By Steve Fair
That’s a lot of money for a special election. The National Republican Congressional Committee which Congressman Tom Cole, R-OK, heads spent about $1.3 million to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s more than $1 million. There is no doubt this was a big win for Democrats in a GOP-leaning district and against a candidate supported by Hastert.
NRCC Chairman Tom Cole acknowledged earlier this week that a loss would reflect poorly on Republicans, especially given that the race took place in the district of the former speaker. NRCC spokeswoman Karen Hanretty said the results shouldn't be over-interpreted."The one thing 2008 has shown is that one election in one state does not prove a trend. In fact, there has been no national trend this entire election season," Hanretty said. "The one message coming out of 2008 so far is that what happens today is not a bellwether of what happens this fall.” I agree with Hanretty- one election does not make a trend, but if Republicans don’t get energized, we stand to lose more than the White House in 2008. With over thirty Republicans members of the U.S. House retiring, this could be a tough year if Republicans don’t get fired up and show up.
On February 5th- Super Tuesday- 14.6 million Democrats went to the polls and only 9 million Republicans. That has been the national trend- Democrats have been voting 1.4 to 1 vs. Republicans in the primary election. A primary turnout does not necessarily mean a party will stay energized through a general election and historically it has been a challenge to keep people engaged in the process through the general.
Fellow blogger Don Surber says, “Democrats are great at electing presidents in March when the election is held in November. Dukakis, Gore and Kerry were all locks in their races — until the fall campaign actually began. In this cycle, Democrats prepared for November, but the November they picked is 2007, not 2008.” Surber is right- the three elections he referenced were close in the general election, but the Republicans won. The reason they won was because the base was energized. The voter turnout was good for the Republicans. When the conservative base votes, the GOP wins. When it stays home, we lose. It’s as simple as that.
Conservatives must be energized about 2008 for a couple of reasons. First, we have our nominee selected and he is a principled American patriot. While Senator McCain is not the first choice of many conservatives, but he’s an infinitely better choice to lead our country than Senators Clinton or Obama. McCain has been a consistent advocate for the military and is a fiscal conservative. McCain has never taken an “earmark” for his state. Earmarks are those appropriations for pet projects that members of Congress use to get re-elected. Most of the projects are worthy of funding, but to give any politician sovereign reign over what gets funded or not is wrong- no matter what party they are a member of. McCain has never taken one. Senator Tom Coburn- R, OK, says McCain if he is elected President has the courage to veto any appropriations bill sent to his desk that has earmarks included. McCain recognizes that government spending is out of control and has been a consistent voice for fiscal restraint in our country.
Secondly, Senator Clinton is ethically challenged and Senator Obama is a novice. Clinton’s track record of truthfulness and transparency in her business and political career has been inconsistent and many times dishonest. Obama has not yet served one half term in the U.S. Senate. He is rated as the most liberal member of the body. While the junior Senator from Illinois is an inspiring speaker, his list of accomplishments is non-existent. Even his supporters struggle to come up with anything he has done during his short tenure in the Senate.