Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Thin Straw of Hope and Change Award

The best line I've read all day concerning yesterday's elections and winner of The 1st Annual Thin Straw of Hope and Change Award can be found in this article:

"The seat was won by Mark Critz, a pro-life, pro-gun former Murtha staffer who opposes health care reform and overcame significant Republican spending. The victory demonstrated that Democrats still have hope for making congressional races local, not national, affairs in the fall."

Well . . . I suppose that upon the election of a pro-life, pro-gun anti-Obamacare Democrat, Democrats can still hope that they can cobble together a few more Critz-like candidates and beat back a tidal wave.  But it seems that, despite hope, they may not be able to change much . . . even when their hope produces a limited success like this.   Critz does, indeed, have a D after his name and, no doubt, he will vote for Nancy Pelosi as speaker if that is what he is instructed to do.  But will he vote with the Democrats on any other issue of meaningful import to voters?  If this is their idea of hope, I'm not so much a sore loser as to begrudge them it.  This may be the kind of hope I can believe in.

The basic thing to be learned by all from yesterday's elections is that politicians can only ignore public opinion for so long in a democracy--even when that democracy has been distorted by elites who claim to understand justice better than the people they represent understand it.  It turns out that we Americans will contemplate that argument, but we will not buy it.   Politicians who fail to understand this or who think that they hold their positions by virtue of some personal claim to it, had best learn to respect their sovereign betters.  We will not be governed without our consent.

Categories > Elections

Discussions - 6 Comments

The message for conservatives is this -- avoid overconfidence, stay true to principles simply stated, and never stop pushing.

Taking control of both chambers of Congress should not be the goal for 2010. The movement needs to spread its roots more deeply and grow stronger. At present it does not have enough strength in its bones to endure the temptations that come from holding the majority in both houses.

I heard Critz on NPR this evening and he sounds like Herbert Hoover. He kept talking about American rugged individualism and having a national health care system run like the Navy's system. Since my son works for the Navy's medical care system and I hear about it considerably, I feel free to say that while it has plenty of benefits, especially for family members, without just the right very kindly person on the job, you would have to be a rugged individual to survive it.

Critz did sound like a good guy, but only just barely a Democrat. He was saying that the Democratic leadership would not be able to depend on him. In fact, the way he talked about politics and the issues as he saw them, he is going to be in for a rough ride. Given the way the late Mr. Murtha ran his district, even if Critz expresses the locals principles he will fail as congressman because unless he can make deals with the Democratic leadership and bring home considerable bacon for that district he will not last long. By all reports they did not sound interested in a pork-free political diet.

Hey Don in AZ:

I am a native-born Californian - SF Bay Area. I have watched California go from a bright shining star to a cesspool. I vote that AZ should turn the power off in LA. Maybe by turning off the lights, everyone will go home.


The WSJ's editorial got it right: Tim Burns supported a value-added tax, which made him vulnerable to the charge of being a tax raiser. Dumb. His campaign was run out of Washington, apparently, and they couldn't adjust to Critz's adjustments.

Or he could simply get into office then change over to mainline democrat betraying those who voted for him, but ensuring his ability to earn that cash after he gets thrown out and they run out another guy who do the same.

In a related thing my congressman Zach Space sent out voters a flyer reminding them of his NRA membership. Smelled like desperation to me coming from the man who's staff was unable to respond about their position on specific gun control laws when asked and only pointed out his NRA membership. Its rather degrading that they think this is enough, considering the support for cap and trade, bailout robbery, ect.

I am in no way surprised at the condescension of Zack Space. This is the same guy who thinks he is going to get away with claiming that he did not support Obamacare (because he had permission to vote against it in the final vote) even though his original "procedural" vote was--as everyone then understood--the real vote in favor of Obamacare. Space hoped, too, that it would be his ticket to a free pass in a district that only elected him because of the scandal involving Bob Ney and the general bad sentiment (then deserved but now dissipating) dogging the Ohio GOP. Ohio's 18th is not a natural Democrat stronghold so Space knows he cannot be a naked liberal. Space thought he could purchase his permission to vote against healthcare (to please his district) by voting for the procedural vote to bring it to the floor. And he hoped that the people in his district would be too stupid (or too uninformed) to remember that--were it not for that original vote (and those of many others like him)-- the law never would have passed. If Space really was opposed to Obamacare in principle, he would not have voted to allow it to proceed.

Zack Space is a classic textbook example of the kind of duplicitous, elitist politician who really has no business holding office in an era like the present when the people have the means (and now, thank God, the inclination) to demand a more accurate representation of themselves and to demand a more honest explanation of all deviation from their views. I do not think a Representative has to conduct the finger-in-the-wind test of the views of his constituents as he goes about his day to day affairs, but he ought to be a fairly accurate representation of them. That's why he's called a "REPRESENTATIVE." And though he would be a fool not to be politic when he differs--he also owes his constituents a straight-up, manly and clear explanation when he does. If he does not agree with his district, he is obligated to try and persuade it that he is right. Zack Space is not that kind of a Representative--and, therefore, he does not even deserve the respect you ought to give to an honest liberal.

I hope the Republican challenger to Space, Bob Gibbs, is watching this thing unfold (is it too much to ask that he is also helping it along?), thinking about it, taking notes, and learning what NOT to do if and when he gets into office. If he does not do this, he will lose . . . if not this go-around, then once he establishes himself as just another hack but with an R after his name. People are just sick-to-death of this kind of politics. Representatives need to do their jobs. Represent or persuade. If you can't, you lose. If Gibbs can establish that he does not represent the old-style duplicitous kind of politics that condescends to rather than elevates his constituents, he should win in a walk. If he can't win in a walk, well . . . that says something, I guess.

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