Constitution Party has become the Spoiler Party

By Margaret Goodwin

A lot of people this year told me proudly they were going to vote their “principles” rather than voting for the “lesser of two evils.” Then they proudly and solipsistically cast their ballots for Dave Brownlow, knowing that Brownlow didn’t have a chance of winning, knowing that Merkley is on the far left, and knowing that it was going to be a very close race. I agree that Gordon Smith isn’t as conservative as he should be, as he used to be, or as I’d like him to be. But handing the election to Merkley to spite Smith is like chopping off your tongue because you have a bad taste in your mouth.

What good are principles when the result of following them is the same as choosing the greater of two evils? Gordon Smith lost by 4% of the vote. Dave Brownlow got 5% of the vote. Had those “principled” conservatives voted for Smith instead of Brownlow, Oregon would still have a Republican seat in the Senate. So what do they care about a Republican seat? They aren’t Republicans. They’re Constitutionalists. Is Merkley going to uphold the Constitution better than Smith? Do Democrats generally uphold the Constitution better than Republicans? Like it or not, we have a two-party system. When conservatives vote for a third party candidate, it always helps the liberals expand their power base.

That is the legacy of their “principled” voting. Yet they call themselves conservatives, and even proclaim themselves more conservative than thou. It’s ironic that it was the Constitution Party that pushed Oregon further to the left in this election. Was that their goal? If not, then whatever their goal was failed miserably, and the rest of the conservatives in this state can only hope they learn from their mistake.

What I want to know is are you guys proud of your accomplishment? If so, why? If not, are you going to do the same thing next time, or will you try to help pull our state (and our nation) back to the right, even if we have to drag it through the center to get there?

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  • RinoWatch

    “handing the election to Merkley to spite Smith”…..

    Sometimes an example has to be set. Gordo was given ample time to realize he had forsaken those who first brought him to the dance… instead of his blatant coziness with the “in crowd”.

    Personally I’m not “proud” of my undervote re: Smith, I had blogged about it for many months. Instead I am really sick to think that Merkley won over a Man I had such high regard for for many years.

    Yes, If further examples need to be made, so it should be. Principles first…..

  • Reper

    No example was made except in your head. A constitutional candidate is never mentioned by anyone, unless it is a close race. No message is sent on this. In fact future candidates may run further to the middle because that would appear easier to get votes than deal with wacky hard-to-talk-with Constitution party folks.

    • RinoWatch

      Get a clue and pay more attention to what I wrote re: an example. I did not vote for nor mention the Constitution party. As far as I’m concerned they are inconsequential and delusional.

  • Jerry

    Gordon only has himself to blame. No one else. He is a silly, old, RINO fool who did not stick to any conservative values. Who cares about anything else.
    He was doing no one any good with his wishy-washy stance on stuff. He should go back to packing vegetables. At least in that capacity he might actually do something significant.

  • Dan E.

    “Principles First” might look good on a t-shirt, but it’s cold comfort when Oregon continues its march to the Left…especially when we can’t particularly agree on what those principles are, and which ones are most important, and who we decide to burn at the stake for not agreeing to them, or who to excoricate for following them too closely.

    I do agree with Rino, however, that in the case of third parties like the Constitutionalists, we might have a better shot at EARNING their vote if we showed some semblance of shared principles and competence. Anyone who lays Smith’s defeat at the feet of the Constitution Party is clearly not familiar with Matthew 7:3. The same can be said for anybody’s vote. We have to EARN it. Lately, we have been either ignoring it, writing it off because we don’t agree with them 100%, or just taking it for granted. We can’t do that any longer.

    I just wish the examples we were making would be the election of Republicans…not just the defeat of them.

  • Kevin Starrett

    Yes, I am proud to have supported a person with principles and ethics who shares my values. Smith represented nothing. He supported policies that were indefensible. As long as people continue to take the position that “this is the best we can get” we will continue to have liars like Smith in office. Merkley is an unabashed liberal who will vote the way he ran. Yes, that will be bad, but he never claimed to be anything else. Smith only represented himself. The years that the Republican party had power produced not the slightest reduction in government size or power. The lesser of two evils is still evil, but it’s hard to make the case that Smith was even that. Smith claimed that he supported Clinton’s gun ban because it “polled well in Oregon.” He opposed drilling for oil on American soil and he worked to pass legislation to create special superior status for homosexuals. He campaigned as close friend of Kennedy and Obama. He lied about Brownlow’s positions. Am I proud he’s gone? You’re damn right I am. If that’s the kind of person you want to be your standard bearer, fine. I have to sleep at night.

