Last Updated:November 28 @ 07:44 am

Towery: Get Rid of the Republican Establishment, Once and for All

By Matt Towery

Here's a New Year's wish I would love to see come true. However it is defined or however many people are part of it, it is time to send the giant never-ending "GOP Establishment" made up of some professional politicians, some moneyed nouveaux riche who -- by virtue of their contributions and the faux friendships it buys with politicians -- consider themselves political landed gentry and the endless scam artist consultants they support packing.

As previously stated, I thought Mitt Romney to be a better candidate than did many observers. That said, the recent revelations in news articles that claim to chronicle the Romney campaign reinforce the idea that the "silk underwear" branch of the GOP just doesn't get it.

The emerging story of a candidate who really didn't want to run in the first place and consultants who never listened to pleas from his own family to humanize the man so that everyday people could "feel like he understands them" just makes conservatives and the GOP faithful sick. They once again spent their hard-earned money and endless time backing another Republican nominee who had no prayer of connecting with the average voter. Never mind that he was, at closer examination, a young man of privilege who outgrew his silver spoon to create his own hard-earned fortune, his case was never properly made.

And why is that? The answer is the current class of Republican "experts" and "consultants" who constantly blow into somewhere outside of their self-indulgent D.C. bubble and believe that they really do understand the "average American" in the 21st century. They do not.

Same for the well-entrenched elected officials, many of whom have gone from scrappy challengers of the status quo to fat and happy potentates. The so-called "experts" just sell any sort of snake oil a candidate or elected official and his loyal leeches will swallow. Hence, terrible focus-group-driven commercials, poor strategy in message and a "get out the vote" effort about as technologically advanced as the telegraph and with all the planning for contingencies as the Hurricane Katrina emergency efforts.

Until Republicans get rid of the inherent haughtiness of their operations, nothing will change. I've always described the GOP Establishment as a bunch who will hold a fundraiser, say, with an incumbent Republican president (don't hold your breath for that again anytime soon) or a nominee, or a governor's inauguration -- you name it -- with one unmentioned thing in mind: themselves. They inevitably make the event like one of those toys with endless boxes within boxes, each smaller than the one before it. That's how they do their big "fundraisers." There's the massive box, holding the masses -- where from the distance of a football field one might catch a fleeting glimpse or hear a bit of a speech or event.

From there on, the boxes get smaller and smaller -- and more elaborate. One huge amount gets you into a private reception; the next more expensive one warrants a 10 second photograph with the political star; then there's the price-busting one that gets you a 30 person private audience -- in which every dupe there fails to note that the leader of the free world or the top person in their state listens, speaks, leaves and likely forgets the whole thing five minutes later.

Oh, and then there is that last box. It's reserved for the same snooty creatures who have run everything in their subdivision of the GOP forever. They often are there because they helped take everyone else's money! But regardless, they are there, in the most private of rooms with the highest of public leaders, just hanging out. They are a small, cozy group -- the elite of the elite. Sort of like today's Republican Party -- a small, cozy group.

If I have to read one more story about some Republican official's great golf handicap or how much they all enjoy the private company of one another, I think I'll be sick.

Republicans need to retool their image and their mindset. Just shed all the king's trappings and some of the king's men. Keep the hardworking and in-touch ones, bring in fresh faces, understand the mindset of the next generation, but more than anything articulate what they stand for and, damn it, stand for it.

A little fire in the belly and purpose for being elected and holding office in the first place could at least start to get the GOP turned around before it really is too late.


Matt Towery heads the polling and political information firm InsiderAdvantage. Follow him on Twitter @matttowery.


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  1. fedupwithbadgovComment by fedupwithbadgov
    December 27, 2012 @ 8:15 am

    Maybe it’s time for the Tea Party to officially organize into a true political force that can’t be shrugged off as being insiginificant. Neither the Democrats or the Republicans in recent years seem to be of a mindset that takes seriously their responsibility to their constituancy…the ones who supported them with their votes, money, and efforts to get them elected.

