Quick update on the 11th district I got at the Convention. Keith Fimian is definately running, and from what I heard someone say, he's willing to spend as much as $1 million of his own money. Fimian exceeded all expectations last year, running ahead of McCain-Palin in the 11th, and I think is in a prime spot to really run Supervisor Connolly out of Congress. The strong showing of Pat Herrity and the victory of John Cook are good signs for the future, and things are looking positive in some of our House of Delegates races. Right now, I'm for Fimian and I don't see anyone better.
In answering some of the concerns of anti-Ken Republicans out there, poster "Right Wing NoVa Volunteer" posted this on my blog:
James... I'm going to just mirror what I told Loudon Insider on TC:
I feel for ya. I really do.
From what you’ve said, your problem with Ken isn’t really ideological - per se. It’s not that you’re pro-choice. It’s not that you’re anti-gun or that you’re in favor of taking away property rights.
Your problem is fear.
You fear that a conservative like Cuccinelli cannot win a general election.
I understand that fear. I know where it comes from. I used to share it myself.
The problem is that the paradigm that fear originates from is simply… not reflective of reality.
This weekend was a dose - if a small one - of that reality.
I can’t tell you how many people I met - smart folks and insiders galore - who thought we were going to be there all night when I KNEW it was going to be one ballot. Hell, I heard ‘insiders’ on the floor talking about how we were going to be there all night after Foster and Brownlee had already conceded and were simply lining up behind the stage to give their concession speeches.
Some false paradigms take a lot to kill. I don’t expect this one to die anytime soon, either - if ever - despite how horridly false it is.
I don’t expect that I - or any other Cuccinelli supporter - can alter the paradigm you or another still absorbed by that fear sees overnight - but I will at least give you some food for thought:
1. Consistent polling over the past 20 years - year in and year out - has shown that approximately 60% of the Americans self-identifies as “conservative”. They don’t always vote, they don’t always vote for Republicans, and they disagree on what “conservative” means, but 60% of American voters self-identify as “conservative”.
What that means: We do not lose by being conservative - at least in name. The label is popular. Individual positions may vary, there are very different sorts of “conservatives”, and the perception of an individual candidate may be far more important, but we don’t lose by calling ourselves conservatives.
My own take is that you have an enormous pool of ‘conservative’ voters out there who vote for Democrats or fail to show up, but might well vote Republican if the candidate was right. And, contrary to the prevailing paradigm, you do NOT make these Republican voters by AVOIDING conservative hot-button issues.
To name but one example: Obama received the votes of an awful lot of pro-life voters - especially blue collar workers and catholics that voted for Bush/Cheney. The economy was the driving reason, not abortion.
We didn’t lose 2006-2008 because we were too pro-life. We lost 2006-2008 because we weren’t fiscally responsible when we held power.
Cuccinelli mirrors their sentiments when he speaks about why Republicans have been losing and he holds positions on social issues that many of them support.
2. A majority of Americans are pro-life and that majority has been growing stronger rather than weaker in polling over the years. Furthermore, many “independents” are pro-life.
This really hits to the center of the false paradigm that leads fearful Republicans to believe that we lose by being socially conservative.
Take Keith Fimian. Fimian - who the Democrats ran against almost exclusively on the abortion issue - outperformed McCain/Palin in the 11th CD by several points.
But the best example in Fairfax is really Ken Cuccinelli, who picks up votes from even hardcore Democrats in every one of his elections exclusively because he IS pro-life and leads on it. Much of his outreach into minority communities - into churches, especially - is based upon his pro-life and pro-family record that typically Democratic minority voters can enthusiastically support.
Of all of the things that Cuccinelli has proven in the past few years in difficult Fairfax, it’s that while we haven’t been winning the rising number of minority voters by creating seperate “coalitions” with a few token members and blurring the distinctions between parties by pretending that our “big tent” will somehow magically cause everyone to join us, Ken HAS been winning them by fighting for what they believe in on social issues.
