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SENTRY JOURNAL » 2010 elections, Alaska Senate Race, establishment, Joe Miller, Lisa Murkowski, Local Politics, Politics, republican party, RINO, Tea Party Movement » Principle over Party

Principle over Party

This election year could be one of the most crucial in our young nation’s history.  We as a nation are facing some very serious issues; issues that if not addressed immediately with bold actions could fundamentally transform America into a third world country and burden our children with massive debt.  Our fiscal policy is a mess, our spending is out of control and our constitution is being trampled upon by a class of political elites from both parties.  The Tea Party movement was born out of this politically irresponsible environment.  They called for a return to spending and fiscal sanity and a restoration of the constitutional principles that has guided our nation since its birth.  They demanded that the future actions of politicians be based on principle and not party.

This demand for a new type of politician was put into action during the Republican primaries.  Lesser known people of principle were chosen over the establishment.  Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, Christine O’Donnell, and Jim Miller were propelled to national prominence in one election night.  The Republican leadership, shocked and confused balked at the notion of this new type of politician.  It was only when they finally realized the size and scope of the Tea Party’s reach that they decided to embrace the scary new idea of principle over party.  Or did they?

I believe that there are many in the leadership of the Republican Party who are still playing the numbers game and are creating the illusion of principle over party.  You can get a glimpse of this illusion by observing what’s going on in the Alaska Senate race.  Joe Miller won the Republican primary against RINO, Lisa Murkowski.  After she refused to accept the will of the people, Senator Murkowski launched a write-in campaign making this election more about her and less about Alaska.  Shorty after losing to Joe Miller she submitted her resignation in party leadership as vice chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.  This prompted the Senate Republicans to consider her position as the ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  It all looked good, as if they were going to stand on principle over party; that was until the decided behind closed doors to allow her to keep her position on this committee.  This was the first signal from the right that there were those in the Republican camp that were still not getting it.  This action was a move that chose party over principle.  They sent Lisa Murkowski a clear message that she was still part of the team even though she was on her own.  What’s funny is always I thought a team was comprised of people working together for a common goal.  They compromised their principle and stood with the party.

The other night I was watching Greta Van Susteren.  Former Republican Senator Rick Santorum was on her show talking about the race in Alaska.  Below is the transcript of the interview.

VAN SUSTEREN: If Senator Murkowski does win, then what? The GOP is flooding Alaska with money in support of Miller. What happens on November 3rd, if Murkowski wins? Rick Santorum joins us. The day after election, what happens?

RICK SANTORUM, (R) FORMER PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR: I think a little indication you might see on the last ad that is being run by the National Republican Editorial committee. They are running an ad not going after Lisa Murkowski not plotting Miller but going after the Democrat.

Right now the Republicans are concerned about losing the seat and making sure the democrat doesn’t win. As Rick was just saying, with Murkowski and Miller fighting each other they are in a sense dragging each other down and creating an opportunity for Democrats where there shouldn’t be one.

So I think they are saying we want to win the seat. They would like to see Joe Miller win, he won the nomination. But they want to make sure the democrat doesn’t win. That gives me the impression they are not so focused on Miller any more.

VAN SUSTEREN: They seem to be hedging their bets. If they are behind Miller they should be going headstrong Murkowski. He’s the Republican candidate. If they are behind him, instead of hedging their bets a little bit. 

He’s the Republican candidate, she is the sitting Republican senator.

VAN SUSTEREN: Until January.

SANTORUM: Until January. Again, I think it comes down to what is going over down the street they are hedging bets making sure one of the two win coming down the stretch “The Best of the Rest.” there’s a concern that the democrat could be the — by default the winner. They can’t let that happen.

VAN SUSTEREN: Were they happy she is a write-in? She is bucking the party and didn’t win the nomination. If he’s having problems because he winds fully vetted.

SANTORUM: That’s the argument the Murkowski campaign is making that they’ve saved the seat some of the problems with Miller would have come out and this would be a disaster like we haven’t seen before in politics.

I don’t know. I can’t gauge that, I’m not up there. What I can say is that there are a lot of folks here who are right now playing the we can’t lose this, and if Lisa wins, she is going to vote as a Republican caucus with the Republicans. Lisa is not —

VAN SUSTEREN: She is running as a Republican. She is running — a Republican write-in.

SANTORUM: Right. There are folks up here believe that she will be pretty much the same as she was before she left to run this race. That’s 80 to 90 percent conservative voting record, which you know isn’t as good as Miller would be, but not bad.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think it is bizarre as a write-in you get the cheat sheet? You get beaten in the primary now there’s a cheat sheet, ballot light. You don’t make the main ballot but we got this on the side for you.

