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Mitch McConnell for Senate

May 17, 2013

Blog Post by Judson Phillips with Tea Party Nation

Recently another national Tea Party group endorsed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for reelection.

This set off a royal fight within the Tea Party movement and exposed a major fissure.

Should a Tea Party group endorse Mitch McConnell for reelection? Should the Tea Party support Mitch McConnell for reelection? Should Mitch McConnell be reelected?

Those are all good questions. What are the answers?

First, one thing should be set straight from the beginning. Every Tea Party group, leader or member has the right to support any candidate they want. That is a part of liberty.

When anyone starts saying someone cannot support a particular person, we should be very wary.

There is a difference between the right to support someone and the wisdom of supporting someone.

Many Tea Party groups in Kentucky have openly called for someone to primary Mitch McConnell. This has not really materialized.

Before we start talking about primarying someone there are some questions that must be asked.

First, is this person so bad that they must be replaced? Ronald Reagan famously said that someone who votes with me 80% of the time is not my enemy. Before we start talking about primarying someone is there someone waiting in the wings that is a much better candidate and has a chance to win.

One of the things we must do in [2014] is we must take the Senate back. That is not a negotiable proposition. We should thank Barack Obama who is doing everything in his power to help us take the Senate back but we cannot fail.

Politics is a numbers game. The magic number in the Senate for Republicans is six. The GOP must pick up six seats to put the Democrats in the minority. We must be careful whom we support so that we ensure that we win.

The Tea Party has received a bad rap in the past from the establishment for supporting bad candidates. A couple of those candidates were bad. Todd Akin was a terrible candidate. He was not the Tea Party candidate. Richard Mourdock was and he was simply caught by a gotcha question that he should have been ready for.

All of this goes back to Mitch McConnell.

I’m not ready to call for him to be primaried. McConnell is not my perfect Senator. He has done a lot of things I don’t like, including reaching out to Joe Biden to give us the fiscal cliff settlement.

What are the alternatives?

If McConnell is re-nominated, he can count on a big war chest. McConnell probably keeps Kentucky’s seat red. I certainly do not want to see us bump McConnell off in a primary and discover we have a flawed candidate and give that seat to a Democrat.

Right now, the Republicans have a decent chance to take the Senate back in 2014.

If we start throwing Senate seats away, we will see Harry Reid remain as the Majority Leader of the Senate and we will never progress with a conservative agenda.

So many conservatives believe we are going to have one massive political battle that we will win and then there will be political nirvana.

The truth is this fight will go on all of our lives. We will win small battles here and there and those will add up to help us win the war for liberty.

Right now, I don’t see a super candidate on the horizon who can ensure that seat remains in Republican hands. Since the bigger battle is over control of the Senate, this is one fight where we need to decide we can live with someone who isn’t perfect in order to win the larger battle.

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