Archive for the ‘Republican establishment’ category

Repeal and Replace In Farsi

October 13, 2017

Repeal and Replace In Farsi, Washington Free Beacon, October 13, 2017

(Are the media playing games with their headlines as usual or are their reports accurate? Here’s a link to the principal Times of Israel article cited, Netanyahu at odds with security team over Iran deal. — DM)

President Donald Trump is flanked by GOP senators to discuss health care / Getty Images

[T]he headlines preceding today’s remarks have been almost entirely shaped by the deal’s supporters, by the echo chamber that promoted and distorted the aims and conditions of the agreement to begin with. These were but some of the stories in Thursday’s edition of the Times of Israel: “Barak urges Trump not to decertify Iran nuke deal,” “Netanyahu at odds with security team over Iran deal,” “With Trump set to decertify Iran deal, experts tell Congress to stick to accord,” “Jewish Democrats who opposed Iran nuke deal now urge Trump to keep it.” You have to look hard for a piece detailing Iranian noncompliance, explaining the process of decertification and its relation to the overarching agreement, or quoting defenders of the president and his policy.

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President Trump is expected to announce today that he cannot certify Iran’s compliance with the terms of the agreement over its nuclear program that it entered into with the United States and five other nations in 2015. The president’s decision, according to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, will commence a 60-day expedited legislative process during which the Republican-controlled Congress may re-impose sanctions against the Islamic theocracy for its intransigence and belligerence. Sanctions, I might add, that should never have been lifted in the first place.

What is striking is that, with the exception of Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, none of the Republicans and Democrats who opposed the nuclear deal two years ago with such vehemence have gone out of their way to prepare the ground and make the national security case for the president’s decision.

Now, the Democrats I can understand. They are just playing to type. To say a kind word for Trump’s attempt to improve the deal would violate the secular commandment to resist his very being. The Republican silence, by contrast, is far more maddening.

This is the party that invited Bibi Netanyahu to criticize the deal in an address to a joint session of Congress. This is the party whose 2016 platform reads, “A Republican president will not be bound by” the deal and “We must retain all options in dealing with a situation that gravely threatens our security, our interests, and the survival of our friends.” This is the party that nominated and elected a president who said his “number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.”

Yet the headlines preceding today’s remarks have been almost entirely shaped by the deal’s supporters, by the echo chamber that promoted and distorted the aims and conditions of the agreement to begin with. These were but some of the stories in Thursday’s edition of the Times of Israel: “Barak urges Trump not to decertify Iran nuke deal,” “Netanyahu at odds with security team over Iran deal,” “With Trump set to decertify Iran deal, experts tell Congress to stick to accord,” “Jewish Democrats who opposed Iran nuke deal now urge Trump to keep it.” You have to look hard for a piece detailing Iranian noncompliance, explaining the process of decertification and its relation to the overarching agreement, or quoting defenders of the president and his policy.

And the reason you have to look hard is that there are few elected Republicans who are taking the lead on this issue. Internal division, uncertainty, and personal rivalry may once again prevent the congressional GOP from achieving the aims it has stated loudly and proudly for years. The parallels to the attempted repeal and replacement of Obamacare are startling and, for this conservative, disturbing. “This is health care for us,” Ben Rhodes said of the Iran deal back in 2014. It would be both a diplomatic and a political disaster if the Republicans flopped as badly while trying to undo the central achievement of Barack Obama’s second term as they had while trying to undo the central achievement of his first.

Iranian noncompliance is a no-brainer. Look at the number of advanced centrifuges Iran is currently operating, its repeated violation of limits on its heavy water stocks, its underground efforts to obtain nuclear- and missile-related technologies. Look at the IAEA’s acknowledgment in September that it has difficulty verifying compliance with Section T of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which forbids “activities which could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device.”

And look at the Swiss cheese inspections regime. How can the president in good conscience certify compliance when no Americans are involved in the inspections, when inspections are limited to “declared” nuclear sites, when the Iranians have 24 days to prepare for IAEA inspections of other locations, when inspectors are forbidden from examining military bases? We have no idea what is going on in such places, much less in the places we do not know about. Remember: We didn’t know about the installations at Natanz and Arak until 2002 and the one at Fordow until 2009.

Of course a serious agreement would allow access to military locations. The apologies for Iranian stubbornness on this point are absurd. “For many Iranians—including those who support the nuclear deal—keeping inspectors out of military facilities is a point of national pride,” write Shashank Bengali and Ramin Mostaghim of the Los Angeles Times. Funny that national pride is okay as long as it’s Iran we’re talking about. Bengali and Mostaghim quote a “newspaper employee” in Tehran, Susan Saderi, who says, “It’s our country, and any country’s defense systems should be off limits to international inspections.”

