September 21, 2013

Do The 2013 Off-Year Elections Mean Much?

Every two years there are national congressional elections in which the entire U.S. house of representatives goes to the voters. U.S. senators have six-year terms, so one-third of that body goes before the voters every two years. Gubernatorial terms in the 50 states are mostly four-years, although some states still have two-year terms. But most contests for governor coincide with the two-year cycle of the national elections.

Two states, however, schedule their gubernatorial elections between the two-year cycles. As a result, New Jersey and Virginia will hold their elections for governor this November. As an unusual twist on this, New Jersey will also hold in mid-October a special election for U.S. senator to fill the seat of the late incumbent who recently died.

The question is, especially because the nation is on the cusp of a pivotal mid-term election in 2014, will the results in 2013 tell us anything useful about might happen in 2014?

In 2009, of course, the same states held the same elections for governor, and the special U.S. senate race was in Massachusetts where liberal icon Ted Kennedy had died. (The actual voting in the Bay State senate race took place in early 2010.) Massachusetts being one of the most liberal states in the nation was considered a slam-dunk for the Democrats as was the race for governor in New Jersey, but the results sent shock waves when two Republicans, political unknown Scott Brown won the senate seat, and little-known Chris Christie was elected governor of New Jersey. At the same time, a Republican was elected governor of Virginia, interrupting several terms of Democratic governors.  Subsequently in 2010, the GOP won historic victories in the U.S. house, taking back control of it by a large margin. Republicans also significantly increased their representation in the senate, and picked up many governors.

In retrospect, then, 2009 was a signal of what was to follow in the national mid-term elections of 2010.

In 2013, Governor Christie is running for re-election, and holds a huge lead in the polls against his Democratic opponent.  Mayor Cory Booker of Newark likewise holds a huge lead in the polls agains his GOP opponent in the New Jersey senate race. In Virginia, there is a very close contest for governor between Republican state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and long-time Democratic operative Terry McAuliffe.

It would appear that, unlike 2009, there is very little chance that 2013 will mean much about next year’s elections. Of course, if either Mr. Christie (currently one of the frontrunners for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination) or Mr. Booker lost, those upsets would be shocking, but the possibility of either, barring something now unforeseen, is almost nil. The race for Virginia governor is something of a spectacle of political contempt. Each candidate is idiosyncratically controversial, registering unusually high negatives in polls. Mr. Cucinelli has been labeled as too conservative, and Mr. McAuliffe has been associated with numerous scandals. As election day approaches, Mr. McAuliffe’s initial lead in the polls has faded into a virtual tie. It is probably going to be an ugly, knock-down battle at the end, and it is difficult to imagine how either party, if it wins, would be able to spin their victory as having national implications.

The most newsworthy story will probably be the margin of Mr. Christie’s victory, and how that plays into the governor’s now presumed presidential ambitions.

Not that party leaders and some commentators won’t try to make something out of the other results, but no one  should buy any spin that will result.

——————————————————————————–
Copyright (c) 2013 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

  11:31 am
2009 Elections, 2013, 2014, Chris Christie  

January 14, 2010

Poll Watch: Rasmussen New Jersey Gubernatorial Survey

Rasmussen New Jersey Gubernatorial Survey

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of Chris Christie?

  • Favorable 57% (49%) [48%] <49%> {47%} (46%)
  • Unfavorable 35% (47%) [50%] <49%> {47%} (51%)

What is the biggest problem facing Chris Christie as he takes over as governor of New Jersey….taxes, government spending, unemployment, education, crime or corruption?

  • Taxes 33%
  • Government spending 28%
  • Unemployment 22%
  • Corruption 8%
  • Education 5%
  • Crime 1%

What issue should Chris Christie tackle first as Governor?

  • Government spending 34%
  • Taxes 29%
  • Unemployment 24%
  • Corruption 6%
  • Education 2%
  • Crime 2%

How likely is it that Chris Christie will be able to improve the economy in New Jersey?

