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Operation Counterweight, the electoral strategy for the rest of us

Operation Counterweight, the electoral strategy for the rest of us

Thanks to commenter Mutnodjmet for reminding me:

PS.  Just to let you know, in light of Palin’s decision, I am promoting OPERATION COUNTERWEIGHT quite heavily.

The reference is to my post in early June, Commence Operation Counterweight:

Why do I have this feeling that the back-stabbing and petty politics of the Republican insiders are going to leave me completely unexcited about the presidential campaign, and more focused on electing conservatives to Congress as a counterweight to the (hoped for) new Republican President?

Fight for the Republican nominee we want and the defeat of Obama, but also commence preparations for Operation Counterweight.

That will be my strategy for 2012, focusing on critical races in which we can elect Republicans willing to stand up to the Republican President who will take the oath of office in January 2013, and keep the Republican Speaker of the House and Republican Senate Majority Leader from repeating the mistakes of the past.

(Suggestions of candidates/races to focus on always welcome.  With redistricting still in progress, it’s harder to identify candidates who meet the criteria: (1) must be a conservative Republican (preferably with a Tea Party background), not third parties; (2) must be a swing district, i.e., a potentially vulnerable Republican or chance to flip a Democratic seat; and (3) must not already have national attention and fundraising .)


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Let’s start with the primaries. Because otherwise we will be faced with the same problem.

How about Ted Cruz for senate out of Texas? As close to another Marco Rubio. Ivy League (Princeton), conservative, with a Cuban background story like Rubio’s. Very sharp, articulate, and up against a ton of good ol’ boy Texas money. I think having two senior, young men of Cuban descent that can speak from a family history of the horrors of socialist revolution is a powerful, powerful message. The Republican will win in Texas, let’s get the right Republican, a truly great one.

Here in Florida, how about Adam Hasner over LeMieux and all the other Charlie Crist / Jim Greer corrupt cronies? We need to shutdown the corrupt good ol’ boy networks at the source. LeMieux is not electable despite being more moderate. He will be destroyed on the corruption tentacles, so arguments about that are pointless.

And finally, while I am not as enthusiastic about Mourdock, nothing would help reinforce the message of Mike Lee’s win than tossing another Republican openly disdainful of the Tea Party. Lugar has to go.

I think these kinds of wins in key states – two where the Republican should win and the third where dissatisfaction with Obama is high enough that a conservative can win – would really help shore up the Senate. All 3 would move it right.

Ted, in particular, I am enthusiastic about.

On the Congressional side, my focus would be on candidates who also have the chance for national presence and impact. Michael Williams for Congress in Texas is another fine, fine conservative with the potential for national presence and will help destroy the narrative! … like a Tim Scott.

I live in Debbie Wasserman “DNC Attack Poodle” Schultz’s district, which is like D+Infinity, so I have to look elsewhere for satisfaction … although I have a hunch she is unpopular enough that we’ll actually force her to pay attention a bit to her home district. More than that is too much to hope for, but we’ll try like heck …

Again, I think it is really important to start focusing on the primaries now.

Also, Professor, I think it is a mistake to avoid primaries in safe Republican districts where the choice is between a “Charlie Crist”-like candidate and a true conservative.

If we ignore cleaning up our own team early, we won’t have enough good causes in November 2012.

Redstate is running a series on the worst Republican Congresscritters who are pretty liberal despite coming from Deep Red districts. E.g., primary bait. Might be a few good ideas that crop up there too.

As Scott Brown proved, winning the left-leaning seats is useful, but we won’t hold a RINO White House in check with RINOs.

Cruz, Hasner, not-Lugar, Williams … other ideas welcome 🙂

    William A. Jacobson in reply to PrincetonAl. | October 9, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Yes, you are right. The primaries matter, and in some ways, gives us a chance to have more of an effec.