No offense, Ms. Saderi, but you know whose defense systems are not off limits to international inspections?

  1. Associated Press from 2014: “Russians inspect Montana nuclear launch facilities.”
  2. Washington Free Beacon from 2014: “Russian Inspectors to Check U.S. Nuclear Cuts Amid Ukraine Crisis.”
  3. Fortune last August: “Russian Surveillance Plane Makes Low-Flying Pass of Capitol and Pentagon.”
  4. Wall Street Journal last August: “Top U.S. General Breaks Bread With Chinese Soldiers on North Korea’s Doorstep.”

Ok, the PLA probably didn’t allow General Dunford to count ammo stocks in Shenyang. But the point stands. The arms control treaties we signed with the Soviet Union permitted American inspectors to visit military locations. That was the whole point of trust but verify. President Obama may have trusted the Iranians—but then President Obama trusted Harvey Weinstein to oversee his daughter’s post-high school internship earlier this year. Why should Donald Trump play the patsy?

“If the political branches, [work] on a bipartisan basis on the parts of the deal we all know are flawed,” Cotton said earlier this month, “we will have the strong and unified front between Democrats and Republicans, and between Congress and the president, that the Iran deal never enjoyed. That unity will help the president forge a unified position with our allies—not only the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, but also Israel and our Arab allies. Then it will be Russia and China who must choose between a stronger deal and being isolated and in league with the ayatollahs.”

Are Republicans prepared to close ranks in a “strong and unified front” to remove the sunset clauses from the Iran deal, impose further limits on Iranian centrifuges, include Americans on IAEA inspection teams that have access to Iranian military bases, and constrain Iranian missile development? Or will they prove as disunited, feckless, spiteful, and incompetent as they did during the repeal and replace debacle?

I’m not sure I want to know the answer.

The League of Extraordinary Candidates: Economic Nationalist Leaders Plan for Anti-Establishment Midterm Tsunami to Force Change

October 9, 2017

The League of Extraordinary Candidates: Economic Nationalist Leaders Plan for Anti-Establishment Midterm Tsunami to Force Change, BreitbartMatthew Boyle,  October 8, 2017

Chip Somodevilla / Staff / Getty Images

Conservatives and economic nationalist leaders are looking past the current dysfunction in Washington to a group of new and exciting young candidates throwing their hats in the ring nationwide to break the gridlock with midterm election victories.

This group of individuals, which some are calling “The League of Extraordinary Candidates,” is emerging nationally—a distinct slate of U.S. Senate and House candidates, as well as key gubernatorial contenders, all united in their focus on breaking the logjam in Congress. Movement leaders view establishment Republicans and Democrats alike as a force blocking, slow-walking, or stonewalling the agenda that President Donald J. Trump campaigned on, and aim to elect new voices by riding a new economic nationalist electoral wave in 2018 meant to mirror and surpass what happened in previous wave elections like 2010—which saw the rise of the Tea Party.

“We’re planning on building a broad anti-establishment coalition to replace the Republican Party of old with fresh new blood and fresh new ideas,” Andy Surabian, a senior adviser to the Great America Alliance and ex-White House aide, told Breitbart News.

Surabian worked alongside Stephen K. Bannon, the now former White House chief strategist, during their White House tenure and is now working with the Great America Alliance—a pro-Trump Super PAC run by ex-Ronald Reagan aide Ed Rollins that doubles as a fundraising powerhouse, having raised $30 million last year to help the president.

“The only thing the Republican establishment has succeeded in is clarifying to the American people that they don’t represent their interests,” Surabian added. “Their repeated failures to govern have only crystallized their lack of vision or backbone. The group of candidates we are looking to support in 2018 are all bound together in their agreement that the new Republican Party must be bold in their thinking and aggressive in their tactics.”

The movement that is emerging to back candidates nationally in these critical upcoming primaries and general elections—combined with the candidates themselves, almost a decentralized and loosely organized political party in and of itself—is filled with some of the strongest conservative voices and a broad spectrum across the movement.