  • Very likely 9%
  • Somewhat likely 41%
  • Not very likely 34%
  • Not at all likely 6%

How likely is it that Chris Christie will be able to cut property taxes in New Jersey?

  • Very likely 9%
  • Somewhat likely 30%
  • Not very likely 44%
  • Not at all likely 9%

How difficult will it be for Christie to work with the Democratic-controlled Legislature?

  • Very difficult 41%
  • Somewhat difficult 46%
  • Not very difficult 9%
  • Not at all difficult 1%

How would you rate the job Jon Corzine has been doing as Governor?

  • Strongly approve 9% (17%) [20%] <14%> {11%} (15%)
  • Somewhat approve 27% (20%) [21%] <25%> {30%} (25%)
  • Somewhat disapprove 21% (15%) [14%] <15%> {16%} (18%)
  • Strongly disapprove 41% (46%) [44%] <44%> {42%} (41%)

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as President?

  • Strongly approve 31% [38%] <35%> {34%} (38%)
  • Somewhat approve 22% [17%] <18%> {19%} (19%)
  • Somewhat disapprove 10% [10%] <11%> {11%} (10%)
  • Strongly disapprove 37% [34%] <35%> {35%} (33%)

Survey of 500 likely voters was conducted January 13, 2010. The margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted November 9, 2009 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted October 29 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted October 26 are in angle brackets. Results from the poll conducted October 19 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted October 14 are in parentheses.

Inside the numbers:

Democrats think that tackling unemployment should be the incoming Governor’s top priority. For Republicans and unaffiliated voters, cutting government spending is atop the list.

  6:48 pm
2009 Elections, Barack Obama, Poll Watch, Republican Party  

December 29, 2009

An Impressive Candidate Running For Governor of California

When former Congressman Tom Campbell was considered for Lt. Governor of California, the Democrats in control of the legislature would have none of it because they were afraid of the boost he would recieve in a possible governor’s bid.  From the LA Times:

“Campbell is the Republican who scares us the most,” says Bill Cavala, a former Democratic operative for the state Assembly who’s now managing Garamendi’s campaign. “Not in a thousand years would we breathe life into such a dangerous candidate.”

One of the reasons some haven’t given him much of a chance is because of his lack of funds.   With all due respect to Meg Whitman, Campbell could very well be the strongest candidate the GOP in this race who could win.  The biggest knock against him is probably the fact that he is pro choice, but so is Whitman.   Campbell also is more conservative on issues such as gun control and immigration than Whitman, and has a legislative record to back it up.

Campbell’s resume is very impressive, considering the financial crisis that the state of California is currently in:

Tom has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. His faculty advisor was Milton Friedman. Prior to that, Tom had obtained his B.A. and M.A. degrees in economics from the University of Chicago, on the same day in 1973. He then entered Harvard Law School where he served on the Harvard Law Review Board of Editors. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law in 1976. After law school, Tom served as law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron White. Thereafter, Tom returned to the University of Chicago for his economics doctorate, received in 1980. His free market economics training cemented a life-long commitment to limited government and greater individual liberty.

Tom Campbell has a 20 year track record of promoting less government and individual liberty.   Starting in 1988, he was elected five times to the U.S. Congress, representing districts in the Silicon Valley. He was also elected a California State Senator, and served as Director of Finance for the State of California. The National Taxpayers Union Foundation named Tom the most frugal member of the 102nd Congress, and the California Journal named Tom the “State Senate’s best problem-solver” – a quality the people of California could soon see at work in the Governor’s office.
*Five terms in the U.S Congress, representing districts in California’s Silicon Valley, during periods both of economic growth and recession. Service included the Joint Economic Committee of the US Senate and House.

*Five years as Dean of one of the most prestigious business schools in the world, the University of California’s Haas School of Business. Nineteen years on the faculty at Stanford. Starting in January, Visiting Professor at Chapman University, in Orange, while on leave from Berkeley.

