Skip to comments.Bratís Blueprint
Posted on 06/14/2014 3:47:57 PM PDT by Kaslin
Considering its the first time a sitting House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated in a primary since 1899, and Dave Brat was out-spent $5.4 million to $200,000, Brat pulled off our biggest political upset since George Nethercutt beat then-Speaker Tom Foley in 1994. The first time a House Speaker had been unseated since 1862.
By now most of us have already read and celebrated plenty of analysis of Brats statement win on Tuesday. But there are three things to learn from this upset that have largely gone unnoticed elsewhere, and provide a necessary blueprint for conservatives going forward.
1. Stop Splitting the Conservative Vote.
How many times have we seen multiple conservatives split the vote in the primary, only to hand the election to the establishment?
Been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt.
That wouldve also happened in Virginias 7th district primary on Tuesday, except a humble patriot named Peter Greenwald stepped aside a few months ago to coalesce support behind Brat. Greenwald, who has been serving his country since 1985, did what most of our other candidates are unwilling to do. He put honor and the cause ahead of ego and ambition. His willingness to put his childrens future first gave Brat time to focus on Cantor. If Greenwald doesnt step aside, its quite likely Brat doesnt win.
We need more candidates willing to do the similarly honorable thing in the future, or well have to make this decision for them if they dont. For example, right now the establishment is already determining whom their candidate will be 2016. They wont run three candidates, and never do. Theyll run one. Meanwhile, well run five-to-seven, and then slowly watch them pick each other off until its too late. We cannot allow that to happen again. Instead of getting emotionally or financially attached to a candidate going nowhere, we need to do the honorable thing and follow Greenwalds lead.
Our futures cannot afford for the Republican Party establishment to blow another election in 2016.
2. We want high turnout primaries.
The conventional wisdom has always been lower turnout primaries helps the more principled candidates. But that conventional wisdom is based on the assumption the most conservative voters are the most likely to vote. That assumption would be wrong.
For example, right away NBCs Chuck Todd tweeted that Brat took advantage of a low-turnout election, but the reality is the exact opposite is true. Turn-out in the Brat-Cantor primary was up 28% over 2012. So how did a dramatically under-funded candidate beat an incumbent that spent over 20 times what he did in a high-turnout election?
Because it is the most conservative voters who are increasingly staying home in these primaries (and the general). They have given up on the process, and think little will change regardless of which party is in power. Brats principled campaign moved those people from complacency to conviction. Look at this primary cycle the establishment has mostly dominated. They were almost all low-turnout primaries. The same people that had been voting for these establishment politicians since the days when cordless telephones were a modern marvel, returned to do the same. Meanwhile, turn-out in the McDaniel-Cochran primary in Mississippi was higher than expected, and McDaniel came out with the most votes heading into the run-off.
I first saw this in the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. The Mitt Romney campaigns entire strategy was based on a turn-out model of around 90,000 Iowans, which had been the historical average. However, over 125,000 Iowans showed up, and Romney was soundly defeated by Mike Huckabee. What happened is Huckabee motivated the grassroots in Iowa to turn-out well beyond expectations, and they didfor him.
Stop listening to ruling class propaganda. The truth is the more people who vote in Republican primaries the better off we are. But that means we need to run candidates like Brat that will put in the work and inspire those people to believe again.
3. Its about our principles, stupid.
In his post-win interview on Fox, Brat refused to label his win as simply a Tea Party victory over the establishment. He said its bigger than that. Brat said there are still plenty of people who believe in the principles Republicans are supposed to stand for, but there arent a lot of Republicans following those principles.
Hes exactly right.
What Brat is articulating is perhaps the only path to saving the GOP from imploding, as its shaky coalition of constitutionalists and corporatists continue to war with each other. Probably the only way to overcome such factional fighting is to transcend it by leading on the principles in the party platform, which are the reason most of us become Republicans in the first place.
When elections are about issues/principles conservatives win. When issues are about personalities/group identity we dont.
I could not agree more. Excellent article.
All correct, but #1 is exactly why we will have 6 more years of Linda Graham. Idiots.
Pete Greenwald did an incredibly unselfish thing. God Bless him!
Please SC, learn this lesson!!!!
Didn’t Nethercutt move left once sworn in? He had some connection to the late Ted Stevens.
You just wonder how long it will take the numbnuts running the party to realize that running on the tried and true Republican principles is a key to winning and then governing from those same principles leads to majorities and Presidencies. It will be very heard to get the narcissistic, elitist Republican leadership to go along with this since they hate, loathe and despise conservatism in any form or manner. Never forget, they look down their pointy noses at you because you are not part of the ruling political class and are just merely a member of the county class and are no where near as erudite and intelligent as they are.
Romney is the only one with a chance to win.
Republicans need immigration reform as outreach to Hispanic voters or they'll never win national elections again.
Support Mitch McConnell so we can take back the Senate.
I worked with the Brat campaign. The author has no idea as to why Brat won. He is using Rovian logic.
Great article. And it was good of the other challenger to drop out. He will receive his reward, even if it’s not in this life.
I never heard Rove recommend running on the republican platform. He runs away from it. Immigration did play a part.
This from a mcclone arizona Republican?
Deuce is wishy washy.
You have to admit that Pete Greenwald dropping out DID help. Not many in the national pundit press acknowledged that fact.
Had Pete not dropped out, we would have wound up splitting the conservative vote and Cantor would be on his way to being Speaker.
Thanks for the on-the-ground intel Kabar.