Where we go from here

May 31, 2008

In what was one of the closest convention votes I’ve ever seen, Jim Gilmore defeated Bob Marshall by less than 1%.  On the plus side, Jeff Frederick was elected Chairman by an undisclosed landslide.

I’ll have more on the nominee in a later post, but for now, I want to look at the roles the defeated candidate and the victorious Chairman can have on next month’s special session.

As I’ve discussed earlier, both the Democratic Governor and the Republican establishment are looking to raise taxes.  Marshall was going to be a leading opponent of tax hikes before today’s vote, but as the guy who came within an eyelash of beating Jim Gilmore, his words will have far more impact.  This is especially true if Chairman Frederick will join him in demanding fellow Republicans stop voting for tax increases of any kind.

For those of us who supported Marshall, this is the next fight.  We must take all our energy, our strength in numbers, and our goodwill from this convention, and aim it squarely at Bill Howell and Bill Bolling (as well as, if he joins them in their tax-hike agenda, Bob McDonnell).  How many Delegates will be so willing to cross Bob now, given the support he garnered across the state?

This is not up to Marshall; he will be the happy anti-tax-hike warrior he has always been; this is up to us.  We have to stand with Bob Marshall in this special session, and let our Delegates know that we stand with him and we expect them to stand with him, too.

We may not have nominated a Senator, but if we hold together, we may just stop a tax increase.

My choices at the convention (shouldn’t be surprising by now)

May 30, 2008

Tomorrow morning, I will drive down to Richmond to participate in the Virginia Republican convention.  It will be my first in fourteen years, and I’m looking forward to see old friends, including many in the blogosphere.

For those readers who will join me, but are still unsure as for whom they will vote, I will offer one more post on behalf on my choices: Bob Marshall for Senate and Jeff Frederick for Party Chairman.

I’ll start with the Senate race.

Marshall is the only candidate with legislative experience: He has been a legislator for seventeen years, which means he knows how to get good legislation through and – far more importantly – how to stop bad legislation cold.  No one else in the race (in either party) has that, and given the likely reduced minority of the Senate Republican caucus, we need someone who will know how to maneuver the legislative labyrinth on Day One.

Marshall is the candidate with the consistent position on Iraq: He has held true to his position and refused to abandon the war.  He has called for greater Iraai participation in their own liberation, and recent events have shown (in Basra, Baghdad, and Mosul) that the Iraqis are doing so, but only because they know the United States will not abandon them.  Only Bob Marshall has steadfastly refused to throw the President and the Iraqi people under the bus.

Marshall is the only candidate who opposes amnesty, that’s why Tom Tancredo endorsed him.

Marshall is the better candidate on taxes and spending: It takes quite an effort to be better on these issues than Jim Gilmore, but Marshall has pulled it off.  Gilmore is best known for the last tax revolt of the 20th Century, but Marshall is best known for leading the first tax revolt of the 21st Century.  Given the fact that these issues will once again be front-and-center during the special session this summer, Marshall will be able to endear himself to taxpayers and independents (since both partiy establishments prefer tax hikes) in a way no one else can.

Marshall has won in Northern Virginia: Since 1991 (the first year Marshall ran for Delegate in Prince William County), no Republican has won more elections in Northern Virginia than Bob Marshall (although Tom Davis and Frank Wolf have won more often if we include the 1980s).  He has been elected in re-elected in good Republican years (1991, 1993, 1997, 1999, and 2001), iffy ones (1995 and 2003), and downright awful ones (2005 and 2007).  Voters up there know him already, and those who admire him won’t be swayed by whatever the Democrats try to throw at him.

Marshall is the pro-life candidate: As much as I have insisted the GOP can’t win elections with only social conservatives, they can’t win without them either.  Marshall appeals to the base in a way no one else can – something vitally important in a year when said base needs motivation – badly.

All of these reasons also add up to one more: Marshall is the only candidate who can beat Mark Warner.  Will it be easy?  Heck no, but it will be possible – and much more possible than conventional wisdom holds (remember, that would be the same conventional wisdom that gave Marshall no chance at being nominated).

As for the Chairman’s race, here’s why I support Frederick.

We desperately need a change.  Over the last four years, the Republican Party of Virginia has become Tax-Hiking Party B.  We have become indistinguishable from the Democrats on economic issues, and we’ve been hemorrhaging votes and seats ever since.  It is no coincidence that all of our losses in 2007 were concentrated in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, the two areas that suffered under the HB3202 debacle.

We must become the party of lower taxes and limited government, and we need to start now.  The upcoming special session is the perfect opportunity for RPV to start repairing the damage of the last few years, but it won’t happen unless we have a Chairman that undersatnds the damage that has been done.  Only Jeff Frederick realizes that the party has lost its way.  Unless he wins, the party will continue to defer to Bill Howell, Walter Stosch, Ken Stolle, and all of the legislative “leaders” who have brought us to this point.  We cannot allow that to happen.

We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

Yet another busy day for the Warnerese-English translator!

May 30, 2008

Mark Warner came to Fredericksburg yesterday, leaving behind plenty of material for the translator.

Let’s just dive right in (Free Lance-Star, the translation is in bold italics):

I’m Mark Warner. I was the governor. Now I’m running for Senate.

I’m Mark Warner. You may remember me from when I played the Governor of Virginia for four years.  I jacked up your taxes and twiddled my thumbs, and now I’m running for Senate so I can do it for six years instead of four.