*Director of Finance for the State of California, 2004-2005. This was the last year when the state spent no more than it received in revenue—when the state balanced the budget without additional borrowing, taxes, or dipping into reserves.

*Rated Overall Best California State Senator, by the California Journal. Also, rated the Most Ethical State Senator, and the State Senate’s Best Problem Solver.

*Overall, 11 years in elective office (U.S. Congress, California State Senate).

*Two and a half years in the administration of President Ronald Reagan (including Director of the Bureau of Competition).

*Two years as a law clerk, including the US Supreme Court

*Winner, Republican primary for US Senate, 2000 (defeated in general election by Feinstein).

It all comes down to whether Campbell can come up with the necessary funds to mount a serious challenge.  He currently runs 2nd in most polls, but there are a very high number of undecideds.  If he gets some more traction, he could be the candidate Democrats fear the most.  So while some of the big names are supporting Whitman, it would be wise not to overlook this candidate.

George Will agrees with me.

  7:37 pm
2009 Elections, 2010  

December 3, 2009

With Tanner (D-TN) Out, Republicans Should be +1

I received an email from Kavon, asking me what my opinion is on the fact that the longtime Democratic Congressman from the 8th District of  Tennessee, John Tanner, has opted not to seek re-election

This should be another pick up for the GOP.  As I mentioned to Kavon in my response, Tanner was a conservative Democrat, and it is damn near impossible to knock out an incumbent one in this state.  With this news, it should be a gain  for the Republicans with Stephen Fincher.  However, I would remain cautiously optimistic until after the Democrats have selected their candidate to run (which is likely to be Roy Herron).

  1:13 pm
2009 Elections  

November 15, 2009

Mormons prove their tolerance for intolerant left

The institution of marriage vs. housing/employment discrimination and hate crime legislation

From the category of headlines the Drive-by media has conditioned us to deem unfathomable comes this from the AP:

Mormons back gay rights in Salt Lake City

It looked like a stunning reversal: the same church that helped defeat gay marriage in California standing with gay-rights activists on an anti-discrimination law in its own backyard.

On Tuesday night, after a series of clandestine meetings between local gay-rights backers and Mormons in Salt Lake City, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced it would support proposed city laws that would prohibit discrimination against gays in housing and employment.

The ordinances passed and history was made: It marked the first time the Salt Lake City-based church had supported gay-rights legislation.

The Mormon church — which continues to suffer a backlash over its support last year of Proposition 8, the measure banning gay marriage in California — emphasized that its latest position in no way contradicts its teachings on homosexuality…

It is not a reversal, even if it is a bit stunning.

There is absolutely no contradiction between protecting individuals from housing and employment discrimination as opposed to maintaining the 5000 year old definition of the, civilization creating and preserving, institution of marriage. [Although, I do think that Maine’s recent referenda that vetoed an act of the legislature legalizing same-sex marriage did violate small “r” republican principles.]

I and most conservatives (especially including social conservatives) do not favor any government imprimatur of approval for any sexual behavior outside traditional marriage. Moreover, conservatives generally favor that rights protected by the constitution be of the individual variety, rather than group rights, especially those of a “mutable” variety such as what one Delores one’s particular “orientations” to be, as opposed to the immutable characteristics of race and gender/sex.

But, we do favor prohibitions of discrimination based on religion/free speech, so in that sense people of faith could justify the Salt Lake City ordinance as prohibiting mind control. One can believe anything one wishes and still expect to be able to rent property and get a job one is otherwise qualified for. Of course, if the particular beliefs and/or speech rise to the level of advocacy that interferes with the workplace environment and/or property owners’ maintenance of a habitable environment for families, then one could distinguish.

We particularly like to avoid such group distinctions when one would seek to mete out civil penalties and criminal punishments for free speech against certain behaviors or seek to diminish the value of the lives of certain groups by making it a more serious crime to harm people in other groups, especially when accompanied by a requirement to determine an “intent to hate”.