“What I’m seeing is a lot of anger, frustration, and disappointment from voters around the country,” Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots, a key grassroots organization, told Breitbart News. “They are angry at the lack of Republican leadership on Capitol Hill, and many think it’s time to ditch Mitch as the leader of the Senate. What I am beginning to remind people and let people know is I’m meeting incredible candidates around the country who are willing to take on the Republican status quo. I’ve seen candidates from Montana to Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee, who are ready to take on the status quo and be the leaders we need. It’s very tempting to just brush your hands and just say ‘I’m done with all of it.’ It’s very tempting because we’re so angry. If we do that, the swamp wins. Now is the time to dig in and fight even harder, and that’s what Tea Party Citizens Fund is prepared to do.”

Tony Perkins, the Family Research Council’s president, added that he expects a wave election next year unlike any conservatives have experienced before—even bigger than Trump’s historic win in 2016.

“The conservative tidal wave that carried Donald Trump into the White House may soon be eclipsed by what appears to be a conservative tsunami that threatens the establishment death grip on the U.S. Senate,” Perkins told Breitbart News.

The New York Times reported on Sunday morning that Blackwater founder Erik Prince is considering a U.S. Senate run in Wyoming against incumbent Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY).

“Erik Prince, the founder of the security contractor Blackwater, is seriously considering a Republican primary challenge for a Senate seat in Wyoming, potentially adding a high-profile contender to a fledgling drive to oust establishment lawmakers with insurgents in the mold of President Trump,” the Times’ Maggie Haberman, Glenn Thrush, and Jeremy Peters wrote. “Mr. Prince appears increasingly likely to challenge John Barrasso, a senior member of the Senate Republican leadership, according to people who have spoken to him in recent days. He has been urged to run next year by Stephen K. Bannon, who is leading the effort to shake up the Republican leadership with financial backing from the New York hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah. Over the weekend, Mr. Prince traveled to Wyoming with his family to explore ways to establish residency there, said one person who had spoken to him.”

The move comes in the wake of Judge Roy Moore’s historic victory in Alabama, where he defeated appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) in a GOP primary runoff on Sept. 26 despite Strange’s dozens-of-millions-of-dollars financial advantage and backing of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. A large part of the focus of Moore’s campaign was on the failures of McConnell atop the Senate GOP conference, and while the two have spoken since Moore’s victory, it is unlikely Moore will ever be supportive of McConnell remaining in control.

Meanwhile, McConnell allies elsewhere are dropping like flies. In the hours leading up to Moore’s historic more-than-9-percent victory over Strange, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)—the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and reliable McConnell friend—announced his plans to retire. Establishment forces in Washington around McConnell desperately shifted their efforts to attempt to convince Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam—a wealthy self-funder—to jump into the race to replace Corker. McConnell and his pals failed, and now conservative anti-establishment Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has emerged as the front-running candidate in Tennessee’s GOP senatorial primaries. McConnell’s allies continue to search for a new candidate to prop up in Tennessee against Blackburn but are thus far unable to find anyone viable. Trump, meanwhile, has taken to Twitter on Sunday morning to lambast Corker even more—something that further embarrasses McConnell for his failed leadership:

Senator Bob Corker “begged” me to endorse him for re-election in Tennessee. I said “NO” and he dropped out (said he could not win without…

..my endorsement). He also wanted to be Secretary of State, I said “NO THANKS.” He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!

…Hence, I would fully expect Corker to be a negative voice and stand in the way of our great agenda. Didn’t have the guts to run!

Corker fired back with his own tweet, accusing Trump of being in need of supervision:

It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.

While this is emblematic of one of the more brutal fights out there, it’s not just Tennessee and Wyoming where McConnell and establishment Republicans are down on their luck. Weak incumbent Republicans face tough primaries in both Arizona and Nevada, where the vehemently anti-Trump Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Dean Heller (R-NV) face conservative pro-Trump challengers next year. Danny Tarkanian, a businessman and son of the legendary UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, is running against Heller while former state senator Dr. Kelli Ward is running hard against Flake in Arizona. Both Tarkanian and Ward are polling ahead of the incumbent senators nearly a year from the election, something causing great alarm for the GOP establishment in Washington.

Then, moving on down to Mississippi, state senator Chris McDaniel—an economic nationalist firebrand—is likely to run against Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS). That race, like McDaniel’s burn-it-down campaign in 2014 against Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) where McDaniel actually won the primary with Republicans but Cochran only survived due to his campaign dirty tricks by paying Democrats in the black community to vote for him, is almost certain to put an outsized focus on McConnell’s failures—and Wicker’s connection to them—as well.

