Last week, a former Ron Paul supporter released the audio of a conversation he had with Jesse Benton with regards to his work as Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager. Benton is heard on the recording admitting that his decision to work for McConnell was all political: “Between you and me, I’m sort of holdin’ my nose for two years because what we’re doing here is going to be a big benefit to Rand in ’16, so that’s my long vision.”
While the concept of taping private conversations is not something that sits well with us in general, these private remarks so illustrative of what is wrong with the powers that be within the Republican Party.
Mitch McConnell is the embodiment of a Republican who places personal power above principle. We have seen that a number of times over the past few years as he privately cheered for or orchestrated bad deals with the Democrats while publicly voting against them in order to protect himself. It’s no surprise that his campaign manager operates in the exact same manner. We didn’t need to hear this private tape to ascertain unprincipled power politics playing out in the McConnell camp. Mitch McConnell needed Ron Paul’s campaign manager as cover for his lack of conservative principles; Jesse Benton was enticed by the allurement of power and money from Mitch McConnell. Hence, a match made in political hell.
For the past few months, Jesse Benton has been propagating laudatory statements about his boss – statements that he evidently never truly believed. Concurrently, he has been smearing Matt Bevin for the past few weeks, despite the fact that Bevin is running against McConnell precisely so people like Benton don’t have to hold their noses for Mitch McConnell in the general election. Benton, much like his boss, is a finger likin’ fraud.
And speaking of nose plugs, Jesse Benton has inadvertently provided us with an image that exemplifies our sense of discord with the Republican Party establishment in general and Mitch McConnell in particular. We are sick and tired of holding our noses for unprincipled Republicans during the general election just because they are the lesser of two evils, or more aptly, the evil of two lesser. We’ve had enough of the failed pale-pastel Republicans of the past who are barely discernible from the Democrats, both in their policies and in their personal behavior. We have grown wary of voting for those Republicans who view elected office as an opportunity to assume power for power’s sake.
The real story here is not what Mitch McConnell decides to do with Jesse Benton, but what conservative primary voters decide to do with Mitch McConnell and his acolytes in 2014. Are we going to continue holding our noses and voting for failed or mediocre Republicans in the general election? Or are we going to support people like Matt Bevin and other stars (coming soon to a state near you) in primaries, thereby paving the way for a nose plug free day next November?
There’s another important lesson to learn from the past few weeks of mishaps with Mitch McConnell and his campaign. Nobody is inviolable.
I can’t tell you how many people told us that there is no way to defeat Mitch McConnell or Lamar Alexander or Lindsey Graham. Well these people are only invulnerable until we make them vulnerable. Sure, if we sit back and fail to recruit solid candidates to run against them, they will win by default. But the Madison Project is taking the lead in going state-by-state/district-by-district to leave no stone unturned in finding effective conservative leaders. We found a star in Matt Bevin and we’ve found some more in other states as well.
What we’ve learned from the McConnell campaign over the past few weeks is that even the toughest bullies in the political class are vulnerable. In fact, they are particularly vulnerable because those who place power over principle must build relationships in order to achieve that power. Those relationships are built upon corrupt and tenuous arrangements riddled with dirt and skeletons waiting to come out of the closet. Once a credible challenger emerges to take them down a few notches, those skeletons tend to come out and exacerbate the sense of vulnerability.
Come support our cause. It will save you money in the general election when you won’t have to go out and purchase nose plugs.
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