Did the NRSC's Josh Holmes Just Cost Mitch McConnell His Primary?
by Dan Riehl 3 Nov 2013, 3:24 PM PDT
In 9-plus years of blogging, never have I seen a story this telling of a Republican Party that doesn't understand its base, or New Media.
Worse, it's indicative of a corrupt inside-the-Beltway party that has abandoned or decided to ignore nearly everything I believe in as an American and a conservative. This is a disaster for several reasons; I'll try to briefly and clearly explain my thinking below.
GLOVES OFF: GOP ESTABLISHMENT GOES AFTER TEA PARTY The National Republican Senate Committee, the GOP campaign arm responsible for Senate elections, has decided to use its political power to block consulting firm Jamestown Associates from receiving political work from GOP candidates or incumbents.
First and foremost, this has nothing to do with Jamestown Associates, or the Senate Conservative Fund. It's foolish for McConnell and company to pretend there aren't dozens of firms capable of pursuing any business one or another firm might forego.Furthermore, since when did the GOP decide it was against the free market AND the First Amendment? The insular nature of thinking that led McConnell, Josh Holmes, and the NRSC into this debacle should frighten all Americans. It's Neo-leftist, all but Stalin-esque, and especially grotesque coming from a party that purports to stand for liberty. This is not the GOP I came to support when I abandoned the Democrat Party to vote for Ronald Reagan. If this kind of nonsense keeps up, soon, I won't be supporting the GOP at all.
The grassroots base the GOP needs to turn out for them to win elections neither knows nor cares about a Jamestown whatever, or some "fund." But that some thirty-something upstart who appears never to have held a real job outside of the DC political bubble thinks running to the New York Times is a smart way to send someone a message, given the nature of this message and the current state of GOP politics, is truly one of the dumbest moves I've seen out of DC in some time. All it did was confirm the absolute worst fears of an already all-too-weary GOP base.
How on Earth does an allegedly seasoned GOP political operator like a Josh Holmes think it wise to run to the Times with what amounts to a jack-booted attempt to stifle both free market capitalism and political dissent? Those are supposed to be core values for the GOP. Yet, here we see a DC GOP establishment on display at its worst—saying, in effect, "If you engage in a form of commerce we don't like, we will try to destroy you! If you attempt to exercise your First Amendment right to free speech to say something with which we disagree, we will try to destroy you!"
That position is not only unworthy of but totally unacceptable for any political party within our Constitutional republic. Frankly, it sounds more like something right out of a totalitarian regime, and it truly disgusts me as an American. I'm ashamed to think that a party to which I am connected is even thinking in such terms within its inner circles.
THAT is the message Holmes sent to the base here. And whether the Beltway GOP likes it or not, it's the only one an increasingly restive base is going to take away from all this. And that's only the beginning of why this is so bad for Mitch McConnell, now likely facing an emboldened and even more empowered primary challenger back home in Kentucky.
Frankly, I had been of a mind to give McConnell a pass in Kentucky. Why waste time and money better spent trying to take out a vulnerable Democrat, perhaps Mary Landrieu in Louisiana? Now, thanks to Josh Holmes' little anti-free market, anti-First Amendment, fascist-like snit fit in the New York Times, that's now not only the furthest thing from my mind - it's a position rendered all but impossible for me to defend. Heckuva job, Josh. Heckuva job.
Now, here's why it matters so much for McConnell. Obviously the DC GOP doesn't know, understand, or respect its base, including in New Media, to realize we can and will connect the dots. Clearly, McConnell moved his COS to the NRSC to do his dirty work, not only in his own race but against the conservative movement as a whole. In essence, his fingerprints are all over this disastrous NYT story, and any suggestion that isn't the case is implausible to the point of being laughable. And it gets worse.
Scott Reid of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is also quoted in the NYT's item.
And on Friday, one of Mr. McConnell’s closest aides offered a vivid metaphor about the leader’s determination.
“S.C.F. has been wandering around the country destroying the Republican Party like a drunk who tears up every bar they walk into,” said Josh Holmes, Mr. McConnell’s chief of staff, now detailed to the National Republican Senatorial Committee through the election. “The difference this cycle is that they strolled into Mitch McConnell’s bar and he doesn’t throw you out, he locks the door.”
“These are not the kind of people we would ever do business with,” said Scott Reed, senior political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
My, my, my, well, isn't this special. And who handles, or handled comms for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as recently as last year, if not still? Oh, that would be the wife of McConnell's hand picked neo-nitwit quoted in the very same story mouthing off on the part of the NRSC. And all the happy couple did was poke a stick at an already riled up base. That is something McConnell—already under siege—simply didn't need, no matter who or how many Washington flunkies thought it was a good idea. Pro-Tip, Mitch: the honeymoon is now officially over! Thanks to your boy genius there, more people than ever are now sharpening their pitchforks and thinking about playing in Kentucky.
Blair Latoff and Josh Holmes: Mrs. Holmes, 30, is the senior director of communications at the United States Chamber of Commerce in Washington. [emphasis added]
This narrative now reeks of the very type of corrupt, inside-the-Beltway, bubble-headed, corporatist, and, ultimately, internecine nonsense of an otherwise un-accomplished D.C. GOP that understands neither its base, nor New Media as a genuine player in politics today. Sadly, it's also an indicator that the GOP is moving in precisely the opposite direction from its base, all but forcing the conclusion that Mitch McConnell is no longer capable, or qualified to be considered as a leader within it, assuming it still wants to have a base in the years ahead.
As someone who has voted Republican reliably since 1980, I'm no longer sure they do want a base, given events of the last several years.
Sorry, Mitch. I honestly had considered using my little platform here to try and encourage friends and fans to give you a pass, while shifting more time and money over to taking out Landrieu in LA. Thanks to your hand- picked would-be henchman at the NRSC, Holmes, that's now an impossible position for me to take and defend. If the many phone calls I've had both to and from other activists in the last two days are any indication, all Holmes did was energize and incentivize the very movement against you, which you so shortsightedly dispatched him to the NRSC to try and quash.
In the end, perhaps no one on our side now wins, and the Democrats and liberal media will get everything they want and more. But don't pretend, or direct your surrogates to pretend, for a moment that you didn't escalate this to a level to which it didn't need to rise.
I could end this with Game on. But somehow having worked for the late Andrew Breitbart, it seems just a bit more fitting to end it with: #WAR!