Conservatives are taking back the Republican Party
They may not have realized it yet, but many of the so-called "leaders" of the Republican Party have rendered themselves irrelevant. Whether it's RNC chair Michael Steele, National Republican Senatorial Committee chair Sen. John Cornyn or one of the many state and county Party leaders that think they know better than the rank-and-file who should represent them, these alleged leaders have yet to get the message. Republicans want their party to get back to it's core principles and want candidates that represent those principles. But a harsh wake up call is coming for them and the Democrats in Washington, DC too.
When Florida's RINO governor Charlie Crist announced he was running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Mel Martinez, it took no time for the NRSC to endorse him. That was followed by Florida's Party chairman, Jim Greer (handpicked by Crist) attempting to stifle any potential primary opponents by invoking RNC Rule 11, which would have allowed the RPOF to endorse Crist in the primary and use RPOF resources to win the primary. This would have resulted in the rank-and-file members of the Party having no input on our nominee. It would have resulted in conservatives being bypassed and yet another "moderate" Republican joining the ranks of Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham in the U.S. Senate. Fortunately this atrocity was prevented by one woman: Florida State Committeewoman and RNC Secretary, Sharon Day. Her efforts have allowed Marco Rubio to run against Crist and promote the conservative principles that GOP voters so desperately want.
Conservatives nationwide are taking back the Republican Party one district at a time. Grassroots campaigns are bringing ordinary people into politics for the first time and propelling them to do the extraordinary, to defeat incumbents from both sides of the aisle and defy the party machine that many feel has betrayed them. I see it everyday when I read the posts of my friends on Facebook and the headlines in the news. The most visible example of this phenomenon is the race in NY CD-23 where conservative candidate Doug Hoffman is overtaking his GOP opponent and has garnered the endorsements of prominent Republicans like Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty and Fred Thompson. But there are also independent candidates running all over the nation for everything from school board to the US Senate. In Connecticut for example Vincent Forras is running for the Senate as an independent-conservative candidate against Chris Dodd.
The next major test for conservatives and the GOP will be in February or March of 2010, here in South Florida's 19th Congressional District where Republican candidate Edward Lynch will be running in a special election. With the resignation of the Democrat incumbent, who has essentially picked his successor, this race should draw national attention.
Many observers think that this is an easy win for the Democrats, after all it is a heavily Democrat district, but they're missing the big picture. While the Democrat, Deutsch, is technically not an incumbent, he is a current state senator and a supporter of the same unpopular policies as his predecessor and President Obama. In addition the incumbent, Robert Wexler, resigned under a cloud of ethical and criminal allegations which may stain Deutsch as well.
The Democrats will pull out all the stops to keep District 19 from falling to the GOP. There are already rumors that Obama will come to campaign for this seat. But as we've seen in the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races Obama can stump for a candidate 3 or 4 times and still not turn the tide.
This is still a center-right country and even in a blue district, voters don't necessarily vote for tax and spend liberals that are weak on national defense and illegal-immigration. The ground swell of support for the conservative-Republican, Edward Lynch is amazing and bodes well for the future not just of this race, but of all the races in the 2010 election cycle. Lynch is a businessman who has never held political office. He is the kind of candidate that will flourish at this time in history.
Many voters are more conservative than they realize. This is evidenced by the fact that when our local GOP congressional candidates speak to the public, without mentioning their party affiliation, people agree with what they're saying, but have to ask what party they belong to.
Conservatives are taking back the Republican Party, across the nation, one district and one election at a time. If Michael Steele and the other "leaders" of the GOP don't get that message, they'll be left behind.