by Charles Krauthammer at Townhall.com
WASHINGTON — Sure, Election Day 2009 will scare moderate Democrats and make passage of Obamacare more difficult. Sure, it makes it easier for resurgent Republicans to raise money and recruit candidates for 2010. But the most important effect of Tuesday’s elections is historical. It demolishes the great realignment myth of 2008.
In the aftermath of last year’s Obama sweep, we heard endlessly about its fundamental, revolutionary, transformational nature. How it was ushering in an FDR-like realignment for the 21st century in which new demographics — most prominently, rising minorities and the young — would bury the GOP far into the future. One book proclaimed “The Death of Conservatism,” while the more modest merely predicted the terminal decline of the Republican Party into a regional party of the Deep South or a rump party of marginalized angry white men.
This was all ridiculous from the beginning. 2008 was a historical anomaly. A uniquely charismatic candidate was running at a time of deep war weariness, with an intensely unpopular Republican president, against a politically incompetent opponent, amid the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression. And still he won by only seven points.
Exactly a year later comes the empirical validation of that skepticism. Virginia — presumed harbinger of the new realignment, having gone Democratic in ’08 for the first time in 44 years — went red again. With a vengeance. Barack Obama had carried it by six points. The Republican gubernatorial candidate won by 17 — a 23-point swing. New Jersey went from plus 15 Democratic in 2008 to minus 4 in 2009. A 19-point swing.
What happened? The vaunted Obama realignment vanished.
by Ann Coulter at Townhall.com
MSNBC, Aug. 31, 2009, Keith Olbermann on Robert F. McDonnell, Republican candidate for governor of Virginia:
“In (McDonnell’s master’s thesis), he described women having jobs as detrimental to the family, called legalized use of contraception illogical, pushed to make divorce more difficult, and insisted government should favor married couples over, quote, ‘cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators.’ Wow. When did he write this? 1875? No, 1989. Wow, 1989.
“Goodbye, Mr. McDonnell.”
MSNBC, Sept. 22, 2009, Rachel Maddow also on McDonnell:
“And here’s where the conservative movement and the Republican establishment smash into each other like bumper cars without bumpers. Here’s where Republican electoral chances stop being separate from the wild-eyed excesses of the conservative movement.
“Part of watching Republicans try to return to power is watching … the conservative movement eat the Republican Party, eat their electoral chances over and over and over again.”
On election night, conservatives-eating-Republicans resulted in an 18-point landslide for McDonnell, who beat his Democratic opponent 59 percent to 41 percent — winning two-thirds of all independent voters and ending the Democrats’ eight-year reign in the Virginia governor’s office.
Republicans swept all statewide offices for the first time in 12 years, winning the races for lieutenant governor and attorney general, as well as assembly seats, garbage inspector, dog catcher and anything else Virginians could vote for.
To paraphrase a pompous blowhard: Goodbye, Mr. Democrat.
Immediately following the election a year ago, a great debate ensued. Conservatives, liberals and moderates jumped at the chance to give their opinion on the cause of the great GOP meltdown that swept Democrats into control of the White House and both Houses of Congress. This debate centered on the question, “Where does the GOP go from here?”
The question should be answered today when the results are announced in the special election in New York’s 23rd Congressional District.
Last November, liberals across the country danced in the streets and proclaimed Conservatism was dead. Their answer to the pivotal question called for a hard left turn on the part of the Republican Party. Claiming the GOP had shifted “too far to the right” in recent years, left wingers were convinced Republicans had distanced themselves from the American mainstream. In short, they were calling for Republicans to embrace Democratic ideals, policies, and practices. To do otherwise, they said, would be the equivalent of committing political suicide.
Moderates mostly called for a GOP shift to the left on social issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and hate crimes legislation, and a return to conservative ideals of fiscal conservatism and limited government. These folks basically suggested the Republicans altogether abandon social conservatives, a core group that forms a significant portion of the party’s base.
