With decisive primary victories by U.S. Senate candidate Ben Sasse in Nebraska and U.S. House candidate Alex Mooney in West Virginia, the establishment’s dream of electing more status quo-supporting candidates has been stopped after just one week. Sasse and Mooney, both fine conservative candidates, ran smart races and closed strong.
When Thom Tillis won the U.S. Senate primary in North Carolina last week (which took millions in establishment funds to make happen), D.C. elites, along with the mainstream media, were giddy as they wrote a seemingly never-ending stream of conservative candidate obituaries.
I was entertained by the tone of the pro-Tillis celebratory stories rolling off the establishment’s printing presses. It’s as if the Washington establishment had done a good job of governing and had earned the victory. It’s as if the elites are tackling our debt crisis, lowering taxes, securing our border, and actually repealing Obamacare.
Thankfully, it didn’t work out quite like they drew it up behind closed doors in Washington. The establishment tried to nail the coffin shut by defeating Sasse, but the conservative grassroots fought back and won. Similarly in West Virginia, Mooney’s win is not what the moderate Washington power-brokers had in mind. Mooney has built enormous credentials in the conservative movement over the course of his career, so he will not be tempted by what is offered by members of “The Club” when he gets to Congress. Mooney, like Sasse, is coming to Washington to take the club head on, not join it.
Ben Sasse’s win is big for the movement, there’s no question about it. If Sasse wins in November, which is highly likely in conservative Nebraska, he will join Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee on day one as another conservative change agent in the U.S. Senate Republican caucus. Sasse will be a strong voice to repeal Obamacare and Washington’s unsustainable deficit spending and debt.
In the weeks and months ahead, there are other opportunities to build on these successes. It will be hard, because Tuesday’s victories will force the elites to redouble their efforts. Let’s make it a priority to beat them again on June 3rd. With the grassroots and conservative principles on our side, we can prevail.