  • Scott

    As I like to refer to these conservatives:

    Cut off your nose to spite your face conservatives.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    I don’t believe in setting examples, but I do believe that in some instances a Republican with Smits attitude is worse than a Democrat. While a Democrat occupying the seat means one more vote for the opposition, a Rino in the seat can have a demoralizing effect on the rest of the party. How often have we seen some show boater who delighted in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory? How often have we seen a Republican who suddenly wants to be liked by the press and thus grandstands in opposition to his party in support of Democrats at some last critical moment? How many out there get a sense that this is often done less because of ideological agreement with the opposition party and more to gain notoriety and fawning media coverage? How many weak kneed Republicans are drawn along with these sorts? This reason alone is enough to justify a vote against Smith.

    We just had a presidential candidate who’s most notable trait prior to the campaign was this sort of behaviour. More conservatives sat out this election than four years ago and that was a large part of McCain’s loss. I think the last thing we need to do is to be encouraging “mavericks”.

    There are many things we can learn from the Democrats, chief among them is wielding power. Their are only two DINO’s that come to mind in the Senate, Dick Shelby and possibly Joe Lieberman. The list of RINOS is endless and the list of failures they have racked up for the party is equally long.

    We just got through with our third Bush term. Bush 1 loved working with Democrats. Look at how that went. Bush 2 signed every spending bill that came across his desk. I don’t think he had a veto until years six. He also presided over the largest expansion of the welfare hammock since the great society with his prescription drug plan.

    Did we hear any praise from Democrats over any of that? No. Did it incline Democrats to work with Republicans? No.

    Bush’s bipartisanship was seen in exactly the same way as Jimmy Carters infamous “one man of god to another” letter to the Ayatollah Khomeini – weakness. The Democrats rightfully took advantage and hammered Bush on spending. Both Bush’s were very moderate Republicans. Both were perceived as weak as a direct consequence of this and were pummeled. RINO’s like Smith only add to this. Democrats have shown that they can be in the minority, walk in lock step, and be effective as hell. Republicans have shown that they can be in the majority yet peppered with mavericks, and be thus ruled by minority Democrats. It is time that we learn from that.

  • John Fairplay

    The election of DINO’s has been a key part of the Democrat’s strategy to recapture the House and Senate. There are now many examples of pro-Life, pro-gun Democrats who were elected in 2006 and 2008. It’s even possible that there’s a pro-Life majority in the House. What Republicans should do is stick to our basic principles and pass conservative legislation that these new DINO’s agree with.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >The election of DINO’s has been a key part of the Democrat’s strategy to recapture the House and Senate.

      I think that is true to some extent, except a DINO is not at all a Democrat version of a RINO.

      For example, I cannot think of a single instance of a McCain style Gang of 14 ( or whatever number it was ) DINO’s that has stood up, grandstanded, and made a big show about going against the leadership in the final hour. If so, I cannot remember the press lauding them for the effort.

      Many notable Democrats do take traditionally conservative positions. Dick Bonior was notoriously pro life. John Dingle a huge gun rights supporter ( interestingly, he is the one who coined the phrase “jack booted thugs” for the ATF, which somehow got hung around the Republicans neck when Bush 1 resigned his NRA membership, natch ). However we have to keep in mind we do not have an impartial or free press in this country. These sorts are never lauded in the same manner and thus are less of a threat to Democratic party leadership in the same way RINO’s are to Republicans.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    I should have mentioned, Shelby was a DINO who voted with Republicans, switched parties when Republicans won control in ’94.

  • dean

    Rupert…I know you hate being corrected by a left wing “racist,” but Sentor Richard Shelby, whom I presume you are referring to above as “Dick Shelby,” was elected as a Democrat but switched parties in 1994 and has been a Republican ever since. A late but important part of the great migration of conservative southern white Democrats to the Republican party. Now Zell Miller could be classified as a DINO, though he is fortunately retired.

    Lieberman is not really a DINO either. He votes with the Democratic majority on everything but the Iraq war and McCain. Harry Reid is pro-life, so maybe that makes HIM a Dino.

