As many of you may know, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recently said, in regards to those pesky Tea Party activists challenging GOP incumbents for Senate seats: “I think we are going to crush them everywhere. I don’t think they are going to have a single nominee anywhere in the country.”
That, of course, includes his. In an effort to mount an effective counter, McConnell’s campaign team developed an ad that captured the interest of Jon Stewart at The Daily Show. The rest is internet comedy history.
As a Tea Party co-founder, I think this set the proper tone for a citizen response to his “crushing” commentary. People raced to dub music from a wide variety of songs into the ad. I chimed the ’80’s with my favorite band, Duran Duran, and its hit, “Hungry Like the Wolf”. Thousands of others joined the fun, as #Mcconnelling became a trending topic on Twitter and the Youdubber, a popular application.
In fact, for a golden moment, Mitch McConnell became more popular than Justin Bieber; Twitchy captured the moment.
While this was hilarious, I think it belies a much more serious point: Though establishment Republicans seem to be doing well against the current batch of upstarts, they will need the grassroots to be as excited about 2014 as they were in 2010 if they want another historic election result. It seems the smart set among their campaign operatives are so certain that Americans are done with Democrats that victory in November is practically a given — even without “Tea Party”.
Even if you’re feeling your oats in the primaries, is the close of CPAC and the dawn of the primary season really the time to be taking a victory lap and doing a bit of an in your face dance for opponents in your own party? November will be all about turnout – as the off years always are – and leaving a sour taste in the mouths of supporters of any of these “upstart whacko-birds” probably isn’t going to do much for the grassroots enthusiasm in the final weeks.
More to the point: The #Mcconnelling movement underscores that Americans are in the mood to mock both parties. The progressives and Obama-believers unhappy with the Democrats are more likely to stay home than vote Republican in November. Show with “crushing” quips that Republicans hold a key component of their base in contempt, and those less-than-impressed with the elite GOP will also stay home (4 million missing voters in 2012 ring a bell).
So, given the Democrats’ tendency to wheel the sick, dying, and dead into vote….
Well, let’s just say it’s an outcome I would rather not contemplate deeply at this moment.
I doubt McConnell will ever really respect citizen activists. However, it looks like he is trying to atone for his recent attack of hubris, by stating that he regrets his former lack of support for Marco Rubio and Rand Paul.
…The Senate Conservatives Fund has certainly endorsed some candidates who couldn’t win in states like Colorado, Delaware, and Indiana in recent years, but conservative activists point out that McConnell has made some pretty bad picks, too. In 2010, McConnell backed Trey Grayson over Rand Paul in the Kentucky primary. He also supported Florida governor Charlie Crist (now running again for governor, this time as a Democrat) over Marco Rubio.
Does McConnell regret supporting Crist and Grayson? He didn’t directly answer the question after being asked twice, but after the third attempt, he conceded: “I ended up being on the wrong side of the Kentucky primary in 2010. We all ended up being on the right side of the Florida primary before it was over,”
Currently, he is clinging to his new best friend, Tea Party favorite Rand Paul, closer than Lois Lerner clings to the 5th Amendment.
However, we have not forgotten what the establishment did to keep Lisa Murkowski in the Alaskan senate seat. Nor have we forgotten how little support Allen West and Mia Love got from the GOP during their campaigns and the aftermaths — so close that demands for recounts should have proceeded and been funded.
So, if McConnell really wants Harry Reid’s current position, then he is going to have to change his tune.DONATE
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