Thursday, April 13, 2006

You’re Not Republican Enough For Us

Conservative Republicans aren’t happy about Brian Bilbray’s election to the post of party standard bearer in the 50th Congressional District. As we noted yesterday, the convoluted process of selecting convicted Republican felon Randy “Duke” Cunningham’s replacement leaves the door open for a serious challenge from the Republican right directed at Bilbray.

Over at the conservative, Flashreport, Jon Fleischman (former Executive Director of the California Republican Party) looks at June’s multi-purpose election process and suggests that before leaving the field to Bilbray, Republicans need to do some soul searching. In essence, if conservative Republicans aren’t willing to face the prospect of seeing Brian Bilbray in congress for “the next two decades,” the June primary becomes critical.
...Republican voters will also have their first real opportunity, in a contest where ONLY REPUBLICANS will vote, to choose their nominee for the November show down with Busby.
Of course, if the June Republican primary ballot looks like Tuesday’s special election ballot, will the result be any different? As long as three conservatives (Roach, Kaloogian, Morrow) run against Bilbray, Bilbray wins. In addition, Bilbray will have the positive carry-over effect that comes from voters selecting him in his head-to-head race with Busby and then turning the page to the Republican primary list and seeing his name again. Considering Bilbray’s advantages, for a conservative Republican to win the primary, that person will have to convince one or both of his conservative soul mates to abandon the quest.

For Fleischman, that person is Eric Roach.
I'm not in a position to tell readers whether Eric Roach will gear up a campaign for Congress in a closed June primary. But I will tell you this -- if he can unify conservatives around the idea that a hard-charger who will make a difference within the governing GOP majority in Washington, who will join the Republican Study Committee (the conservative caucus in the House) and fight for real change should represent the 50th long-term -- then he should seriously think about it.
Will their conservative ideology drive 50th District Republicans to follow such a dangerous and divisive path?