There are many stories to tell about this election cycle, but one group of bloggers deserves special credit.
In May 2009, a group of bloggers started a blog called Not One Red Cent in reaction to the attempt by the National Republican Senatorial Committee to anoint Charlie Crist as the Republican nominee in Florida, and to deprive Marco Rubio of a fair chance to compete for the nomination.
The url of the blog said it all, http://boycottnrsc.blogspot.com/. Here was their message:
NOT ONE RED CENT FOR RINO SELLOUTS!
On May 12, 2009, The National Republican Senatorial Committee betrayed its mission, betrayed Republican voters, and betrayed the Reagan legacy.
The NRSC sided with an establishment candidate, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, in a Senate primary against young conservative leader, former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio.
Republicans across the country were outraged by this action, which is only the latest betrayal of grassroots conservatives by the out-of-touch GOP elite in Washington.
The word went forth among conservative activists: Do not give money to the NRSC. The current chairman, Sen. John Cornyn, must resign. His replacement must pledge to keep the committee neutral in contested primaries. Let Republican voters — not party elites — choose Republican candidates.
This is where the conservative grassroots rebellion begins. When the NRSC asks you for money, tell ‘em:
NOT ONE RED CENT!
The bloggers included Robert Stacy McCain of The Other McCain, Dan McLaughlin of RedState, Pat Austin of And So It Goes In Shreveport, Doug Hagin, Carol of No Sheeples Here, Richard McEnroe of Three Beers Later, and Jimmie Bise of The Sundries Shack. (If I have missed anyone, let me know.)
In those first few months they blogged like crazy, and they were voices in the wilderness.
Over time Marco Rubio began to pick up recognition and support and went mainstream, and NORC posts dropped off as others picked up the cudgel elsewhere. The rest, as they say, is history.
When that history is written, I hope people will recognize the impact a few bloggers had in the revolution of 2010.