Ken wins those votes because he does more than simply patronize them: he fights for what we hold in common and makes the choice of candidate about more than mere ethnicity.
3. On the economy, people are heaping mad right now. Republicans, libertarians, independents, even many Democrats.
And the folks that are heaping mad aren’t mad because our government has done too LITTLE but because they have done too MUCH - both Bush and Obama and both Congresses in between.
They’re mad at BOTH parties.
And, at its core, this movement - which has found at least some expression in the tea parties - is neither “Republican” nor “Democratic”, but conservative and libertarian. It is not partisan, but ideological.
Ken Cuccinelli not only gets that, but he has successfully tapped into that growing tide of disatisfaction in both the activist base and the electorate.
Cuccinelli will turn many of them out to vote in November and many he will turn out sure as hell wouldn’t show up for Bob McDonnell otherwise.
And that is the other paradigm shift in the making that somehow the ‘insiders’ in our party still fail to see.
It’s happening all around, it’s a growing cry coming from the base of our own party and quite a lot of people beyond the Republican party, and yet the ‘insiders’ of our party seem to either be deaf to its sound or experience fear when they hear it.
It’s an oncoming freight train of anti-incumbent, conservative/libertarian sentiment that has the potential to expand the Republican party and too many in our party want to stand on the tracks and be run over by it rather than jump aboard.
It’s why Rush Limbaugh’s listening audience is booming.
It’s why the tea parties were successful.
It’s why the polling on the bailouts is so dismal.
It’s why McCain’s poll numbers tanked and never recovered after he engaged in his greatest mistake by supporting the bailouts.
And it honestly pains me to see folks like Loudon Insider insist on being run over by it when every bit of what you’d probably want to achieve if you were honest about it is possible by joining it.
Will we win every election? Of course not. Does this mean we should believe that every ‘true believer’ candidate is going to tap into this growing sentiment out there and carry it to victory? Hell no. Witness Patrick Muldoon.
But the reason the Republican Party is running at about 20% in approval ratings right now is attached to it: this movement is not partisan, but ideological. One of its aspects is a growing sentiment that the Republican Party has abandoned its principles and can only win again if it finds candidates willing to fight for them again.
The reason Cuccinelli was carried to victory is that he’s demonstrated to at least some portion of that movement that he is just such a candidate. Should he prove capable of convincing more of this by November, he could carry the entire ticket to victory.
As for McDonnell and Bolling, Cuccinelli permits both of them to reach out the middle. Contrary to the belief that he drags them down, what he really does is peg down their right flank in a way that neither of them were capable of doing on their own in the emerging paradigm. McDonnell has far more liberty today in reaching out to the middle than he had before Cuccinelli was the nominee in much the same way that an ideologically diverse ticket for the presidency of the United States is naturally stronger than one that is in lockstep.
If hardcore conservatives turn out for Cuccinelli and moderates turn out for McDonnell, McDonnell wins both sets and voters and trounces McAuliffe. That’s the plan.
And that, beyond issues of conservatism, is really why we should (and are) united as a party today. This ticket is stronger than pretty much anything else we could have hoped for.
Posted by: Right Wing NoVa Volunteer | May 31, 2009 at 04:26 PM
Whew. What a saturday that turned out to be. I had a good time, or as good a time as you can at a convention, but it was night and day compared to last year. Here are some final thoughts.
Sadly, I was not able to get down to Richmond today but I will be leaving incredibly early tomorrow and will be down to cast my ballot(s). But I again find myself shaking my head in wonderment as to how we continue to allow this arcane, undemocratic practice to be the way we choose our statewide candidates. I was thinking about it sitting in traffic today, seeing the median strips dotted with McAuliffe and Moran signs (no Deeds, though) and I started thinking about the headstart these guys will have, whoever wins, in terms of ground game and grassroots organizing; which is why primaries are good. Whoever comes out of this primary on the Dem side will be running hard and McDonnell will have to hit the ground running. These conventions don't allow us to engage our voters and attract new ones by the different campaigns and the different messages they bring. It also allows every single Republican in the state to have say without having to spend a day in Richmond.
