Now I've been listening and reading about the various victories and trying to settle on the meaning of the results. This is what I came up with.
First of all, is this a referendum on the first year of Obama? Not really. It's as much a dissatisfaction with the incompetents in power as well as the incessant growth of government. as it is a reflection of the national scene. In this, it's merely a warning that the course that the various liberal leaders are not as secure as what would have appeared last year when the GOP was swept significantly out of power.
Here's a good article about 10 key races. Let's look at a few of the specifics. First, New Jersey.
This is probably the race most closely tied to the White House, as Obama had come to Jersey to campaign for Corzine several times. Now I don't know the political specifics of governor-elect Chris Christie, but the fact he took the Democrat-heavy state and beat the incumbent governor means, most specifically, that Obama does not have coattails. It's going to really be up to the candidates and not a nationally-driven sweep. In short, Obama's aura is thankfully thin.
The NY race was not necessarily about who won (because it was an obvious clusterfuck). But the fact that the GOP candidate, Dede Scozzafava (or Scuzzyfucker) was driven out of the race, then endorsed the Democrat, and the Conservative party candidate, Doug Hoffman, came close, with no help from the establishment GOP, indicates that the base of the party has finally started booting out the candidates that are no different than Democrats. That means more conservative candidates could come down the pike. And since all my liberal blogger buddies think the GOP's key to success is to play to the middle, the potential shift of the party to the right is encouraging.
Gay Marriage and Marijuana: It's a mixed bag. the social conservatives scored a victory in Maine with the overturning of the gay marriage law, but medical marijuana passed, and Washington state expanded gay rights to everything else. What this tells me is that we're conservative and gradual in our approach, but the position of hard-line social conservatism is not the winning issue in most of the country anymore. The pace of those changes will be slow but inevitable where the only purpose of the law is an imposition of morality when the alternative is personal freedom.
So that brings me to another subject: The 2012 GOP candidate.
This is something I've been working on at the bottom of the blog since the 2008 election. And since CB over at Economic Swim covered this, I figured I'd go ahead and take the time to update and check my list:
- Senator Jim DeMint
- Representative Michelle Bachman
- Governor Bobby Jindal
- former Governor Sarah Palin
- former Vice President Dick Cheney (honorary)
Senator DeMint has been a clear and consistent conservative voice, voted against all the bailouts, and is the second most visible of the bunch.
Representative Bachman is new to the list (after visiting CB's post) I really don't know much about her. I know she is a relative noob, and is along the same lines politically as DeMint.
Governor Jindal has been a pretty solid conservative voice, although he lost some cred with his abysmal response to Obama's joint address. We'll see how his time in Louisiana plays out.
Sarah Palin. She's probably the weakest of the candidates on actual conservative cred, but she has the highest name recognition and is the most panned of all by the left. She still needs some work, but there's a couple of years to play with here.
I put Cheney on the list in an honorary capacity for two reasons. First, he has the attitude it will take to win and is as unapologetic as can be. Second, it pisses off the milktoast morons who think McCain was a good choice.
So if you have any comment on the potential candidates above (other than the standard Sarah blather), or if you have another candidate that should be on the list, I want to see it grow. Criteria to get then added include:
1. Economic conservatism. They have to have demonstrable cred for shrinking the size and scope of government. Big government compassionate "conservatives" need not apply. McCain-moderates can go fuck themselves.
2. Anyone who voted for any of the Bush-Obama bailouts is out. Automatically. It's why the Democrats control Washington now.
3. No legacy candidates. We need relatively fresh faces, not someone who's got a political family (like Jeb Bush) or someone who's "turn" it is (as it was with both Bob Dole and McDouche).
So make your case. We have plenty of time.
And finally, since it's so damned funny, and since my daughter likes what happens to the animals behind the door, here's a little page about Sarah Palin. Enjoy.