Ho, Ho, Ho! ‘Tis the Season for Republican”Moderates” to Scare the Voters

Written by Chuck Gruenwald on November 16, 2013

Trying to cram artificial Christmas cheer down our throats earlier every year, in an attempt to eventually turn gift shopping into a seemingly year-round sport, is nothing short of sloppy, lazy, shameless marketing. Trying to scare Republican voters into believing that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the “most-electable” candidate for the 2016 presidential election – three years before that election, reeks of the same hollow emotions as do discount stores and shopping malls when they are sporting Christmas trees before Columbus Day.

Yes, Governor Christie won reelection by a decent margin; although this victory does not appear as impressive as some in the GOP are propping it up as.

Being overshadowed by the gubernatorial race in Virginia – in addition to running against a Democrat challenger who had received little attention, the New Jersey race is somehow supposed to symbolize the results of Election Night, 2016. However, this early warning to conservatives who are tired of candidates who try to appear as all things to all people, is a sign that the ruling elites’ rash known as Most-Electable Candidate Syndrome has once again inflicted its victims, although it has struck two years early.

When justifying his belief that “conservative moderates” make appealing candidates to undecided/swing voters, WIND morning talk show host John Howell refers to the William F. Buckley quote about nominating the most conservative candidate who has the best chance of winning any given general election. Ronald Reagan is proof that conservatives could win elections – and win by a landslide. But what if the candidates who have been chosen by the Party elders are so moderate, voters are expected to believe that they are conservative, simply due to the (R) that precedes their names?

After the 2008 and 2012 elections, the voters who decided to not vote for John McCain or Mitt Romney had been criticized for costing the Republican Party the chance to regain control of the White House. However, if a Republican candidate will fight conservatives within the GOP harder than their Democrat opponent – or not even try to challenge their opponent, and claim to support specific issues and morals – while having a history that suggests otherwise, voters who do not vote for either candidate in a specific race have a reason to believe that an uncast ballot is not as much of a wasted vote as having to choose between the lesser of two weasels.

Republican leadership realizes the importance of those uncast votes – this is why the GOP sued the State of Nevada in an attempt to remove “none of the above” as an option on ballots. The thinking behind this move is that without “none of the above,” the voters who would have exercised that option would automatically vote for Republican candidates. Instead of trying to force voters to vote for a candidate, the Republican Party would have spent its energy in a much more productive manner finding out why a non-candidate option is more appealing than an actual candidate.

Remember the “Republican Autopsy” after the 2012 elections? Neither do Republicans. Instead, the strategists who have been calling the shots before 2012 appear to have pulled their playbooks out of the trash just in time for 2014. This time, the ruling elite have made it no secret that conservatives are expected to unconditionally pledge their loyalty to the candidates who are once again ordained as, yes, most-electable.

The leaders of the Republican Party are calling for unity within the tent. But instead of addressing the issues that conservatives believe are important, the ruling elite have stated in a not-so-subtle manner that they will establish the narrative for their pre-determined cohesion – no input from outside of the leadership’s good old boys’ club. The Republicans are dealing with their core supporters in a manner that is similar to how Democrats negotiate with Republicans: “Give us what we want now, in exchange for a promise to be broken later.” Unlike the Republicans’ failure to compromise with conservatives, at least the Democrats sometimes have enough courtesy to offer an empty promise to Republicans when they negotiate.

Republicans are not taking the criticism from within very easy. John McCain’s “wacko bird” quote that was aimed at Tea party-favored politicians, as well as some Republicans blaming Senator Ted Cruz for the government shutdown – and causing great harm to the Party in the process — point to a group of people who fear losing their influence within the Party more than losing elections. With the implosion of Obamacare, some of the Republicans who ran in the 2010 and 2012 elections on the platform that they would fight to repeal this law, are now sending mixed messages about their intent to fulfill that promise.

In what is nothing short of being the best opportunity to call for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, those Republicans are instead calling for a delay of its implementation. This is a new twist on the annual tradition of saying that the best time to challenge the Democrats is after the next election.

The Republican Party has become a larger version of the Illinois GOP: seemingly losing elections by choice, and remaining subservient to their Democrat brethren in the process. And thanks to the Republican strategists who pride themselves on deal-making, cronyism, and an elitism that prohibits differing opinions regarding the future direction of the Party, the GOP has become the Party of that famous Republican from Illinois: George Ryan, the ex-governor who prided himself on his deal-making abilities which not only accelerated Illinois’ downward spiral into debt, but also created a welcome climate for cronyism and the type of corruption that landed him in prison.

There is a big difference between starting the Christmas season artificially early, and the GOP going into election panic mode: there is eventually going to be an acceptable time of year for Christmas decorations and sales.

Image: Courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/6262125642/

Born in Chicago and raised in northwest suburban Cook County, Chuck Gruenwald developed an unfavorable opinion of machine politics quite early in life. In addition to cars, electronics, law enforcement, and politics, Chuck enjoys writing, and is also a horse racing fan. He has recently written op-eds for uncommonshow.com