    I had a couple of occasions to interact with Ted Cruz in his capacity as an attorney-counselor. He is an excellent attorney, including his possession of the old fashioned deliberation and calmness needed to give good advice to clients in difficult circumstances. This attribute is a nice addition to those mentioned above by PrincetonAl. Even though I am in California I will contribute to his primary campaign and then, with luck, to his senatorial race. I second the recommendation PrincetonAl makes about Ted Cruz.
    I appreciate this post and Operation Counterweight. While I had been working to keep an open mind on the Republican candidates, I must have in my heart been placing great hope in Palin. I have followed some of the discussions about the other candidates and Yes, the back-stabbing and pettiness regarding all of them is numbing, and I don’t yet see which of them is likely to be able to do what needs to be done for our country. I despair about the opportunity that may be lost in this presidential election cycle, so focusing now on Operation Counterweight may be good for my attitude.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to PrincetonAl. | October 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Cruz will be a big win for conservatives. But first he has to win the primary, and he’s not polling so well so far.

If you are looking for swing districts look to VA-11. Consummate RINO Tom Davis held the district for more than a decade. Then he quite when it became clear he wouldn’t be re-elected.

The GOP appears to have accidentally allowed an actual conservative to run in the last two races. He may run again and could unseat the incumbent, left-wing Democrat currently holding the seat.

It is one place to start the fight.

Ted Cruz is an an excellent choice for the next senator from Texas. I have already been sending donatons to his campaign. He is also recommended by Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservative Fund, as is Josh Mandel (running for Ohio senate). Cruz needs a lot of financial help as he is running against Lt. Governor Dewhurst,(we like to call him Dewcrist) and ex-Dallas mayor Tom Leppard. They both have big pockets, so Cruz needs all the help he can get.
Michael Williams, (was Texas Railroad Commissioner) is also running for Congress Texas District 25 against Democrat incumbent Lloyd Doggett. He is a strong Conservative and a great choice. He was in direct competition with Ted Cruz for the Senate, but he bowed out when he realized that they are both true conservatives and would split the vote allowing Dewhurst to get the GOP nomination. Michael is not only the best candidate for the job, he is also African-American and it would be great to dispel the notion that the Tea Party is racist (Michael is supported by the Tea Party in Texas). He is a fine candidate, and if you can afford a few dollars every little helps. I have donated to his campaign also. Operation Counter-weight is underway with a vengenance.

    LoneStar78730 in reply to damocles. | October 9, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I’ll second the comments about Michael Williams – very impressive. Just a note – although TX CD25 is Lloyd Doggett’s district, redistricting has completely changed it. It used to be a district that ran from liberal SE Austin down south through San Antonio and towards the Valley – high Hispanic and trending left. The new 25 goes from conservative far NW Austin .

      LoneStar78730 in reply to LoneStar78730. | October 9, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      north to Ft Worth – Doggett is unelectable in this district. The district he lives in is now much more Hispanic and anchored in San Antonio, where the brother of San Antonio’s mayor (a state rep, IIRC) is favored in the D primary.

      A side note on TX redistricting – a lot of conservatives have complained that the R’s don’t get down and dirty when it comes to redistricting and taking on the D’s. That’s not the case here in TX. The R’s carved up liberal Travis County (Austin) into 5 – count ’em, 5 – separate Congressional districts, diluting the D’s to an expected 1 out of the 5 (the district anchored in SA).

NM should be considerd an important swing state, proggs do now that Progg Dem Sen Jeff Bingaman retired.

Primary race involves Heather Wilson, Lt Gov John Sanchez and Greg Sowards.

Wilson is the Establishment GOP candidate who was part of the Big Spending Republicans during the Bush years (but hey, like John Kerry she served in the military so she must be honorable, right?) Today she is attempting to sound fiscally conservative after her record of Big Spending. She is one of those backstabbing Republicans who went from supporting the war in Iraq 2003 to supporting bringing charges of war crimes against Bush 2007.

Greg Sowards lives Conservatism however he has no public service experience, lives in the southern part of the state is a complete unknown.

Lt Gov John Sanchez lives Conservatism, is a well-known successful small business owner and is part of the Martinez (Palin-endorsed Gov) administration who is taking on the corrupt. I asked him directly that if he should win the Senate seat would he succumb to GOP establishment pressure. He responded by saying that he sees the problems with the Establisment and would not succumb to their pressure. He also considers himself a Marco Rubio ally who holds the same beliefs. Sen Rand Paul just endorsed him.

