In an email today from Jim DeMint:
As you know, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski lost the Republican primary to her conservative challenger, Joe Miller, in a fair fight. But instead of graciously conceding and endorsing the Republican nominee, Murkowski announced that she will continue her campaign as an independent write-in candidate.
Senate Republicans held a closed-door meeting yesterday afternoon to elect someone to replace Senator Murkowski as the top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Or so we thought.
Rather than taking away Murkowski’s leadership position on the committee, Senate Republicans decided to let her keep it. One senator after another stood up to argue in favor of protecting her place on the committee — a position she will no doubt use in her campaign against Joe Miller, the conservative Republican nominee.
It was bad enough to watch my colleagues work to support her in the primary after she had built a record of betraying conservatives principles. But watching them back her after she left the party and launched a campaign against the Republican nominee was more than I could bear.
I spoke out against the motion and I voted against it. But the good ol’ boys Senate club, which always protects its own, prevailed. The motion was adopted by secret ballot and the final tally was not disclosed.
More from Marc Thiessen:
In an interview, [Joe] Miller told me he is confident that he can win with Murkowski in the race: “She was given her job and now she thinks she deserves it. She has disrespected the will of the Alaskan voter. We had the largest turnout of any Republican primary in the history of the state of Alaska. The race was won fair and square. And then in the wake of that, she claims that the election was ‘hijacked’ and that it was a group of ‘extremists’ that voted for me. It gets down to the fact that she perceives herself as entitled, and she can’t let go of the power she’s held for the last eight years.”
In that sense of entitlement, Murkowski is not alone. All last week, we heard the GOP establishment complain how the Tea Party is threatening Republican unity by pursuing “ideological purity” at the expense of a “big tent” party. But Tea Party-endorsed candidates are the ones who have stayed within the GOP tent. Rather than launching destructive third-party bids, fiscally conservative insurgents have contested GOP primaries — and when they have lost, they have endorsed their establishment opponents virtually without fail.
Contrast that with the record of the establishment candidates. When it became clear Charlie Crist would lose to Marco Rubio in Florida’s Senate race, Crist bolted the GOP and decided to run as an independent. When Arlen Specter saw he would lose to Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania’s Senate race, he became a Democrat. And, after losing the GOP nomination in Alaska, Murkowski is running as an independent write-in candidate. And yet, we are told that it is the Tea Party that is dividing the GOP and threatening party unity. For establishment candidates, unity seems to be a one-way street. The message to Tea Party activists across the country is: We want your votes but not your candidates.
Read that last sentence again: We want your votes but not your candidates. That, dear readers, is the root of all angst (or should I say “disgust”) now being demonstrated by the average American voter. The average American voter who, when push comes to shove, is conservative and pragmatic, common sense and bottom line. Sure, a majority of these folks voted for “hope” and “change” but paying for other people’s mortgages, abortions, and business miscalculations (not to mention padding the personal bank accounts of unrepresenting representatives a la Rangel, Dodd et al) wasn’t exactly how they defined it and the sea change being demonstrated by RINO and progressive liberal losses to “nobody” conservative candidates is the manifestation of their buyer’s remorse.
We have plenty of politicians in Washington. What we want and what we need are representatives of we, the people. Despite those claims of honor among thieves it is apparently asking too much of either the GOP or the DNC to face the firing squad squarely; it appears they’ll wake up November 3rd looking like proverbial deer in the headlights. Doesn’t say much for their claims of being the “best and brightest”, does it? Particularly when the warnings signs are clear. A friend of mine recently received a solicitation from the Republican National Committee and sent it back; in the space for an “other” donation amount they noted they had made a nice-sized donation directly to Sharron Angle’s Senate campaign in Nevada. Other shots like this are being sent across the bow every day; I told my local GOP House candidate just last week that if, when he gets to Washington, he becomes what we’ve come to expect as a stereotypical politician I would personally kick his butt. But therein lies the task that faces us: we must become personally involved in governing this great Republic and we must remain personally involved. It is complacency that is the biggest reason America now faces such an uncertain future, therefore it is a return to vigilence that is our personal and individual responsibility if we wish to bequeath something better than federal slavery to our children.