The Club for Shrinkage?

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The Club for Growth's successful round of Republican primary victories is backfiring in Colorado, as a retiring Republican mulls an independent write-in bid to squelch the CFG candidate who would replace him.

Rep. Joel Hefley is seriously considering running as a write-in
candidate to retain his seat rather than risk handing it over to
Republican nominee Doug Lamborn.

Shortly after announcing he would not seek an 11th term, Hefley
endorsed [former aide Jeff] Crank. Crank and Lamborn engaged in a bloody political battle
that included third-party mailings accusing Crank of being a tax hiker
and an advocate for the "radical homosexual lobby," charges Lamborn
either leveled or refused to renounce.

Lamborn, a state senator, won the primary by 892 votes and
is set to face Democrat Jay Fawcett in a district that leans heavily
Republican. Thirteen Republicans have publicly announced their support
for Fawcett, and others have complained behind the scenes about
Lamborn's primary campaign.

Living last year in Virginia I saw this happen on a smaller scale. Conservative Republicans primaried a number of moderate, squishy Republican state legislators in the DC suburbs and exurbs, in large part because of anger over Gov. Mark Warner's tax hikes (which said legislators supported). The victorious conservatives got summarily creamed by Democrats. Colorado-05 should be a safe GOP seat, but Kos, for one, is bullish about Democratic chances in a three-way race. And think how happy Kos et al will be if the CFG primaries Lincoln Chafee.

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  1. …successful round of Republican primary victories is backfiring in…

    Pretty much describes the whole right wing agenda in a nutshell, now doesn’t it?

  2. The Club for Shrinkage?

    There’s a pill for that, you know.

  3. US politics, my favorite spectator blood sport.

  4. Not three threads down, there is a whole list of comments bemoaning how the Republicans have become the party of big government and spend worse than Democrats. Okay, fair enough. The Club for Growth, unlike the Republicans in Congress actually believes in small government and lower taxes; something most Reasonites claim to also support. Here we have the Club for Growth actually doing something to change the Republicans?’ free spending ways by whacking big spending frauds like Chafee and what do we get? A Reason post talking about how wonderful it is that the Club for Growth is failing. I would say that the guys loosing in Virginia to the Dems, who no doubt supported the Governor?s tax hike, is a pretty bad day for Virginia. I don’t understand why Weigal doesn’t see it that way.

  5. Is the Club for Shrinkage the right wing version of MoveOn? Don’t you just love the Midas touch in reverse?

  6. Uh David? A NUMBER of them? I was in Virginia that year, and I remember it, the CFG was considered a failure, their anti-RINO candidates only taking out a single fellow Republican. That guy was, indeed, creamed by the Democrat.

    John, you need to buff up on your reading comprehension. David is pointing out that so far, the CFG effort has resulted in more democrats, instead of any CFG-friendly Republicans. That’s pretty obviously worth pointing out as a losing strategy whether you are happy or sad about it.

  7. The Club for Growth, unlike the Republicans in Congress actually believes in small government and lower taxes; something most Reasonites claim to also support.

    The Club for Growth’s support for small government and lower taxes gets lost for me in their “radical homosexual lobby” talk and obsessive anti-abortion talk.

  8. Wait a minute…

    Are you telling me that “Stave the Beast” supply siders are adopting a stategy that’s counterproductive to their stated ends?

    No, that just isn’t possible.

  9. The Club for Growth’s support for small government and lower taxes gets lost for me in their “radical homosexual lobby” talk and obsessive anti-abortion talk.

    Link? Perhaps a handful of endorsed candidates may hold those views, but I see nothing on the Club for Growth webpage that gives any indication that those are positions held officially (or unofficially) by the group.

  10. John: When Grover Norquist stops saying “deficits don’t matter”, I’ll believe the Club for Growth is serious about cutting spending. Until then, they are just an organized group of tax protestors.

  11. “Crank and Lamborn” sound like villains from a neil Gaiman novel.

  12. ‘ “Crank and Lamborn” sound like villains from a neil Gaiman novel.’

    Sounded like a law firm to me. I don’t know Neil Gaimon’s books. Are his villains lawyers?