That does not even begin to address what may happen in other states. While GOP establishment forces may try to sell it as though they like Missouri’s attorney general Josh Hawley in the primary there, it’s conservatives who are more fired up about Hawley’s campaign with many top grassroots leaders telling Breitbart News privately in the past few days that the likely guy to face off against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in November 2018 is a hardcore conservative who will not go along to get along like McConnell wants in Washington. In West Virginia, McConnell and his allies are pushing a former Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton for president in 2008, now Republican Rep. Evan Jenkins, while most other Republicans and conservatives are aligning behind the state’s attorney general Patrick Morrissey. In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott is eyeing a bid for U.S. Senate—something that would not bode well for the Majority Leader either—and conservatives are coalescing behind Matt Rosendale in Montana.

In Ohio, conservative Republican Josh Mandel—Ohio’s state treasurer—is emerging as the frontrunner to take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and in Wisconsin conservative outsider Kevin Nicholson is pulling ahead of establishment-backed state Sen. Leah Vukmir in the primaries ahead of a general election battle with incumbent Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Anti-establishment Corey Stewart, who nearly won the GOP primary for governor in Virginia earlier this year, starts off this coming year as the clear frontrunner for the GOP nomination for U.S. senate in next year’s senate battle. And conservatives, Breitbart News can confirm, are looking for challengers to incumbent Republicans in Nebraska and Utah, where Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) are for now seeking reelection.

Conservatives are also, per the Times, looking at Maine for a potential strong challenger to incumbent Sen. Angus King (I-ME), an independent who caucuses with Democrats.

“Mr. Bannon is also hoping to persuade Ann LePage, the wife of Maine’s outspoken governor, Paul LePage, to run for the Republican nomination to challenge Senator Angus King, an independent who is up for re-election in 2018,” the Times’ Haberman, Thrush, and Peters wrote.

In other words, conservatives are considering a full slate of candidates nationally in open races and those with Democrat incumbents—and running or actively seeking out serious primary challengers for every GOP incumbent senator up for reelection next year except for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)—all part of an effort to wrest control of the Republican Party away from failed leaders and hand it to fresh blood. That doesn’t even mention House or gubernatorial races: On the House side of things, conservatives have their eyes on taking down many failed incumbent establishment Republicans and are also even looking at many open races. That picture, movement leaders say, is expected to come together more clearly in the days and weeks ahead.

FULL MEASURE: October 1, 2017 – Bucking the System

October 3, 2017

FULL MEASURE: October 1, 2017 – Bucking the System via YouTube, posted on October 2, 2017

(Both parties in Congress are corrupt and seek their own benefits rather than ours.  Please see also, Republican donors seek out Steve Bannon. — DM)

Republican donors seek out Steve Bannon

October 3, 2017

Republican donors seek out Steve Bannon, Washington ExaminerDavid M. Drucker, October 3, 2017

Steve Bannon has begun meeting with Republican donors at their request, as party financiers in the wake of the Alabama special election attempt to learn what President Trump’s former chief strategist has planned for 2018.

Some GOP bundlers, in Washington this week for a Republican National Committee fundraiser, sought meetings with Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, to forge relationships and better understand his plans to target Republican incumbents in 2018 primaries.

Roy Moore, Bannon’s candidate in the Alabama GOP primary runoff, defeated appointed Sen. Luther Strange, who had the support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. It was a major embarrassment for McConnell, and Bannon said he plans to replicate the effort in GOP primaries next year to weaken the majority leader and reshape the party in Trump’s populist image.

“It seems like McConnell’s star is fading and Bannon’s is rising. I wanted to break bread with the guy and figure out his thinking,” said Dan Eberhart, a Republican donor from Phoenix who was scheduled to meet with Bannon on Wednesday.

Republican donors are furious with Senate Republicans — many with McConnell specifically. They’re disappointed with the outcome in Alabama and angry that the Senate hasn’t passed legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.

That has some donors, who usually circulate in establishment circles, taking the measure of Bannon to prepare for the upheaval that many party insiders believe is coming in next year’s primaries — especially if Republicans fumble tax reform.

One Republican donor who has already met with Bannon said that he communicated his view that money isn’t as important in elections as it used to be.

The former White House chief strategist and CEO Of Trump’s presidential campaign believes he could help drive Republican challenger candidates to victory next year with the technological tools now available to campaigns.

If Republican donors remain unhappy with McConnell and the party’s senate campaign arm struggles for donations as a result, incumbent Republicans could suffer a loss of resources, possibly empowering Bannon in the primary campaigns he chooses to get involved in.

