Fed up with the GOP Establishment? That's no reason to stay home on Election Day

With the mid-term elections weeks away, many conservatives are confronting a difficult choice. Assuming there are no solid conservatives on the ballot, do we vote for establishment candidates? Or not vote at all?

The reasons why some conservatives are on the fence or planning not to vote are well known. (And Democrats are loving every minute of it!)

  • “Establishment Republicans have attacked us and I refuse to support any of them.”
  • “I’m sick of RINO’s. They’re no better than the Democrats.”
  • “Other than a few strong conservatives, the rest of the GOP stands for nothing.”

I share these frustrations.

The conversation in my head goes something like this: Some Republicans have viciously attacked conservatives, including a concerted effort by the RNC to undermine the Tea Party. It’s shocking and enraging for all the obvious reasons, including the fact that we were the ones who ushered in huge victories in 2010 despite the likes of Karl Rove. It’s outrageous that we have to battle not only the left, but our own party as well. The idea of voting for any of these Republicans makes me sick. I’m not some patsy they can disrespect and then count on when Election Day rolls around. I don’t want to send a message that their behavior is acceptable in any way. Why should they be rewarded? They can’t disrespect my views and then take my vote for granted. I resent being put in this position with few good choices. I need to take a stand and show them that without my vote, they may lose!

I’ve struggled about what to do. Some days it seemed like the GOP crossed the line and I could not support the party with my vote. Other days it seemed emotionally indulgent to think that way, like a petulant child who was determined to teach the bad guy a lesson. A lesson he would not learn. But I would act out anyway because it’s all I had.

But as time has passed, the best way forward has emerged. It doesn’t feel perfect and I’m not jumping for joy. But it’s the right thing to do.


And don’t just vote, but make sure others cast the right vote as well. Here’s why:

First and foremost, the right to vote should never be taken for granted. It is a gift and one we should cherish. It should not be tossed aside. No matter how disappointed we feel about our choices, we must make the best possible choice among the options.

Apathy is a luxury we can’t afford. If we want to grumble about RINO’s, the RNC, and establishment Republicans, that shouldn’t stop us from voting. Grumbling and voting aren’t mutually exclusive. Should anyone decide to express some choice words in the voting booth, save the best for Harry Reid. (More on Harry later.)

Frustration and anger + withhold my vote = lesson learned by the GOP is not a realistic equation, satisfying as it may feel, emotionally. And to say “they” will suffer the consequences if they lose is misguided because they won’t be the only ones who suffer if the Senate remains in the hands of progressive Democrats. The impact will negatively affect my life and the lives of my fellow citizens. And while far too many members of the GOP are weaker than I would like (understatement), there are areas (not nearly enough) where they are better than the Democrats.

Even if there is only one thing where a Republican would be better than a Democrat, that counts for something. And depending on what that thing is, it may count for a whole lot. And we cannot afford to throw anything away -- even one gain. It’s easy to bash establishment Republicans, but we should not ignore times when they got it right. Or at least closer to right than the Democrats.

Every GOP Senator held firm in voting against Obamacare.

When Scott Brown was in the Senate, he co-authored a similar bill to the one Ted Cruz proposed that would deny citizenship to Americans who travel overseas to fight with terrorists. (Of note, Jeanne Shaheen, Brown’s opponent in New Hampshire, accepted thousands of dollars from J Street’s PAC.)

When the Democrats cynically wanted to tie funding for Israel’s Iron Dome to immigration reform, Mitch McConnell broke out a bill that separated the two issues so Israel -- our one true ally in the Middle East -- could get the aid she needed in time of war.

And for all the complaining about Mitt Romney is 2012, I think by now it’s clear that he would have been a better president than Barack Obama. Likely, far better. On national security alone, Romney would have been light years ahead of Obama.

And just for the sake of argument, if a Republican voted with the Democrats half the time and with the Republicans half the time that would be better than Democrats who voted with their party 98% of the time, which is what progressives do.

Meanwhile, as we come down the home stretch to the mid-term elections, the Democrats have gained momentum. The Senate map with no toss-ups at Real Clear Politics had the GOP at 52 seats just a couple of weeks ago. That lead slipped to 51, then to 50, then on Thursday back to 51 by the slimmest of margins.

It’s essential that we break the Democratic majority in the Senate and win at least 51 seats. It’s a tall order, but it’s critical that we increase our numbers to chip away at their ability to get a super-majority, have the maximum number of votes to impact filibusters, have the votes to block Obama nominees (the most crucial being the Supreme Court), and unseat Harry Reid.

Reid has controlled the Senate like none of his predecessors. Let’s help this little tyrant step aside. As Red State reports:

according to a recent study by Congressional Quarterly, nearly 70% of all votes in the Senate in 2013 involved party-line votes, close to an all-time high, and in more than half of those votes, Harry Reid’s Democratic caucus was unanimous – the highest level of party unanimity in the history of either House of Congress.

Once upon a time, the U.S. Senate was seen as a deliberative body…Senators would debate and dispute the great issues of the day, and an individual Senator could force the Senate to vote on amendments, whether or not specific to the purpose of the bill, any time new legislation went to the floor. Not only did this process give each Senator a potential role in the shaping of important national legislation, but it also allowed activist Senators (especially in the minority party) to force their colleagues to go on the record on the controversial issues of the day.

Since Harry Reid became the Majority Leader in 2007, that role has faded; Reid has strangled the amendment process, and used the “nuclear option” that Reid once denounced in order to bulldoze the minority’s traditional weapons for holding up nominations. The result has been a Senate that looks much more like what the House is expected to be: a place of party-line votes and absolute control by the Majority Leader….

