Virginia's Political Earthquake, and Its Little Hurricane
We've had an earthquake in Virginia, and are facing a little bit of a hurricane. Oh, and besides the politics, there have been some big natural events taking place.
As reported by John Gizzi at Human Events, conservatives won big in Virginia's statewide Republican primaries on Tuesday. Under conservative Governor Bob McDonnell, Virginia has a budget surplus, and with boat-rocking Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, small-government, constitutional conservatism is proving itself to be an effective and popular antidote to many of the problems created by big government.
Barack Obama carried Virginia in the 2008 election. Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine became the head of Obama's Democratic National Committee, and is now running for U.S. Senate. The political earthquake is that Virginians have rejected the Obama Democrats' failed big-government policies. There has been a seismic shift in favor of small-government, constitutional conservatives.
If you were to read some of the liberal barkers, though, you might think the influence of the Tea Party, small-government constitutional conservative movement was on the wane. That's only the wishful thinking of those clinging to an ideology now proven to be a colossal failure. With the Obama administration weakening our country and exposing leftism for what it is, the left-wing pundits are grasping at straws.
Ah, but it seems a minor hurricane is blowing in the Old Dominion. It, though, will pass.
It started with a piece by Ben Smith at Politico in which he pitted conservative Erick Erickson of RedState against conservative candidate for U.S. Senate, Jamie Radtke. Erickson had backed Radtke early on, but his support had seemed to grow tepid since. The brouhaha erupted when there were conflicting stories about why Erickson seemed to back off.
So that we're clear, I'm a Radtke supporter.
We can find fault with Radtke in this brouhaha for not deflecting the issue. She was forthright in telling Politico's Smith what Erickson had told her about why his support seemed to have had cooled. However, if being forthright is a vice in politics, then Heaven help us.
Erickson was understandably miffed that his own candor had come to haunt him, and shot back.
Radtke's response to the RedState post about her -- understandably -- called it scurrilous. It did go beyond the pale. Carter Wrenn, Radtke's chief campaign strategist, is nobody with whom to trifle. He is not only a rock-solid conservative, but is a bit of a living legend, having made his name consulting for the campaigns of conservative stalwarts Ronald Reagan and Jesse Helms. He knows how to deal with Republicans coming after conservatives.
All of this would be on the level of a family feud, but of course the left-wing media wants to blow it out of proportion. Given how they need to deflect attention from what's really going on in Washington, like corruption and overspending, an otherwise unremarkable skirmish among conservatives is just what they need.
Let me set the record straight from at least my perspective. Jamie Radtke is none of the things portrayed in the recent RedState piece, and Erick Erickson has been a brave and effective voice for conservatism. This little snit is amusing only to the operatives on the left.
Radtke's campaign has faced an uphill fight because she is a political outsider. She is running in the Republican primary against George Allen, a former congressman, governor, and senator. He was Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2003, and for a while was seriously considering a presidential run in 2008. Allen has a strong network, as well he should.
Radtke's campaign has been tough but fair in criticizing Allen's record as senator. For that, she was rebuked by one prominent Virginia conservative blog: "If there's one thing Virginia voters have consistently rejected, it's outright attacks (whether valid or invalid) on candidates before they 'know' the candidate attacking." That same blog, though, was remarkably quick to pile on Radtke in the recent RedState affair, saying, "For Radtke 2012, it's time to fold the hand."
Not so fast, my friends. Politics ain't beanbag, and Radtke's made of tough stuff. So are her supporters.
The choices in 2012 for Virginians are pretty much similar to what voters in most states face. We can elect an Obama Democrat, and guarantee that the national debt, which increased by $4 trillion in just two and a half years under Obama, increases more. Washington becomes bigger and more corrupt.
The next choice is to elect a George W. Bush Republican, which is better than an Obama Democrat. The trouble is that even in 2008 candidate Barack Obama was able to run against Bush Republicans by demagoguing against the $4 trillion increase in our national debt under Bush. What lost ground do we reclaim?
Our third choice is to elect conservative leaders who will say "no" even to the Republican Party leadership when it is wrong, reclaim ground and freedom lost under Obama Democrats and before their reign of the terrible, and change the way Washington works. It's all about the vision.
We here in Virginia aren't unfamiliar with tough Republican primaries. Friends bicker with friends, then we sort things out.
I'm anxious to see the candidates debate on the same stage, and several times at that. Let's see who has the vision.