The criminal law has functioned quite nicely for 500+ years as passed down from the Common Law of England with the only intent being that of the men rea, criminal intent to harm, no matter the particular reason.

devine gamecock law

DeVine Law (pictured) is not sure he favors the particular discrimination law passed in Salt Lake City. We are sure that Mormons are not contradictory in opposing same-sex marriage and that their is nothing “intolerant” about such opposition. We find the most intolerance on the left, many of whom seek to make it a crime, via hate crime laws, discrimination and marriage laws, to make it a crime to advocate the traditional values of chastity, etc found in the Bible.

We also think discrimination laws are better tailored to behaviors and not orientations, and so would not deem it “intolerant” to oppose the Salt Lake City law. But we haven’t made our judgment yet on whether we favor it.

Still thinking and more later…

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer and Minority Report columns

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

  12:17 pm
2009 Elections  

November 13, 2009

Poll Watch: Rasmussen New Jersey Post-Gubernatorial Election Survey

Rasmussen New Jersey Post-Gubernatorial Election Survey

How would you rate the job Jon Corzine has been doing as Governor?

  • Strongly approve 17% (20%)
  • Somewhat approve 20% (21%)
  • Somewhat disapprove 15% (14%)
  • Strongly disapprove 46% (44%)

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of Chris Christie?

  • Favorable 49% (48%)
  • Unfavorable 47% (50%)

What was the primary reason Chris Christie was elected Governor last week? Was it the economy, dissatisfaction with Corzine’s performance, desire for a change, Christie’s record as a prosecutor or Christie’s campaign promises?

  • Dissatisfaction with Corzine’s performance 45%
  • Economy 27%
  • Desire for change 16%
  • Christie’s campaign promises 5%
  • Christie’s record as a prosecutor 2%

How difficult will it be for Chris Christie to fulfill his campaign promises working with a Democratically controlled State Senate and Assembly?

  • Very difficult 43%
  • Somewhat difficult 43%
  • Not very difficult 5%
  • Not at all difficult 1%

How likely it is that Chris Christie will be able to cut local property taxes?

  • Very likely 7%
  • Somewhat likely 29%
  • Not very likely 43%
  • Not at all likely 18%

How likely is it that Chris Christie will be able to root out and crack down on corruption in New Jersey?

  • Very likely 22%
  • Somewhat likely 29%
  • Not very likely 30%
  • Not at all likely 14%

How likely is it that Chris Christie will be able to improve the economy in New Jersey?

  • Very likely 7%
  • Somewhat likely 33%
  • Not very likely 39%
  • Not at all likely 15%

What should be Chris Christie’s first priority after he takes office…cutting state spending, cutting personal taxes or cutting business taxes?

  • Cutting state spending 49%
  • Cutting personal taxes 32%
  • Cutting business taxes 10%

Survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted November 9. The margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points. Results from the pre-election poll conducted October 29 are in parentheses.

  9:02 pm
2009 Elections, Poll Watch  

Enemies of the Middle Class

Further review of the Democratic losses last week along with recent polls showing Republicans beating Democrats in the generic congressional ballot demonstrates the impact of only ten months of Democratic governance on Independents. In Virginia, New Jersey, and now nationally, we’re seeing the exact same dynamic: Republicans are supporting Republicans, Democrats are voting Democrat, and Independents, after having installed a Democratic government just one year ago, are moving heavily towards the GOP. Note that this coalition — let’s call it the McDonnell/Christie Coalition — is quite distinct from the last Republican majoritarian coalition that brought the GOP to power in 2004. In ’04, the GOP won because voters on either side of the political fifty yard line ran to their respective end zones, and the voters on the Right were just a tad more fired up than voters on the Left. This year, the American middle is still in the middle, but centrists and Independents are voting Republican by a lopsided margin, just as they voted Democrat by a significant margin in 2008.