    Brother Dave Gardner, a Southern commedian, said in one of his routines several years ago, “People ask me if I’m Democrat or Republican. I tell them neither because if I were, I’d forget America.” Seems like this is more true today than it was in the 60s when he said it.

    We, meaning YOU and I, have allowed our “elected representatives” to pass legislation that puts them into an elitist category time and time again. Want to fix Social Security? Take away the retirement benefits of Congress and make them a part of Social Security just like the rest of us that THEY voted to put us in! The bailout of IGA was politically essential because IGA holds the retirement funding for Congress. Heaven forbid that they, our “elected officials” lose their retirement funds, although it didn’t seem to bother them so much over the Enron fiasco, et. al.

    It is time, folks, that we get off our butts and reclaim our Constitutional rights that we constantly let slip away by our apathy. Do something! Don’t just ***** and moan about the situation! Get active and do more than shake your head in passive acceptance of that which you KNOW is wrong!

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    • nmleonComment by nmleon
      December 27, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

      Since Jan 1, 1984 all federal employees are in the SS system, including Congress. All federal employees, including Congress also have an additional pension plan, the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) which they all pay into.

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  2. smokeComment by smoke
    December 27, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    Great insight…old saying: “Dump the bozos out”…new saying: “Grand Old Tea Party”

    It is time to start supporting a NEW PARTY that treasures our Constitution, our Republic…and for us all to REBUILD AMERICA…if we don’t, if we attempt to “cleanse” the GOP…we will fail and so will America.

    A NEW AMERICA…a NEW PARTY, “The Tea Party for America”…sounds great…Obama will groan

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    • billn49Comment by billn49
      December 27, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

      I hope it comes to pass Smoke. The Tea Party could be much more effective as a political party, as it has been as a PAC. The last election has shown that true conservatives have largely abandoned the GOP.

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  3. BobinmsComment by Bobinms
    December 27, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

    Right on! They are impressed by money and look down their noses at the voters.

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  4. jenerseaComment by jenersea
    December 27, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

    I too believe that thinking that either the GOP or the Socialist Party will do anything anymore is like crapping in one hand and wishing in the other and seeing which gets filled faster. It is time to establish a new party. Clean house of the old ones and maybe we will get some progress. With the fear of GOD gone in Washington, none of them worry too much about the general public.

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    • smokeComment by smoke
      December 27, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

      You are right…the GOP and the Democratic Party looks at itself as a “Career”…or a “Prestigious Club”…whatever.
      Boehner could have been in a perfect position to revive the GOP…he could have offered leadership and a kick in the arse…but he didn’t…he simply doesn’t understand how critical this is to all of us…just as long as he makes the moves that keep the “dead arses” in office he feels he has done his job…

      The GOP is not any different than the Dems..they both seek for themselves…and “AMERICA BE DAMNED”…there lies our problem…

      We’ve tried and tried to “cleanse” the GOP and failed, but we have not seriously studied just how to make a THIRD PARTY survive and popular…

      As you say…the fear of God no longer survives with them…but, with a new strong party…the best give their souls to GOD, cause their arses will belong to us…GO TEA!

      There lies the solution…the new party MUST HAVE SUBSTANCE…and that’s US…ALL OF US!

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  5. daviddenholmComment by daviddenholm
    December 27, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

    There will always be a GOP establishment. If we get rid of the ones who are in there now, the ones who replace them will become the establishment. That’s the nature of the bureaucracy of a political party. It is the role of the activists to push the establishment in one direction or another. That’s why an independent, non political party group of conservative activists like the Tea Party is so important. It’s a bit like the way we are about our representatives in Congress. We may not like them but so long as they vote the way we want, we don’t try to get rid of them.

