Who Will Stand on Either Hand and Retake the GOP With Me?

We will target their in-district donors. We will target in-district reporters. We will spread Ken Calvert’s dossier. And if they will not change, we will wipe them and replace them. We cannot afford to yield on this.

There have been some over these last few days who have objected to this war of mine.   Some think it needed, but object to calling it a war.   Some object to fighting it at all.   But this is a war.  And it is a just war.  It is a war for the heart and soul of the Republican Party.   My party. Your party.   The party that, had it not lost its way, would not now be having to defend our troops from a position of weakness against a Democrat majority intent on surrender in the War on Terror.   This is a war worth fighting.

This war is not about Ken Calvert.   The people of his district elected him and he has every right to represent them.   He should not, however, be on the Appropriations Committee.   Already on the Appropriations Committee — that committee which doles out taxpayer funds — Republicans have seen Duke Cunningham go to jail, John Doolittle resign because of a federal investigation, and Jerry Lewis most likely to soon be indicted.  Calvert is just the most recent unfortunate example of why this war is necessary.

This war was not originally about the House Republican Steering Committee, though it has now come to that.   They are now the targets.   They are the leaders who continue to ignore the message the voters and their base sent them in November.   The list includes J. Dennis Hastert , who presided over a House that defended William Jefferson when the FBI sought evidence of his bribery and corruption.   It includes Jerry Lewis, who, it appears, will soon to be indicted for corruption.   They are Don Young, who has fought for a bridge to nowhere, despite clear voter disgust.   And it includes John Boehner , who, when placed in the minority by the voters, declared it not good enough to just deny plum positions to indicted congressman, but that they “should expect more from each other.”   They have not practiced what they preached.

Below the fold, the battle plan…

If the House Republican leadership is so out of touch and willing to blatantly ignore their base — a group of men and women across this nation who are tired of defending a party that continually puts into positions of power *known* perverts, louts, and corrupt common criminals — we must be willing to wage war upon them until they bend to common sense and decency.   We cannot present an effective alternative to the Democrats when our very leaders act like Democrats.   We must force our leaders to return to Reagan’s legacy and the Spirit of 1994.

Make no mistake about it – I do not relish fighting this war.  I do not relish partisan political organization like CREW cheering us on.  I did not wake up excited about the prospect of taking on my own.   I know the media will turn it into a spectacle.   But it must be done.   If not this, then what?   Unless we beat them on this most basic point, they will continue to ignore us, their base, while demanding from us our time, talent, and treasure so that they can remain in office and continue ignoring us.

Today the battle is joined.   The battle plan is announced.   If we must take on the vulnerable members of the House Steering Committee and contribute even to their electoral defeat, so be it.   This party of ours must be pruned and it must be pruned by those of us who care about it before meeting the butchers’ shears in the hands of the voters again in 2008.   This pruning will make us stronger.   It may not look pretty.   It will not be pretty.   But for the long term health of our Republican Party, it must be done.

Each day we will target one member of the House Republican Steering Committee.   We will flood their phone lines.   We will demand to know if they voted for or against Ken Calvert and if they will support removing him from Appropriations.  

Concurrently, each day we will call Tom Cole , the Chairman of the NRCC, and we will pledge to give not one dime nor bit of energy to the NRCC until Ken Calvert is off the Appropriations Committee.   We will call Tom Cole every single week day.

Once we have compiled a list of those who voted for Calvert and those who do not want him to step down, we will start over, but this time with letters.   We will hit them in the pocketbook.   We will send letters to their largest donors with copies of Calvert’s arrest record, reports, pictures, and articles about his FBI investigation.   We will send the same to the Congressmen.   We will question their judgment.   We will target them – in order of most vulnerable to defeat to least vulnerable – for defeat.

If this battle must then be continued, then we will target members of the media in each of the districts of the members of the House Republican Steering Committee.   We will begin with the most vulnerable to defeat.   We will provide to specific journalists a total dossier on Ken Calvert and on the fact that the Congressman in question voted him onto the Appropriations Committee despite this knowledge.

This will be ugly.   It will be hard.  It will be difficult for us to do.  But it must be done for the good of the party.  The House Republican Steering Committee heard the base, and they ignored the base.  The Committee heard the voters, and they ignored the voters.  We will now target them in their districts.  We will target their contributors.  We will hit them in the pocketbooks.   Then we will hit them in the media.   If they refuse to hear that change is needed, we will wipe them out and replace them with new blood that recognizes that a corrupt party rejected by the voters will not be embraced again by those voters until the corruption is purged.

Who will stand on either hand and retake the GOP with me?   We will not and we cannot afford to yield.

About the author

Erick Erickson


  • You can count on my support…and I totally agree with you about getting rid of this corruption. This is precisely what turns prospective supporters within the conservative base into apathetic spectators during the buildup to elections. We cannot hope to gather support for Republican candidates if we cannot show that there is a difference between the two parties. As long as we are willing to tolerate hypocrisy within our own ranks, we will always be unable to answer the ever popular charge from those outside the realm of political involvement:

    “There isn’t any difference between the two parties; all politicians are corrupt.”

    We also run the risk of allowing our opposition the chance to take voters’ minds off of the issues at stake by keeping them on scandal and controversy. We’ve clearly seen the tide of public opinion building in favor of conservative principles in recent years, and the opposition knows they cannot win over the minds of Americans in a head-to-head debate of socialism vs. conservatism. We must find a way to keep this election about issues, and not about corruption, or we WILL lose again.

    Ericks’s right…this won’t be pretty. But it is absolutely necessary. The conservative base is ready for someone to lead this fight, and I’ll do whatever I can.

Erick Erickson

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