The movement towards Republicans on the part of swing voters shouldn’t be surprising, as pretty much the entire Democratic agenda thus far has amounted to a (largely failed) attempt to enact a huge burden on the very middle class, middle of the road, Middle American voters who brought Democrats to power in the first place. By ignoring the unintended consequences of their policies and by misreading their mandate, Obama and congressional Democrats are on the verge of losing the republic that Americans handed them just one year ago.

Last year, I wrote extensively about the plight of the average middle class American, and of the manner in which regular Americans are beginning to feel that the American Dream is being extinguished. Once upon a time, working hard and playing by the rules was all that was necessary to achieve a comfortable and rewarding life in a nation which values opportunity and meritocracy, and which promises equality under the law for all, regardless of national origin, religion, and so forth. But as the cost of housing, education, and health care rose, and as wages, benefits, and job growth shrank, and as the growth of government at home and its actions abroad sent the American people a bill which could only be paid for via fiscal collapse or massive future tax increases, Americans began to wonder whether the nation’s best days were behind her and whether the American Dream was, in fact, dead. Democrats ran as champions of the middle class and unsurprisingly won massive majorities.

But less than year into their reign, the heroes of the middle class have been revealed as enemies of the middle class, as Democrats have spent 2009 pursuing policies that essentially constitute what is probably the largest middle class tax increase in American history. They are, in no particular order:

The Stimulus: The president and congressional Democrats promised that adding a trillion dollars to the national debt was necessary to stimulate the economy and prevent a depression. Instead, unemployment has continued to increase, and most of the stimulus has yet to even be enacted, as the package was largely a Trojan Horse filled with funding for every Democratic domestic program under the sun. Because the national debt will eventually have to be paid off, this means that the president and Congress gave American taxpayers a trillion dollar bill during the worst recession since the Great Depression, one that will ultimately lead to a massive tax increase on the middle class, and one that did nothing to actually restore the economy and create jobs.

The Bailouts: The Obama Administration and congressional Democrats seemed to have no qualms about using the tax dollars of the American people to bail out the nation’s robber barons who had reached the precipice due to practices such as imprudent and predatory lending and slapping interest rates on lines of credit that would once have been considered usury. The average American, who most certainly did not find himself bailed out of his mortgage or his car payments or his student loans, could do nothing but sit back and watch as his tax dollars were used to bail out the very folks who were simultaneously raising his interest rates on all of those things. Instead of letting poor business decisions be punished by the marketplace, which would disincentivize similar practices in the future, the Obama Administration ensured that no lessons were learned, no robber baron or archaic motor company was allowed to fail, and no American taxpayer would be able to avoid the bill.

Cap and Trade: The Administration itself has privately concluded that this legislation would essentially amount to a 15 percent tax increase. What could go wrong?

Health Care: While small-bore reforms are definitely needed to lower the cost of health care and help more Americans get insured, the health care reforms proposed by Democrats all have one thing in common, and that’s an increased financial burden on the middle class. Even without the creation of a new middle class entitlement in the public option, guaranteed issue, which is a feature of all the Democratic plans, has increased health insurance premiums in every state in which it’s been implemented. This means that the average middle class American will see his or her health insurance premiums go up if ObamaCare becomes law. Under ObamaCare, subsidies are phased out well before they impact most middle class Americans. The poor will have government assistance to help them pay their premiums, and the jet set can simply take more money out of their trust funds. But the middle class will bear the brunt of ObamaCare, being handed higher premiums with few new benefits in return.

Afghanistan: With the nation nearing fiscal collapse, the last thing that Americans want to do is continue to pour blood and treasure into a tribal nation stuck in the 10th Century due to the notion that it’s somehow our moral imperative to do so, or that the sword can be used to modernize such a society. Neither is true. If it’s our job to save the world, then why not all of Sub-Saharan Africa? Why are we not attempting to send troops to every banana republic in Latin America? We don’t because we can’t. In the real world, resources are finite. Americans realize that it’s time to conserve ours, which is why large majorities of Americans now oppose the war in Afghanistan and oppose sending more troops to Afghanistan. Every penny that is added to the national debt because of Afghanistan will come directly out of the pockets of the middle class in the form of some future tax increase.

