Thursday, December 27, 2012

Republicans in the House worrying about a Tea Party primary challenge if they vote for a tax increase, but a Libertarian Party general election challenge may be an even bigger threat

3 to 4% out of the GOP column in a tight race can make all the difference

by Eric Dondero

Numerous post-election analyzers put the blame for 9 House losses for Republicans squarely at the feet of the Libertarian Party. LP candidates won votes greater than the margin of victory in these races, such as in Utah, Montana, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Most famously, on the Senate side, the Libertarian in the race in Montana may very well have cost the GOP a Senate seat, Denny Rehberg vs. Jon Tester.

Interestingly, immediately after the election the liberal media played this up, WaPo, HuffPo, CNN the usual suspects with headlines "The Republican Party has a Libertarian Party challenge." But now nowhere in the media is the Libertarian Party being talked about.

Of course, it doesn't fit the template. The liberal media wants to pretend that the tax cut, or abolish all taxes constituency doesn't exist.

But oddly, even in media on the right, it's just the threat of a Tea Party intra-party challenge, for any Republican who votes for a tax increase. The LP is no longer figured into the equation.

From NewsMax, "Huelskamp: Tea Party Will Challenge GOP Who Raise Taxes":
The Club for Growth and other conservative groups have said they’ll target any Republican who would vote for a tax hike. Asked if those Republicans should worry about a primary challenge, Huelskamp observes: “They’ve received a number of calls and concerns. I’ve heard from constituents, and if it’s the same across the country, the conservative base is quite upset.

“They’re very upset that in the midst of the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression and a wounded presidency, that the GOP establishment could not beat this president, could not win seats in the Senate, lost eight seats in the House. So there’s a lot of dissatisfaction with the current establishment in Washington, D.C. and I’m presuming it will translate into election results in the next year to two. Primaries begin in a little over a year in some of these states and this is going to be a huge issue in many of these races.”
Of course, Huelskamp is correct. Club for Growth and various Tea Party groups do pose a threat. However, any Republican who votes for a tax increase could be facing the double challenge of a Tea Party challenge in the primary, AND a Libertarian Party challenge in the Fall election.

Huelskamp's on to something. He's just grossly under-estimating the threat these Republicans might face.

Photos - Libertarians for Congress 2012 - Ron Reale (NC), Rich Ebar (MI), and Scott Gesty (DE).


Gary said...

And that is why Democrats and Republicans in California joined together to ban the Libertarian Party, independents and all other small parties from all general election ballots.

Simple minded people think rigged elections only happen in Russia.

Erich Domdero said...


Eric Dondero said...

Donate button?

John Morris said...

The huge question is also about funding.

One would assume David Koch, is pretty pissed that the one nationally viable Libertarian presidential candidate was the one he didn't back.

Hopefully some of the serious funders will get that only viable pressure from outside the GOP, establishment will expand and change the GOP.

Eric Dondero said...

No, that's not the key. The key is getting it through the pointy heads of the liberal media, that Republicans face a Libertarian Party challenge on the far right, if they back any sort of tax increase.

We need to expand the spectrum. Right now it's tax increase or no tax increase. Tax cuts and tax abolishment are not on the table as far as the liberal media is concerned. We need to shout at the top of our lungs, TAX CUTS! TAX ABOLISHMENT! everywhere we can.

The Right Guy said...

We need to cut back on spending big time.

John Morris said...

And you really think the traditional GOP is gonna shout that at the top of their lungs?

How many losers do you have to back before you learn- a very large chunk of the GOP is very happy with the status quo.

One real way around that is to get more Libertarian candidates running in more places.

Rita said...

The GOP don't like the Tea Party. Look what happened to Allen West.

Eric Dondero said...

There ain't a single Republican who is "happy with the status quo." You take the most moderate squishy Republican in the House and Senate, and they're still 10 times better than 98% of all Democrats.

It's the Democrat Party that's the enemy not any faction in the GOP.

The Right Guy said...

Sorry, but I disagree. A bad republican is till bad. the whigs went through this in the 1850s.

jgeleff said...

Eric, calling your enemy your friend does not make him your friend. Calling a statist within the GOP a conservative does not make them a conservative.

Charlie said...

RE: Gary

I thought the top 2 model helped a well ran Libertarian campaign. If a solid Libertarian comes in second to the Republican in an open primary, bam!, he's one of onlt 2 options. When has a Libertarian ever held such a strong position?