Today on Blogcritics
Home » Culture and Society » The Election in Brief: Victories for Liberty

The Election in Brief: Victories for Liberty

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Few off-year elections have drawn as much attention as the one which took place yesterday. I spent the whole day working the polls as an election judge — 14 hours of relative boredom interspersed with occasional bursts of activity. Voter turnout here in Texas actually exceeded my expectations considering that we only had constitutional amendments on the ballot, but it was still low and consisted mostly of the most politically active elements of our community — the few people who actually care whether a handful of hurricane damaged beach houses get condemned or given rights to land which erosion has put in the public right of way.

During the day I used my iPhone to keep in contact with my network of political informants around the country where much more exciting things were happening and elections for major local and state offices were being viewed as a harbinger of the political climate for 2010. If that theory is right that these elections tell us something about the Spring primaries and Fall general election next year, then the news for America may be very positive.

New York

The real news from the Empire State is not about CD-23 despite the ridiculous level of attention which it has received. Hoffman lost. The Democrat won. It's likely that the infighting in the GOP angered enough people that they voted for Owens out of protest giving him a narrow victory over the most uncharismatic candidate since Hubert Humphrey. The truth is that there was never a good choice in this race. Scozzafava was politically aberrant and more liberal than Owens and Hoffman was unqualified, unappealing and just too conservative for the district. He came off as a complete boob in his interview with Glenn Beck and I wouldn’t have voted for him as dog catcher. GOP leaders threw this election away by not choosing someone who could appeal to both fiscally conservative Republicans and moderate independents. End of story. It means nothing at all for the future, except that the NRCC and RNC need to do their jobs better.

The real news comes from New York City and it's not mayor Bloomberg's reelection. It's the victory of two Republicans from Queens in the race for City Council, especially the election of New York Republican Liberty Caucus Chairman Dan Halloran in a race which drew national attention because of the relentless racial and religion based attacks on Halloran by his opponents and also by the Village Voice. Halloran's win proved once again that if you have the right message — individual liberty and fiscal responsibility — you can win elections on a base of Republicans and liberty-minded independents in a Democrat dominated environment. Halloran proved that you can even do it while being a neopagan, and special congratulations go to the leaders of the New York GOP for standing by him and keeping religion out of politics. They set an example for the nation.

Virginia

Less interesting, but more impressive than New York, the Republican Party of Virginia proved definitively that if you nominate fiscally conservative candidates you can win. In fact, with the right slate you can roll over the Democrats like a steamroller, handing them a statewide defeat which can only be interpreted as devastating. If it's a sign of what's to come in 2010 the news is very bad for the Obama-Pelosi-Reid triumvirate.

What stood out in the Virginia election was that although Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli are all Republicans, they fit a very specific model. They are fiscally consservative, somewhat socially moderate and in the case of Cuccinelli close enough to libertarian beliefs that he was endorsed by the Republican Liberty Caucus of Virginia.

The magnitude of their victory cannot be ignored. McDonnell won by over 18% of the vote, carrying all but a handful of the counties in Virginia. In a state which recently elected two Democrat Senators that signals a very significant shift in political perspective.

New Jersey

In many ways the win for Chris Christie over Jon Corzine in the New Jersey governor's race is the most significant. It's actually the race where the Democrats deployed their most powerful assets. Thugs from the SEIU and even local street gangs were at the polls intimidating voters. ACORN is suspected of engaging in widespread fraud with absentee ballots. And the Corzine campaign ran one of the most hateful ad campaigns of any election, making personal attacks on Christie for being overweight.

Going into the election things were so bad in New Jersey that John Fund wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal predicting the election would be stolen. My sources informed me that on Tuesday afternoon the DNC sent out the call for observers to come in and manage a recount, planning to carry out the same kind of manipulation with which they stole the Senatorial election in Minnesota and the gubernatorial election in Washington state.

Despite all of this, Christie won and did it by a large enough margin that it made a fraudulent recount too difficult to attempt. And again, Christie fits that profile which seems to be working for the GOP. He's a strong fiscal conservative, yet open minded on social issues. Certainly he has some shortcomings, like his position on gun control, but overall he's a pretty good example of a fiscally conservative, socially pragmatic Republican.

