Kentucky conservatives cannot give up on defeating Mitch McConnell in tomorrow’s primary, no matter how much of an underdog Matt Bevin has become. This primary is about far more than kicking a single moderate out of office. It could determine who becomes the next Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate.
Republicans' chances of taking over the Senate this fall are looking stronger and stronger every day. If McConnell loses re-election, the man who replaces Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader could be a true conservative like Mike Lee from Utah (or even Ted Cruz). Lee has the grassroots support and he also has the votes, and he has a real shot of getting the job should McConnell lose.
Even John Cornyn, of Texas, who has been talked up as a replacement for McConnell, would be a real improvement. Despite being closer to the establishment than Senator Lee, Cornyn is guided by conservative principles far more than McConnell.
For the first time in a long time, the most powerful man in the Republican Party could actually be a real conservative.
But if McConnell wins re-election, he will undoubtedly become majority leader and nothing will change in Washington. The most powerful Republican in the country will be a poster child for backroom deal making. The face of the Republican Party will be a moderate known for his earmarks and his support for Wall Street bailouts. Conservatives will be left out in the cold. Again.
Until a true conservative takes over leadership of the Republican Party, all of those Tea Party rallies and marches will have had a limited effect. Tomorrow in Kentucky, conservatives have an opportunity to show once and for all that our voices are more powerful than McConnell’s millions. We need to make it count.