    [Note that I did not ask if lawyers were villains.]

  13. Does anyone besides me detect a cognitive dissonance in CFG’s argument that tax cuts are good because they stimulate the economy, thereby GENERATING MORE REVENUE FOR THE GOVERNMENT?

  14. I believe it was Chris Craddock who was the one Republican CFG victory. He was also anti-homosexual, extreme on abortion, and had the misfortune of, when asked about AIDS, telling schoolchildren that “Africans will have sex with anything with a pulse.” In NOVA, that didn’t play too well.

    His views on homosexuality were also more than a little awful: ” ?When we asked him about gay marriage, he said he believes nobody?s born gay ? they turn gay,? said senior Natalie McLarty, 17. ?He said, in his experience, from the gay males he?s known, there are three ways to become gay: You don?t have a father figure in your life, you have an abusive father figure or you have no loving support in your family.?

    As for CFG and Norquist, the bottom line is that anyone who thinks that what a government taxes today is more important than what it spends today is nothing more than a goofy crank. All that matters is spending. All spending will be someday paid out of taxes, regardless of how low you manage to get the tax rates in the here and now. Focusing on cutting taxes is like mucking around with the size of your monthly credit card debt payment without curtailing the spending habits that got you into debt in the first place.

  15. jf, you’re quite right those are not positions of the Club for Growth, they do seem to be the positions taken by candidates Club for Growth endorses.

    I am in fact very sympathetic to the rhetoric of the Club for Growth. Unfortunately every single candidate that I have seen endorsed by them has gone to great lengths to stress the lengths he will go to end the homo scourge and close the abortion mills.

    Maybe The Club for Growth supports some actual libertarians but for the most part they are supporting conservatives with an emphasis on social conservative.

    I’m sure that that’s not exactly what Steve Moore intends but when you work with republicans your raw material is more than likely to be poor quality.

    Remember that almost every Republican in the House and Senate today ran on a cut taxes and spending platform.

  16. I gotta say I find the original post confusing. Just one slot below you have a post bashing Gov. Ahnult, for being “squishy” in a state that shouldn’t have a Republican govenor at all.

    And it can be said about Ahnult, that some of his important philosophical defeats were handed to him directly by the electorate, in the form of rejected ballot propositions…shouldn’t he be placing himself somewhere near the California center of gravity?

  17. The difference between the Club for Growth and the current republicans in office is that the club does not have the power of the taxpayer’s purse.

    Current history has proven, party affiliation is irrelevent with who spends. Once you have the power to spend, you use it. I agree with Ron.

    If only I had a dollar for every politician that promised fiscal responsibility and did the opposite.

  18. you know there was some noise about the republicans endorseing a libertarian who actaully is on the ballet in Tom Delay’s old district…when i read it i thought oh good a reason article will soon follow…it never came and this just reminded me…

    what the fuck guys?

    anyway this is where i read about it:

    http://www.poorandstupid.com/2006_08_13_chronArchive.asp#115594231020662179

    Some Republicans think the party should simply back Mr. Smither. “I’m not convinced a write-in will succeed,” says Jerry Patterson, a Texas Land Office commissioner. “We should seriously consider supporting Bob Smither. Nick Lampson could be the one vote that elects Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.” Another prominent Republican from out of state endorsed Mr. Smither yesterday. Bob Barr, the former Georgia congressman who served as a House manager during the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton, says Mr. Smither might be an improvement over the write-in alternatives: “I don’t see him going to Washington and voting for bigger government the way so many Republicans have done.”

  19. “Africans will have sex with anything with a pulse.”

    I actually prefer the politics of shame then to dumping billions into currupt nations as a reward for thier citizens unhealthy sexual behavior.

    Note: I said unhealthy not imoral…poeple can fuck whoever they want but they should not come crying for big nanny to bail them out when they catch the clap.

  20. John,

    I warned you. There is one “o” in lose. Now I will exact retribution when you least expect it.

  21. “I am in fact very sympathetic to the rhetoric of the Club for Growth. Unfortunately every single candidate that I have seen endorsed by them has gone to great lengths to stress the lengths he will go to end the homo scourge and close the abortion mills.

