The Simple Lesson of John Sullivan’s Defeat in OK-1
This week I’m posting a number of things I’ve had in my hopper that I haven’t gotten around to yet—but that remain relevant and important.
In this article, Red State makes an important point, which is that when it comes to promoting and electing limited-government conservatives, we’ve got to start somewhere—and “somewhere” is often in areas where large-government, central planning Republicans currently sit.
Last week, as part of a revolutionary project of the Madison Project, I helped develop the Madison Performance Index. We wanted to shed light on just how many members of solid Republican districts are supporters of big government. The biggest criticism we received went something like this:
“Yes, many of these members might represent strong Republican districts, but do you think their constituents really oppose their efforts to secure subsidies for rural special interests? These guys are actually good fits for their districts.”
The answer is very simple. Of course, any constituency that is acclimated to the allure of government subsidies for decades will not voice strong opposition to the pork chops they receive. But that cuts to the core of our problem with the Republican Party. We will never elect limited government conservatives from blue urban America. If we are going to co-opt the rural red districts – districts that are naturally suspicious of the federal government – with special interest dependency favors, we will never elect limited government conservativeanywhere. The reality is that we need members to speak honestly to these constituencies – that we will not over-tax and overregulate you, but we will not subsidize you either.
That is exactly what Jim Bridenstine did in Oklahoma District 1 (R-16) this year.
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