Other Races

The results were also very good for liberty in some of the other races, despite a Democrat victory in a special election for a House seat in California.

Maine's gay marriage law was narrowly overturned with approval of Proposition 1, but this is more than balanced by the approval of Referendum 71 in Washington state, which deals with the issue in a much more pracical way, approving gay marriage in all but name and guaranteeing equal rights to domestic partners. If Maine's law had been framed that way it likely would have been upheld. At the same time Maine's Proposition 5, legalizing medicinal marijuana passed with a strong 60% majority vote. Overall that's a victory for gay rights and a victory againt the War on Drugs, and for lawmakers in Maine it's an opportunity to frame a better policy on gay unions.

Finally, there is a curious story out of Texas which suggests very grim things for the future of the Democratic Party. Supposedly as many as 70 elected Democrat officials in Texas are going to change parties and become Republicans before the 2010 election, apparently because they are afraid their party association with President Obama and the current direction the Democrat leadership is going makes them unelectable in their conservative districts. This seems to fit with the trend reported in elections nationwide, of independents voting strongly Republican, and exit polls showing strong rejection of Democrat policies despite continued personal popularity for President Obama.

For the first time in years things are looking up. We may really be seeing a rising tide for responsible government and individual liberty.

Powered by

About Dave Nalle

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    Before you go off ranting about ACORN again (and before I have to school you about them once more), please present EVIDENCE of the claims made against them. Or do you really want to continue convicting them on ‘suspicion’ alone?

    I’m glad Corzine lost. He ran a dirty campaign…but I’d really like to see EVIDENCE that SEIU ‘thugs’ were intimidating voters. My article lists several false accusations and fraudulent claims made by the Republicans (WITH supporting evidence, mind you)…and I daresay there was more such lies and fraud by the Republicans than by the Democrats. Unless you can find a lot more evidence against the Democrats, that is.

    The victories for gay rights and marijuana are good for libertarians and liberals such as you and me…but bad news for conservatives, for this evinces a stronger liberal presence.

    On the county-level Democrats switching parties, that’s not so surprising. After all, I remember a certain Louisiana justice-of-peace switched from Democrat to Republican just after Obama got elected. But the reality is that Texas is a very, very red state – and those individuals are trying to keep county-level offices. If you’d shown me something like this from, say, Ohio, then I might be concerned.

  • zingzing

    as soon as i saw the liberty, i mean title, i knew this was a piece by nalle. liberty!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Hey Dave, we called the Hoffman race early on, from that interview he had with Beck! I think I used the word doof, but boob works. The Republican party messed that one up! Hope they learn from it.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Christine, ‘boob’ always works

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Um Zing, I think he’s got an honorary degree from Falwell’s Liberty Baptist right-wing University. McCain was so thrilled when he found out he gave the commencement speach last year.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    How many times do I have to say that ACORN represents the Dems about as much as Glen Beck and Limbaugh represent the rank and file GOP.

    …wait, let me rephrase that

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “please present EVIDENCE of the claims”

    do you think it was an accident Dave didn’t provide a link?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    El..LMAO here too “boob”!

  • http://www.fontcraft.com Dave Nalle

    Before you go off ranting about ACORN again (and before I have to school you about them once more), please present EVIDENCE of the claims made against them. Or do you really want to continue convicting them on ‘suspicion’ alone?

    Glenn, I did say that they were suspected, not proven, to be planning fraud. Of course they were proven to have been engaged in fraud earlier this year in New Jersey in a number of cases leading to a bunch of indictments, but let’s just pretend that didn’t happen. And let’s just pretend that the BPP wasn’t out guarding the polls and that they weren’t hired by the Democratic Party to drag people out of their houses and take them down to vote Democrat. We’ll just pretend that never happened, even though there are photos and videos. Face it, ACORN and election fraud are going to be an Albatross around the neck of democrats for the forseable future. Suck it up.

