Rhode Island’s Lesson for Real Republicans

How did our country stray so far from the founding principles of limited government, states’ rights, self-reliance and moral integrity?Most Americans blame it on Congress.

Americans have little faith in members of Congress, but we keep re-electing our own congressman and senators, often with little or no serious thought on the matter.

In 1994, after 40 years in the political wilderness, Republicans assumed control of Congress with the promise that they would get back to those founding principles. A few tried. Fewer are still trying, but we are torpedoing their efforts.

Even if we are alert enough to know that one or more of our elected representatives ought to be ousted and we vote accordingly, we often support efforts to keep the status quo.

How many card-carrying Republicans would purposely write out a check to elect someone who supports higher taxes, multi-million dollar pork barrel projects like the “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska, price controls, subsidies, abortion on demand, amnesty for illegal aliens, the death tax, gay rights and onerous environmental regulations that rob property owners of the right to use their land?

When you dutifully write out checks to the Republican Party, the Republican Congressional Committee or the Republican Senatorial Committee, and the political action committees of leadership, you are– more often than not – doing just that. These entities are committed to this one thing: keeping anyone elected to office with an “R” next to his or her name in that office.

If Satan himself managed to get elected to office as a Republican, the Republican Party would fight to keep him there.

Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island is a case in point. (Any resemblance to the fictional candidate mentioned above is purely coincidental.) The Republican Senatorial Committee spent $1.2 million dollars to keep this man from being dumped in the party primary by Stephen Laffey, despite the fact that Chafee stands against virtually everything the party is pledged to support. The RSC even ran ugly attack adds against Laffey – a dedicated conservative – because he dared to enter the race.

It is next to impossible to unseat an incumbent in a primary, largely because the party is committed to keeping those incumbents in office.

Laffey’s near miss shows just how fed up Republican voters in Rhode Island are with their party. Forty-six percent turned a deaf ear to party leaders who told them – in so many words – that a “real” Republican can’t be elected in Rhode Island. They simply refused to support a phony one.

Laffey was elected and re-elected mayor of Cranston because he made the case for the principles Republicans are supposed to believe in. No wonder less than 15 percent of voters in Rhode Island are registered Republicans. They’ve never heard these principles clearly articulated in their state.

“Oh yes, please raise my taxes again. Yes, yes, please tax away my inheritance. Oh, please steal my property rights so you can protect the insects in that mud puddle in my backyard!” Can’t you just hear all those voters in Rhode Island clamoring for bigger government?

This lesson from the Rhode Island primary must not be lost on conservative voters. Better to throw your money down a rat hole than to give it to the RNC, the RSC or the RCC, or one of the leadership PACs.

Most people don’t have a lot of money to donate in an election, so they want to make sure they get the most bang for their bucks. That’s why they simply write out a check to the party, sit back and wait and wait and wait for things to get better.

If you don’t know which candidates to support, then support Political Action Committees you can trust. Club for Growth is the PAC largely responsible for Laffey’s near miss. It is dedicated to electing economic conservatives. It’s tripled in size in just two years and has pulled off a number of impressive wins in primary elections this year. Club for Growth and the National Taxpayers Union Campaign Fund helped unseat free spender Joe Schwartz in Michigan’s 7th Congressional District.

Yes, Republicans are running scared – scared of losing their majority, but a majority of what? As the old saying goes, “If you don’t stand for something, you fall for anything.”

What is the worse thing that could happen if Republicans lose the Senate seat in Rhode Island? It would be held by a real Democrat.

What is the worse thing that could happen if Republicans lose control of the Senate and/or the House? They just might go back to fighting for the things they have pledged to support.

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