09.02.2016 1

Have GOP Congressional Wars just begun?

az citizens defense leagueBy Rick Manning

The hidden political battle for the future of the country is not only occurring at the presidential level, but is being waged in primary battles for seats in the House of Representatives all over the country, and the news is not very good.

Anti-establishment Members of Congress and challengers have been met with by a wall of insider money spent attacking them as not being conservatives and without the resources to answer, the public has been effectively fooled in many cases.

However, the establishment went too far when they tried to attack Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) for not being conservative enough with a pro-amnesty, establishment sold out candidate.

Gosar, who earned the distinction of being Americans for Limited Government’s co-Legislator of the Year, is one of the hardest working conservatives in Congress.  An aggressive budget cutter, Gosar has been a one-man wrecking crew on Obama’s extremist agenda pushing and passing through the House defunds of everything from HUD’s Obamazoning regulation moving forward to stopping the Administration from listing the Sonoran Desert Tortoise as an Endangered Species.

And that is part of the reason why the establishment cannot stand Gosar, because he not only runs for office as a limited government conservative, but he governs like one back in D.C..

After the dust was settled, Gosar destroyed his opponent who was backed by what was reported to be a million-dollar sneak attack campaign by a D.C. political operation.

Gosar’s overwhelming 71 to 29 percent victory sends a message to Washington, D.C., that when the voters hear the actual facts about the record of a conservative member of Congress directly from conservative groups, the establishment will be swamped.

On the flip side, it also sends a message to conservative members of Congress that they need to be proactive in fundraising, messaging their accomplishments to their constituents and working closely with third party conservative groups who can validate their work to pre-empt or counteract scurrilous attacks.

Gosar also will be in a position of power, should he choose to use it, as someone who thrived politically as a result of an unfounded attack.  Other members will be reminded that an establishment attack on them can be not only thwarted but turned into a big political advantage. This new level of respect inside the House elevates this previously little known member to a position that he should be able to translate into action on important measures to conservatives and the country.

The question for the Arizona congressman is how he wants to use this new clout.

And the question for GOP leadership is how do they respond to their covert big whiff in trying to push out a Member who isn’t the typical go along, get along, b flat, interchangeable Member? With their purported concerns about losing control of the House will they follow the path of their Senate GOP colleagues in Colorado and abandon seats where a conservative defeated their chosen candidate? Are they, like the Senate, willing to risk control out of fear that an uncontrollable new member might disrupt the club? Or will they decide to be conciliatory and do everything in their power to win in November?

One thing is certain, the rift in the Congressional GOP ranks will likely widen over the next year whether Trump or Hillary are elected and it just might make the GOP presidential primary look and feel like a joyous 30-year class high school class reunion.

Rick Manning is president of Americans for Limited Government.

Copyright © 2008-2021 Americans for Limited Government