There are nearly a dozen candidates for the US Senate (some incumbents) who have decided it might be better for their careers and election chances if they basically thumb their nose at the Republican Party that sustains them. They are considering not attending the GOP convention in Minneapolis. Evidently they are so terrified of the “Republican” brand that they are quaking in their boots about being identified as Republicans. It leads to the question: Why the H-E-Double-tooth-pick are they even running as Republicans? Why not just follow Bob Barr and don’t let the door hit you in the rear on your way out? I don’t know how you feel about it, but I am furious. If they can’t put in an appearance at the national convention then they need to be contacted by someone with the you know whats to knock them in line.

That’s the whole problem. Right now the Republicans in the House and in the Senate have no real leadership. That’s why we lost in 2006. There is such a lack of leadership in the GOP right now, no one is banging heads together – or leading. They are all so busy either pandering to the heard line right or trying not to pander to the hard line right and appear more appealing to the left, that they are forgetting they are Republicans.

Here’s the list:

Ted Stevens
Alaska
does not like McCain

Susan Collins
Maine
working on campaign – McCain Loyalist

Bob Schaffer
Colorado
running for Senate

Roger Wicker
Missisippi
running for Senate

John Sununu
New Hampshire

Elizabeth Dole
North Carolina
so tied to anti-immigration she can’t think for herself

Gordon Smith
Oregon

John Kennedy
Louisiana
running for Senate – may attend

Steve Pearce
New Mexico
running for Senate – may attend

The National Journal has their excuses:
“…Stevens, for example, is focusing on Alaska’s Aug. 26 primary, which will take place during the Democratic convention, and will stay at home to campaign the following week when Republicans gather to anoint McCain. Because of the timing of the primary, Democratic candidate Mark Begich, the mayor of Anchorage, will also miss his party’s convention.

Collins will spend the week campaigning, said spokesman Kevin Kelley. Her opponent, Rep. Tom Allen, will be in Denver. Asked if Allen would attend, speak or raise funds at the Democratic gathering, spokeswoman Carol Andrews replied, “Yes, yes and yes.”

And while Schaffer eschews Minnesota to campaign in Colorado, his Democratic foe for the Senate seat, Rep. Mark Udall, can keep campaigning while attending his party’s convention, since it is in his home state.

Kennedy’s opponent in Louisiana, Sen. Mary Landrieu, is bound for Denver, as are Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley; Sununu’s challenger, former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen; and Pearce’s foe, Rep. Tom Udall.

While Wicker, the newest senator, has not officially sent regrets, his opponent, former Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, is definitely staying away from Denver. “He’s not a delegate or an alternate delegate, and it’s more important for him to spend the time in the state campaigning,” a spokesman said.

Dole’s Democratic challenger, Kay Hagan, has not committed to attending the Denver convention, but an aide said the campaign has discussed the possibility of a brief stay.

So who among the top targeted Republicans is going to St. Paul?

For starters, Senate Minority Leader McConnell will be there, as will Sen. Norm Coleman, who pushed to bring the GOP bash to his home state. His campaign is already promoting a fundraiser at nearby bar for 40 convention attendees under the age of 40….”

ALL POLITICS ARE LOCAL
I may not have control over what goes on in Washington, but I can sure put my foot down in my little corner of the world. Last week I was asked to sponsor a table at a fund-raising dinner for Steve Pearce. I was thinking about it, but now I am not going to do it. If he does not have the courage to be loyal to the GOP, why should I help him raise money? Unfortunately it’s either he or Democrat, Tom Udall, so I’ll end up voting for Pearce, but I’d rather be voting for Heather Wilson who has proved time and again that she is loyal to the GOP. Frankly, I think the fact that Pearce is thinking about not attending the convention is a betrayal of the Republicans in the 2nd District, where he is still our seated Congressman. It makes our district look bad. How dare Pearce even consider being the US Senator from New Mexico if he cannot represent our state at the national convention.

I am also circulating this specific entry to several local Republicans. With luck Steve Pearce will “see the light”. I want a US Senator I know will work with our next President, John McCain. By not attending the national convention, is Pearce signaling that he is going to be a problem for McCain? If so, we should have known that before the primaries, not afterward.