Lt Gov John Sanchez is a great opportuntity for NM Senate seat to turn from a Progg-held seat to a Conservative-held seat.

    PrincetonAl in reply to syn. | October 9, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I had heard some good things elsewhere about Sanchez and negatives things about Wilson. I will keep an eye on this one too.

    Great suggestion and reminder!

Living in coastal California, I’ve little chance of satisfaction in an election, other than at the presidential level. (And now that Sarah’s declined to run… *sigh*) But I would suggest a race to watch: congressional district 36. In a very liberal district, Republican Craig Huey came in a surprising second in the open primary to qualify for the general election. While he lost to Democrat hack Janice Hahn, he made a credible showing, much stronger than usual for a Republican here. With redistricting, CD 36 moves a bit more to the south and becomes more friendly to a conservative candidate. Whether Huey runs again or the candidate is different “R,” in a bad year overall for the Democrats I’d expect him to have a good shot at unseating Hahn. I think it will be a race to keep an eye on.

    Mutnodjmet in reply to Phineas Fahrquar. | October 9, 2011 at 11:09 am

    I despair of California, being a Californian myself. Good to know, and I will pass this information onto members of our Tea Party Group.

      IMHO (I’m a member of the Pasadena Tea Party Patriots), I despair of the great number of conservatives in CA who allow themselves to be steamrolled by the Republican State Committee. I often argue that we should separate ourselves from any hint of GOP affiliation yet our candidates insist on ingratiating themselves to the state committee. It’s a dead end. Look what happened to Tea Party conservative Chuck Devore, a terrific conservative candidate. He was leading in the polls yet the state committee allowed McCain/Palin to pick Fiorina as the nominee. That is also what happened to Tom McClintock, as good a conservative as they come anywhere in America, who got steamrolled in favor of Arnold.

      Working “within the party” in CA is losing by suicide for conservatives. Last November’s ballot was the worst ballot I ever held in my hand and the GOP is 100% to blame. They lost the governor’s race in a landslide to the most unpopular politician in CA despite outspending him by a factor of 5-6 to 1.

      What difference does it make having so many Republicans and conservatives in CA if there is never anyone on the ballot to vote for? All of this Tea Party organizing is not going to get us anywhere if we cannot take over the GOP State Committee. Step one is to tell them so and find candidates who agree.

    This is good news. I will watch this district and see how it develops. Adding a conservative Republican house seat or two from California would be gratifying.

Lou Barletta out of PA …he won in a district ( mine ) that is about 3 to 1 democrat …he beat 13 term Kanjorski and he will get a little help with redistricting but the DCCC has him on their target list ….send money guns and lawyers

    PrincetonAl in reply to Aggie95. | October 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Yes, I have (Democratic liberal) relatives who live in that district. Kanjorski was the worst. The videos of his corrupt dealings in clean energy (solar and stuff) were fabulous stuff to expose – a permanent Solyndra in the making as it were, as some of that stuff goes back a decade or more, and a reminder that the Solyndra is a surprise only for its scale and publicity. Otherwise its business as usual.

    Good riddance, I agree let’s keep it that way.

You are really getting ahead of yourself, Professor. In addition to the little matter of actually defeating Obama, even with a Republican President, no big deal changes (eg, Obamacare) will even be possible without GOP control of the Senate. Boosting a few conservatives for House seats will, in contrast, have only a very marginal impact.

The intense focus should be on winning these Senate seats currently held by Democrats: Nelson (NE), Open (ND), Tester (MT), McCaskill (MO), Nelson (FL), Webb (VA), Brown (OH). At the same time, holding all current GOP seats is equally important, and there are four or five other Senate seats that could turn out to be competitive.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to JEBurke. | October 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    For a small blog like this, it’s better to focus on House races, particularly in a presidential election year. All competitive Senate races will be national in scope, with tons of outside money and professional media staff. We can make more of a difference in congressional races that are under the national radar. I’m not excluding Senate races, just being realistic as to where we can make the most impact.

      PrincetonAl in reply to William A. Jacobson. | October 9, 2011 at 3:42 pm

      In general, perhaps. But I think you had a huge impact on the Scott Brown race. You influenced me greatly on that one.

      Admittedly it was a special election, but while I agree with you overall that some focused efforts will get more results … don’t underestimate yourself.

