Over 100 conservative grassroots leaders sent a letter to Republican lawmakers warning that they will face stiff primary challenges if they agree to an unsatisfactory fiscal cliff deal with the Democrats.
“Let us remind you that those same people have always tried to defeat you — yet you won election,” conservatives such as Richard Viguerie, Redstate’s Erick Erickson, Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance, and Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center, wrote in the letter to Republican legislators in reference to the Democratic coalition demanding that Republicans raise taxes and authorize stimulus spending.
“Let us also remind you that a great many potent conservative organizations and millions of conservative and liberty-loving voters do not believe in the divine right of incumbents to be renominated,” they also wrote. “If such deals are made, conservative organizations and conservative and liberty-loving voters would see that the current leadership is not an acceptable alternative to the left. Conservatives would then likely repeat what they did in the 1970s, when they systematically and successfully undertook a multi-year effort to replace Republican congressional leadership.”
Let Freedom Ring’s Colin Hanna, who also signed the letter, said that it was not intended “to be antagonistic” but rather “helpful and principled” as the fiscal cliff negotiations continue. The message was sent to lawmakers on Friday, but Hanna refused to comment on how he viewed Boehner’s counteroffer of yesterday in context of this letter.
He did say that Republicans should be willing to go over the fiscal cliff — as many on the left, including perhaps President Obama, seem to desire — in order to oppose tax increases for anyone. When reminded that going over the cliff would give Obama his tax increase on the wealthy automatically (when the Bush tax cuts expire) and give him the opportunity to propose a tax cut for 98 percent of Americans, Hanna denied that Obama would have more leverage by going over the fiscal cliff.
“[Obama wouldn't have more leverage] if the American public recognizes that it was an active political calculation bordering on irresponsibility, not the result of no viable counteroffers from the Republican side,” Hanna told The Washington Examiner. “If there is no resolution, the public has to understand that the responsibility for it rests with the president and therefore they should hold him accountable to the extent that it evaporates his so-called political advantage.”