Based on repeated objective evidence, it’s irrational to argue that conservatives can get along with establishment Republicans.
It’s not that there isn’t a path for middle ground on policy, but those in establishment leadership simply cannot be trusted. This is comprehensively true at the federal level, and substantially true at state and local levels. At the federal level, for decades the Republican establishment has absolutely no defensible history of good faith in promoting real conservatism. Nearly all apparent efforts have been corrupted with political calculations and the narrow self-interest of the groups and individuals involved. What is best for citizens is lost in this political culture.
In Washington State, the Republican Party platform is quite conservative, so attempting to have a clear conservative agenda be visible shouldn’t be a problem. However, to expect good faith in power sharing or promoting real principled conservative candidates over ‘fluid’ Republicans is another matter. As at the federal level, Washington Republicans continue to promote politicians instead of statesmen. Again, the process values the objectives of the politicians and special-interest groups over the citizens.
The same situation clearly exists in Clark County. In 2012 the establishment Republican Party leadership was replaced by anti-corruption conservatives through existing party processes. Most of these local establishment Republicans behaved like their establishment friends at the state and federal levels. They shunned outreach efforts from the new conservative leadership, and worse, some schemed to hurt the Clark County conservative movement with underhanded activities, including willful spreading of misinformation and overt collaboration with local liberals and the local old media.
This is one reason ClarkCounty.info was started as a communication venue to highlight this establishment political behavior and fluid establishment Clark County politicians, many of whom masquerade as conservative Republicans.
To underscore how bad certain alleged Republicans have been in the recently completed primary, consider the following Clark County Republican candidates:
Sam Kim: Running for a state representative seat in the 17th District, Sam Kim first claimed he was a Republican and tried to gain local Republican Party resources, then at the point of filing for office, he registered as Democrat (with the nuance an ‘Independent Democrat’).
John Blom: Blom is running as a Republican for Clark County Council District 3 and has no known association or history with the local Republican Party. Blom has close associations with the corrupt county planning bureaucracy, appears to be fully committed to the local liberal political establishment, and was complicit in the lies and despicable actions taken against David Madore in the primary election. In his role on the Council he’s expected to be a lapdog to Marc Boldt, who himself is a puppet for the legacy establishment. Blom’s campaign is run by local establishment liberals and his campaign donations are the typical establishment players, many of whom are liberals. So you can see why Blom’s credentials as a reasonable Republican are questionable.
Jennifer McDaniel: McDaniel was encouraged by local liberal establishment operatives to run against conservative Eileen Quiring for the Clark County Council district 4 position. In activities as a Washougal City Council member, McDaniel has a three-year track record of bowing to the will and corruption of the local political establishment, has a bevy of establishment donors, and is chummy with the caustic and liberal Columbian editor Lou Brancaccio. Fortunately she was defeated in the August 2nd primary election by the solid conservative candidate Eileen Quiring.
Carolyn Crain: Crain unsuccessfully ran for the third time in this year’s primary for a state representative seat in the 49th legislative district. She has a multiyear record of trying to damage the local Republican Party. This includes trying to organize a boycott of the key fundraising event, starting a PAC that deliberately tried to fool local citizens that it speaks for the local Republican Party, and regularly posting empirically false statements about the events, goals, processes and actions of both the local Republican Party and other Republican public officeholders.
Others have paraded around in recent years like reasonably conservative Republican candidates, indicating in various ways that they’d oppose the destructive big-government Democrats. Instead, these politicians joined the establishment Republicans and Democrats with full disregard for responsible government principles. Politicians like Marc Boldt and Julie Olson immediately come to mind.
Locally some establishment Republicans have objected when the local Republican Party projected an opinion about which Republican candidates are better. According to the complainers, anyone staggering into the room claiming to be a Republican should not be challenged and has the right to equal support in resources, voter data, etc. Toward defending their position, they reference the local party’s general policy to not show favoritism in the primary election when two or more Republicans are running for the same position. This policy is understandable when earnest Republicans are seeking office to mitigate favoritism of party leadership promoting their ‘friends’. However, these complainers overlook other obligations the local party has to protect itself in the face of the assault happening now from the candidates listed above and their various handlers in the legacy Clark County establishment. The local party also has an obligation to its conservative donors who expect moneys will be spent to promote agendas and candidates in harmony with the platform—not support establishment Republicans with a mission to destroy the conservatives.
If the establishment Republicans were successful in preventing the conservative-led local party from having options to identify and block liberal Republicans, then a conservative party would cease to have purpose, and the conservatives would have no compelling reason to stay. This may be part of the desired outcome by the establishment Republicans, who are either useful-idiots for establishment liberals or feeding off the same special-interest feeding trough.
The Clark County Republican party has done fairly well in recent years in understanding the nature of the establishment Republicans and not letting down its guard, notwithstanding dedicated outreach efforts. This includes the Party taking strong and legitimate actions in the recent primary election against Republican political candidates with a known history of collaborating with those the party opposes. That would be McDaniel and Blom, listed above.
In conclusion, a conservative Republican Party can only have purpose if it can freely promote certain values and related policies. It should locate and support candidates who have a demonstrable resolve to support these values and who would probably vote correctly on legislation and other matters. Conversely, it would be completely unworkable if a conservative Republican Party lacked the latitude to expose and fight liberal and corrupt Republicans seeking to damage the conservative agenda. In this light, a Republican Party that seeks to promote real conservatism needs to ramp up the effort and pressure on establishment politicians and party leaders. They have to be relentless and ruthless in taking care of business. If they don’t, the known ruthless and devious behavior of the establishment will confound conservative progress, which over time would collapse the conservative agenda of anti-corruption, free enterprise, and small and effective government.