    As for the Medicare prescription drug act od 2003, Bush ran on it, so if you voted for him you voted for it. And if I recall a large majority of Democrats in the House voted against it, and it passed by only one vote after an all nighter session characterized by bribes and threats. The Democratic objection was over the prohibition of allowing Medicare to negotiate on drug prices, which was a budget buster. The VA, which negotiates prices with drug companies, pays about 58 cents on the dollar what Medicare pays. So not only was this bill an expansion of bvenefits, it was an unecessarily expensive expansion that was basically welfare to the drug companies.

    But otherwise I agree with everything said here. The Republican party should go hard right….way right. Peel government down to prisons and the military and propose defunding or privitizing everything else, including care for children with disabilities. You may have to convince Palin on that one however. Make church attendence and gun ownership mandatory. Outlaw all abortion and contraception. Arrest bicyclists who fail to signal or otherwise get in the way of patriotic SUV drivers. Send homosexuals to sex re-education camps. I mean….go for it. You may not win but you will stick with your principles and that is clearly more important.

    I, a hopeless liberal pragmatist…will admire and salute you.

    • dean

      Rupert…my apoligies for correcting you on Shelby before your own self correction.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        Good lord, you really are hopeless. The knee jerk blather as usual, but at least you corrected yourself upon reading my clarification. I do note the childishness of characterizing my clarification as a self correction though.

        Ruler number one for The Big Dean man – Never admit you are wrong and if you absolutely have to when you make a fool of yourself, do so in a backhanded way.

        As for what you know, it is precious little, as evidenced by this inanity. You have corrected me twice on getting first names wrong, once with Reid, once with Abrams, both times I acknowledged you were correct and I was wrong. That’s a lot more than you are capable of so please don’t go projecting your childish inability to admit error onto me.

        I don’t consider you a racist. I consider you a racialist, which is actually worse in today’s society.

        I think to some extent you are aware of your failing in this regard. Your recent attempt at justification of your racialist views with the story of a coach and some sort of community college gang members you were associated with points to that. I would hope that on some level you are aware that witnessing a racial incident does not justify adopting the ugly racialist outlook you have any more than being mugged by a black man justifies one in being a racist. That would be my hope anyway, however your recent racialist comments here don’t make me put a lot of stock in you changing your ways. My only hope is that given that society seems to be less and less accepting of racialist comments and attitudes such as yours that hopefully you will be further and further marginalized much like the Klan was.

        • dean

          Rupert….just to irritate you further, a “clarification” is…”let me explain myself better”. A “correction” is “I erred in my previous statement.” Your original statement on Shelby was an error that you corrected…not a clarification.

          And I did not “correct myself.” I punched in submit and then your correction/clarification appeared so I withdrew my correction since it was no longer appropriate. I thought I was being gracious, but apparently you, who seem to lack grace more each day, did not take it that way.

          And just to clarify…my street gang colleagues were not at the college I was attending. They were not college material unfortunately.

          I disagree with John F that Democrats “elected DINOs” to recapture the house and senate. Democrats widened the tent to account for regional political differences and recruited good candidates. Politicians first and foremost are supposed to actually represent their constituents. Earl Blumenhauer’s Portland constituents are more left than are voters in Kansas or Virginia. Therefore, one size does not fit all.

          And therein lies the fundamental(ist) error Oregon Republicans make in ridiculing Gordon Smith as a RINO. He is no such thing. He staked out right of center moderate ground that was representative of Oregonians and triangulated left of center on a few issues. In short he tried to represent the center of gravity of Oregon politics. He is smart enough to recognize that southern style conservatives ar e not going to have much of a political half life a northern coastal state. Duh.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Childish to the last. Now you are making up words I didnt say. That’s desperation, but typical.

            I always know I am dealing with someone real advanced when they describe their tough guy hard knocks up bringing and then ask me where I grew up as you did when you were trying to justify your racialist attitude. Physical prowess based upon geographic area never really made sense to me, but I guess it does to you.

            For the record, I have told you on countless times where I grew up. It was roughly seven blocks from where Mr. Ayers was killing people, hence my aversion to Obama hangin’ with him and, upon consideration, my aversion to you.

            I guess you grew up in some tough guy area and can beat me up. OOohhhh scary.

          • dean

            Geez Rupert….lighten up. I may have asked you where you grew up months ago.

            Yes….I grew up in a tough, bare knuckle blue collar neighborhood. I had my share of fights…won some and lost some. But for the record I have not punched anybody out or been punched out by anybody for the entire 30 years I have lived in Oregon. You have nothing to fear from me but my arguments, which seem to have been sufficient to drive you to distraction…..or the use of distraction in any case.