Consumer activist Ralph Nader accused Terry McAuliffe Thursday of orchestrating an effort to remove him from the presidential ballot in 2004 when McAuliffe was chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Nader said that McAuliffe offered him an unspecified amount of money to campaign in 31 states if Nader would agree to pull his campaign in 19 battleground states.
"When you get a call like that, first of all it's inappropriate,'' Nader said in an interview. "The other thing is if you don't immediately say no, it's like taffy, you get stuck with it."
You know, after going over to anti-Ken derangement blog Too Conservative the last couple of days, my blood has been boiling about the desperate and nasty anti-Cuccinelli posts by Loudoun Insider, the blogger Too Cowardly to stand behind those attacks with his real name. I had a couple of posts ready to go blasting John Brownlee and Dave Foster, blasting anyone standing in my candidates way.
Sonia Sotomayor is going to to be the next associate justice of the Supreme Court. Obama has the votes, and has enough popularity right now to whip his Senate Democrats into voting his way. But the nomination is troubling nonetheless mostly because of the double standard it exposes, and past the the new era we are in. First, the double standard. When you compare the careers of Sonia Sotomayor and Miguel Estrada, its actually quite similar. Both had compelling personal stories, both came from broken homes, both immigrated with limited english, both used hard work and ability to go to Ivy League schools for both undergrad and law school. But one is conservative and one is liberal. During the Estrada battles for the DC Court of Appeals nomination, Senate Democrats continually urged us to look past the story and look to the fact that he is a conservative, to look at his judicial philosophy. So I decided to look around to find some quotes from Democrat senators who looked at Miguel Estrada, since he and Sotomayor are like different sides to the same coin. One is liberal, one is conservative but for the most part every thing else is the same. So here is what I found:
"When your on the district court your looking to do justice in the individual case, you are looking much more to the facts of the case then you are to the application of the law because the application of the law is not precidential so the facts control. On the Court of Appeals your looking towards how the law is developing so that it will then be applied to a broad class of cases."
"To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem [good justice is broad jurisdiction], and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves." --Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820
Last night's UFC 98 was an interesting night that, for me, ushered in a new era and proved why the UFC's successful. The UFC's premier division, the 205 lbs light heavyweight, has been in flux for the last two years. When Rampage Jackson knocked out Chuck Liddell, it ended the Iceman's near two-year run of dominance in the division. Since then there has been four title fights, and three times the title changed hands. The only defense was Rampage defeating Dan Henderson. Since then, Forrest beat Jackson, then Evans beat Griffin, and now Machida beat Evans.
Its become pretty common for American political wagging tongues to look to California for indicators of America's future, after all its state economy is the sixth largest in the world. Its almost a country within a country in terms of size, diversity, needs, and geography. Normally I don't buy these things, but in this case its pretty true. I've been trying for a couple of days to encapsulate my feelings on what happened in California because my aunt and uncle were in town, good Republicans from Sacramento. They were explaining to me what has happened in California. What has happened, it seems, is that no state got fatter off the double-whammy of the housing and tech/internet booms, and instead of spending it on onetime programs on infrastructure or putting it away or giving it back, Gov. Gray Davis used it to fund new programs, bloating the state government and putting a heavier burden on the tax payer . . . which seemed fine when the money was rolling in. Add to that the literal millions of dollars gobbled up by illegal immigrants in state aid and services. So when the bubble burst, in California's case twice, there were millions of dollars of state spending needed in the budget every year . . . but no money left to cover the extensive social programs mandated. So instead, the legislature plays a shell game moving the same money here and then there all at the same time. Add to this mess the fact that California is a referendum state, the chaos continues. And THEN, you have courts in California that routinely overturn voter referendums.
