Old Blogs
January 4, 2013 7:02 AM
The Base v. the "Establishment" (what does the ital'd sentence mean?)
Posted by Laura

On House Speaker John Boehner's leadership challenges, I think the problem most conservatives are having is that there is just a complete lack of trust between the "base" and the "Establishment."  We just sat through an entire presidential campaign in which the Establishment GOP got the candidate they wanted, spent huge amounts of money to support him, and did almost nothing to persuade anyone that conservatives had reasonable plans to deal with the economic crisis.  Then, after the Establishment got waxed in the election, they turn to the House Republicans – who actually won their election – and tell them that they have to cave because we have no "leverage."  Well, of course we don’t!  But one of the main reasons we don't have leverage is that all the geniuses who advised Mitt Romney wouldn't run the type of campaign that might have given us some leverage – even though we begged them to do so. 

This sort of thing has been going on for a long time.  The base wants to implement efforts to educate the rest of the country about a particular issue of concern to us – immigration or taxes.  We all understand that unless there is a strong P.R. effort on our side, the media will bury us.  So folks in the base start doing what they can to educate the public.  Some of our efforts are awkward, and some are even counter-productive (see Sarah Palin) but at least we're trying.  The GOP Establishment could do so much more – they have money and access to the mainstream press that we can only dream of.  But instead of fighting for our views, they say as little as possible.  And then, after the media and the left have clobbered us, they swoop in to tell us that we have to "give up" on this or that issue.  And in a few years they're going to ram Jeb down our throats.  Under these circumstances, I think a lot of us feel like we're being taken advantage of – that our "leaders" actually have no intention of ever taking the steps necessary to bring our policy goals to fruition.  Until this trust is re-built, I think the GOP is going to look more and more dysfunctional.

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