            As it turns out I used to maintain landscapes in and around Hyde Park in the 70s. For all I know that included the present Ayers and Obama residences. And for the record Ayers did not kill anybody, and was ever convicted of anything. While he was ineffectually organizing people to blow things up, (and they ended up blowing themselves up,) our government was killing about 2 million Vietnamese and costing us around 50,000 American lives. So which is really scarier? Ayers or a government that sends soldiers off to fight unnecessary wars? No need to answer.

  • Bill Sizemore

    Gordon Smith with Dan Lavey’s counsel) has led the Republican Party in Oregon steadily to the left, beginning with his vigorous push for lightrail when he was President of the Oregon Senate, all designed to win Gordon Smith a seat in the U.S. Senate.

    It seemed arrogant and self-serving for Smith to sacrifice principle over and over again, just to curry favor with ungrateful Multnomah County liberals. What bothered me most was the example Smith set for other Republican candidates. He and Lavey tried to prove that the formula for Republican victory was to sell out and compromise. That model has now been shown to be a failed one.

    I can live with losing if I know I am fighting the good fight and standing on principle. I can live with the bad editorials and negative ads the unions put out.

    This debate is far from over, but Smith’s loss on top of Saxton’s defeat in 2006 has clearly called into question the strategy of putting forth moderate standard bearers.

    • Margaret Goodwin

      Bill, I understand your point and I’m as frustrated as you are. I vented my frustration on the Constitution Party, though I know Smith bears the brunt of the blame for his own downfall. Nevertheless, I’d still rather have him represent us than Merkley.

      Smith lost for the same reason McCain lost. They both thought they could broaden their base by sidling up to the Democrats at the trough. But all they did was dilute the Republican brand even futher than it has been already. I don’t get why so many RINOs can’t understand that a Republican will never be able to out-Democrat a Democrat. The Democrats don’t want a watered down Republicrat. They want a full strength Democrat. And the Republicans want a straight up Republican. The Democrat will always get the Democrat votes, and Republicans who try to pander to Democrats will only lose their Republican base.

      But we’re all losers now, on both the state and national level. Losing our one Republican seat not only hurts us in Oregon, it hurts the nation by boosting the Democrat majority in the Senate. Furthermore, it hobbles our future prospects, because there is an incumbent advantage. Even though Smith blew his, in this state, a Democrat incumbent is more likely to hold onto it. How long will it be before we can wrest that seat back away from them again? I fear it may be a long, long time.

  • Richard B

    To me is we need to writ off these 5%, the problem most constitutional voters are single issues on the fringe and not very smart. They vote on emotions rather than in ideas. I had a friend who voted Constitutionalists in 2006, to him it was beet to vote his “Principles” knowing well the think will happen is the election of those who violate his principals.

  • Anonymous

    Bill, I’m glad you can live with it. Lord knows, you have taken more grief than you ever deserved from the Left. But I really don’t want to “live” with the notion of the Good Fight, like some warm, snuggly blanket on a cold night. I’d like to win. And not just an empty win, either, with weak, wishy-washy candidates. But good people with a sense of public service who won’t embarass us, or make us spend precious money and energy trying to replace them after a cycle or two.

    Sadly, in politics, it seems you don’t get the chance to really make much difference if you don’t win. True there is plenty you can do from the minority party – but only if you are effective and motivated. Otherwise, you don’t get to drive an agenda and you don’t get to increase your market share by proving your competence to the electorate. Losing just creates a sense of martyrdom, and while that appeals to some folks in the party – it really sucks for the rest of us who are tired of losing.

    To be fair, I think you have made more of a difference than most. You have forced unions to spend god-know-how-much…money that would have gone to beat our candidates even more badly. However, if we had a Republican brand and strategy that people could get behind here in Oregon, your efforts would have been vastly magnified. I’m not talking about a wholesale sell-out of principle, but a rebranding – in a way that doesn’t scare the crap out of people.

    We need to draw people – all people, of all stripes – to us in a unique combination of principle, competence and innovation. Right now, we are trying to hold onto a wet bar of soap by gripping it tighter and tighter and we can’t figure out why it keeps shooting out of our hands. The bottom line is that we simply don’t have the numbers here in Oregon to continue down the same path and expect different results.