SANTORUM: I don’t understand. Murkowski, her father served as governor for Alaska, three terms in the Senate. It is like saying they need a cheat sheet to write Kennedy in Massachusetts. It is a well-known name. It is not complicated.

VAN SUSTEREN: I called Congressman Meeks tonight Congressman Meeks. Those mistakes are easy and regrettably.

SANTORUM: That’s true. But I think Alaskans have a flexible standard even if they just wrote Lisa in they would probably count the vote. I don’t think that Supreme Court decision is that big of a deal candidly.

VAN SUSTEREN: For those writing in Van Susteren in Alaska, there’s an extra “e” on the end.

SANTORUM: Just write “Greta.”

VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway, senator, thank you, sir.

SANTORUM: Thank you.

Does this sound like the Republican Party has changed?  Are they choosing principle over party?  I think the transcript speaks for itself.  We’re looking to change the climate in Washington this election year by electing people of principle.  Joe Miller is not perfect, but I believe him to be a man grounded in principle and a rock solid conservative.  If the Republican Party was truly serious about principle over party they would have thrown everything they had behind Mr. Miller and stood with him no matter what.  They would have stripped Murkowski of her leadership position on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee; they did not.  This would have sent Alaskans a very powerful message that even if Murkowski is re-elected she will no longer carry the same influence she had before.  How do you think Alaskans would have reacted?  My guess is they would have gravitated towards the real conservative in this contest.  Instead the leadership decided to choose party over principle by positioning themselves in the middle of the road and not really supporting one Republican candidate over the other.  They have decided to accept the idea of having a RINO is better than having a Democrat no matter how unreliable her vote is.  And this in the end is the sad state of affairs the Republican Party is in right now.  If the Republicans were committed towards finding their way out of the centrist woods to the conservative base they would have stood by principle, which in this case they clearly did not.  So what does this tell us?  What kind of message are they sending us?

In my opinion the message they are sending us tells us two things.  The first is that the establishment is still not getting it.  They still do not understand that we have changed and we’re not play the same games we’ve have played all these years.  The second thing it tells me is that it will be business as usual in Washington.  Their task will be convincing their constituents that they have chosen principle over party and they will accomplish this by crafting and passing bills that have no chance of getting signed by the President but play to the hearts of their constituents.  Many will be convinced they are trying to do something and yet the status quo will remain the theme of the day in Washington.

This is why we must think outside of the box and start thinking local.  The answers that we seek can be found in local politics.  By electing good solid conservative on the local level, we can truly build coalitions for conservative change from the ground up.  The conservative foundation will be built in each of our states.  The sooner we realize this, the sooner we will be able to restore our Constitutional Republic.  And in the end this will achieve the goals of not only the Tea Party movement, but also the American people and preserve liberty for generations to come.

Don’t get me wrong I’m excited about this election year; I just want to make sure we’re all going into with eyes wide open.


Liberty forever, freedom for all!



Filed under: 2010 elections, Alaska Senate Race, establishment, Joe Miller, Lisa Murkowski, Local Politics, Politics, republican party, RINO, Tea Party Movement

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  • October 30, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    Good point. I didn't know about the committee bull crap being pulled. It gives her campaign a legitimacy that is undeserved.

  • Right Hand Man October 30, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    I'm with you. As I said to you earlier…the majority of those republicans that are going to be in congress next year are leftovers from the past decades. They haven't suddenly changed their philosophies, they are the same. We haven't won until they're gone.

  • October 30, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    Agreed. Conservative principles win out in every poll, so what is the problem?

    It it because people who want to be politicians have inherently corruptible principles? Are their principles to do anything to get and stay in power?

    Then we fall into the conundrum of only looking for people who don't want the job. What a great story it would be to elect someone through a write in that didn't want to serve, did not campaign, never even hinted at wanting to run. Wouldn't that be an awesome movie?

  • Reaganite Republican October 30, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    For all the signs the GOP is waking up a bit -like Boehner firmly promising to repeal O-care- this Murkowsky episode is extremely disturbing.

    Plenty of work to do for 2012, and like Palin says… if the GOP does't get the TEA Party message, it's finished

  • LD Jackson October 30, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    I remember wondering why the Republican Party handled the Murkowski situation like they did, even writing my own post on it at the time. I really thought they would hold their ground and send her packing, but they failed to do that. What they do after the election will really be telling. We will know what direction they are going to take a few days after the election.

