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Exposing the Unseen Hand Wrecking the GOP

Fat Cat Mercenary

The reporting done by Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle on the decidedly anti-conservative views of media consultant Liz Mair, late of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s Our American Revival, did much more than expose the fact that one obscure political consultant supports same-sex "marriage" and amnesty for illegal aliens – it exposed one of the unseen hands splitting the Republican Party and destroying it as the political home of limited government constitutional conservatives.

This unseen hand is not Ms. Mair, although she is a small part of it, it is a loose knit group of Washington political consultants, lobbyists, allegedly conservative media operatives and Capitol Hill staff who hold and promote views, such as support for same-sex “marriage,” open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens that are not just out of sync with the majority of grassroots Republican voters, but directly opposed to the foundational principles of the Republican Party as expressed in its platform.

After Boyle began asking and reporting about Mair’s views, about which she was not bashful, until it began to sink in that voters outside the Washington Beltway do not think highly of the political acumen or commitment to conservative principles of those who hold those views, allegedly conservative DC media types, consultants and staffers came out of the woodwork to defend Mair, and attack Matt Boyle on a strangely personal level.

Exemplary of these attacks was an article entitled “The Circular Firing Squad” posted on Townhall by one Derek Hunter.  Hunter who once served as spokesman for former Senator Conrad Burns of Montana went after Boyle for in essence creating the controversy about Mair’s views. In the process Hunter threw a pointed putdown or two at conservative talk radio host Steve Deace and the other sources in conservative politics who thought it was a bad idea for Walker to hire someone who was clearly not just not a conservative, but who was hostile to conservatives, to handle communications for his campaign.

Hunter’s premise was that dissent and debate in politics is good and that even if a staffer or consultant disagrees with a candidate or the elected official for whom they work “You have to have staffers you can trust to do their job, do it well and leave their personal beliefs at the door.”

This is the sales pitch the consultant class makes every cycle to Republican candidates who then surround themselves with inside-the-Beltway mercenaries who despise conservatives, run content-free campaigns and lose the election.

And Hunter explained, perhaps unwittingly, exactly how this works and why conservatives were justified to object to the hiring of Mair and should object to the hiring of others like her by campaigns that purport to be conservative:

Sen. Burns had an open door policy where I or anyone on his staff who was interested in talking with him about bills could. Many times I spoke with him about upcoming votes, feeling him out in preparation for the work the communications team always faces after a vote, and sometimes I made the counter-argument to where he was leaning.

Whether or how often I may have been successful is private, [emphasis ours] but he always listened and engaged. But once the vote was cast, I had to sell it. That was my job. He was elected; I was not. He knew what he believed and what was best for Montana; I was a kid from Michigan with my own ideas.

Why, exactly, would conservatives want “a kid from Michigan with his own ideas,” like Mr. Hunter, or Ms. Mair whose loyalties and regular paycheck lie with the Fortune 500, to have access to a rising presidential candidate and to be on the inside to make the argument that same-sex “marriage,” open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens are good government policy?

More to the point, Senator Burns was defeated for re-election, and Ms. Mair’s clients, such as John McCain and Carly Fiorina and Tim Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC were likewise unsuccessful, strongly suggesting that the formula of hiring someone who drives a Chevy to sell Fords is not likely to succeed.

As CHQ Chairman Richard A. Viguerie said in his book TAKEOVER, “Who you walk with says much about who you are.”

Grassroots conservatives trusted Ronald Reagan in some measure because Reagan surrounded himself with conservative leaders and the self-made California entrepreneurs who formed his old kitchen cabinet; men like Nevada senator Paul Laxalt, Lyn Nofziger, Dick Allen, Ed Meese, Marty Anderson, Jeff Bell, Tom Ellis, and Judge William Clark were conservatives who were supporting Reagan because they believed in his ideas – they weren’t rented strangers looking for a paycheck whose loyalties could be had by the highest bidder.

Conservatives who wonder at the outsized influence the urban elite seem to wield on Capitol Hill have only to look to Mr. Hunter’s article to understand that it starts with who their candidates and elected officials hire for every position from driver, to media consultant, to chief of staff because those are the people who are going to spend the most time with the candidate and who are going to be there in the wee hours when last minute amendments are drafted or on the long drive back from an event making the argument for or against conservative policy.

What Matthew Boyle’s article exposed, and what Mr. Hunter’s counterargument confirmed, is exactly the point Mr. Viguerie has pounded on for many years, and that we made in our article “Gov. Walker: Who You Walk With Tells Conservatives Who You Are,” and that is simply that who is in proximity to candidates and elected officials matters because those are the people who have access, and access equals influence.

Matt Boyle’s reporting on the Walker campaign and Liz Mair was a great service to the conservative movement, not because it exposed the views of one obscure political consultant, but because it flushed out those like Mr. Hunter, who unwittingly confirmed exactly how the unseen hand of the anti-conservative parasites of the Washington consulting class are wrecking the Republican Party. 

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Not just consultants

Even after they are elected conservatives are not safe from anti-conservatives, or any others who hold differing agendas. Staffers make a great many decisions on "behalf" of their elected bosses. When they cannot make the actual decision, they attempt to influence their bosses who are generally too busy to be aware of hidden nuances in proposed legislation. In most cases, the staffers have more influence on legislation than their elected bosses. I would advise any elected official to thoroughly "vet" his or her staffers to assure consistency with the agenda they hold (and for which their constituents elected them to champion).