DC RINOs Campaign Against Trump-Endorsed Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake

RINOs are desperate to quash the conservative movement. Perfect examples are an opinion piece from Henry Olson, of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (“EPPC”) published in Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post, entitled “Please, Republicans. Donʼt nominate Kari Lake for Arizona governor” and a Mike Pence endorsement of Lake’s GOP rival.

Because Henry Olsen’s path and mine have crossed in DC over the years, I can tell you that Olsen is unfailingly an absurdly decent and uncommonly pleasant person. Still, there is obviously some entrenched hatred smoldering below his kind surface, laser-focused against Donald Trump—which now apparently extends by default to anyone who espouses Trump’s “America First” sentiments.

Olsen’s accumulated writings against all things Trump-related are clearly ad-hominem in origin. I can’t imagine what could have caused this, but believe that it is unfitting that he uses his EPPC pulpit to air his obviously personal animus against Trump.

It's unusual enough to have a Republican from a conservative DC center work as a regular columnist for the unquestionably liberal Washington Post. It’s even more unusual to have so-called conservative pundits in DC provide unsophisticated opinions about a state primary election from 2,500 miles away—and, as far as I can see, Olsen has no family or residential link.

Conservative centers are a bit of a rarity in Washington, DC, while liberal think tanks are somewhere between much better funded and substantially better funded. If anything, those few conservatives and even fewer think tanks should be cheering for America First conservative ideals, not attacking each other for their interpretation of conservative standards. Those who squeal at every little thing that offends them could get a fatter paycheck by openly siding with liberals.

Olsen’s opinion is just one of many that are wrong with today’s Republican party. During the Obama and Biden administrations, Democrats and their pundits always march in lockstep to support the agenda. When a Republican is in control, self-styled conservatives bicker pointlessly among themselves, dividing the party, and costing elections.

Image: Kari Lake. YouTube screen grab.

As a stalwart “Never Trumper,” not only does Olsen dislike Donald Trump (currently polling above Biden), but he has also resorted to casting his net across the whole U.S. to go after individual Trump friends, such as Kari Lake, and openly support her opponent, Karrin Taylor Robson. If that wasn’t enough, Mike Pence also used a DC bully pulpit (the Heritage Foundation) to tell Arizonans how to vote.

Perhaps Olsen and Pence imagine Arizona’s citizens wandering around opinionlessly, just waiting to hear their oracular pronouncements: “Oh great Oracles of Establishment Republicans…please tell us what else we should do to honor your voting whims! We live to serve your direct instruction from your castles on high!!

While I was first bewildered why DC elites care about Arizona, I soon realized that the Washington DC squealing RINOs are truly scared of Lake, her Herculean female leadership abilities, her unfailing ability to disembowel any main-stream reporter that attempts to interview her with baseless accusations, her America First Agenda, and her potential to be the Helena Of Troy of the MAGA party.

Olsen and Pence ignore that, as a conservative, Kari Lake is pro-life, pro-family, pro-guns, pro-election integrity—values both EPPC and the Heritage Foundation purport to espouse.

Per the EPPC website:

Founded in 1976, the Ethics and Public Policy Center is Washington, D.C.’s premier institute working to apply the riches of the Judeo-Christian tradition to contemporary questions of law, culture, and politics, in pursuit of America’s continued civic and cultural renewal.

And per the Heritage Foundation website:

The Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action are fighting to save America. Conservatives must set the agenda, earn a mandate for that agenda, and govern accordingly. We are committed to restoring human flourishing through self-governance for all Americans and championing the policies that get us there.

Advocating for “self-governance” seems inconsistent with meddling with elections 2,500 miles away. The only candidates advocating to “Save America” are Trump and his endorsed candidates, not establishment Republicans like Pence.

With their DC megaphones, Olsen and Pence could have written about the Biden administration’s horrifying economic and foreign policy disasters: uncontrolled illegal immigration, runaway inflation (and the consequent economic and public health ramifications), threats to the Supreme Court, defunding the police, the ridiculously mismanaged COVID pandemic, the ridiculous Dr. Anthony Fauci, the loss of American energy independence, Americans’ concern about “the most secure election in American history,”™ along with the cornucopia of Joe Biden’s cognitive, plus numerous ethical and personal matters centered around his son, Hunter Biden or his outrageous personal obsessions with illegal narcotics and depraved fetishes as detailed on his laptop.

After ostensibly winning 81 million votes—more than any other president in the history of the United States—Biden’s approval rate is now the lowest in presidential history at this point in the presidency, while Biden’s 37% approval rate is beneath President Trump’s all-time low.

Still, Olsen and Pence remain silent about Biden, preferring to focus on undermining a gubernatorial primary race in Arizona, simply because Kari Lake got Trump’s endorsement. How non-sequitur is that?

Other than attending a few costume/Halloween parties and/or “drag shows,” what specifically are Lake’s shortcomings? She “flip-flopped”? Big deal. Both Ronald Regan and Donald Trump changed their political parties from liberal to conservative along with millions of other enlightened Americans. She’s an “unknown?” Same response, as above.

Lake is a clear underdog running against the wife of a billionaire who builds luxury resort communities. Edward J. Robson’s wife tries to “slum it” and self-identifies as a “small business owner” both televised debates and on her LinkedIn page—but claims to have “created thousands of new jobs for Arizona families” on her election mailers. Obviously, she can’t have a “small business” and also “create thousands of jobs.” Which is it?

Olsen directly advocates for Karrin Taylor Robson. He ignores that Taylor-Robison began her primary campaign by spending $12.1 million to Lake’s $430,000 (i.e., over 2,800% more than Lake). In the second quarter, Robson outspent Lake by $9 million. Essentially all of Robson’s campaign money comes from her husband. Lake’s money comes from working Arizonans’ smaller, individual donations. Despite being outspent, Lake consistently maintains an approximate 5% lead in polls all year (even NPR admits this). Some recent polls put Lake ahead by 14 points. Other polls show that Lake is the only candidate capable of beating the Democratic frontrunner.

Taylor Robson also somehow obtained an endorsement from Chris Christie. Which of her "genius" consultants told her that Arizonans would give a shit about what people in New Jersey think Arizona's governor would be, let alone a massively unpopular former New Jersey governor?

Importantly, it’s not White “racist” Arizonans who support Kari Lake. An official Big Data poll shows her getting support from all ages, races, and generations in Arizona. That is heartwarming.

Why are Olsen and Pence silent about a 90-something-year-old billionaire funding his wife, who is four decades younger and pretends to be a small business owner even as she obviously tries to “buy” the Arizona governor’s election?

DC Outsiders don’t speak for conservative Arizonans—nor should they attempt to. In fact, Olsen and Pence may not even speak for most of their think-tank colleagues. They certainly don’t understand Arizona’s existential struggles with illegal aliens, skyrocketing homelessness, gang- and cartel-related crime, kidnapping, and record illegal narcotics traffic.

Lake, however, has properly called illegal immigration an invasion and has committed to ordering the National Guard to the border the very day she is sworn into office. Taylor Robson won’t make this commitment—and Governor Ducey hasn’t made any effort to do so to date. Obviously, the Olsens, Christies, and Pences of DC and NJ aren’t interested in the well-being of Arizona citizens. They just want another RINO added to their pathetic ranks. 

To all the squealing RINOs: Arizonans want to make their own choices and your Northeastern RINO platitudes, in addition to being uninformed, don’t matter to us. Please mind your own business.

Emily Harvey is a pseudonym.

(This essay has been updated to correct some minor typos and stylistic errors.)

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