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#NeverTrump Costs Huelskamp His Seat in Kansas

Wall Street Journal starts smear of populism; blames congressman’s shock defeat on movement he stiff-armed.

by Eddie Zipperer

(LifeZette) – Earlier this month, voters in Kansas’ “Big First” Congressional District gave Tea Party Republican Tim Huelskamp the boot, and much of the mainstream media has chalked it up to his lack of compromise.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “His mistake was getting caught up in the Heritage Action-Ted Cruz phony political rage to the point that he refused any compromise.” The article goes on to say that, “His defeat should be a lesson to the rest of the Freedom Caucus that reforming and shrinking government require more than fanning populist anger.”

Wait — what? Setting aside WSJ’s spurious attempt to extrapolate Huelskamp’s loss to the entire Freedom Caucus, the idea that “fanning populist anger” is a losing tactic in 2016 is beyond ridiculous. Hello! Trump and Cruz — both proponents of populist anger — were the only competitive candidates in the no-elbow-room Republican primary field. If the GOP primary results were a pizza, you’d be insulted if your friend offered you the non-populist piece. The pie chart of the results looks like populist Pac-Man gobbling up tiny anti-populism pellets.

Huelskamp’s self-inflicted defeat was partially the result of this new Republican insurgency … and — warning to politicians — if you trash its poster boy, the “R” by your name won’t save you.

Swing and a miss, WSJ. Huelskamp’s real mistake came on May 15 when he appeared on Fox News and blasted Donald Trump who was, at that time, already the presumptive nominee. It was that day — the day he didn’t fan the populist anger — that did him in.

He gave the #NeverTrump talking points everyone has heard again and again — Trump’s not a conservative. Trump has a potty-mouth. Blah, blah, blah. Then, he claimed that Trump is “slamming the borders” — and that’s “not a conservative position.”

My representative is a member of the Freedom Caucus, he didn’t have a primary challenger this year, and he will win re-election easily in 2016 by following a winning campaign strategy that I call the Three-Step Path to Victory. It goes like this:

  • Step 1 — Get out of bed.
  • Step 2 — Don’t go on national TV and claim that border security isn’t a conservative position.
  • Step 3 — Don’t support Hillary Clinton for president.

Dr. Roger Marshall responded to Huelskamp’s Fox News appearance on Facebook, saying:

“Yesterday, on national television, when asked whether or not he will support the Republican nominee in order to defeat Hillary Clinton, Tim Huelskamp said it didn’t matter and that he needed to ask his wife. Well, I think it does matter and I don’t need to ask my wife before answering: We must do everything we can to defeat Hillary Clinton, who is the most corrupt and liberal public figure of our time. I will support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.”

That’s a perfect example of following the Three-Step Path to Victory to the letter.