It says a lot about the caliber of advice Mitt Romney is getting that in the midst of the worst economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s, he can do no better than tie President Barack Obama in most national polls.
The same goes for Republican congressional candidates -- especially those for the Senate -- which under the leadership of Democrat Harry Reid hasn’t passed a budget in over three years.
A big part of the problem is, in a word, consultants. Especially the small coterie of Washington, DC based insiders that have come to dominate Republican political strategy and ad making over the past decade.
To most of these highly paid political “strategists,” the campaigns of Ronald Reagan are a grade school memory. Growing-up in the rarified atmosphere of Capitol Hill, where most of them got their start in politics, they know only one way of winning: raise a lot of money from special interests and buy a lot of negative ads on TV... and earn themselves millions in ad placement commissions in the process.
And most importantly, don’t run as a conservative or take any socially conservative positions that might be at odds with those of the urban elites who dominate the mainstream media.
This advice derives from two sources – one grounded in ignorance and the other in greed.
Most of the Washington insiders who make-up the Republican establishment have a warped view of history, which seems to end on Election Day 1964 and the defeat of the modern conservative movement’s first Republican presidential nominee, Barry Goldwater.
In this warped view of history, a conservative candidate can’t win because Goldwater lost in a landslide. However, since 1964, when Americans are presented with a clear choice between the conservative Republican agenda, and the liberal Democrat agenda, the voters always choose the conservative agenda.
In the past 11 presidential elections, the Republican Party ran seven unabashedly conservative campaigns and won seven times. Every time we run as moderate establishment insiders -- 1976, 1992, 1996 and 2008 -- we lose.
The same can be said of congressional elections which saw Republicans as a permanent and powerless minority until Newt Gingrich crafted the Contract with America in 1994 and Tea Party backed candidates pushed the establishment GOP off the front page and the TV screen in 2010, running on an unabashedly conservative agenda.
While the ignorance and establishment bias of Washington’s Republican insiders is damaging, what is truly destructive is their greed and the conflicts of interest that have become so commonplace among this elite fraternity.
Ever wonder why the outcry against Washington’s crony capitalism that is heard every day on Main Street rarely finds its way into Republican political campaigns?
Simple – the same consultants who run Republican political campaigns also advise and run ad campaigns for the special interests who feed off the largess of the federal budget. Wall Street pays a lot better than your average congressional campaign, too.
The establishment Republican Party has not so much sold its soul as had its soul stolen by this small group of Washington consultants. Until Republicans throw-off the influence of these self-serving insiders -- and actually run as principled small government constitutional conservatives -- they risk suffering the same fate they suffered in 1976, 1992, 1996 and 2008, while making millions of dollars for the architects of their defeat in the process.