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Jerry Shenk

Beltway Republicans Ignoring Their Mandate

by Jerry Shenk

The Washington Beltway wing of the Republican Party has been dismissing the party's conservative base for far too long. If Republicans nominate another "moderate" 2016 presidential candidate, they will lose again.

The GOP establishment rationalizes their favorites by thinking "Where else they gonna go?" in the apparent belief that, if Democrats nominate left-wing candidates, conservatives will vote for a plain vanilla "centrist" Republican.

But that assumes that there are real differences between the parties. In fact, today, there's only one party in Washington — a fusion of Republicans and Democrats all looking out for their own interests no matter who holds majorities.

In 2014, Republicans campaigned on blocking President Barack Obama's radical transformation of America. In return, voters gave them a congressional landslide and a clear mandate to stop executive-order illegal amnesty, repeal Obamacare, prioritize American security, and restore the national rule of law.

GOP congressional leadership took that strong mandate and stopped…exactly nothing — including excessive spending.

Turning their backs on 2014 campaign promises and a clear electoral mandate, GOP congressional leadership chose Washington business as usual: They caved and funded amnesty, failed to pursue a principled bicameral vote to repeal Obamacare, and confirmed a new Attorney General having as radical a record as her predecessor.
Accordingly, recent polling data from the Pew Research Center reveals that Republican voters are unhappy with the GOP-led Congress.
Currently, only 41 percent of Republicans approve of congressional Republicans' performance -- a sharp decline in just four years, and far below 1995, when Pew reported: "78% approved of GOP leadership's policies and proposals."
The drop in approval is mostly among the GOP's conservative base: In February 54 percent approved of congressional leaders' job performance, today only 41 percent approve — and that number is falling.
House Speaker John Boehner and new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have been busy attempting to demonstrate that they can "govern" in the apparent belief that, if they successfully sell that conceit, a Republican will win the White House in 2016.

Establishment Republicans forget that 5 million conservatives stayed home in 2012 rather than vote for Mitt Romney. It's a pattern: Bob Dole, John McCain, Romney, all moderates, all losers.

Beltway Republicans don't appear to mind that they're destroying incentives for conservatives — the most-energized, best-informed segment of the party — to contribute to, work or vote for a 2016 GOP presidential candidate.

Congressional GOP centrists have made clear their scorn for the party's conservative base. In return, conservatives' acquired contempt for moderate congressional leadership can sink the Party's 2016 prospects, presidential and congressional.

Unless the GOP injects some genuine hard-rock conservative principles, energy, intelligence and willingness to fight into the presidential campaign, another Clinton presidency is imaginable.

PJMedia's Michael Walsh summed things up: "The Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party doesn't care. And certainly not the wing led by the twin dullards, McConnell and Boehner, men of limited intelligence and zero imagination. But then, that's what happens when politics becomes a profession: it becomes all about process."

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