    I’m glad Corzine lost. He ran a dirty campaign…but I’d really like to see EVIDENCE that SEIU ‘thugs’ were intimidating voters. My article lists several false accusations and fraudulent claims made by the Republicans (WITH supporting evidence, mind you)…and I daresay there was more such lies and fraud by the Republicans than by the Democrats. Unless you can find a lot more evidence against the Democrats, that is.

    It’s always lies and fraud when it’s about Democrats, right? But John Fund’s article has direct quotes from legit sources and I heard directly from people in NJ last night that the SEIU had people out “guarding” the polls.

    The victories for gay rights and marijuana are good for libertarians and liberals such as you and me…but bad news for conservatives, for this evinces a stronger liberal presence.

    Still stuck in the false dichotomy, I see. For many conservatives marijuana and gay unions are not a problem.

    On the county-level Democrats switching parties, that’s not so surprising. After all, I remember a certain Louisiana justice-of-peace switched from Democrat to Republican just after Obama got elected. But the reality is that Texas is a very, very red state – and those individuals are trying to keep county-level offices.

    I look forward to the day when Texas has two parties, one Republican and one Liberty Republican.

    If you’d shown me something like this from, say, Ohio, then I might be concerned.

    Damn, forgot to mention that Ohio voted to legalize casino gambling yesterday. Had meant to include that.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    dave: “I look forward to the day when Texas has two parties, one Republican and one Liberty Republican.”

    really? there’s goes your city…

  • Arch Conservative

    Hoffman was on the scene for what….3, maybe 4 weeks?

    I’d say he did pretty damn well for a guy who was only on the scene for less time than the intervals of Nancy Pelosi’s menstrual cycles when she actually had them 40 years ago.

    Just like with the election of Barry. The Dems are reading way too much into NY23.

    I am under no illusions that the GOP is going to regain control of Congress but most agree there will be GOP pickups. In other words, this is as good as it’s ever going to get for Barry and his merry band of socialists. It’s now or never for them if they want to ram their uber left wing agenda down our throats.

    In any event I will be happy once Carol Shea-Porter no longer represents NH in Congress.

  • zingzing

    where’s the comment editor? edit archie! he’s talking that right wing stuff again! we libs can’t see this! edit! edit! remember? we’re supposed to blot out “alternate thinking” or whatever he calls what he does with his mind. i think it’s called “sexy time!”

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Zing, If “we libs” are all alike, do I have to start dating girls?

  • zingzing

    jet, “we libs” believe in nothing with any true conviction. do as you please, but harm no other. liberty!

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    “we libs” believe in nothing with any true conviction.

    How can I believe you and still be a lib?

    It reminds me of my favorite John Wayne quote:
    I was once told to shoot first and ask questions later……. I was going to ask him why, but I had to shoot him first!”

  • zingzing

    you don’t have to believe anything, jet. just trust me… i’ll lead you to one of ruvy’s fabled obamacamps.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee’re of to see the Wizard…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    Glenn, I did say that they were suspected, not proven, to be planning fraud.

    Ah, SUSPECTED to be PLANNING fraud! Dave, if I were to make such a statement, you’d be all over it like stink on excrement, and rightly so. Joe McCarthy would’ve loved your logic, though.

    Face it, ACORN and election fraud are going to be an Albatross around the neck of democrats for the forseable future. Suck it up.

    WRONG! Why? Because not only have you failed to show even one fraudulent vote cast due to the efforts of a few ACORN foot soldiers, but there has been NO, repeat, NO election fraud by the Democrats of which I’m aware since before Clinton. And before you get all excited, remember there’s a huge difference between voter registration fraud, which is a misdemeanor, voter fraud, which is a felony, is VERY rare (less than 10 cases total AFAIK for the ’09 election), and election fraud, which is most serious of all, and there is NO indication such has been committed by Democrats, but there’s a great deal of circumstantial evidence that points directly towards the Republicans.

    Dave, the degree of seriousness between voter registration fraud and election fraud is like the difference between assault and mass murder – because A case of voter registration fraud can possibly result in A vote fraudulently cast, but election fraud skews actual votes and vote counts on a grand scale.