In sum, the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress are running up a massive bill and sending it to the same middle class that elected Democrats to save it from its economic woes. Apparently, Democrats thought that the middle class was electing them out of some masochistic desire to be further squeezed in order to solve all of the world’s problems, from global warming to the societal travails of distant lands. Democrats are about to find out what Republicans found out last year: at the ballot box, there’s nothing more powerful than an army of disgruntled white collar professionals who make $50,000 a year. In the Nixon era, these folks were called Cloth Coat Republicans. Now they’re Cloth Coat Independents. And they’re the most potent political force in America today.

  12:01 am
2009 Elections  

November 6, 2009

DaveG, Palin, Stupidity

DaveG’s new term of choice to smear the right seems to be “anarcho-conservatism.” It is not a statement about its electoral viability — something that we may find some common ground on — but his personal opinion about the ideology. Yes, apparently the Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck brand of conservatism is “anarchy.” That’s right: small-government, individualist conservatism — classical liberalism — is no better than anarchy. (I don’t even want to know what he thinks about libertarianism.) The kind of conservatism that opposes the stimulus, the kind of conservatism that doesn’t give in to cap-and-trade, the kind of conservatism that is angered about Obamacare and the debt — crazy anarchism! And this anarchism is perpetuated by fanatics like Sarah Palin and her stupid little slogans.

Only in the fantasy land of unwavering moderates is Sarah Palin’s only focus “Drill, Baby, Drill!” They have so bought into their own propaganda, they are so unable to look at her full record of public statements, they are so unable to orient themselves to other wings of the party, that they truly think that she has been completely disregarding anything substantive. One imagines her as a robotic drone running around the country chanting the slogan like Paul Revere: “Drill, Baby, Drill, Baby, Drill, Baby!” —

Of course, this is total nonsense. In case DaveG missed her multiple op-eds — whether in the Wall Street Journal, the National Review, or on Facebook — Sarah Palin has consistently, and with great verve, been promoting a coherent, all-of-the-above energy policy. But no matter how much substance she inserts into the op-ed, if she throws a slab of red meat to the base at the end of it in the form of “Drill, Baby, Drill!,” she’s deemed a sloganeer. She could produce a modern-day Nicomachean Ethics and conclude it with “Drill, Baby, Drill!” and DaveG and his ilk would decide that it was nothing but sloganeering.

No attempting to fire up the base with chants of “Hoffman, Baby, Hoffman!” — No! Bad! You’re not allowed to use a slogan, no matter what you surround it with, no matter what your rationale is for supporting the candidate. Sloganeering will make you look “anarchist.”

I have already given my opinion on the Hoffman race — that Hoffman was vastly superior to Scozzafava, but that it would have been much more prudent to run a safe, center-right candidate a la Chris Christie in the first place — but I cannot say that either side’s rationale was ludicrous. Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty, the NRA and Sarah Palin — all had respectable opinions in the race.

Interestingly, DaveG seems not to target Tim Pawlenty or any of the other high-ranking, national Republicans that endorsed Hoffman — ones with far less star power and, indeed, far less substance than Sarah Palin’s endorsement. The message is obvious: it’s not sloganeering that he dislikes, it’s not even “anarchy” that he dislikes. It’s just Sarah Palin.

  2:00 pm
2009 Elections, Sarah Palin  

Issues, Baby, Issues!

Daniel Larison sums up the lessons of 2009 over at The American Conservative:

What is more encouraging to me is that the wins by Christie and McDonnell show that competent center-right candidates interested in governance and all those “parochial” local issues can tap into voter discontent and win electoral victories. Hoffman’s possible defeat suggests that campaigns dominated by the presence of national activists, empty sloganeering and indifference to local interests may not gain traction even in those districts that are traditionally inclined to favor the politics of someone like Hoffman. Those of us who would like to see Democratic domestic agendas thwarted without empowering the Palins of the world may have managed to get exactly the results we would wish to have.

