If Senate Republicans — and their health care bill — have made one thing eminently clear, it’s that fully repealing Obamacare was never a promise they intended to keep. A majority of Senate Republicans are adamantly opposed to market reforms of any kind — even the compromise offered by Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
When elected officials are not keeping their promises, should they remain in office? There are eight Republican senators up for reelection in 2018. They are:
Jeff Flake – Arizona
Roger Wicker – Mississippi
Deb Fischer – Nebraska
Dean Heller – Nevada
Bob Corker – Tennessee
Ted Cruz – Texas
Orrin Hatch – Utah
John Barrasso – Wyoming
Of those eight, only Ted Cruz is fighting tooth and nail for some semblance of a health care bill that will actually help people. The others deserve a primary challenge from actual conservatives. But these three are especially vulnerable.
Senator Luther Strange, R-Ala.
The race for Alabama’s Senate seat is unique in that a special election is taking place this year to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The incumbent, Luther Strange, faces primary challengers from former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala. Strange — backed by Sen. Majority Leader McConnell and the GOP establishment — is currently nine points behind Roy Moore, and with Mo Brooks just on his heels, according to one internal poll.
Conservatives in Alabama have a unique opportunity to knock the establishment candidate out of the primary on Aug. 15 and start a win-win runoff election between conservatives Moore and Brooks.
Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn.
The architect of the Iran nuclear deal, Senator Corker is polling poorly with likely Republican voters in Tennessee, 41.6 percent of whom answered it’s time to “give someone else a chance” in the seat. A recent poll from the Tennessee Star shows Corker statistically tied with Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn in a hypothetical primary matchup.
Blackburn has not declared her intention to run, but Corker’s weakness state Senator Andy Holt considering a campaign. “Somebody’s got to do it,” Holt told the Tennessee Star in June, saying there should be “a more conservative option” to CR’s No. 10 RINO.
Another potential conservative challenger is Andrew Ogles, state director for the grassroots organization Americans for Prosperity.
Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah
CR’s No. 7 RINO and the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history, Orrin Hatch, 83, most deserves a primary defeat in the GOP field.
In 2012, facing a primary challenge from the Tea Party, Sen. Hatch made explicit promises to the people of Utah. “Look, this is definitely going to be my last term,” Hatch said. “I’ve committed to that. And it’s going to be the best doggone six years you’ve ever seen.”
Senator Hatch has voted time and time again to betray the conservative principles he’s campaigned on for decades. In the recent Obamacare debate, Hatch floated the idea of keeping Obamacare’s individual mandate until 2020, or possibly beyond. And though he is the “poster child for the GOP duplicity game,” so far, no one has stepped forward to challenge the powerful finance committee chairman.
Plain and simple: Republicans like Hatch do not deserve to be sent back to Washington. As Conservative Review Senior Editor Daniel Horowitz recently said:
“Ask yourself the following question: how many of these Republicans deserve to be re-nominated? How many represent the GOP platform? How many have lifted a finger to fight for conservatives on a single major issue? How many support a modicum of free-market health care or sovereign borders and reasonable immigration policies? How many support reforming the courts so that control of Congress and the White House mean something, or anything at all?”
The fact of the matter is, the GOP will not change behavior without consequences. If Republican voters want a party that will keep its promises to conservatives, the time shape that party is in the primary.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
Obamacare is the Death Star, and it needs to be destroyed.
Conservativism, which is good and decent, ought defend that which is good and decent.