UPDATE: Tea Party wins big in Colorado.
Yesterday was Election Day in a number of states. A huge tax increase in neighboring Kansas City—$800M for supposed medical research with no oversight, lost in a 5 to 1 verdict or 84% against. The tax supporters spent over $2M dollars unsuccessfully for another case of corporate and union welfare.
(Update) In Colorado, liberals proposed a massive, $950 million tax hike that was earmarked specifically to increase education spending. It lost by a 66% to 34% margin only receiving half the votes in liberal Denver and Boulder.
Teacher unions spent $4 million promoting the measure, outspending opponents by at least ten-to-one.
But the model crashed on takeoff tonight. Coloradans didn’t just defeat Amendment 66, they repudiated it by a vote of 66 percent to 34. With almost all the results in, the tax hike was only winning half the votes in liberal Denver and Boulder Counties.
The Centennial State may have tilted left in recent years, but tonight’s results suggest there’s a solid counterrevolution against the liberal direction state government has taken. Two Democratic state senators, including the senate president, were recalled in September after voting for gun restrictions. Now the state’s tax-and-spend constituencies have been given a huge black eye by voters who clearly rejected the idea that education could be improved by pouring more money into the existing system. — The National Review.
Democrats won the governorships In Virginia and New Jersey,. What? Christie ran as a ‘Pub? So? I stand by my statement. Christie ran up a large margin in the election with the active assistance of the ‘Pub establishment and democrats. Therefore, if it quacks like a democrat, waddles like a democrat, it is a democrat.
In Virginia, McAuliffe won by a squeaker. For him to win, he had help from the GOP establishment in the state—‘Pubs who campaigned for McAuliffe, assistance from Karl Rove and the national ‘Pub establishment, and by democrat collusion with the Libertarian party who ran an Obama supporter and political bundler on the Libertarian ticket to siphon conservative votes away from Cuccinelli. McAuliffe’s double-digit poll margin shrank to less than 3% once the votes were counted.
Cuccinelli had to battle the democrats, democrats running as libertarians and his own party. With all that opposition, he lost by a slim margin. Some pundits declared that if Cuccinelli has a few more days, as the news about Obamacare reached more VA voters, he could have won. McAuliffe ran on his support for Obamacare. Cuccinelli ran against it.
Since the this summer a low level civil war has been simmering within the GOP between conservatives who have grown tired of the lack of desire on the part of the Establishment to resist the radical statism that has epitomized the regime of Barack Obama and the Establishment that seems more than happy to go along with Obama so long as they are kept in champagne and caviar. Many solid conservatives have insisted that the division is overblown and that a big tent is necessary to win elections.
To anyone remaining that thinks a reasonable accommodation may be made with the GOP Establishment, today’s op-ed by Michael Gerson (The GOP’s new reality) should serve as a wake up call. In fact, it is apparent from Gerson’s op-ed that the Establishment views conservatives, not the Democrats, as the existential threat to their place at the trough.
Following the recent tea party Tet Offensive — tactically disastrous but symbolically important — the Republican establishment has commenced counterinsurgency operations. Sens. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee — both facing primary challenges from the right — are responding more forcefully to their populist opponents. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has cut ties with a Republican advertising firm employed by tea party challengers. “We’re not going to do business,” says a spokesman, “with people who profit off of attacking Republicans. Purity for profit is a disease that threatens the Republican Party.”
This vivid turn of phrase — “purity for profit” — captures the main reason Republican leaders are edging away from a strategy of accommodation. The Obama era has unleashed a great deal of genuine populist and libertarian energy. But a good portion of it is being channeled into business and fundraising models that depend on stoking resentment against the GOP itself (at least as currently constituted).
The result is a paradox. Over the past few decades, Republican members of Congress have become more reliably conservative (as their Democratic colleagues, to a lesser extent, have become more liberal). Liberal Republicanism has essentially ceased to exist. This means that tea party conservatives are revolting against a more uniformly conservative party. The RINOs they hunt are actually an endangered species. So they have transformed tactical disagreements — over, say, a hopeless attempt to defund Obamacare — into defining ideological struggles.
I’m going to pause here to address some of the strawmen Gerson has immolated.
First, the disagreement over the government shutdown was only a disagreement over tactics in the shallowest sense. I wrote about that in The Budget Showdown Was About Ideology Not About Tactics.
The disagreement was between those of us who see really clearly that the objective of Obamacare is the implementation of a single payer healthcare system after trashing one-sixth of the US economy and those who agree with what Obama is trying to do but prefer to do it more efficiently and maintain the artifice of a market based economy. Remember, it was the Establishment making the rounds of Sunday shows deriding those who were fighting as “whacko birds” and doubting whether they were Republicans. They were too busy to fight Obama but they had plenty of time to fight conservatives. They had plenty of time to send out fundraising letters based on the three dozen or so staged Potemkin votes they’d made to repeal Obamacare, but when push came to shove, when it became, as we Southerners call it, nut cutting time, they were nowhere to be seen.
The column continues and you can read it here. The column ends with these last two paragraphs.
There is exactly zero evidence today that the GOP exists to win elections.
To the contrary all the evidence indicates that it exists to perpetuate the perks and power of the party leadership and to provide sinecures for a coterie of pathetic losers like former NRSC director Rob Jesmer. They aren’t trying to win elections, they are selecting their buddies to become members of their country club and if their buddy loses the primary they are more than willing to help the Democrats win the general election. As Erick posted in The Hungry and the Well Fed, they play us for chumps asking for money and assuring us that they will fight like the very devil himself… after the next election… and provided the right guy wins.
That last paragraph says it all.