To me, this is THE lesson of 2009: the triumph of Governing Conservatism over Anarcho-Conservatism. The reason that the issues were “parochial” to Hoffman (according to Dick Armey) was that, like Palin and Beck, Hoffman was not running to apply conservatism to the concerns of his constituents in order to reach right-of-center governing solutions. Instead, the Beck-Palin-Hoffman axis was and is running to enact a cultural revolution on America from the top down, one which will, somehow, make all of those annoying issues go away, presumably because this revolution involves government magically shrinking back to its consitutional mandate, and Americans changing their collective worldview overnight when it comes to every aspect of life.

But cultural revolutions don’t occur from the top down. They come about organically, from within society, and work their way up. Nor do they take place overnight. They generally require multiple decades to take root and to flourish. Unsurprisingly, politicians like Hoffman who tell voters that the issues that they care about are irrelevant and who aim to use government to force them to change their very being are exactly the kind that lose Republican districts in a Republican year to standard issue Democrats.

The rise of Anarcho-Conservatism is, of course, Bush blowback. Because of Bush-style governance — a combination of big-government bossiness, fiscal imprudence, endless military adventures, incompetence, and corruption — many conservatives rebelled not only against Bush’s governance but against the very concept of governance itself. The idea of serious, sober, modest, reformist, solutions-oriented, issues-oriented governance became liberalism by any other name to many conservatives, creating an interesting and destructive dichotomy in the pre-11/3/09 GOP, with the Anarcho-Conservatives on one side and everyone else on the other, with all but the Anarcho-Conservatives deemed some brand of “moderate.”

Thankfully, the events of 11/3/09 decimated that framework, and the post-11/3/09 Republican Party is now the party of the Governing Conservative, exemplified by Chris Christie and by the Virginia dream team of McDonnell/Bolling/Cuccinelli, three conservatives who won Virginia’s top offices by double-digits by focusing on, you guessed it, the issues that voters cared about. And, thus, revolution is replaced by reform, cultural identity and colloquialisms move aside for competence, sloganeering makes way for solutions and sobriety, and Sarah Palin’s rallying cry of “Drill, Baby, Drill!” and “Hoffman, Baby, Hoffman!” is drowned out by the concerns of the voters over “Issues, Baby, Issues!”

  12:01 am
2009 Elections  

November 5, 2009

In a Conservative Vs GOP Fight, Democrats Win

In the only real black eye for the GOP on Tuesday, Democrat Bill Owens won in NY-23.  This is a seat that has been held by the GOP for a very long time, and for at least one year, Democrats will now hold it.  We (as in the GOP and Conservatives) lost in NY-23, not because the Democrats beat us with ideas, but because we were too busy fighting with each other to identify the enemy.

Pointing fingers doesn’t do any good.  The GOP party chose a good paper candidate without regard to her stand on issues.  Conservatives pushed a candidate who was much better ideologically, but who didn’t know the district.  Both strategies are poor, and the result was the Democrats winning the race.

On the flip side, let’s look at New Jersey, and Gov-elect Christie.  By no means was he the favored son of conservatives in the primary, nor did the GOP strong-arm the base into a lesser-of-two-evils situation.  Realism set in, and conservatives backed him in the general.  I have no idea if Steve Lonegan could have won that race or not, but as a conservatism-first guy, I’m very pleased with the result.

The truth to be learned from all this is that the GOP needs Conservatives, and Conservatives need the GOP.  The GOP needs to know they can’t push Karl Marx for a congressional seat, and Conservatives need to know their first choice isn’t always going to make it.  If both lessons are learned from this loss, then we will see more results like New Jersey.  If we continue to point fingers and say “You’re the reason we lost,” we will have more results like NY-23.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I like New Jersey’s result better.

  6:42 am
2009 Elections, 2010, 2012 Misc., Republican Party  

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