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  6. truckmanComment by truckman
    December 27, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

    One of the Tea Party’s big problems is name recognition;if they’re able to get some conservative heavy hitters on board,names the People ALL know,they might be able to attract the best of the True Conservative movement. I think America,at least the Makers,are ready to make the move to something more wholesome than the GOP has been. It’s time to evict the crooks and career politicians from Government,and get it back to the way it was designed to work.
    And since the Liberals have gained most of what they have by driving truckloads of bad politics through loopholes and “re-interpreting” the Constitution and bill of Rights a line as a time to make it fit their agenda,we must,early on,button up those loopholes and drag our Country back to what these timeless documents SAY,not what someone thinks they might have MEANT to say.
    Changing our Country on this grand a scale will mean a lot of sacrifices,but we already know that. A lot of what we have now may go away,entitlements,etc.,I’ll expect to lose my Disability checks,but the benefits we get,the freedom to choose for ourselves,will be well worth it.

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    • smokeComment by smoke
      December 28, 2012 @ 11:08 am

      To have another (new party) party is sound IF…we make certain it has staying power…not like the other weak groups who make little difference…

      But to do this requires some sort of benevolent uprising on OUR parts a voters…

      We are either completely FED UP and plan to DO SOMETHING…or we sit back here in front of our computers and delight in saying nasty things (guilty) about those in office, or writing something really “intellectual” that gets the attention and praise of fellow readers.

      I don’t mean to be rude or unduly critical, unless I am of equal guilt, but the question still lingers:


      Then lets do it!

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    • mysticComment by mystic
      December 28, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

      Great posts! These last two elections I felt almost sick as I watched supposedly two parties mirror one another. One party tries to get elected…while the other party simply attacks the opposition to get elected. This goes back and forth depending on election cycle and candidates….party has nothing to do with it.

      Politicians are just that… politicians trying desperately to hang onto their jobs. The base premise and caveats of each party was lost long ago…in favor for what is popular and what is going to get the most popular voice/vote.

      We need two distinct parties… two clear moto’s…two clear points of view. This convoluted semi joined at the hip one view with a few exceptions here and there on hot topic popular views within a one political view (read almost one huge political party regardless red stripes or blue stripes) is not working for us, We the People.


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  7. sageindependentComment by sageindependent
    December 27, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

    When things go awry we always seek to throw the bums out. However, I think the Republicans continue to lose because of messaging not who their leaders are. Most in the electorate don’t make up their own minds – they seek affiliation with family, friends and work associates. The GOP continues to be effectively marginalized by Dems and their minions in Hollywood, Academia and the Media. As soon as a new group forms (Tea Party) or a new political star surfaces (Sarah Palin), the slime merchant machine goes to work to marginalize them. If there is no smoking gun, they create one. The GOP is like the British in the Revolutionary War; we stand in columns while the settlers (Dems) hide behind trees and pick us off. Modern day cannon fodder!

    To win the future we need to drive a wedge between the disparate interest groups that make up the Dem coalition. These groups (gays, environmentalists, minorities, unions, anti-war advocates, trial lawyers, etc.) have nothing in common with each other except the learned distain for the GOP and conservatives in general. This distain is driven into them by messaging through the mouthpiece of the Media, Academia and Hollywood. Instead, we try to win them over using objective arguments – facts and figures. The opposition is waging a guerilla war using fear mongering and manufactured scandals. Wake up and smell the coffee! We appear too good to get down and dirty with them and we are getting hosed. Drive a wedge between unions and environmentalists – they have nothing in common. How about gays and anti-war advocates or blacks and latinos – what do they share?

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  8. joe23006Comment by joe23006
    December 27, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

    I come from a long line of Republicans, the Irish great great grandfather on my mother’s side had been a Whig and then became a Republican for the 1860 election and voted for Abraham Lincoln; the German great grandfather when he arrived at the Port of Baltimore in 1873, my grandmother was born on the boat, was asked to which party did he want to register, he aske which party owned the slaves and hearing the answer replied he would be a Republican. I receive questionaires, including requests for donations, constantly and fill them out and return them, minus a donation, I give directly to the candidates I want to win not the cookie cutter one that seems to be foisted on us each election cycle.
    I think the surveys are ignored, the experts know what’s best for us even though they didn’t use our input. They then decry the lack of enthusiasm for their picks which are usually low on my list after the ones who express my values not vague euphemisms.
    It’s time to just say, “NO”! No to working for humdrum candidates, no to requests for money without accountability, no to the leaders who have no sense of what WE are about.