In the Tennessee GOP primary in the race to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker, Bannon likes Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., a Republican source who spoke with him said. Bannon did not respond to a Tuesday afternoon email requesting comment.

“I have had a lot of donors not wanting to give to national party,” a Republican fundraising consultant said, on condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly. “They are very upset that nothing is getting done in D.C. It goes both ways with that though. Some are mad at the far right Senators/Freedom caucus. Others are mad at McConnell. Overall, no donors are happy. If they are giving, they are giving to help the specific person calling, not the party.”

Jason Chaffetz Full Interview With Judge Jeanine Pirro (9/30/2017)

October 1, 2017

Jason Chaffetz Full Interview With Judge Jeanine Pirro (9/30/2017), Fox News via YouTube, September 30, 2017

 

Two Fighters Come Together in Alabama

September 27, 2017

Two Fighters Come Together in Alabama, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, September 27, 2017

(Please see also, Roy Moore and the Triumph of Hope Over Money. — DM)

“I’m going to be here campaigning like hell for him,” Trump vowed if Moore won. And, in one of his final ads, Moore declared, “I can’t wait.” By winning, Moore earned that campaigning.

When the race begins in earnest, two fighters will come together to campaign in Alabama.

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Early this century, the Southern Poverty Law Center sued to remove the Ten Commandments from an Alabama courthouse. The case ended with Judge Roy Moore, the democratically elected Alabama Chief Justice, being removed from the bench for refusing to take down the Ten Commandments.

“Justice was served today,” the president of the leftist hate group cheered. “A public official who defied the law was removed from office.”

But the Southern Poverty Law Center couldn’t keep Roy Moore down no matter how hard it tried.

Last September, the SPLC was still fighting to remove Moore from the bench after his return. Now it will have to fight to remove him from the Senate because Roy Moore does not give up.

Roy Moore didn’t give up when a Federal judge and the Alabama Supreme Court ordered him to take down the Ten Commandments. He didn’t give up when he was removed from the bench. He didn’t give up in the face of a ruling by the United States Supreme Court and another suspension. He didn’t give up when he was massively outspent in every election. Including this one. Because he doesn’t give up.

There’s something to be said for a man who fights for what he believes in. And who won’t give up.

Agree or disagree with Roy Moore, no one can deny that he’s a fighter who overcomes long odds. He won his first election as a longshot candidate despite being outspent ten to one. He won his second election after being outspent six to one. He won the GOP Senate runoff last night after, once again, being outspent six to one. Including five to one on television advertising. And he won it by a landslide.

And by fighting for it, Judge Roy Moore earned his shot at the Senate.

It’s no secret that Republicans have lost winnable Senate seats when candidates with impeccable convictions, but poor electability, went to the front of the line. There’s nothing wrong with making electability a priority. A candidate who can’t win is just opening the door for a Democrat.

When Republicans replaced Jack Ryan with Alan Keyes, the outcome was the Obama nightmare. Keyes was a good man. But he wasn’t the right man to run against Barack Hussein Obama.

President Trump went down to Alabama to campaign for the candidate who could win. The presumption was that the most electable candidate was Luther Strange. By winning, Roy Moore proved he could win even when the big odds and the big money were against him. He proved that he deserved Trump’s support. Just the way that Trump proved that he deserved the support of his voters.

Principles and conviction are vital. But the acid test of politics is victory.

“I’m going to be here campaigning like hell for him,” Trump vowed if Moore won. And, in one of his final ads, Moore declared, “I can’t wait.” By winning, Moore earned that campaigning.

Trump is a businessman. He doesn’t reflexively support establishment or populist candidates. He needs to expand the Senate deck enough to be able to get things done without Democrat interference. And, at the very least, he needs a Senate firewall for his agenda and against the inevitable impeachment push.

These days, politics looks like war. And elections are tests by fire.

After Trump’s win, Democrats poured all their resources into winning special elections. And those were House races. There’s no doubt whatsoever that they will throw money into Alabama.

The Dems burned $40 million on four special elections. They are going to throw more than that into the pot for a Senate seat. Sessions won an uncontested election in 2014 with 97% of the vote after winning his seat by growing margins in every election.

But you can bet that this time around, it will be contested. Because while there might be seats that are statistically safe, there are no safe seats. The Democrat ethos is “total war” on every battlefield. And while the left is eager to stage campus riots and post selfies of themselves taking a knee, they are not about to neglect the old fashioned conflict of the election with its smears and provocations.