I updated my links on the blog here to reflect some of the 2010 national candidates that I've gotten to learn about, and the ones I have selected are a good group of young and diverse candidates running as conservatives from all over the country. For me, its a good snapshot that the Republican Party can be intellectually honest while finding candidates of all stripes. Take a look and maybe mention of I missed anyone.
Robbed, I say!
Its remarkable to actually witness a Senate Majority Leader spectacularly f-up three different important facts in one press conference. But it seems that the hushed tones for Harry Reid weren't enough to woo the truth asleep, as he basically bald-faced lied about three major issues - including the health of two of the old lions of the Senate. Witness the madness:
WASHINGTON – became the latest Democrat to stray into rhetorical trouble Tuesday, botching statements on three subjects in one news conference — including the fragile health of the chamber's most senior members. The Nevada Democrat reported that one of them, , D-Mass., was absent because he was receiving a new round of treatment for his brain cancer. Asked if the cancer was in remission, Reid replied, "As far as I know, it is, yes."
. . .
Reid also mangled his party's position on the congressional news of the day, that Senate Democrats would join their House counterparts in withholding the money President Barack Obama needs to close the Guantanamo Bay prison until Obama comes up with a plan for relocating its prisoners.
But Reid went further than saying he wanted to see a plan for the money before Congress approves it. "We will never allow terrorists to be released into the United States," he said.
No one, of course, was talking about releasing terrorism suspects among the American populace. Imprisoning them, perhaps, but not releasing them.
"Part of what we don't want is them be put in prisons in the United States," Reid clarified but digging himself into a bigger hole by departing significantly from some of his colleagues and administration officials. "We don't want them around the United States."
Did the administration put Democrats in an awkward position, asking for the money before setting out how it would be spent?
"Not at all," said Reid.
"Yes," his deputy, Sen. Dick Durbin replied to the same question.
This is the newest track by Linkin Park, which will be in the new Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen movie. LP seems to become the house band for Transformers but that works for me. This song is tight, check it out.
I just got this email in the old inbox today and I can't help but take a moment to not only mock but also really talk about this race. Here's the best part of the email:
A strong history of electability? The guy won two races for School Board in an election that was non-partisan? I'm waiting to find some old campaign lit from those past campaigns that say the word "Republican," in fact I pretty much guarantee that he barely mentioned his roots. And anyone with Davis's political acumen should know that on very low-level races like this, strange things happen when nobody is looking and very few people show up to vote. Running as a non-partisan in a low-level race does not mean that he's ready to immediately run statewide, and given that Davis is backing him so strongly, I worry even more if Foster is the nominee. The McCain Campaign was run in Virginia by Tom's people, and we lost Virginia for the first time sicne 1964! How can we trust this guy and his organization to carry such a terribly unprepared candidate?
What I want to know, is that if you talk about electability, Davis doesn't even mention Ken Cuccinelli, who has won three straight state senate races - all three times being the number one target by Democrats who brought in statewide, national, and outside group money to defeat him. What did he do? Just Win, Baby. But we've been through this before, the comparison between the Davis campaign with the Cuccinelli campaign in 2007, but we must continue to comeback to it when Tom Davis is basically puts his reputation behind a candidate like this. Let me go through the list again. Since 2006 Tom Davis has:
So, lets keep that little bit of recent history in mind when Tom Davis comes looking for money from you. And think about it when your looking at Dave Foster, who is essentially a corporate lawyer with no political experience past school issues. How the school board has anything to do with being Attorney General is beyond me. With Cuccinelli, he wrote the laws; and with Brownlee, he's been a prosecutor. These guys have practiced law in the publican sector, so to speak, and the public had some say in their performance (Cuccinelli directly, Brownlee more indirectly).
