John Andrews nails this one:
Republicans lost Congress in 2006, and may lose more seats in 2008, largely because members forgot it’s all about the principles, the party, and the country, acting instead as if it was “all about me.” Unless I’m missing something, that’s also the reason two primary challengers are hounding Congressman Doug Lamborn in Colorado’s 5th congressional district this summer.
As a freshman, Lamborn has compiled one of the most stellar conservative records in the US House or Senate, bar none. Club for Growth ranked him in their top 5 out of 535 members in the two bodies. National Journal rates him No. 1 among all House Republicans in consistently voting against Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats.
He co-founded the House Caucus on Missile Defense and battled his way onto the diminished GOP side of the Armed Services Committee.
His endorsements for re-election, in addition to the Club for Growth, include National Federation of Independent Business, National Pro-Life Alliance, National Right to Work, Concerned Women for America, Republican National Coalition for Life, and the Minutemen Civil Defense PAC.
Other than that, he has done nothing, earned no one’s admiration and support, and put up a big zero for the conservative cause, the state of Colorado, and the people of his Colorado Springs-centered district.
It’s hard, therefore, to discern any motivation for the greater good or causes beyond themselves that would be driving ex-Hefley staffer Jeff Crank and retired Gen. Bentley Rayburn to force a rematch with Lamborn after losing to him two years ago.
These are two likable, accomplished, and capable men as best one can tell, but (news flash) we already have a solid Republican congressman in the 5th. So the burden of proof is on them to demonstrate objective reasons why either should displace the honored and honorable incumbent of their own party.
Absent some such reason — and I’ve seen none — the only remaining explanation is such nakedly selfish assertions as “I belong in Congress” or “He’s not half the man I am” or “This is my destiny.” Gag.
This is the kind of “me generation” thinking that eventually produced rank overspending, gross expediency, incumbency mania, scandal, and in some cases even prison terms for the GOP idealists of 1994 as things spiraled downward toward the voters’ repudiation in 2006. Why dump a proven conservative whose record shows he is not susceptible to any of those things, and put another “all about me” contender in his place?
The sensible decision for Republican primary voters, come August, is to keep Rep. Lamborn right where he is, and encourage Mssrs. Crank and Rayburn to find other outlets for the public service which they unconvincingly claim is their only motive.