No Endorsement for Conservative Is Big Mistake in Florida

NRSC: Fail

I and most RedState readers tend to be the practical sort.  In a state like Delaware where conservatives cannot get elected statewide, I have no problem with the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) endorsing a candidate like Mike Castle, though I could not personally support him.

In Illinois, a state with a wholly dysfunctional Republican Party, Mark Kirk represents a compelling, popular candidate who, though I disagree with him on a number of issues, would be a good Senator.  The NRSC endorsement makes sense.

As much as I loathed Arlen Specter, I could see the NRSC rationale behind supporting him. He was an incumbent Republican until he was not.

But then there is Florida.  It is a state in which Republicans do well and conservatives have regularly been able to get elected statewide.  The NRSC did not need to involve itself in the primary there, but it did.

In doing so, the NRSC is tacitly admitting there is no room at the inn for conservatives.  Your money is wanted, but then please shut up, Sen. Cornyn, the NRSC Chairman, seems to be saying.

Gov. Crist is exactly the type of candidate from whom the GOP needs to distance itself if it ever wants to be taken seriously again.

Not only did Crist attack fellow Republicans for opposing Barack Obama’s stimulus plan, but Obama also called Crist his “favorite Republican.”  Just two days ago, Crist announced that had he been in the United States Senate he would have joined Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins in voting for Barack Obama’s stimulus bill.

A few days after taking the Americans for Tax Reform “no tax” pledge, Crist announced he would support the Florida legislature’s budget plan, which calls for tax increases on working class citizens.

Charlie Crist offers no compelling alternative to the Democrats.  So why then is the Republican Party actively pushing Crist?  In fact, they are pushing Crist against undisputed conservative Marco Rubio.  Rubio, the former Speaker of the Florida House, is a young, attractive, articulate candidate with a compelling biography.  Not only is he a viable candidate, at a time when Republicans claim to want diversity of candidates, he would provide both intellectual and demographic diversity.

Even more troubling, because of the NRSC’s support and encouragement, the Florida Governor’s mansion is now in play.  Whoever controls the Governor’s mansion after next year will be extremely influential in the redistricting process.  Florida could see a Democrat governor playing a hand in drawing both state legislative and congressional districts.

The NRSC endorsement is a tragic blunder by an increasingly out of touch Republican establishment.

A RedState Gathering

A few months ago, some RedState readers suggested we get together in Atlanta for beer and conversation.  I had expected a few dozen people to show up at a restaurant one night for some collaborating and planning.

The idea has morphed as more and more people have expressed an interest.

On August 1, 2009, conservative activists from around the country will gather at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta to conspire, collaborate, and talk with conservative politicians from around the country.  In fact, the politicians who speak will be required to spend at least fifteen minutes answering questions from the attendees.

To keep with the true grassroots feel of RedState, we’re only charging a $15.00 registration to ensure you’ll take the commitment to come seriously.  The hotel has agreed to drop the room rate below $100.00, throw in free breakfasts, and we have a couple of groups who have volunteered to provide lunch on Saturday.

If you want to be a part of it, register here and I’ll see you in Atlanta on August 1.


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