Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Governor's races and NY 23

So here are my thoughts on yesterday's elections:

The independents have swung. The dems have dominated the last two elections the same way the GOP dominated those convincing the independents. I think these elections were a referendum on the economy, and the economy is not good. Not only that, but I think the independents made a statement that taxing and spending isn't the way to fix the economy. In Virginia, there was a 25 point swing - one quarter of the electorate. In New Jersey it was 20 points. And the exit polls showed overwhelming swing in independents from dem to GOP. McDonnell even won the more liberal areas of the state. If unemployment is still bad in a year (which I think it will be) and the economy is still lagging (ditto) then I think the independents will continue to reject the dems.

The Bush effect is dead. Bush is gone, and so is the dem's favorite scapegoat. Corzine repeatedly tried to hang George W. Bush around his opponent's neck and it didn't work. I wonder if President Obama took note of this?

The GOP must work with, not against, its base. I'm tired of hearing about the right wing base hurting the GOP. Scozzafava was selected by a group of career politicians without any input from the voters. As a result, the conservatives of NY 23 got a liberal candidate who was Left of even the democrat, thus clearing the way for a third party candidate that effectively split the vote. The conservatives simply didn't have a candidate. Had there been a primary, or even some opinion polls done, this could have been avoided. Hoffman lost by 3-4 pts, while DeDe carried about 5-6 pts even after she dropped out. If Hoffman had an R instead of an I beside his name maybe the outcome would be different. Who knows? At any rate, the base clearly rejected the liberal candidate because it was liberalism that damaged the party prior to 2006. Michael Steele and the GOP leaders have to wise up to the obvious. The GOP lost in '06 and '08 because they strayed from conservative ideals, NOT because they embraced them. The GOP leaders in NY 23 repeated that mistake and paid a big price, allowing a moderate dem to win the election.

Social issues aren't as important in a campaign. Deeds attacked McDonnell for being anti-abortion, and his close affiliation with the religious right. It didn't work. Hoffman ran on social issues rather than fiscal issues, and it failed. Yet, gay marriage loses on a ballot initiative. This is fascinating. Perhaps I've missed something here. I believe that most Americans share in relatively conservative social issues, but maybe they don't want them involved in politics. Maybe that's because many people adhere to the most basic of conservative principles, that we dictate the rules to the government, not vice versa, regardless of the issue. Perhaps conservatives don't want government involvement in social issues on either side of the aisle. I'm okay with that. Personally, I say let gay marriage, abortion, gun control, etc be decided by individual states. The Left would never allow that. So while it's important to conservatives to have conservative values, those candidates shouldn't flaunt them, at least not as much as they flaunt their fiscal conservatism. McDonnell and Cristie ran on fiscal conservatism and won. Hoffman ran on social conservatism and lost. Again, I'm fine with that. I'll agree to keep the social issues up to the people if the Left will stipulate.

Once again, the people reject gay marriage. This time in blue-state Maine. We'll see how long it takes the Left to involve the courts. To reinforce the point above, does anyone believe that Maine would have elected a conservative candidate who ran on a platform of anti-gay marriage? Nope.

The Tea Parties were more than astroturf. Just ask John Corzine and Creigh Deeds. The tea parties were all about government restraint, and I think they were loud and clear yesterday. It will be interesting to see if the politicians continue to dismiss this movement or choose to actually listen to the fiscal concerns of the citizens.

There IS a litmus test for GOP candidates. I could vote for a pro-gun control candidate. Or a pro-gay marriage candidate. Or a pro-abortion candidate. But I would NEVER vote for a big government, big spending, high taxing candidate. Never. Both parties need to take this to heart because I am most definitely not alone. Social issues are important, and I would be encouraged to know that the candidate I support feels as I do on these issues. But the primary issue in today's politics revolves around the degree of government involvement in people's lives. Yesterday, the people rejected a long-reaching government. I think they did the same in '06 and '08 based on campaign rhetoric. There is no reason to think the same won't happen next year.

It's time to hold the Washington elites accountable. It's disturbing when a GOP candidate withdraws from an election and endorses a democrat candidate. That has a certain "good-ole-boy-network" odor to it. I get the feeling that many politicians, regardless of party, are just milking this thing for all it's worth. They say one thing in front of the camera, and behind closed doors pat each other on the back and laugh about the great con they're pulling on the common folk. Washington just seems like an ancient, exclusive country club that doesn't like the idea of newcomers intruding on their gig. See Sarah Palin, Ross Perot, Doug Hoffman, Jesse Ventura and Ralph Nader for examples. The elites have a stranglehold on power and will resist any "we-the-people" revolt.

