Archive for November, 2009

Buyers’ Remorse Out East

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

My take on the gubernatorial election results in New Jersey and Virginia is that they cannot be interpreted as anything other than “buyers’ remorse”. Virginia voters, who gave Barack H. Obama a six percent victory in their state, the first for a Democrat since 1964, just a year later elected Republican Bob McDonnel by a whopping 18 percentage points.  That’s a 24-point swing in just a year.

Likewise in New Jersey, normally a state that heavily favors Democrats, Republican Chris Christie defeated the well-funded Democrat incumbent John Corzine by four percentage points, a 19-point swing in favor of Republicans after Obama carried New Jersey by 15 points a year ago.

While these results may not necessarily be a Republican mandate, at the very least, they indicate that voters see that Obama does not have the silver bullet for solving the country’s problems. Just as likely, voters are seeing that Democrats in general, who control our Federal government, are over-reaching with a far left agenda.

The hopeful sign for Republicans is that these New Jersey and Virginia off-year elections have served as early indicators of what’s to come in the following year’s Congressional and gubernatorial elections. This year’s election results could be a good sign if activists on the right of center don’t manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Which brings me to this year’s special election in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. This race grabbed national attention when local Republican party chairs selected a candidate they thought had the best chance to win. Yes, that candidate is moderate to liberal in her views. Many conservatives put their support behind the Conservative Party candidate, and the Republican dropped out three days before Election Day. As it turns out, Democrats won this seat for the first time in decades.

What bothers me about his race, besides a Democrat winning, is that some conservatives view this result as a victory. Erick Erickson, blogger at Red State, stated, “NY-23 was a huge victory for the conservative base of the GOP,” “The GOP had to lose NY-23 to get the message . . .” and “And we won.” Another example is Susan B. Anthony List (a pro-life group) President Marjorie Dannenfelser, who states, “To be frank this is a win . . .”

Prior to Election Day when Governor Pawlenty endorsed the Conservative Party candidate in NY-23, a local conservative activist stated, “we’re making progress.” I have a feeling, though, had Pawlenty endorsed the Republican, that same activist would have made all kinds of noise about our Governor feeding his presidential ambitions by sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong in a New York Congressional race.

Now, I may be too simplistic in my thinking, but a loss is just that. A loss. When a liberal Democrat wins, especially in this seat (which some say hasn’t been held by a Democrat in 140 years) it’s not a win for anyone on the right side of the aisle. When Nancy Pelosi’s hand is strengthened, it is not a win. When the election results in a liberal pro-choice Democrat winning the seat, it is not a victory for Republicans, conservatives, pro-life people or anyone on the right.

If the 2010 elections will follow through with the early indications New Jersey and Virginia, those of us on the right have to get it right. It is vitally important that we work together and agree on the best possible candidates. And yes that means that I might not get the candidate that agrees with me 100% of the time. But if we simply define victory as knocking someone out of the race, God help us all.