Andrew Pavelyev is at it again. On Friday, I pointed out that there wasn’t much evidence for his argument that even winning Tea Party candidates like Rand Paul and Marco Rubio cost Republicans Senate seats by diverting resources that could have been better spent elsewhere. He responds: “Antle says that extra campaign money would have hardly made any difference in California, while I actually very specifically mentioned a much closer race in Washington State.”
Well, he actually very specifically mentioned the California race too, with his reference to vulnerable “liberal Democrats (such as Barbara Boxer).” No matter. Let’s look at the Washington State Senate contest. The National Republican Senatorial Committee did spend $3 million there in the closing weeks. Maybe the other $1 million Pavelyev is dreaming about would have made the difference, but somehow it seems that Dino Rossi has lost two previous close statewide races in Washington, neither of which can be blamed on Rand Paul or Marco Rubio. By the time the NRSC made its last infusion of cash, Paul and Rubio were both polling well ahead of Rossi — and their own opponents.
Pavelyev continues: “I am a Republican primary voter and I do not necessarily want a majority that will actually do something (‘That government is best which governs least.’)” If the federal government’s existing spending commitments are allowed to grow on auto pilot, based on the current rules, good luck finding a government that governs least. Only Republicans who are willing to take positive steps to revisit those commitments can deliver anything approximating limited government.
Ah, but trying to do stuff like that is “dumb” — Pavelyev’s word for things like spending limitations. And abolishing the Federal Reserve, an idea endorsed by notorious dummies Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek. I’ll agree with him that Linda McMahon’s congressional salary proposal was pretty poorly thought out, but pace Pavelyev, McMahon was a party establishment candidate. She was certainly not a Tea Party candidate. After Chris Dodd dropped out, the Republican establishment largely bailed on Rob Simmons in favor of McMahon precisely because she could self-finance, freeing up resources that could be spent on more winnable races elsewhere. (Which I thought was a good thing?)
My point isn’t that all of the Tea Partiers were rocket scientists or even competent candidates. Clearly, many were not. My problem is with context-free analysis by people who sneer at conservative activists without demonstrating any better grasp of the relevant facts.
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