    I don’t know if I agree with your assessment of the failings of our moderate candidates. I think it’s the Republican Brand as a whole, here in Oregon, that has helped tank liberal, moderate and conservative candidates. Combine that with a weak, anemic party structure without accountability and leadership and it’s a recepie for complete, unmitigated disaster. We’ve let the Left define who we are and we stopped being the party of good ideas. If we did some significant re-tooling, it would help all Republicans be successful. Now granted, that may not be the goal of some folks who want either a party purge or moderates who won’t challenge the hard-core doctrine. If that’s the path, I think (personally and professionally) it will be a long, lonely one with increased isolation that leads to political obscurity, in a state where we already have significant disadvantages.

  • Margaret Goodwin

    Good post, Anonymous. So where do we go from here?

    Now that we’ve uprooted our faulty Republicans and replaced them with hard core left-wing Democrats, how do we rebuild the Republican Party? How do we win next time around?

    I maintain that the only way we can do it is to reunify conservatives under the Republican Party banner. The more conservatives who splinter off under the Constitution Party, or Libertarian Party, or register Independent, the fewwer conservatives there are voting in the Republican primaries. No wonder we nominate RINOs! — After all the conservatives leave the party, who’s left to pick the nominees?

    It _is_ a two party system. The only way to restore conservative government is for conservatives to take back the Republican Party. The only way to do that is for conservatives to register Republican. And not only that, but to be acitve in the Republican Party. If you’re a conservative who really cares what happens to our state and our nation, I challenge you to register Republican (if you aren’t already) and to run for Precinct Committee Person in the next election. (It’s practically guaranteed you’ll get elected, since there are so many unfilled PCP positions these days.)

    Then you can vote for conservative party leadership at the local level, and for conservative delegates to the state convention. _You_ can actually influence the direction of the party from the ground up. But you can’t do it from outside the party. And you can’t do it if you don’t get involved.

    Aligning yourself with a third party is the same as saying let the state and the nation go to hell; I’m content to nurture my own fantasies and play paddycake with others who insist on being proudly ineffectual together. If you want to limit government, reduce taxes, and uphold individual rights, you have to care about results as much as abstract principles. As long as the Republican Party keeps leaking conservatives, the country will continue sliding further to the left.

  • Anonymous 14:41

    Margaret, I agree. We must unify conservatives under the republican banner. But it doesn’t stop there. Simple math urges us forward. We must also unify moderate republicans. We must unify liberal republicans. We must unify a majority share of independents, third-party fringe candidates who are tired of losing and looking for competence, and cross-over democrats who are tired of the lunatic Left driving the agenda for the Democrat party. If we just stop at unifying conservatives, we will have only about 15-20% of the numbers it will take to get elected to anything. It would be like polishing your silverware after a tornado flattens your house.

    Part of the problem is that conservatives ALREADY run the Party. Now, before everyone lights the torches and grabs the pitchforks to run me out of town, let me explain the problem. There is a vast difference between the Party and the Legislature. In fact, there is almost no connection whatsoever. There should be a connection…but there isn’t. The worst part is that in everyone’s mind – there is a connection, so when things fall apart each one blames the other. In the minds of 97% of the public there is no difference between the Republican Party and the Republican Caucus in the legislature.

    The Party provides almost no logistical support, no cash, no recruitment, no ongoing policy support, no message coordination, no leadership, no cover during crisis, and certainly no brand outreach for legislative (or other) candidates. That’s not to say that people in the party (like some of our PCP’s) don’t bend over backwards to help our folks when and how they can – but the Party itself is a non-player.

    So because the Party brings nothing to the table except a damaged brand and some policy positions (and more important, policy explanations) that are growingly divergent from mainstream Oregon (not a judgement, just a reality)…they don’t have any credibility with many elected officials, who therefore don’t feel accountable. It’s like the Party wants a tribute for letting a candidate use the Republican Name. But the name is so damaged and in many parts of urban Oregon, expensive to use, and the candidate doesn’t have any relationship that makes them connected to the Party for any kind of support…they instead draw close to those folks who DO provide them with the support they need. It may piss you off, but it’s not rocket science to see how this is going to turn out.

    So with no support or relationship with the Party, a legislator stakes out a position they think will help them politically in their district, or that enhances the supportive relationships they already have. The Party (run mostly by conservatives who themselves couldn’t get elected in Oregon as Dog Catcher – and who don’t understand what it takes to effectively win elections in this crazy state) lose their minds and vow to exact revenge for said foul betrayal. This doesn’t exactly help the reputation of the Party for providing support to candiates. They are all stick and no carrot. And a broken stick at that.