Some Republicans aren’t ready for “total war”, but Judge Roy Moore has been swimming in it for decades. He understands what it’s like to be the face of a culture war in a way few Republicans do.

And the election will just be a preview of the pitched battles in the Senate over ObamaCare, illegal alien amnesty and dozens of other conflicted issues that have left that body so fundamentally ineffectual.

It will take strength, courage and determination to face all that. And that is what the runoff was about.

Like Trump, Roy Moore persevered despite being outspent. He relied on populism instead of big ad spending. And, like Trump, he won because he is the face of a cultural counterrevolution.

Moore didn’t have the race handed to him on a silver platter. He had to fight for it. He was never the inevitable and untested candidate. Instead he, once again, had to overcome big odds to win.

And he did it. That is what President Trump respects.

There are plenty of electable candidates who can win when the odds are on their side. But, as we saw in the presidential election, the odds aren’t fixed. The polls are often wrong. Manufactured scandals shift the tide. And no Republican is so noble that the media can’t make him look lower than mud in a week.

The truly remarkable political creature is the “unelectable” candidate who wins anyway, who wins even though he isn’t supposed to, who wins even though the big money is against him and who wins even though the media spends all day shouting that he is the worst man that ever lived. That’s a true fighter.

Trump is such a candidate. So is Roy Moore.

The runoff wasn’t about populists and the establishment. It was a test of whether Roy Moore could do in a Senate election what he was able to do in his judicial contests. And the verdict is in.

Roy Moore and Donald Trump are certainly not the same man. Their beliefs differ in some areas. But they’re both fighters. And the GOP is looking for fighters more than for ideological conformity.

It needs men and women who are ready to fight for what they believe in. And who are good at it. Roy Moore proved once again in Alabama that he can fight. And that he can win.

When the race begins in earnest, two fighters will come together to campaign in Alabama.

Roy Moore and the Triumph of Hope Over Money

September 27, 2017

Roy Moore and the Triumph of Hope Over Money, BreitbartJohn Carney, September 26, 2017

Getty Images

It began with the Trump campaign, which was outspent by its competitors by unimaginable proportions. Let’s call it the Schaffley Rule: When voters are offered an echo, not a choice, money matters. When voters are offered a choice not an echo, policy and politics matter.

To put it more bluntly: Voters in Alabama showed that the new politics of economic nationalism, of Make America Great Again, of the rebirth of American hope can beat back the politics of the past and of the establishment.

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The campaign of Roy Moore was overwhelmed by a flood of GOP Establishment political cash, but it was not defeated. Millions were squandered in an effort to beat back Moore, but in the end it was the GOP Establishment that was vanquished.

The full accounting of how much money was spent in the attempt to bestow the GOP nomination on Luther Strange will have to wait for weeks, as the campaign finance filings trickle in. But it likely amounted to tens of millions of dollars raised by the Chamber of Commerce, by Mitch McConnell’s political action committees, and by other political vehicles of the Republican political establishment.

For all of that flood of campaign cash, however, Strange lost in a landslide. It couldn’t have been worse if not one dime was spent to promote Strange’s doomed candidacy.

So what happened? Why didn’t money work? For many years, money appeared to be the most important deciding factor in American politics. Whoever raised the most and therefore could spend the most would win. And, as a result, the donor class rose to power, directing the GOP to adopt positions on immigration, taxes, trade, and foreign policy even when it was clear these were largely rejected by Republican voters.

The answer might be found in the ancient wisdom of the advertising industry. Where advertising spending has its biggest effect is in places where the contest is between products so similar that only the advertising makes a difference. That is why some of the biggest expenditures on advertising throughout the years have been by companies making products that would be interchangeable under white labels. Coke versus Pepsi. One brand of cigarettes versus the other. This vodka against the other. Come to this casino rather than the other one.

When the Republican Party offered voters a version of the Democratic Party platform that was slightly slower and a bit more profitable, campaign cash mattered. It was about presenting an image, a message, a product rather than a genuine alternative. Coke versus Pepsi.

No longer. It began with the Trump campaign, which was outspent by its competitors by unimaginable proportions. Let’s call it the Schaffley Rule: When voters are offered an echo, not a choice, money matters. When voters are offered a choice not an echo, policy and politics matter.

To put it more bluntly: Voters in Alabama showed that the new politics of economic nationalism, of Make America Great Again, of the rebirth of American hope can beat back the politics of the past and of the establishment.

The lights are going out all over K Street and Madison Avenue.