    “Maybe The Club for Growth supports some actual libertarians but for the most part they are supporting conservatives with an emphasis on social conservative.

    “I’m sure that that’s not exactly what Steve Moore intends but when you work with republicans your raw material is more than likely to be poor quality.”

    Where would you go for better quality material among politicians?

    Presumably the Club For Growth does not attempt to, and does not have the power to, raise a candidate from nowhere into contention all alone. So they have to start with someone who’s already shown some following, or they have to ally with persons with whom, together they may have the power to raise a nobody into contention. Either way involves compromise.

    It may just be that among persons who are interested in activism/public service/leadership, being pro freedom on bread & butter correlates strongly positively with the views you decry re homosexuality & abortions. Whether you look in the GOP or elsewhere, it may be hard to find persons with the right personal characteristics & interests who also are also pro freedom on bread & butter while not having those views on homosexuality & abortions.

  22. Robert-

    I also have a theory along those lines. I don’t think that there’s any particular reason why a staunch economic conservative should also be a staunch social conservative, if you just go by issues. However, “staunchness” might be a personality trait. A person who has a go along/get along approach to politics will play it close to the center because that’s the way he does it. A person who’s willing to go all the way will REALLY go all the way because that’s the kind of guy he is. And they go all the way on both types of issues because, well, the parties have created these molds.

    But I have no idea if I’m right.

  23. I don’t really buy the logic that the only good fiscal conservatives are also social conservatives. In the first place, the modern social conservative is an evangelist cast in the same mold as the old-style Progressive. They believe that they should reform the world according to God’s plan and that means using government as a vehicle for intervention. This is not a mindset that lends itself to fiscal conservatism. As evidence, I offer the last five years of Republican government.

    I also suggest that forcing the the voter to pay for all the goodies he demands in advance, in coin of the realm, is a lot more likely to lead to demands for reduced government spending than the bogus logic of “starving Leviathan.” Leviathan can simply borrow to feed his appetite. Holding up the middle class for whatever it takes to zero out the books will get them to take a sharper look at where the money is going.

    I’m with Ron and plunge: the “Club For Growth” is just another Republican front. Their commitment to genuine fiscal reform is pretty weak. But promising to cut taxes will get them elected so they can carry out their gay-bashing program and that’s why the “Club For Growth” exists.

  24. Kos et al

    I’ve never seen anyone refer to himself via such a peculiar form of third-person address.

  25. That district is the most Republican leaning congressional district here in Colorado.

    Rep. Hefley, who hs a fine record of voting for less government spending, is being untrue to the cause of ficcal conservatism by not enthusiastically endorsing Doug Lamborn. Lamborm has the 2nd highest rating form the Colorado Union of Taxpayers (CUT) for voting for less government spending in the State House:

    http://www.coloradotaxpayer.org/New/CUTBrochure2005.pdf

    CUT, like the National Union of Taxpayers (NTU), awards good ratings for voting for less total government spending.

    BTW, here is the NTU ratings for Colorado’s congressional delegation. Note how well the Republicans score and how poorly the big government Dems do. (A’s and B’s vs all F’s and one D for the Dems) Despite the abandonment of fiscal conservatism by the Bush administration, Colorado’s Republicans in congress still rack up excellent voting records for less government spending.

    National Taxpayers Union ratings of Congress. Colorado delegation:Name 2005 Grade & % 2004 Grade & %
    Rep. Beauprez- B 64 B+ 72
    Rep. DeGette- F 15 F 11
    Rep. Hefley- B+ 69 A 77
    Rep. Musgrave- A 70 A 77
    Rep. Salazar, John- D 26
    Rep. Tancredo- A 80 A 81
    Rep. Udall, Mark- F 16 F 13
    Sen. Allard- A 80 A 84
    Sen. Ken Salazar- F 14

  26. How did those NTU champions of fiscal conservatism, Beauprez and Hefley, rationalize their votes for Medicare Part D? Spines like Pillsbury Ho Ho’s?

  27. Ron,

    Yep, as good as they are reletive to most of the others, they sure aren’t Ron Paul.

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