  • John Carey October 30, 2010 at 5:35 PM

    Thanks for the comments Fleece. We shall see what comes after the elections. No matter what I plan on keeping my focus on them.

  • John Carey October 30, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    It will take a few elections cycles to push these establishment Republicans out of office RHM. That is if they don't change their way and move back towards the right. I do believe we need to take a hard look at the 17th amendment and possible repeal of it. Let's give the power back to the states to appoint senators. The first step is educating the public as to why this is important and what it would mean for them.

  • Gorges Smythe October 30, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    If you read my latest post, you know my opinion of both parties. You got it right with Republican leadership (and I think that's where most of the problem is – leadership). I'm in agreement on the 17th, too, but this is a dangerous time for a constitutional convention; Lord only knows what might come of it!

  • Teresa October 30, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    AS RR stated the Murkowski incident is quite disturbing. I hope these Repubs aren't playing us for fools, by their appeasing us in some ways but otherwise going back to their same old shenanigans with having big government mentality. I do think that some have gotten the message and get it now but there are those it seems that will never get it and just need to be booted from office. We will just have to try and keep the GOP in line, and make sure that they keep their promises.

  • John Carey October 30, 2010 at 6:13 PM

    Perhaps some of them are indeed waking up or perhaps they're saying the things that we want me to hear. Either way we will need to keep a close eye on them RR. Thanks for the comments.

  • John Carey October 30, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    I personally believe they should still hold her accountable even if she wins. They need to stand on principle and sometimes standing on principle means doing the unpopular thing. It means doing the right thing Larry. If they want to show the conservatives they're serious about fixing the party they will make an example out of Murkowski. My belief is they're seriousness is conditional and many in the party are concerned more about the numbers and less about principle. Not trying to be a downer here, just trying to keep it real.

  • John Carey October 30, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    I agree with you on the timing of a convention GS. We have much work to do to educate the public on the founders, the principles they stood for, and the why of the constitution. The ground work must laid first before we step into a convention. Repeal of the 17th is a must! It was crafted by the progressives in the early 1900s. It greatly diminished the power of the states.

  • John Carey October 30, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    For this to be a successful election Teresa we must keep the heat on these new republicans and hold them accountable for their actions. We must stay engaged long after Tuesday. Thanks for the comments.

  • Matt October 30, 2010 at 11:34 PM

    Well, we have been expecting this behavior from the establishment. We're just going to have to keep track of who gets primaried in 2012.

  • John Carey October 31, 2010 at 12:08 AM

    I agree Matt. We need to keep a close watch on these folks.

  • theCL October 31, 2010 at 4:33 PM

    "the establishment is still not getting it"

    They aren't going to "get it," because they do not share your/ours interests. The party apparatus is fighting over control of a multi-trillion dollar annual budget. Principles don't even cross their minds.

    I don't say this as a bad "team player," or as a party-pooper, but as a fellow American hoping to wake a few more people up. I agree with your post too. I'm just adding to the conversation.

    This fight, the fight between conservatives and RINOs, has been going on for 100 years. We used to call RINOs "Rockefeller Republicans." Unfortunately, conservatives have never won. That's not negative, just the truth. Their track-record is no better than the Detroit Lions. Even though most Americans are conservative.

    I've written extensively about the history of the Republican Party and conservative movement. People a lot smarter and more authoritative than I have written legions more. Read Schlafley's "A Choice Not An Echo," Goldwater's "With No Apologies," Rothbard's "Betrayal of the American Right," or the countless others like them.

    Start with Schlafley, it's short, easy and quick. You'll never look at politics (or the Republican Party) the same way again. You'll have "insider" knowledge. You'll better understand the game. (Oh, and her conservative bonafides are second to none.)

    You're right that we should always put principle over party, but we need to face the cold, hard truth about what the Republican Party is, and how it works too. Have faith in God, not politicians and political parties.

    "It it because people who want to be politicians have inherently corruptible principles? Are their principles to do anything to get and stay in power?"

    Power corrupts. Absolutely.

    Our founding generations hated power so they limited government. They voted for representatives, not leaders (think about the difference). We need to re-adopt their attitudes.

  • John Carey October 31, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    Thanks for the words CL. I'm starting to finally open my eyes to this. I have always felt it but it has really been these last few years that have crossed the "T" and dotted the "i" on it. I've been a fool for so long, following the company line. No more my friend…no more.

  • theCL October 31, 2010 at 7:29 PM

    Here it is, free!

    Published almost 50 years ago, you'll be amazed how relevant it is today. Very interesting too. Well worth your time. You'll be glad you read it.