      So, I think a few Republican Senate primaries as warm-ups to the House races in the fall might not be a bad idea at all (I know, I’m beating a favorite theme here).

      Not so small anymore, eh?

    The Tea Party proved its value this year when 20 House Tea Party conservatives stood the one-party Congress on its head despite the GOP leadership protesting that being just 1/2 of 1/3 of the government, they were powerless. Those 20 had power beyond their numbers because they were fighting for what the majority of Americans believe in despite being 1/12 of that 1/2 of the 1/3 that wouldn’t fight. Being right matters when “two” parties are conspiring to further the same globalist agenda and the minority won’t keep quiet about it. Elections still matter.

    If we fail to prevent the GOP leadership from again orchestrating the nomination of their typical liberal Democrat candidate, it won’t matter much who the next president is, particularly since Obama is not likely to be the Dem candidate. We should then all concentrate on Operation Counterweight since we have already proved that we can be effective with only 20 House members. Imagine what 100 could do. The Senate is hopeless whether it is run by Dems or Reps.

Sen Wicker in MS is up, but he seems to be a decent guy. Cochran is up in 2014, and he’s in need of a retirement.

Ah, the recognition of value in competing interests to keep the honest people honest, and to hold the corrupted and others who choose to fail accountable for their actions. There really is no viable alternative to the market, especially in politics.

This is a fabulous thread. Now we’re thinking about exactly how to accomplish our objectives vs spouting off and venting about the Democrats socialist agenda.

Yes, I too am very frustrated, however, unless we look at how to win elections, the merit of our arguments will be for naught.

I look forward to more about this Operation Counterweight. Brave to you Prof. J!

heh… I live in Maine so have snowe/collins in senate and michaud/pingree (yes that thief) in house.
ANYTHING would be better….

This is 6 months old but a goodie. While focused on Senate races, it is a helpful way of thinking about where you can really improve on the candidate relative to the state.

It gets out of simplistic “who is the bigger RINO” conversation … and into “who is the biggest RINO relative to their voters?” … a much more critical look at any given.

Bad news for those who want to replace Snowe or Collins or Brown and may not be able to improve a lot … but good news on plenty of other candidates.

It sets realistic expectations on how far you can move any single election within a state.

As always … a great candidate can move a state more points than a weak one, and all politics are local.

Count me into the Ted Cruz and Michael Williams camp. I would also like it if we could, somehow, retire Ralph Hall. He’s kind of okay but he’s just been there too long.

Sometimes I have idle dreams about finding someone to beat Shiela Jackson Lee but then, maybe it’s a good idea to keep a downright loon as a face of the Democrats.

Thank you,Professor. As a Palin supporter, I think this falls in line with what she intends on doing as a non-presidential candidate in 2012. All eggs can’t be put in the presidential basket.

docdisgruntled | October 9, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Randy Altschuler in NY-01. In 2010, incumbent Democrat won by 500 votes out of 200,000 cast. Altschuler has Tea Party endorsements. A very flippable seat.

Whippersnapper | October 9, 2011 at 8:48 pm

I agree with Peter6067 that candidates such as Ted Cruz need to be advanced. Next to the Presidency, it will be most important that when the next Senate is constituted with a Republican majority the truly conservative bloc be of such size that the Senate Majority Leader NOT be able to slip into “go along to get along” mode. And even better would be to have a principled conservative elected as Senate Majority Leader. Hey, a fellow can dream, can’t he?

And by the way, I think it’s premature to give up on having a non-RINO get the Republican presidential nomination. I certainly haven’t given up.

Herb Kohl’s (Wisconsin) Senate seat is a realistic pickup for Republicans. The Republican primary will be a nasty affair, but whoever comes out of that will stand in rather stark contrast to the Dem’s Tammy Baldwin. No middle of the road candidates available for this one… so far.

[…] interesting link came my way in an email thread the other day and it got me thinking; what if Obama wins in 2012? […]

[…] in terms of work, I want to let everyone know that this Palinista is going all in for Operation Counterweight (being organized over at Legal Insurrection). Basically, it is focusing on the House and Senate races. Truly, for those of us who are disgusted […]