Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Klauser to Tea Party: Fall in Line!

Former GOP big-wig Jim Klauser must still fancy himself the kingmaker of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. All of the former Klauser-haters like right wing talker Charlie Sykes are now pointing to his latest open letter. One of his first open letters came last year when he wrote about how much better Mark Neumann would be as a Republican candidate. Now he is promoting an open letter to Neumann telling him to basically shut up and fall into line. Neumann's big sin appears to be two-fold: 1. Staying in a close race after the party bosses have already coronated Scott Walker and 2. Using Walker's own record of phoniness against him. Not only is Jim Klauser commanding Neumann to fall in line behind Walker, but he is also by extension saying the same thing to Neumann's supporters.

During the RPW convention, I commented that the throwing of non-establishment candidates under the bus could very well backfire. In this case, Mark Neumann is clearly running an insurgent campaign within the Republican Party. The most passionate elements that will vote in the Republican primary are probably tea party people. Many of them also categorize themselves as insurgents. Naturally, Neumann has made a huge play for their support and as far as I can tell he has made significant progress since last year. I would suggest that this is the reason that the polls have tightened in this primary.

I certainly don't claim to be an expert on the Tea Party movement in Wisconsin, but I think that they have a focus on being ideologically pure. Those that actually compare Scott Walker's rhetoric to his actual record can't help but want a right-wing alternative. But the RPW and party bosses like Jim Klauser are not having it and they are actively trying to eliminate those choices. I can't imagine that those barking orders from the Republican establishment play particularly well with folks that have already expressed their frustrations. I would suggest that the harder the Republican establishment pushes the true right-wing believers, the more likely the strategy will backfire.

1 comment:

Urban Pioneer said...

I'll take a stab at your assessment. there may be a slight tightening in the Neumann walker race. But most of Tea Party folks are much more in favor of Walker than Neuman..at least 2-1.. considering it's difficult to get this lose group to identify with any particular candidate. Same is true in the Johnson /Westlake primary. Neumann and Westlake are done. Give them until the 4th of July, and one or both will give it a rest.

I know the Wisconsin media would love a race to cover..but there isn't one. Regardless of what Klauser says.