Election Recap

Now that the dust has pretty well settled (and I’ve gotten a bit of sleep), here are my thoughts concerning Election Day.  Overall, it was a sweeping victory for Republicans as the Grand Old Party claimed all three statewide races, a feat last achieved in 1997.  Bob McDonnell will be our new Governor.  Bill Bolling will remain our Lt. Governor for another four years, and Ken Cuccinelli soon will be our Attorney General.  In addition, Republicans made further inroads in the House of Delegates picking up seats in districts 3, 21 (depending on the recount), 23, 32, 34, 51, 67, and 83.  Although I would have liked to see a few more pickups, especially in 64 and 100, Republicans as a whole did quite well.  Even the party-shunned Catherine Crabill picked up 47.98% of the vote.  Now the day was not a complete blowout in favor of the GOP.  With all the successes, Republicans did suffer two net losses: in 52 failing to retain retiring Delegate and former RPV chair Jeff Frederick’ seat and in 93 with the loss of the twenty-one year incumbent Phil Hamilton.  According to my math, that means a gain of six seats in the hundred-member chamber.

The reason for the Democrats failure was that none of the statewide Democratic candidates succeeded in motivating their base or attracting independents.  Creigh Deeds lost by 17 ponts!  Moving down the ticket, a 13-point win for Bolling and 15-percentage point win for Cuccinelli further illustrates this point.  Although I don’t believe these results are as far reaching as to be used to determine the next presidential race three years from now, they do show a growing dissatisfaction with our current President and Congress, as well as the Democrats failure to market their brand.

Elsewhere, somewhat surprisingly, Chris Christie knocked off veteran Jon Corzine for New Jersey Governor.  Then we have Bill Owens victory in New York 23, which was one ray of sunshine for the Democrats in an otherwise poor showing in both Virginia and New Jersey.  Personally, I’m very disappointed with that result, but New York politics is a fairly alien concept to us here in Virginia.

Congratulations to Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, and Ken Cuccinelli.  May the three of you, along with the General Assembly, and our other officials govern the affairs of our state wisely.

Scozzafava’s True Colors

Scozzafava’s departure from the NY-23 congressional race should come as welcome news to Republicans and conservatives alike.  The great concern was that a Republican and a Conservative candidate would split the Republican vote and allow for a Democratic victory.  Although Hoffman’s views were arguably more Republican than Scozzafava, the Republican nominee, the Republican R label attached to Scozzafava would draw heavily from three types of Republicans:  Republican only voters, liberals, and the uninformed. Now, even though her name will remain on the ballot, she should only attract a scant number of votes.

Today Dierdre Scozzafava once again showed her true colors.  Rather than endorse the Conservative, Republican-leaning, Doug Hoffman, she instead encourages her followers to vote for the Democrat, Bill Owens.  Although she remains true to her liberal principles, clearly these are not the values of Republicans or conservatives.  To a vast number of Republicans, there is no greater betrayal than for one of their own to unite with the Democrats.  Now that Scozzafava is out of the race, I’m guessing that most upstate New York Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief.  I just hope they learned something from this experience and insist on nominating true conservatives, not RINOs.

The Establishment Strikes Back!

Reclaiming the Party: Part III

As you may know, WordPress alerts me every time some other site links to mine.  Some of you exploring types may have already visited the blog The Pink Flamingo as a result of the recent comment.  Although neither my blog nor myself are mentioned specifically by name, you will find a link to my work in the line “the far right nut-jobs hate him”.  So what is my great sin that causes the author of the Flamingo to label me like that?  My criticism of Senator Lindsey Graham.  Then again, most of the radio and TV talk show pundits dislike Graham as the writer points out including:  Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham.  Now does agreeing with these famous folks automatically make me right?  Certainly not, but it does clearly illustrate that displeasure with Graham is widespread.  Going on, The Flamingo claims that I dislike the Senator primarily for being “honorable and courageous” First of all; I can’t really speak about Lindsey’s honor.  Maybe he is honorable (and I certainly hope he is), or then again he might not be.  However, being a political opponent of his does not require me to demonize him.  Just because I disagree with much of his politics does not automatically mean that I think he is dishonorable.  Is he courageous?  Again I can’t say for certain though it must take a good bit of courage to face the angry crowds awaiting the Senator back home in South Carolina.  Despite the total political assignation rampant in today’s society, character attacks and political sparring can be mutuality exclusive.  On the other hand, this article labels ideologues such as myself as “irrational, demigod with delusions of grandeur, a mentally unstable creep who thinks he is big enough now to destroy the GOP”, “hates Republicans”, “nasty little libertarian nut-job”, and “doesn’t believe in defending our country”.

But let’s change topics and move north to the special election in the 23rd New York district.  Due to the promotion of former Rep. McHugh, that district is holding a special election to fill his seat.  As in most races, both the Democratic and Republican Parties have their nominees, but there is a twist.  I’ve said in the past that a Northern Republican is simply a Southern Democrat.  Given their increased tendencies for social liberalism and government expansion, their positions are often radically different from Virginia Republicans.  Such is the case with the Republican candidate in 23, Dierdre Scozzafava.  She supports abortion, gay marriage, the stimulus package, bank bailouts, and higher taxes.

Now besides the two major parties, New York politics also has the Conservative and Liberal Parties.  As their names indicate, these parties support either conservative or liberal candidates or positions.  Although these parties do support the major party candidates, they break with them when the choices are deemed insufficiently conservative or liberal.  As Scozzafava is undeniably liberal, it should come as no surprise that the Conservatives have chosen their own nominee, Doug Hoffman.  Ah, but here is where the plot thickens.  As a conservative Republican, does one support Scozzafava, the establishment Republican nominee or Hoffman, the more conservative candidate?  Former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. King (NY-3) have endorsed Scozzafava.  RNC Chairman Michael Steele has also come out in support of her.  For Hoffman we have a laundry list including:  Governor Perry, Governor Pawlenty, Senator DeMint, Rep. Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Fred Thompson, Sarah Palin, and Rush Limbaugh to name the most prominent ones.  And just yesterday, Mitt Romney chose not to endorse any candidate, a clear slight of the GOP nominee.  For anyone who’s read anything on this blog, I don’t have to tell you where I stand.

Although the race in New York will not settle the feud between conservative and liberal Republicans, it, just as the case with Lindsey Graham, demonstrates the growing rift between the so-called establishment party vs. the grassroots base.  Can a party exist without principles?  Can principles be successful if not channeled through a party?  Are we truly “Republican for a reason” as the RPV slogan goes?  In order to avoid splitting the party and our own increasing marginalization, conservatives must stand strong.  To twist a quote from Gingrich, we have to simply, calmly, methodically reassert American conservatism.  Liberty, limited government, personal responsibility, these are our principles.  Does embracing these values and expecting our leaders to do likewise make me a “right wing nut-job”?  If so, so be it!  I’m not ashamed to say that I love our country and the Republican Party far too much to let it be devoured by the establishment jackals.  Now where do you stand?

Update:  Scozzafava has bowed out of the race!