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Jones Fends Off the Hard-liners

Jonathan Coppage reports [1] on some good news from last night’s North Carolina primary:

Since then, he may have been the most fiercely outspoken opponent of the Iraq war on either side of the aisle. This may help explain why Emergency Committee for Israel and Ending Spending, two large establishment GOP organizations, dropped a combined $1,000,000 into the race, half supporting his challenger, half hitting Jones. Despite their efforts, however, Jones was able to convince his constituents to let him keep working for them.

Jones’ win is obviously good news for antiwar Republicans and conservatives. There are very few members of Congress that consistently support a foreign policy of prudence and restraint, and Jones has been on the right side of these debates for close to a decade. More than that, it is an encouraging sign that someone with a solid conservative voting record won’t be chucked out by Republican voters just because hard-liners begin flinging brain-dead accusations at him that he is a “liberal” or “anti-Israel.” Even so, this was Jones’ strongest primary challenge, and according to the reported results [2] the race was surprisingly close: Jones won with 50.9% to 45% for the challenger Griffin. I would assume that some of the same groups that targeted him this year will be back to try again in 2016.

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17 Comments To "Jones Fends Off the Hard-liners"

#1 Comment By Derek Leaberry On May 7, 2014 @ 11:06 am

It was not a good day for conservatives. Walter Jones’ squeaker was consolation but even his victory was slight. The Republican elite essentially sat on the conservatives and Tea Party with their huge funding advantages. Boehner hardly broke a sweat with his victory and will be emboldened to cut the throats of conservatives on immigration and other issues. If you don’t kill the King, you must fear his wrath. Ellmers won a convincing but not overwhelming victory for an incumbent. Karl Rove surely smiled when he laid his pumpkin head on his pillow last night. The failed Republican Establishment looks poised to win the mid-terms only to fail conservatives and the country once again.

#2 Comment By John On May 7, 2014 @ 11:16 am

@Derek/11:06 a.m.:

Who are these non-conservatives that make Boehner’s speakership possible, and what do they want that is not conservative?

#3 Comment By Steven D. Rennet On May 7, 2014 @ 11:26 am

Also, one should note that Jones is not exactly a Paulite. His populism does lead him to take some positions that libertarians agree with (e.g., opposing bailouts for banks) but also others that win applause from the Left (e.g., support of Dodd-Frank and opposition to *Citizens United*). [3]

In any event, the real lesson may simply be that it is very hard to beat an incumbent in a primary. 51-45 is hardly a great margin for an incumbent.

#4 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 7, 2014 @ 12:41 pm

Well,

Bravo and bully for Congresman Jones’.

#5 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 7, 2014 @ 12:43 pm

“In any event, the real lesson may simply be that it is very hard to beat an incumbent in a primary. 51-45 is hardly a great margin for an incumbent.”

Given the opposition — it might very be a very healthy margin.

#6 Comment By Derek Leaberry On May 7, 2014 @ 2:19 pm

John, there are many Republican corporatists out there, men of business who think like Calvin Coolidge- the business of America is business. The corporatists hold the money bags of the Republican Party. Their view of the world is as blinded as a race horse.

For instance, in my home of Queen Anne’s County MD, realtor Mr. Mareen Waterman holds the money bags of the local Republican Party, predominant over the Democrats in the county. His daughter-in-law, Diana, is chair of the Maryland Republican Party. His son, Barry, is part of the local zoning commission, a case of having the fox guard the hen house. His nephew, Kevin, is a member of the the county Republican Central Committee and a candidate for Register of Wills. Money buys access.

#7 Comment By John On May 7, 2014 @ 2:54 pm

@Derek/2:19 p.m.:

Republicans are the party of capital and have been for some time. What makes the “corporatists” not actual conservatives, in your mind?

#8 Comment By Dennis Brislen On May 7, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

@ Derek:

We would do well to have a Calvin Coolidge today.

He was for limited government, in favor of helping foreign debtors (including Germany) by lowering interest rates and supporting payment deferrals, was in favor of disarmament treaties and convinced the Senate to agree to the unfortunately ill-fated Kellog-Briand pact.

Though not without faults, Coolidge has been egregiously dismissed by court historians.

He deserves better. Amity Shlaes work is a good start.

#9 Comment By Jealous Again On May 7, 2014 @ 4:46 pm

Very glad that Jones won. I congratulate his constituents on their integrity and good taste. Unfortunately the local GOP coven is offering the usual menu of New Establishment or Establishment Classic, so I may go 3rd party this time.

#10 Comment By Steven D. Rennet On May 7, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

Hard to see why anti-interventionists should think highly of Coolidge, who sent Marines to Nicaragua. And some libertarians who condemn Hoover for signing Smoot-Hawley ignore that Coolidge not only supported the Fordney-McCumber tariff, but almost invariably used his discretionary powers under the Act to raise tariffs rather than lower them. [4]

#11 Comment By Michael Sheridan On May 7, 2014 @ 7:34 pm

@Steven D. Rennet,

I am neither a libertarian (in most respects) nor a paleocon. I read here mostly because this site has some of the best conservative thought out there. However, because I have read here for some time, I am in a position to tell you that many paleocons (a contingent containing a large fraction of conservative anti-inventionists) make no pretense of being anti-tariff. They frequently see “free trade” as antithetical to US interests.

#12 Comment By William Dalton On May 7, 2014 @ 9:33 pm

Walter Jones won while Greg Brannon lost for the pure and simple reason that Jones had a twenty year record of solid constituent service and Brannon had none. If Liberty and Tea Party forces want to defeat establishment favorites they need to enlist candidates who themselves have the kind of record that appeals to the majority of voters who are not driven by ideology.

#13 Comment By William Dalton On May 7, 2014 @ 9:39 pm

“I would assume that some of the same groups that targeted him this year will be back to try again in 2016.”

Two points to be made about the 2016 primaries. First, they will be held in conjunction with Presidential primaries. If Rand Paul is a candidate then, he will help Walter Jones and vice versa. Second, voters registered without a party affiliation are allowed to vote in the primary of whichever party they choose. Jones was probably helped this year by the absence of any compelling statewide primaries in the Democratic Party. A lot may depend upon whether Hillary Clinton has credible opposition in the 2016 Presidential primaries.

#14 Comment By Clint On May 8, 2014 @ 7:55 am

The Jones endorsement by Tea Party Nation was a good move.

#15 Comment By Glaivester On May 8, 2014 @ 8:11 am

Walter Jones won while Greg Brannon lost for the pure and simple reason that Jones had a twenty year record of solid constituent service and Brannon had none.

As I understand it, there were two Tea Party candidates in the Senate race who, combined, had a vote total around that of Thom Tillis.

Part of the issue may be stupid disorganization on the part of Tea Partiers.

#16 Comment By steve in ohio On May 8, 2014 @ 1:02 pm

Wonderful news about Walter Jones. May Justin Amash win his primary even more convincingly.

#17 Comment By Gentleman Jim On May 8, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

On the Honorable Rep. W. Jones, score one for the good guys.

In another theater of the ongoing national struggle between the GOP establishment and real conservatives, Eric Cantor seems to be a trifle nervous this time, attacking his primary opponent – yes, the Majority Leader actually has a primary opponent, an economist, Dave Brat – as a “liberal college professor”, which is a pretty good joke:

[5]

It could be that Cantor’s support for the Wall Street bailouts, mass immigration, and the budget-busting failed military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya has come back to haunt him.