    The problem compounds when unaccountable legislators make horrible choices that end up damaging the Republican brand even more and irritating the base of republicans. Because in the mind of most there is no difference between the Party and the Legislature, any flow of fundraising the Party is able to do, slows down to a trickle and then nothing. This means that any logistical, financial or strategic help the Party COULD provide if it had that kind of relationship with candidates and elected officials…dries up and blows away. Candidates and elected officials continue to distance themselves from the Party. The wounded Party retreats within itself, casts more blame, behaves more bitterly and more stridently and those moderates who are there for competence and winning start looking elsewhere, or just stay home….just like the conservatives who are tired of getting screwed over by people who have just paid them lip service.

    It’s a symbiotic relationship. Each one has the ability to provide what the other one needs. But instead of each one helping and supporting…they are both killing the other one. And neither wants to be the first one to stop.

    • dean

      Whoever you are, you make a lot of sense. But I’m curious about one thing. Who is thie “lunativ left” and where exactly has it driven the Democratic party agenda? What policies are Kulongowski or Obama putting forth that are supported by less than majorities of Oregonians or the American people?

      • dean

        Sorry for the mis-spelling. “Lunativ” is Slovak for LUNATIC.

    • Margaret Goodwin

      Anonymous, I disagree that conservatives are already running the party. Many conservatives have left the party, and the ones running the party now are all over the board. There’s little unity in the Republican Party today, with respect to goals or even core principles.

      I agree that, to win, it’s necessary to be inclusive. But there are more effective ways to be inclusive than diluting the Republican brand by running candidates who lean so far to the left they look like watered down Democrats. I believe the Republican Party is weak today because it doesn’t really stand for anything anymore.

      What can we, as Republicans agree on? What are the fundamental priciples that unite us? I would suggest that we should focus on limited government, lower taxes, personal responsibility, and individual rights. We do not need more government regulation, bigger bureaucracy, higher taxes, and more government control over private property. If Republicans can agree that these are the important issues, and rebuild the platform around those core principles, I think we can re-unify the party.

      Personally, I don’t much care about social issues. Many Republicans disagree on social issues, and that’s the sharpest wedge that divides and splinters the party. But I don’t really see social regulation as the role of government. I see that as the role of family, church, and other social institutions. I see the primary role of government as protection of the citizens, with a secondary role of promoting (not impeding) economic development.

      If we can all agree on these core principles, and focus on limiting government to the fulfillment of its legitimate functions, perhaps we can elect legislators who will actually serve our best interests. Perhaps we can even draw others into the party who would prefer to make their own decisions about how best to spend their own money, use their own property, and live their own lives, rather than have the government make those decisions for them. I think a whole lot of people could get behind that.

  • Martha

    I can’t fathom your logic in thinking the people who voted for Brownlow would feel bad for “making” you loose. People who vote on principle for law and liberty respecting candidates are willing to sacrifice the “win” of a horrible candidate (who we have a hard time determining if he really IS the lesser of two evils) in hopes of encouraging the RNC to take us more seriously and offer more acceptable people to vote for. You better watch out, there is no law of nature that says there has to be this two (really one now) party system. If we keep voting for principled candidates and that 5% makes RNC favorites loose maybe people will start voting their conscience too because the big party candidate isn’t going to win anyway! Ah, the beauty. 5% CAN make all the difference.

  • Anonymous14:41

    Martha, I understand the point you are making, but in my opinion, your net conclusion is wrong. The RNC will see they are losing that 5% on the extreme end…and they will try to make it up somewhere in the middle by attracting candidates with greater crossover appeal to cover the loss. Usually that means a candidate who is LESS conservative. It’s not a great strategy, as shown with Smith, but he was destined for a loss anyway. He couldn’t hold the base with his voting, and the democrats would rather just have one of their own who contributed to their overall power via numbers, not just their agenda.

    Conservatives who hold their votes – and Liberals too, I imagine – aren’t somehow strong-arming their parties into fronting candidates more to their liking. They are just saying “look elsewhere.” Especially when there is no real relationship or accountability. Like I said before, we are all stick and no carrot. And our stick is pretty crappy. It’s a reaction to the perception of powerlessness. That’s an overall flaw in politics as old as time itself.

  • Catalyst administrator

    A comment was removed because Catalyst does not allow personal attacks on authors or commentors, nor does it allow the use of profanity. Things get heated, but always well worth being civil.

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