Last year, because of anger at establishment Republicans, a bunch of self-proclaimed conservatives and tea party candidates were sent to Washington, and won back the majority of seats that had been lost under establishment leadership. These electoral winners promised voters they were going to cut spending and rein in the size of government.


But even now, the Republican leadership is still playing not to lose. Instead of pushing for a Balanced Budget Amendment, they passed a debt limit “deal” that is going to result in a higher debt limit and more spending. End of story. The people who voted for some of these so-called “conservatives” must be hopping mad, and they’d be right to be.
Feehery proposes to solve this dilemma by keeping some of the same Republicans in Congress who voted for a lot of the same policies that got the Republicans kicked out last time. He is wrong about the Club for Growth PAC’s position in the current senate races in Indiana and Utah. The Club’s PAC has made no endorsements in either race, let alone spent the millions of dollars he erroneously suggests. But that doesn’t mean it would be wrong to do so in the weeks and months ahead. Senators Lugar and Hatch both voted to bail out Wall Street. Lugar is a prolific earmarker, and was outspoken against ending congressional pork while the rest of the country and the Republican Party was turning against him. Hatch joined with Ted Kennedy to create the SCHIP program, one of the largest expansions of Medicaid in history.
Representatives Fred Upton and Tim Murphy? Again, two incumbents in races in which the Club’s PAC has made no endorsements to date. But Upton and Murphy “conservatives”?  Come on now. Murphy voted for the union-backed “Card Check” bill, which is about as universally reviled as the stimulus or ObamaCare in the Republican Party. Upton voted to keep hundreds of billions of dollars in the Obama stimulus bill. I could go on and on and on.
So why is John Feehery defending a bunch of liberal, over-the-hill, career politicians? He's doing it simply because they have an “R” next to their name. Establishment Republicans used to show up at Arlen Specter’s cocktail parties and hang around pool-side with Charlie Crist because they were considered electable, not because they stood for policies that conservatives and those of us who believe in free markets stand for.
Once the voters found out that Republicans were telling them one thing about fiscal responsibility in Washington, and doing another with their votes, they promptly tossed them out. It's because of the work of groups like the Club for Growth PAC that we now have Senator Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move MORE instead of Charlie Crist, Sen. Pat Toomey instead of Arlen Specter, Senator Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeMcConnell, allies lean into Twitter, media 'war' Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing Criminal justice reform should extend to student financial aid MORE instead of Bob Bennett, not to mention Senators Jim DeMint, Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Worries grow about political violence as midterms approach President Trump’s war on federal waste American patients face too many hurdles in regard to health-care access MORE, Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGraham promises ObamaCare repeal if Trump, Republicans win in 2020 Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing Rand Paul to 'limit' August activities due to health MORE, and Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senators call for Barr to release full results of Epstein investigation FBI Agents Association calls on Congress to make 'domestic terrorism' a federal crime Senators renew request for domestic threats documents from FBI, DOJ after shootings MORE, all of whom were elected with the support of hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from Club for Growth members.
Barney Keller is communications director at the Club for Growth.