The GOP Establishment Fightback Starts Tomorrow, in Minnesota

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 25 2013 6:24 PM

The GOP Establishment Fightback Starts Tomorrow, in Minnesota

Earlier this week, Beth Reinhard wrote about the ways the Republican "establishment," such as it is, would try to reverse the gains of the conservative base, the Tea Party, Ron Paul's Liberty Movement, and the Raelians (or whoever else they're blaming for the quagmire right now). 

Tactics being discussed among Republican strategists, donors, and party leaders include running attack ads against tea-party candidates for Congress; overthrowing Ron Paul's libertarian acolytes dominating the Iowa and Minnesota state parties; promoting open primaries over nominating conventions, which can produce Republican hard-liners such as Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli and shutdown-instigator Mike Lee of Utah; and countering political juggernauts Heritage Action, the Club for Growth, and FreedomWorks that target Republican incumbents who have consorted with Democrats.
Advertisement

Is this working? I checked with Marianne Stebbins, who led Minnesota's Ron Paul delegation to the RNC last year.

"In the sense that they're running specific candidates and amply funding them, yes," said Stebbins. "They will likely be successful in electing their national committeeman tomorrow at the special state central committee meeting. There, however, in the straw poll for gubernatorial and US Senate candidates, I don't think the monied, establishment candidates (Scott Honour, Mike McFadden*) will do well. The strictly liberty faction never had a majority in the MN GOP; we were a motivated and organized minority. Combined with allies, we can be a majority, so how the next couple of years play out is an unwritten story."

*Stebbins originally referred to this candidate as "Bob" McFadden. The error was pointed out by half a dozen Minnesota readers who, honestly, need to find better ways to spend their Fridays. I make my email very easy to find here and on Twitter, for tips and (too often) for people to flag me about something I missed. Tweeting at someone to deride how he got a fact wrong without actually specifying what the fact was is just an ego exercise.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Republicans Like Scott Walker Are Building Campaigns Around Problems That Don’t Exist

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge

The World

Iran and the U.S. Are Allies

They just aren’t ready to admit it yet.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

How Steven Moffat Made the Best Doctor Who Episode in Years

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 16 2014 2:11 PM Spare the Rod What Charles Barkley gets wrong about corporal punishment and black culture.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 16 2014 1:23 PM Germany Has Asked Google to Reveal Its Search Algorithm, but That's Not Going to Happen
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 1:27 PM The Veronica Mars Spinoff Is Just Amusing Enough to Keep Me Watching
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 1:48 PM Why We Need a Federal Robotics Commission
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 16 2014 1:39 PM The Case of the Missing Cerebellum How did a Chinese woman live 24 years missing part of her brain?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.