Now Karl Rove — the consummate insider — has launched his so-called Conservative Victory Project to protect entrenched Republicans against future Marco Rubios. Imagine that: The man who pushed George W. Bush’s government explosion, including “no bureaucrat left behind” at the Department of Education, the largest expansion of Medicare in the history of the program and the TARP bank bailouts, now wants to choose your candidates.

Be warned: The GOP establishment and the liberal mainstream media are singing from the same hymnal, both citing the failed senatorial campaigns of Indiana’s Richard Mourdock and Missouri’s W. Todd Akin as reason to reject the Tea Party. Mr. Akin was never a Tea Party favorite, but fine, I’ll see their Mourdock and Akin, and I’ll raise them a Romney, a McCain, a Dole and two Bushes. I’ll even throw in an Arlen Specter, a Richard G. Lugar and a Lindsey Graham for good measure.

By their own standards, the GOP establishment’s record of choosing candidates is a lesson in abject failure. They lose, and even when they win, we lose.

Compare that to Sarah Palin’s record of choosing candidates: Mr. Cruz, Mr. Lee, Mr. Paul and Mr. Rubio, as well as Patrick J. Toomey, Jeff Flake, Deb Fischer, Scott Walker and Nikki Haley. The list goes on. The former senator and incoming Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint says the former Alaska governor “has more influence in primaries than any other endorsement.” She’s loaded for bear.

Entering the 2014 elections, there are 13 Republican senators who face re-election. Their average tenure in Washington is more than 18 years. In that time, federal spending has nearly doubled, and our national debt has tripled. They’ve proven themselves uninterested or incapable of addressing this economic and moral deficit of stealing from our children.

Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi and my own Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas have been entrenched in Washington for decades, 40 years and 32 years, respectively. There are monarchies that haven’t lasted that long. China has seen shorter dynasties. Entire nation-states have risen and fallen in less time.

How much longer do the current Republicans need before they start getting serious about saving our republic?

The Republican National Committee should start by simply listening to their grass-roots voters. Let them choose their candidates. That’s the goal of a new, independent upstart called The Real Conservatives National Committee, which hopes to do the grass-roots work that the RNC simply refuses to do. It also hopes to break the juggernaut of the GOP establishment and elect real conservative leaders.

“The RNC and the Karl Roves have been choosing our candidates for way too long,” says committee Chairman Lorie Medina. “We’re positioning ourselves to take out useless Republicans in the primaries and [President] Obama’s minions in the general. Rove can keep his fat-cat donors. We’ve got the real conservatives on our side.”Insiders have reason to worry. Election guru Nate Silver recently analyzed Republican insurgent campaigns and found that the grass-roots challengers were able to win nearly half of the primary races against the GOP establishment candidates despite being massively outspent 5-to-1 or even 10-to-1. That shouldn’t come as a surprise when you consider that recent polling shows Congress has become less popular than colonoscopies and cockroaches.

It’s time to clean house.

We need more Ted Cruzes and Mike Lees, more Rand Pauls and Marco Rubios, and we can’t just sit around waiting for the GOP establishment to deliver. They haven’t, and they won’t. It’s time to take a page out of Sarah Palin’s playbook. It’s time to take on the establishment. For the sake of our party and the republic, it’s time to lock and load.

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