And true conservatives tried to convince party leaders their future success lies in a return to true conservatism, standing tall for the principles espoused in the party’s platform. This group placed the blame for the catastrophic last two election cycles squarely at the feet of party potentates who spent years doing exactly what liberals and moderates now say will cure the cancer that has stricken the GOP. Conservative groups sprung up across the country, online and on the ground, to challenge the seeming omnipotence of Barack Hussein Obama as he imposed his left-wing, Socialist agenda on the American people.
When the National Republican Senatorial Committee endorsed liberal Florida Republican Governor Charlie Crist over his conservative challenger earlier this year, it became clear the Republican elite had chosen not to listen to those conservatives who were taking to the streets in rallies across the country. The GOP leaders were happy to ride the wave of enthusiasm that followed the Tea Parties, but remained unwilling to believe embracing their ideals was the key to rebuilding the party.
The reality is that for too long, DC Republicans have taken the conservative base of the party for granted. Believing these folks had nowhere else to turn, they chose to court left-wing liberals through compromise and sometimes outright abandonment of party principles. Though evidence of this was in plain view following last November’s election, Republicans in power were obviously blinded by a refusal to see they themselves were to blame for the precipitous decline of the party over the previous decade.
The inability to comprehend the error of their ways was even more evident last month when the Republican National Committee strong-armed local party committees in New York’s 23rd Congressional District to anoint left-wing radical Dede Scozzafava the Republican nominee for today’s special election. Then virtually all Republicans in positions of power endorsed this dream candidate of leftists everywhere over a true conservative, Doug Hoffman running on the Conservative Party ticket. But the most egregious error on the part of the national party was to spend approximately $1,000,000 promoting a candidate who stood for everything conservatives stand against, in an effort to defeat Hoffman.
These supposed leaders must now have an extremely bitter taste in their mouths after expending so much political capital to get liberal Scozzafava elected only to have her drop out last Saturday in response to her rapidly plummeting poll numbers. But then the RINO Scozzafava stabbed the GOP hierarchy in the back and twisted the knife by endorsing Democrat Bill Owens in the race. A million dollars thrown down to support a candidate who ultimately ends up endorsing a sure-to-be Obama shill on the Hill.
Many consider today’s elections a referendum on President Obama’s agenda, and his lackeys in the mainstream media are trying hard to lessen the sting of the anticipated losses. But try as they might, they can’t deny the inevitable fact that today’s elections are shaping up to be a victory for the conservative cause.
Though the liberal LA Times makes every effort to hold onto the hope of an Owens victory, even that left-wing rag was forced yesterday to admit Hoffman was leading the Democrat by 5 points on the eve of today’s election. Rebecca Sinderbrand of CNN argues that an Owens loss today could spell more trouble for the GOP than for Obama and the Democrats. And that network’s Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser paints the picture of an angry mob of frustrated voters will be responsible for snatching defeat from Democrats in today’s elections. The NY Times admits that Hoffman will most likely win the New York House seat but claims “Republicans seeking to get back in power [in 2010] in swing states should strike a moderate tone.”
It’s now time for the leadership in the GOP to make their choice. Should the party continue on the path that would have resulted in its demise had it not been for the conservative awakening evidenced by the Tea Parties, 912 movement and others? Or should it embrace this powerful new grassroots force that resuscitated it and brought it back from the brink of death?
Some seem to be getting the picture, but others have yet to open their eyes.
House Minority Leader John Boehner stated yesterday that he regrets having ever endorsed Scozzafava. Former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee finally endorsed the conservative Hoffman after liberal Scozzafava was forced to quit the race. But one-time leader of the conservative wing of the GOP, Newt Gingrich, refuses to admit his error in betting on the losing donkey and instead blasts conservative grassroots activists for working to purge the party of RINOs who would rather see a far left Democrat win than a true conservative.
Next year’s mid-term elections are one year away. Hopefully the Scozzafava lesson has been learned by most of the GOP elite. To the leaders of the party:
You’re either with us or against us. Return to the principles espoused in the GOP platform, or stand aside. Because conservatives in this country are on the move and are willing to stamp out RINOs anywhere and everywhere we find them.