Here’s the key CQ finding: on party-line votes…Senate Democrats in 2013 were unanimous 52% of the time, the highest percentage of lockstep votes that CQ can locate in either party in the history of either chamber: (snip)

Overall, CQ found that the average Senate Democrat voted with the party a record 94% of the time.

Reid must go. How often have conservatives expressed the wish that Republicans would spend as much time hammering away at Democrats as some of them do hammering away at fellow Republicans? Let’s not fall into the same trap. Let’s not get so distracted and obsessed with our gripes (legitimate and serious as they are) with establishment Republicans that we lose sight of an even bigger problem: the Democrats. The party that has members who, for example, think there is no conflict between the United States Constitution and sharia law

If we make meaningful gains in November it will be but a baby step in terms of what needs to be done. But if a baby step is what we must take, then so be it.

If you’re thinking about not voting, in addition to what I’ve shared, please also take a moment to think about our brave men and women in uniform and what they endure to keep this country strong. Then consider your willingness to throw away your vote and further empower the party of race-baiting progressive, socialist, communist, apologists for America.

How often do we hear that Republicans are brilliant at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory? Let’s not be a part of that ridiculous pattern.

Progressives vote in lock step. They support their candidates no matter what. And while they do, they are watching us and waiting -- waiting to see us undermine ourselves. We think we’ll teach the Republican party a lesson? All we’ll do by not voting is give the opposition plenty of smug entertainment as they hold onto power in the Senate and high-five each other for a job well done.

Some may say we’re better than that and we don’t vote in lock step for any GOP candidate. That we have principles. But how is it principled to cast aside the right to vote?

No patriot can give up, even if the potential gain is far smaller than we would like. Even if the gain is merely a holding pattern.

In closing, I just want to say that despite pundits anticipating a huge win for the GOP, there’s no reason -- at all -- to think we’ve got this election in the bag. Because we don’t. Our shot at winning comes from grassroots efforts. In other words, you and me. When November 4th rolls around, each of us should be confident that we did everything possible to loosen the stranglehold of power the progressives now have. Even if we feel little enthusiasm or faith as we cast our votes.

Perhaps this is what it’s come to. For now.

In addition to voting, please consider the following:

  • Make calls on behalf of candidates to help them get out the vote. (Their campaign will pick up the tab so you don’t have to pay for long-distance calls.) This is a way you can invest in a candidate you believe in. There are some great candidates out there who need our support. See below for some names and please add more recommendations in the comments section.
  • Donate to candidates you believe in. It’s down to the wire. They need our help. The Democrats have way more money in the bank than we do.
  • Help register like-minded people to vote.
  • Volunteer to drive like-minded people to the polls.
  • Bring others with you when you go to the polls who may not otherwise be inclined vote.

Here are links to a few great candidates. Please share more in the comments section:


Congressman Tom Cotton (AR)

Joni Ernst (IA)

House of Representatives

David Brat (VA-7)

Dan Bongino (MD-6)

Martha McSally (AZ-2)

These races are considered toss ups as of this writing:


Alaska: Dan Sullivan (R) vs. Mark Begich (D)

Sullivan has just come from behind in the polls, but his lead is razor thin (1.3 points).

Arkansas: Tom Cotton (R) vs. Mark Pryor (D)

My personal impression from vetting veteran and Congressman Cotton is that he is incredibly bright and has his priorities straight. He is a stand out, in my view.


Colorado: Mark Udall (D) vs. Cory Gardner (R)


Georgia: David Perdue (R) vs. Michelle Nunn (D)

Right now Perdue has a slim lead over Nunn in most polls, but like all of these races, the numbers are within the margin of error.


Iowa: Bruce Braley (D) vs. Joni Ernst (R)

Beginning in June, Ernst started a dramatic rise from behind, closing the gap from being 6 points behind to what is now a neck and neck race.


Kansas: Greg Orman (I) vs. Pat Roberts (R)

Orman has a 5-10 point lead, depending on which poll you watch. As much as Roberts does not inspire, we need to do all we can not to lose Kansas to this imposter who is a Democrat pretending to be an Independent.


New Hampshire: Jeanne Shaheen (D) vs. Scott Brown (R)

The percentage gap between them has tightened, but Shaheen maintains a lead in all polls. But that can change.


North Carolina: Kay Hagan (D) vs. Thom Tillas (R)

In July, Hagan was way up in the polls, then in August Tillas overtook the lead, albeit by a minute margin. Now Hagan and Tillas are very far apart, with Hagan in the lead by 4.5 points. Tillas needs our help if we are to boot out Hagan. 


House of Representatives


Arizona-1: Ann Kirkpatrick (D) vs. Andy Robin (R)


Arizona-2: Ron Barber (D) vs. Sally McSally (R)


California-7: Ami Bera (D) vs. Doug Ose (R)


California-36: Raul Ruiz (D) vs. Brian Nestande (R)


California-52: Scott Peters (D) vs. Carl DeMaio (R)


Florida-18: Patrick Murphy (D) vs. Carl Domino (R)


Florida-26: Joe Garcia (D) vs. Carlos Curbelo (R)


Illinois -10: Brad Schneider (D) vs. Robert Dold (R)


Maine-2: Emily Cain (D) vs. Bruce Poliquin (R)


New Hampshire-1: Carol Shea-Porter (D) vs. Frank Guinta (R)


New York-1: Tim Bishop (D) vs. Lee Zeldin (R)


New York-21: Elise Stefanik (D) vs. Aaron Woolf (R)


West Virginia-3: Nick Rahall (D) vs. Evan Jenkins (R)


In addition to the toss up races noted above, as of this writing there are 25 races that are listed as lean or likely Democrat with only 2 races that are listed as lean or likely Republican, here.


Here are some great PACS:


John Bolton

Allen West

Sarah Palin


If you experience technical problems, please write to helpdesk@americanthinker.com