Perhaps its not fair to Foster, perhaps I'm still bitter at what Tom Davis left us in Northern Virginia. And my criticism of Davis has nothing to do with him being a moderate, in fact I think Davis is more conservative than even he wants people to know. Its about tactics, its about political leaders treat the grassroots and treat the party as a whole. Part of my firm support from Cuccinelli is that he seeks not just to tell volunteers and grassroots organizers what to do, but wants to know how he can help. How can he build a good precinct list, how can he help other candidates in his region (like he did for scores of). Perfect example is the John Cook race, where Cook won a particular precinct (I believe it was Fairview) that Pat Herrity didn't, because Ken helped him there. You don't see it unless your on the ground up here, the difference between the Tom people and the Ken people. And its that difference we need to bring statewide. The interest, enthusiasm, and knowledge that is need to grow this party has been shown to work on a smaller scale in this section of Western Fairfax that Ken has built from the ground up while the Republican world has fallen around him up here.
So when reading Tom Davis's plea for money and his vouching for the Foster candidacy and then contemplating Ken Cuccinelli, try and remember what I'm telling you here . . . the difference between a top down country club party with a dormant grassroots that tries to win every election by out-Democrating the Democrats; or a conservative unafraid to help anyone and everyone, and has the guts to stand in pocket taking punch after punch for us without shaking off his beliefs or apologizing for them, and winning.
And in the end, its been Ken who's won and Tom who's lost. Over and over again. He's done it by creating his own momentum, and lets allow him to unleash on the state the kind of energy and ideas he's brought to Fairfax and the state senate.
Make sure every delegate votes for Ken Cuccinelli for Attorney General
Its a statement on the state of where we are as a country, as a party, and the press that as a candidate Barack Obama along with all the Democrat candidates across the country where never asked in response to calls for closing Gitmo, "then what?" Its at the heart of Nancy Pelosi's problems, and its at the heart of the detainee issues. I have yet to hear one plausible answer of what to do with these animal-terrorists that live to kill Americans.
John Brownlee's campaign just sent out a hilarious email saying they got a "A" rating from the NRA . . . which is great for him and I believe is true, but the trouble is the NRA has already endorsed Ken Cuccinelli. The Brownlee people shrug this off by simply saying the NRA always endorses incumbents. The trouble is, Ken Cuccinelli is no more an incumbent for this race than Brownlee is. This is just one more example of Brownlee's "don't forget about me" campaign that completely agrees with Cuccinelli on the issues, even going to the right of him - but then turns around and says Cuccinelli is unelectable. I don't understand this, but then again if I was running without an real reason I would sound like this too, I guess.
Okay, I get why some on the right look at this new National Council For A New America with a hairy eyeball, but what I don't like is someone like Mike Huckabee coming out and saying its not hard to "laugh" at Eric Cantor for not including any social issues on the list of issues this group is going out and talking to Americans about.
Red State has done a great job at dissecting why the idea of supprting Charlie Crist of the US Senate is such a bad idea . . . this is a guy who reminds me a lot of Arlen Specter in the way he runs for office for himself rather than a great political philosophy past personal power and esteem. The most important point in the post by RS contributor Dan McLaughlin is this one:
3) Crist Is Picking An Ideological Battle
Florida is one place where the moderates and the conservatives have, by and large, managed to get along pretty well, as illustrated by statewide victories by the likes of Bush, Crist, Martinez and McCollum, men who certainly don’t see eye to eye on every issue. By running Crist for re-election and Rubio for the Senate, Republicans could send a clear message to voters that the state party remains big enough for both groups. Instead, Crist is jumping into a messy, expensive primary race that will split the party into clearly-defined ideological camps and is bound to leave hard feelings on both sides. Moderate Republicans can complain all they want about the Pat Toomey primary challenge to Arlen Specter, but make no mistake: in this race, it’s the moderate picking a fight to muscle out a conservative in a state where there is no serious question that conservatives have won and can continue to win races statewide.
Last night is proof positive as to why there is absolutely nothing better in sports than the Stanley Cup Playoffs. First off, the Capitals-Penguins game 6 was a heart attack for three full periods and an overtime, with nine goals, four lead changes, and eight different players scoring goals. In both Pittsburgh and Washington, the crowds have been electric.