Free Markets, Free People

Fiscal Conservatism Big Winner Tonight

Landslide victories up and down the ticket in Virginia, a somewhat surprising upset in the Democratic stronghold of New Jersey, and a fine showing (and potential victory?) in upstate New York tonight, all make one thing clear: fiscal conservatism is back. The Republican Party will try to seize the moment as their call to ascendance, but that’s wishful thinking. The real victor tonight is fiscal conservatism. If the GOP doesn’t get on board, then they should expect to be wandering in the wilderness for a little while longer.

With that in mind, let’s think about the NY-23 race for a moment. As I’m writing this, it looks like the results won’t be known for some time. The conservative upstart and darling the grassroots Tea Party movement, Doug Hoffman, is trailing with a majority of the precincts reporting. However, as I understand it the exit polls give him the edge, there are several conservative-leaning precincts that haven’t been counted, and the number of absentee ballots (which won’t be tallied for some time) far outpaces the difference between Hoffman and the Democrat Bill Owens. In short, we probably won’t know the result of this race anytime soon. So be it.

Let’s assume that Hoffman loses. What does that mean? Liberals will point to the fact that, in races where someone was actually sent to Washington and thus could have a direct effect on Obama’s agenda, the Democrats made a clean sweep. GOP old-timers like Newt Gingrich will be quick to chide the base for supporting a third-party candidate thus handing a formerly Republican seat to Pelosi and her crew. Both will be completely wrong.

The idea that Democrats got a clean sweep of DC seats is an interesting spin, but it doesn’t make much sense in the long run. The way that House elections are districted virtually ensures party control of those seats, pretty much by design. That a Democrat wins an election as a Representative of a Democratic district is hardly indicative of anyone’s agenda, much less as a referendum on the latest national policy being rammed down our throats debated in Washington. Moreover, any knowledgeable Governor-elect knows that the health care bills proposed by Congress will be making their lives much more difficlut if passed, simply by virtue of the fact that they all try to pass a good deal of the costs onto the states in order to meet that magical, Obama-approved number of $900 billion. And let’s not forget that the liberal media and the White House itself [Yeah, big dif — ed.] has been distancing itself from the results all this past week. You can’t have it both ways, but don’t think that will stop the libs from trying anyway.

On the GOP side, you can expect the establishment types to aggressively tut-tut the conservative cranks who put the wind in Hoffman’s sails. “Better to have a RINO who supports Boehner for Speaker than a Dem who’s a sure Pelosi vote,” will be the admonishment. “Poppycock!” should be the response. If smaller government and lower taxes are truly the desired goal, then electing someone whom nominally carries the Republican standard but walks and talks like a Democratic duck does not further that aim. Instead, it makes it harder to obtain because, by Newt Gingrich’s logic, the base would have to continue to vote for her regardless of how she actually votes while in office, just to maintain the Republican caucus. In reality, it’s much easier for a conservative base to be energized into voting to unseat a Democrat tax-and-spender than a Republican one. Having Scozzafava in that seat would impede that opportunity.

If, on the other hand, Hoffman pulls out the win against all odds (e.g. running as a third-party candidate, only getting one slot on the ballot to two each for the other candidates), that would be a remarkable and unmistakable victory for fiscal conservatives. To be sure, in my mind, the fact that Hoffman is the candidate whom the Democrat has to beat is already a victory for fiscal conservatism. But an actual electoral victory would be huge. It sends the clear message that Congress’ profligate ways are no longer acceptable, and it almost ensures that ObamaCare, PelosiCare or WhateverCare will never become a reality. That’s because, regardless of what liberal pundits and Democrat mouthpieces say, the politicians who depend on reading the Tea leaves correctly will quickly surmise that voting for the health care monstrosities coming out of Congress is a suicide mission. Self preservation dictates that these savvy solons legislate these monstrosities to a slow, painful death. The same could be said of Cap-and-Trade or any other erstwhile tax bill considered for passage. In the very least, therefor, a Hoffman win means that fiscal insanity is held in low regard for the next election cycle.

So hold your heads up high, pioneers, for the returns tonight strike a harmonious tune. Fiscal conservatism sets the beat, and that symphony sounds sublimely sweet.


12 Responses to Fiscal Conservatism Big Winner Tonight

  • Regardless of the details I’m sure the Republicans are thinking that Obama, Pelosi and Reid are the main force that will sweep them into office and its regardless of who specifically runs.
    Since they feel their restoration to power is assured, the GOP will be even more deaf to change than before.

    • The GOP leadership has their screwup in NY23 to remind them otherwise.  Add the “zombie” Scozzafava voters to Hoffman, and he wins.  So next time don’t pick Scozzafava, get someone just slightly to the left of Hoffman, and it’s a walk.

  • Slightly OT, but yet another example of MiniTru bias.  As of 0640 (ET), this was the only election headline on the Yahoo! homepage:

    Democrat wins House seat in heavily GOP area of N.Y.