So, today I will write a check to the Chris Simcox campaign for Senate. He is running against John McCain in Arizona and I hope he wins. McCain is a fine and decent man, but I think he's lost touch with the common American. I encourage my fellow grassroots conservatives to do the same. If we can't form a third party, then let's redefine the GOP as a party of low taxes, limited government, free market solutions, energy independence, personal responsibility and strong national defense.

The social issues can be decided by the people. If government is involved, then the 6 principles above should govern any conservative party. I believe Chris Simcox adheres to those where John McCain has fallen short in the past.


Anonymous said...


W/ all due respect, I think you need to reexamine the evidence. You seem to interpret everything in the best possible light to your own wish list.

We have an expression for this in my specific profession. It's called: "Drinking your own bath water."

See my previous comment but I will suggest one thing. Social issues are divisive. You don't believe in gay marriage, abortion, fill in the blank, or you do, that's your prerogative. But if you run on a plank of social issues, you will encounter people who oppose your position as passionately as you support it.

I believe that we are all better served by discussing issues on which there may be common ground.


John Washburn said...

Loop, the facts about tuesday are clear. The people elected two conservatives who ran on fiscal conservatism; rejected another conservative who ran on social conservatism; and supported a social conservative issue on ballot referendum. That's not my interpretation or "drinking my own bath water". That's actually what happened.

My interpretation is that the majority of Americans are both fiscally and socially conservative. However, when it comes to Washington they don't want the social issues involved. When it comes to Washington, they demand fiscal conservatism. That would explain why the GOP lost so badly in '06 and '08, why Obama won (since he promised change) and why his tax-and-spend policies are now being rejected.

Now, if you believe the opposite is true, that America is socially liberal and supports tax-and-spend big government, then how do you reconcile that with the past 3 elections? How do explain the fact that 31 states have had ballot initiatives on gay marriage and 31 states have rejected it? The social issues should be handled locally. People don't want politicians dictating that to them. Is there another way to interpret it? Keep it local.

As I said, I'm fine with that. I hope the Left would agree. If you feel we are better served by discussing common ground then perhaps we can start there. If there is a divide on social issues, then perhaps it's not appropriate for them to be federal. Perhaps what's right for Maine isn't right for Mississippi, etc. Let the states decide the social stuff.

When it comes to fiscal issues, surely we can agree that running unsustainable deficits is harmful. Surely we can agree that high taxes and massive spending doesn't work and eventually leads to ruin. It never has worked before. Let's start there.

And if you believe the GOP needs to be more moderate, then how do you explain McCain's loss? He's the most liberal GOP candidate in 40 years, and suffered the worse support for a Republican in over a decade. If the people wanted a moderate GOP, wouldn't McCain have had a better showing?

Seems simple to me.

Anonymous said...


I think there is too little evidence to proclaim that a massive shift in the electorate has occurred.

Whereas I agree that most Americans are sensible when it comes to finances, I disagree that most Americans are socially conservative. I do not know or even care particularly about the issue of gay marriage. It does seem to me that many who might oppose gay marriage do not oppose abortion.

McCain did not lose the election b/c he was not conservative enough. He may not have been conservative enough for the die hard conservatives of the GOP. Perhaps he did fail to energize the conservative base. But here is the lesson I drew,

George W. Bush was barely elected in 2000. Americans are loathe to change horses in war time.

Sarah Palin helped drive away moderate independents from the GOP ticket.

So, I would be careful for what I wish.



Loop still insists on a left-handed bum-rapping of Bush & Gov Palin, and minimizing the increased awareness of Soros-Progressivism as 'right-wing fantasy'...(Yawn)

Fox News grows, and the print-media
circulations & ad revenues fade.

The election results in Virginia &
New Jersey tell a different story, are indicative of a growing public awareness, and Loop's arguments, much like ObamaHealthCare, are like a flattening tire; the remaining hot-air is nearly gone!


Anonymous said...

Yeah reb. The problem is that Your vision of reality is simply not reliable.