The new Utah GOP Party leadership must fight a two front war, with the enemy already inside the wire.
Our media outlets here in Utah differ little from the national media when it comes to publishing fake news and misinformation – and their targets are the same – conservative, constitutionally grounded Republicans.
Conventional wisdom would seem to indicate that in an overwhelming “one-party” Republican state, internecine warfare would not be an issue, but from a functional perspective, Utah has three political parties – the Establishment progressive leaning GOP who are the entrenched power elite, the conservative wing of the GOP – the calloused handed insurgents from the farms and ranches, and the Democrats, the woke progressive left who are mostly centered in the larger urban areas, the quirky ski towns and around the university campuses.
The fact is that we have as great a challenge here with the pseudo Republicans in the GOP, the Romney branch of the Party, as we do nationally with the registered Democrats.
After the Establishment approved slate of candidates lost a the recent state organizing convention, I predicted there would be a pushback from the Good Ole Boys hunkered behind their barriers in the Green Zone around the Capitol, and it is beginning. Their media enablers are beginning the proxy fight – the first shot was fired 10 days ago with an article in the Salt Lake Tribune (aka the Sewer Lake Tribune), an awful, stinking sewer ditch of leftism that never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity to do actual journalism, attacking our new party secretary, Olivia Horlacher for attending the rally at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.
The title of the hit piece?
“One of Utah’s newest GOP leaders attended the Capitol insurrection”
The Sewer Lake Tribune uses the article to both attack Horlacher as a radical right wing insurrectionist (their basis is that she supported Trump) and backhandedly praise Mitt Romney as a “traditional Republican” and open a line of defense for Governor Spencer Cox and his cronies, openly wondering “What a move to farther to the right means for Utah’s predominant party”.
The Trib quoted Mike Madrid, whom they identify as “a former Republican strategist who worked for the Republican National Committee for several years”, only to reveal many paragraphs down that Madrid is a co-founder of the NeverTrump, child molesting, Democrat shilling, leftist funded bunch of grifters known as the Lincoln Project.
The fact is that the Democrats, nationally and at the state and local level, are not just moving the Overton Window to the left, they are pulling the curtains on the old window and framing a new one all the way to the left corner of the wall… and the progressives in the Establishment GOP are sliding left with them, trying to peek through those curtains the Democrats left behind.
The state GOP is not “moving farther to the right”. It is like three people standing on the 50 yard line on a football field and two of them start walking to the left end zone, one stopping at the 30 yard line (the Establishment GOP) and the other going all the way to the end zone (the Utah Democrats).
A Salt Lake Trib reporter shows up in the stands and because they want nothing more than to protect leftists, they scream “Look at how reasonable the Romney wing of the Establishment GOP is – they are evolving, growing in office! But OMG! Would you just look at how far right the insurrectionist conservatives in the Utah GOP have moved! Nazis! Racists! Bigots!”
All this hyperbole when the conservatives in the party have not moved an inch.
The heart and soul of the Utah GOP, my friends out in the rural areas of every county in Utah (and I count myself in that group – I grew up on a farm in Mississippi), where they tend cattle and sheep, till the earth, harvest from the orchards – all with calloused hands and dusty boots – just to provide sustenance (and tax dollars) for the very people in the Capitol who seem to despise them, have not moved an inch.
We are not goose stepping to the far right – we are right where we have always been. We still want the same things we have always wanted – to take care of our families, protect our property, maintain our traditions, worship in peace, to help our neighbors, to protect and defend (and follow) our constitutions, to love and be proud of our state and nation, to be free of government interference and to generally be left alone.
I have said many times before that I am all for party unity – it is a acknowledged necessity to win elections, all I ask is that the party not shove someone in front of me who decides to go against the wishes of their constituents and then tell us we are the ones who must suck it up to keep the peace.
That is traditional Establishment GOP rhetoric and process, and something our Party has begun to reject. Now, I think the expectation is that our elected officials actually deliver results instead of rhetoric. That is one aspect of the Trump legacy.
People (mostly those in the Establishment) are saying the Party needs to “move on” from President Trump when they are the ones who cannot seem to stop talking about him – but Trump showed that to get things done, sometimes toes needed to be stepped on.
He also showed there is a large faction of Republicans who will join Democrats to fight for their sinecures and to protect the status quo. I defy those wanting to “move on” to tell me, policy wise, what they want to “move on” from – because his policies were Reaganesque (strong defense, America before anyone else, a strong and growing economy, strong borders, the best welfare program is a job).
It is so sad so many were willing to give all that up to avoid a mean tweet or two.
It is hard to fight a two front war, especially when the enemy is inside the wire with you, but that is our lot in life – at the county level, the state level and most certainly at the national level as well.
I’m ready for the fight.