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  9. CharieComment by Charie
    December 27, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

    I’m intrigued by sageindependent’s theory of driving a wedge between the various groups that make up the Democrat party. I doubt it could have been done in ’08 or ’12 but it shouldn’t be that hard to drive a wedge between black people and the Democrat Party. After all, it has been the Republicans who, from before the Emancipation Proclamation helped run the Underground Railroad (along with churches), freed the blacks and then made sure they were able to have civil rights.

    The only thing Democrats have done for them is give them free stuff and make sure they pay for them with their votes. It’s so sad that the early black legislators were Republicans and somehow along the line we let the Democrats buy their votes from our party.

    There is one thing, though……… when I see the kind of black people who rise to the top in the Dem Party, it tells you just what that party is….Charlie Rangel, Jesse Jackson, Jr. & Sr., the one that thinks Guam will tip over, Lewis (the one who said a Tea Partier had spit in his face) the Rev. Al. Biggest collection of ignoramuses and thieves I ever saw.

    Put them up against the black Conservatives and Republicans or, on second thought, just put them up against Thomas Sowell and there’s no contest.

    There are no black thinkers on the Liberal side because as soon as they start thinking they become Conservative Republicans.

    Towery makes some pretty good points in his article, but they’re not all valid. As daviddenholm said, as soon as the present top is gone the ones who move into their places automatically become the establishment and it’s all to do over again. I think we need the Tea Parties to do just what they’ve been doing……… keep biting the Establishment in the butt and keep them on the straight and narrow. As soon as Tea Partiers try to gather as a bloc too many start infighting for power. We started out as a loosely-woven group of individuals working together towards a Cause. A good portion of us have nothing in common except for that. Vet our candidates more thoroughly and then stand behind them and don’t let the Democrats lead the narrative.

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  10. lowlifeComment by lowlife
    December 27, 2012 @ 11:05 pm

    Either the leadership needs to be replaced, or the party needs to be replaced. The people running the party are mostly a lot of self-serving, career-oriented morons; they have no understanding of, or respect for the Constitution, no grasp of history, or economics and fail to see the peril our nation is in, or that the tyrannical, unaffordable government is destroying our freedom and prosperity. They can’t even run a successful political campaign against a gang of Marxist jerks, bent on destroying the country (which should have been simple, had they portrayed them and their policies for what they are and presented a clear alternative).

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  11. colkidComment by colkid
    December 28, 2012 @ 1:59 am

    Sageindependant- “The GOP continues to be effectively marginalized by Dems and their minions in Hollywood, Academia and the Media. As soon as a new group forms (Tea Party) or a new political star surfaces (Sarah Palin), the slime merchant machine goes to work to marginalize them. If there is no smoking gun, they create one. The GOP is like the British in the A second party will NOT work.”
    Agreed another party will divide the vote and the democrats will win every time.
    We need to get rid of the old Republican guard, get Tea party thinking people in instead. Go back to solid conservative
    principle’s All the time. Stick with these principles, No compromise.

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  13. msgtazComment by msgtaz
    December 28, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

    Obama won with voter that had a understanding of one issue (one issue voter). Is this what the Republican party is about, I do not think so. The american voter need to know all the issues not just the one they think is important to them.We the People.

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  14. FreeDameComment by FreeDame
    January 2, 2013 @ 4:57 pm

    The only way this “political elite” problem will end is with term limits. The problem is, the people who must vote to establish term limits are the ones who will lose their cushy jobs.

    Likewise, it is nearly impossible to vote in “fresh blood” because the average voter, who – saddly – has no idea of the issues at stake, will vote for the first name he recognizes. This is the reason why the re-election rate for incumbents is well over 90%.

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