Hey, remember the four Republican white women running for Congress who thought it would be a nice idea to brand themselves the “Conservative Squad” last year, in what was surely a respectful homage to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib? Turns out, it takes more than an appropriated catch-phrase to run for Congress, and they’re having a hard time, bless their hearts.
Their unofficial ringleader, Amanda Taylor, lost her primary in Alabama in March, and the other three women are struggling to raise money. According to Roll Call, which reported on the four women’s woes, the group’s website isn’t even running anymore. Here’s what you see when you go to ConservativeSquad.com:
The four women, who made their splashy debut on Fox News last December, promised to take on the “Socialist Squad” and bring in a new generation of younger voters to the Republican Party. In the video announcing her candidacy, Alabama’s Jessica Taylor said she was running because her state “needs a new generation of conservative leadership to take on these radical liberals” and that she was “sick of arrogant socialists like AOC, who’ve never even run a lemonade stand, trying to tell us how to live in Alabama and that more government is the answer.” Taylor added, “I have zero interest in being a professional politician. But conservatives like us need a squad of our own and I’ll build it. So Alabama, put me in the game!”
Unfortunately for Taylor, Alabama’s Republican voters did not want to put her in the game—she finished in third place during the state’s March 3 primary, ensuring that retiring Representative Martha Roby’s seat will now be filled by a man. Perhaps Taylor can now devote all of her free time to running a lemonade stand, something she seems to have experience doing.
As for the other three women in the “Conservative Squad”—South Carolina’s Nancy Mace, Texas’s Beth Van Duyne, and Minnesota’s Michelle Fischbach—they’re having some money issues, and some of them may not even make it past their primaries.
According to Roll Call, Mace is “being lapped in fundraising” by the first-term Democratic Representative Joe Cunningham, and Fischbach similarly is struggling to raise money against the incumbent, Collin Peterson. Van Duyne, who is running to take over a seat currently held by a Republican, has the best chance of winning her race, but as Roll Call noted, it “will be competitive considering Trump carried it with just 51 percent in 2016.”
Despite their challenges, which at least partially come from being part of a party that doesn’t exactly like electing women to positions of power, the remaining members of the “Conservative Squad” are doing their best to put a positive spin on what has become a bit of a disaster. “[T]he conservative squad idea wasn’t about me or any four people,” Mace told Roll Call. “It was about the growing number of conservative women who want a new kind of leadership in Congress; a group of female fighters to go against these socialists. There are hundreds of female candidates across the country who subscribe to this notion, and it’s very exciting.” Unfortunately for them, Republican voters don’t exactly seem to want them in office.