    Nothing about the apparent GOP wins in NJ or VA, nor even about the Maine gay marriage referendum.  Just… a democrat won.

    I’m reminded of the Cold War anecdote about Soviet media reports:

    The Soviet ambassador challenges the British ambassador to a foot race.  The British ambassador wins handily.  Pravda reports: “In race, Soviet ambassador finished second.  British ambassador finished next to last.”

    Back on topic…

    MichaelWThe Republican Party will try to seize the moment as their call to ascendance, but that’s wishful thinking. The real victor tonight is fiscal conservatism.

    Yes and no.  That the GOP will try to trumpet this as a huge victory is unquestionable, but whether or not fiscal conservatism is the real victor is open to doubt.  Consider:

    — In VA for the past three decades, the voters have chosen from the opposite party to the one holding the White House.  They did the same this year.  Also, Deeds ran a pretty lousy campaign and shot himself in the foot with some contradictory statements about tax increases.

    — In NJ, Corzine is apparently considered ineffective if not corrupt even by NJ standards.  Let’s recall that he also basically bought his seat, spending millions of his own money.  The way MiniTru would have it, corporate fatcat types like him are about as popular as child molesters across the country.

    — In NY-23, the GOP lost in more ways that one: the seat has gone to a democrat, and the party looks bloody foolish for backing a liberal “Republican” who, when she bowed out, promptly endorsed her democrat rival.  Michelle Malkin has an amusing and telling copy of a GOP donation request sent back by a very disgusted former donor with the inscription: “$900,000 to Dede Scozzafava in NY-23.  Really!  You want my support for that!  YOU MUST BE JOKING!”  Hoffman’s excellent showing is, I think, due less to his fiscal conservatism than the fact that Scozzafava was a poster-child RINO, and the Republicans in the district didn’t respond well (!) to having her chosen as their candidate by a small group of party fatcats.

    I think that a growing number of Americans are becoming concerned about the deficit and debt, but I’m not sure that we can say that “fiscal conservatism” was the victor last night and more than the dems could have plausibly claimed that “big government” was the victor in last year’s election.  If President Imeme was more adroit and the Congress wasn’t looking to bust the budget in such a brazen and spectacular way, I don’t think too many people would care any more about the deficit and debt than they have for the past twenty years, which is to say, not much.

  • Let’s say you are a Blue Dog and Pelosi calls you in and says, “We need your vote for Cap & Trade.  We’ll give you a pass on Healthcare and see that that bridge you want makes it through the markup.”

    What do you do?  You start laughing uncontrollably, fall out of your chair and laugh while rolling on the carpet until tears run down your face.

    Erb would probably have another opinion.  Haven’t heard much lately from the young Erbster.

  • This was a pyrric victory for conservatism in NY. For the simple reason that although the MOST conservative candidate did not win, at least a MORE conservative candidate did. Owens is much more conservative than the total liberal Scozzafavva.  Now, MAYBE the big government republican who still run the party will think twice before they try to hurl a liberal down the throats of conservatives.
    The party will not make any real movement until a true conservative becomes the leading presidential candidate.  In that case he or she will gain tremendous power to put real conservatives into places of power within the party.
    As long as the Bush/McCain apperatchiks are running things, expect more failure.

  • We need to field conservative candidates by holding primaries not selecting them in county chairmen meetings.  I lived in NY for 18 years and there’s entirely too much authority vested in unelected groups.  To have 11 people decide who will run in an election to represent 650,000 constituents is unacceptable.  Had the party held a primary, Dede would not have been nominated.

    If Pelosi is able to make Owens support her legislative agenda, he will have a tough time with his reelection in 364 days.

    Conservatives stayed home in 2006 and 2008.  Had they held their noses and voted, Pelosi and Reid would be in the minority and Obama would be the junior senator from Illinois.  I doubt if conservatives will repeat that mistake in 2010.

  • It’s hard to make losing look like winning. I really don’t think that you got it done.

    • The only “loss” was in NY-23, which was always a long shot.  That a fiscal conservative was even in the race to lose it was the victory.

  • I won’t believe that the GOP is party of fiscal conservatism until they do more than talk about it.   They are like Obama when he talks about transparency in government.  He only talks about it.  The president’s actions betray him as this blog has just pointed out yet again.
    If these GOP winners actually do something about the fiscal situation this country is in then I’ll be the first to cheer.  I’m just not going to hold my breath.

  • The key, almost lost, point of NY-23 is that the Republican, Scozzafava, only got 6%.
    The “Republican after thought” conservative candidate, Hoffman, who lost by 2%, may just have lost based purely on party line voting by some Republicans, who didn’t get the message they were dealing with one of those obsolete “Florida-style” ballots (the ballots that had Gore voters voting for Buchanan).
    The lesson for the GOP .. don’t expect somebody else to do your heavy lifting.
    Do it simple and do it yourself .. because some voters (in both parties and otherwise) are 4 cans shy of a 6-pack.

  • Party of the Dead ?

    their beliefs and values have stayed the same, but are no longer reflected by the Democratic Party.