I was a Republican Precinct Chairman from the election that brought George W. Bush to the Governor's Office the first time to '1998 when I had to resign because I moved out here to Dogpatch. I like to think I know politics a little.
I remember well the '96 election where Bob Dole was chosen, mostly because it was His Turn. Pat Buchanan was running an insurgent campaign and he was very popular in my part of Texas. I wasn't too happy with Pat, mainly because his big political office was as a speechwriter, putting on paper the ideas of Ronald Reagan. He did that well. When it came to his own ideas, well I had many disagreements and we'll leave it at that.
On the runup to that '96 election there was a big county Republican meeting where we all had to do things like put a piece of paper with each candidate's name into a hat so we could then draw for ballot placement. A Precinct chair(wo)man, usually one that supported said candidate would then place the paper in the hat for drawing. No one wanted to take Dole's paper and put it in the hat, as a matter of fact there were boos when his name was mentioned.
Finally, just as I was rising, someone else did. When Dole's name was drawn, there were more boos. After the drawing for ballot order (my name didn't have to be drawn because no one dared to run against the Honorable Peter), the County chairman scolded the Buchanan Brigade types for lack of respect and reminded everyone of the Need For Party Unity. Much the same thing happened after the Primary. The Buchanan Brigade types were torqued. We got the same Party Unity speech at the first meeting. Some of the Buchanan Brigade types didn't listen and Clinton, warts and all was reelected.
Funny thing happened in this election. Some of the party chosen were cast out by those impudent voters who did not listen to the People Of High Status. Sitting Senators were cast out. Those Chosen To Assume Their Rightful Promotions were thrown to the curb. And, suddenly Party Regulars were screeching. In '96 George W. Bush was titular head of the Republican Party of Texas. Carl Rove, unless he is plumb senile, should remember '96. The Republican Party was facing a long shot against a fairly popular President.In addition, Gingrich had kind of stepped on his crank while wearing golf shoes.
So, the establishment put out a Party Regular with a good record but little chance. Dole lost. Dole lost against a fairly popular President with many, many negatives that, given a political insurgent knife fighter could have exploited. Establishment Republicans did not learn. George W. Bush kind of blindsided them, no one really expected him to win the Primary in 2000, win it he did, over another Senator who thought it was His Turn. a guy named McCain. You may have heard of him. McCain then put the next eight years of the Bush Presidency "reaching across the aisle and otherwise torpedoing Republicans. Thus it was His Turn again in '08.
I was long retired from the inner workings of the Party, I merely voted against him in the Primary and voted for him in the General. That's the party unity expected by the establishment. This is what we have yet to see in this election. We are lacking in party unity by the very people who demand it of us. I do not know Sharon Angle. I wouldn't know her if she walked up and started talking. I do not know Christine O'Donnell. Nor do I know the guy who beat Murk in Alaska. Still, every one of these was chosen by the voters, every one was attacked by the establishment Republicans before the people voted them in and every one is getting from zero to only lukewarm support of the establishment Republicans who always, ALWAYS lecture us about Party Unity.
So, establishment? How about some of that Party Unity you always lecture us about? And, when, oh when, will you figure out that selecting a Senator to run for the Presidency because it is His Turn is always a losing proposition. Establishment, if you want there to be a Republican Party in 2016 or 2018, you'd better sharpen your wits. There is an upheaval coming. Want to survive, get on board or you won't be able to ride it out.