    AND my challenge stands after nearly a year – I’ll show you a thousand voters wrongfully disenfranchised by the Republicans for every single vote wrongfully cast due to the efforts of a few ACORN foot soldiers (most of whom were turned in by ACORN itself). Do you really think this is an empty boast? It’s not.

    It’s always lies and fraud when it’s about Democrats, right?

    WELL, if you’d provide EVIDENCE, then we wouldn’t be accusing the Republicans of lies and fraud, now would we?

    But John Fund’s article has direct quotes from legit sources

    WHAT ‘legit sources’? Like the “Uremia Rojas” that he quotes? Google the name, and the only time you’ll see it is in reference to Fund’s article. I tried zabasearch.com and whitepages.com, and neither one listed ANYone with a first name of “Uremia”. Why? Because it’s the name of a medical disorder! As far as I can tell, Mr. John Fund MADE UP THE QUOTE!

    And this gives great credence to mediamatters.org’s contention that Mr. Fund is just repeating an old accusation from 1993.

    I heard directly from people in NJ last night that the SEIU had people out “guarding” the polls.

    I see. And never mind that even though Mr. Fund said, “ElectionJournal.org will be deploying observers with cameras around New Jersey to hunt for irregularities” – and we must assume that they DID deploy those observers – there’s no EVIDENCE (other than your third-party hearsay). No camera shot, no police report, not even a cell phone video!

    So either the fraud DIDN’T happen, or the Democrats gathered everybody around and said, “let’s put guards to intimidate the voters!” and not only did NOBODY see them, but NOBODY from the entire Democratic side (including SEIU) sold their story with supporting evidence for beaucoup bucks!

    This, Dave, is how we tell truth from bovine excrement.

    Still stuck in the false dichotomy, I see. For many conservatives marijuana and gay unions are not a problem.

    Far many MORE conservatives believe marijuana and gay unions ARE a problem. You know this already, Dave – you’re not that naive.

    I look forward to the day when Texas has two parties, one Republican and one Liberty Republican.

    That’s really good stuff you’re smoking, Dave – or is it grape Kool-Aid?

    Damn, forgot to mention that Ohio voted to legalize casino gambling yesterday. Had meant to include that.

    Personally, I’m against gambling – it’s a religious thing. But it’s not up to me to impose such prohibitions on others who do not believe as I do.

  • Baronius

    A win in that House seat in NY would have been a conservative’s fairy-tale. The hero shows up at the last moment, unmasks the RINO, and saves the day. Oh well.

    The big losers were the NYT’s Corzine and the WP’s Deeds. The era of the newspaper ended in 2008.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Thank God Sara Palin and her mouth were such a huge factor in the elections!

  • Clavos

    Dave:

    Face it, ACORN and election fraud are going to be an Albatross around the neck of democrats for the forseable future. Suck it up.

    Glenn:

    WRONG! Why? Because not only have you failed to show even one fraudulent vote cast due to the efforts of a few ACORN foot soldiers, but there has been NO, repeat, NO election fraud by the Democrats of which I’m aware since before Clinton.

    None of that matters, Glenn, nor does it matter whether or not you’re right and Dave’s wrong (personally, I believe ACORN is at best, sleazy); politics is all about perception, and much of the voting public already perceives ACORN as a fraud-riddled organization closely associated with the Dems.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Sadly, you are absolutely right.

  • zingzing

    yeah, well, clavos… 25% of fox news viewers think that healthcare reform is a plot to kill people. it’s a ridiculous thing.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    ACORN-as much as you would like to believe otherwise is NOT part of the Democratic party

  • Arch Conservative

    You trying to get a shoutout from Barry Jet?

  • http://captivateseattle.com Captivate Seattle

    ACORN may not be part of the democratic party, but most of it’s workers and beneficiaries are. It’s also a breeding ground for democrats.

  • zingzing

    a breeding ground for democrats… kind of like alabama is a breeding ground for cockroaches. i mean republicans. sorry.