Lebanon Junction, Kentucky
Less than a week before Kentucky Republicans go to the polls to choose their U.S. Senate candidate, the Bluegrass State looks poised to host a political upset that would impress Harry Truman. Sensing this, every GOP hack and lackey is coming to save Trey Grayson from a truly humiliating defeat.
Practically hand-selected by Senate minority leader and unofficial dean of Kentucky’s Republican Party, Trey Grayson was supposed to waltz to the nomination as the candidate who was sure to beat the Democrats in November. It was over a year ago that an anonymous GOP operative told Politico, when Grayson formed his exploratory committee, that “For the first time, we now know who the Republican nominee will be next November and that’s Trey Grayson.”
But we’ve been through a lot since April 2009.
Before he published God and Man at Yale, William F. Buckley’s intended pilot volume had been tentatively titled Revolt Against the Masses. If this senate race was translated into a book it would surely be called Revolt Against the Establishment.
After all, ignoring Rand Paul did not work. The attack ads have not worked. Bragging about endorsements from 27 current Kentucky office-holders has not worked. Even trying to turn Rand Paul over to the IRS did not work.
Now we have come full circle.
The original appeal of Grayson is the card he and his handlers are playing now: He is the candidate who is electable.
He’s moderate. He’s safe. He has a good chance to beat the Democrats.
But the “electability” argument is the Carpathia to Trey Grayson’s Titanic.
If the polls (and elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts) have been any indication, it’s that Republican primary voters are tired of Republicans’ abandonment of principles and the back-room deals that personified the Bush administration.
In Tuesday’s Louisville Courier-Journal, lawyer and Mitch McConnell’s court historian John David Dyche used his op-ed to try to get the Republicans to rally around Trey so the party can choose pragmatism over principle and hope that repeating the same mistakes of the past will not yield the same results.
In fact, Rand Paul ought to be thanking John David Dyche. Unknowingly, the Louisville lawyer’s act of sycophancy perfectly articulated the strengths of Dr. Paul’s outsider campaign:
"Dr. Rand Paul says he will not vote for any budget that is not balanced. Secretary of State Trey Grayson rightly responded that Paul's position 'is not practical' and explained why. Now Paul is airing an ad attacking Grayson as if Grayson is altogether opposed to balancing the budget."
Translation: Trey Grayson is in favor of balancing the budget when it’s convenient.
"The idealistic Paul's passion is appealing. He is unlikely to lapse into business-as-usual in Washington. But his rigid ideological positions could render him vulnerable to Democratic defeat this fall and largely irrelevant on Capitol Hill even if he wins. . . .
"Grayson's pragmatism would make him a team player in the clubby Senate. Yet many Republicans see unprincipled deal-making as precisely the problem that got the GOP, and America, into the current mess."
Translation: Please vote for unprincipled deal-making.
Many Republicans rue America's well-intentioned but ill-founded invasion of Iraq. They hear scary echoes of that misadventure in Grayson's tough talk about Iran.
Translation: Please support Grayson so there can be an invasion of Iran that Americans don’t want.
"Over in the pandering party, Democratic candidates contentedly bicker about petty things like housing stipends and stock portfolios. After all, their D.C. destiny would be that of acolyte at the altar of Obama's radical liberal agenda, which polling shows Kentuckians strongly oppose."
Translation: Please ignore polls showing that Rand Paul, who strongly opposes Obama's agenda, is just as strong against the Democrats as Trey Grayson.