Regardless of who the next president is, that next president is going to need a group in the Senate that’s going to put the country’s interests first, not just partisan interests.

Barack Obama will need plenty of RINOs to get his leftist agenda accomplished, and I have the best RINO-radar on earth.  As for McCain, I’ll move heaven and earth to get John Chichester and Russ Potts in his Cabinet.

I’m tired of our politics in this country being driven by the loudest voices on the extreme.

I’m tired of our politics in this country being driven by voices not named Mark Warner.

If I get hired, I’ll make some folks mad and break some glass.  I think that’s what the country is really looking for at this point.

If I get hired, I’ll make some folks mad and break some glass; that’s a lot easier than actually accomplishing anything.  Just remember to thank me for the privilege of cleaning up my mess.

There were some bits and pieces on energy, but not enough for a complete sentence.  There was something on health care, though:

Right now, every CEO in America, this is one of their top concerns.  If we don’t get this fixed, we just can’t compete.

Right now, every CEO in America is hoping to trick you saps into taking this off their hands and paying for it through higher taxes.  If I don’t do them this favor, they might see through my act and start backing Republicans again.

Until next time . . .

National Review publisher backs Bob Marshall (UPDATED)

May 30, 2008

Jack Fowler, publisher of National Review, had this to say about our little Senate race in a Comment on Jim Bowden’s blog:

I am the publisher of National Review, so I believe I have some conservative credentials. And a long time ago I was a member of the Spotsylvania Republican Party.

That said, I support Bob Marshall as THE conservative candidate, and I have put my money where my mouth is. Go Bob!

Indeed, the record shows he gave $250 to Bob’s campaign.  Many thanks, Jack!

UPDATE: Here’s what Fowler said on NRO’s Corner Blog:

Former Governor Jim Gilmore and State Delegate Bob Marshall battle it out at the state GOP convention in Richmond – the winner gets to take on Dem Mark Warner to replace U.S. Senator John Warner. Gilmore is in the role of Goliath, but Underdog Bob is pretty accomplished with the political sling and the policy rock. He’s principled, pro-life, and populist (while Tom Davis and his brand of Republicans have been sucking wind in northern Va., the election day numbers for Bob, who represents Manassas, have been growing annually). He’s also a very deft legislator / politician. F’reggzample: from Day One he fought the crazy, voter-detested “Abusive Driver” tax legislation, and after it passed (over his diligent efforts), Bob led the legal fight to kill it (the VA Supreme Court declared the scheme unconstitutional this February).

What’s the support of National Review’s publisher worth? Yes, a club soda on an NR cruise. But whatever its worth, I hope it helps: I’m backing Bob Marshall, and I hope to heck he wins tomorrow and in November to become the Commonwealth’s next senator.

Cross-posted to Bloggers 4 Bob Marshall

Observations on things other than the Marshall-Gilmore race

May 29, 2008

While we Virginia bloggers were going back and forth over the GOP race for the US Senate, the rest of the world moved on in very interesting ways.

2008 Presidential race: Despite events that were supposed to be bad news for him (anger from the base, the Barr nomination, Obama gaining momentum within the Democratic Party, etc.), John McCain has managed to rebuild a five-point lead (Rasmussen).

Judicial restraint finds a surprising champion: The editors of the Washington Post (of all people), examine the Supreme Court’s two decisions yesterday on worker-retaliation/discrimination cases and declares – gasp! – that judges shouldn’t be making new law, even if it’s for ostensibly good reasons.  Here’s the kicker:

Protecting employees from retaliation makes sense, but it is not the province of judges to create such protections on the basis of their own beliefs of what is right or wrong, or even on the basis of their intuitive sense of what Congress meant to do or should have done.

In this (and the rest of the editorial) the paper’s editors take the side of Justices Scalia and Thomas not once, but twice, and actually hit Samuel Alito and John Roberts from the right.  Read the whole thing – it’s a refereshing eye-opener.

The NBA Playoffs: The Lakers will win the Championship.  I know, I know, the Finals haven’t started, but I just saw them erased another double-digit deficit at home against the outgoing champs (the Spurs).  Kobe is about to place himself in the rarefied air of Jordania.  I’ve seen them both, and while it is still to hard for me to say Kobe is better than Michael, it’s getting easier every day.

National Security is Gilmore’s issue? (UPDATED WITH FIXED LINK)

May 29, 2008

The Gilmore Bloggers are back to insisting that their guy is the best choice because of national security (SWAC Girl/Bloggers 4 Jim Gilmore):

National security is my #1 concern in any election … and Jim Gilmore is the only choice in the U.S. Senate race because of his strong national security background.

Now, SWAC Girl is one of the leading good guys in the Augusta County War, and we both agree on the best choice for RPV Chairman, but I have to part company with her on this.

I must bring up once more Gilmore’s op-ed in the Washington Post (UPDATE: this link is now fixed; thanks to Tim Watson for pointing out the initial problem) from eleven months ago on Iraq (just as the “surge” deployment was being completed).  I ask all of you, dear readers, to read the whole thing – every single word

He claims the President’s policies “fostered an environment for a Shiite-Sunni civil war,” without ever once mentioning the infiltration of Iraq by Iran, something which was obvious even then and getting many to rethink the “civil war” nonsense.  The plays political chameleon, sanctimoniously claiming to oppose the Democrats even as he throws the President under the bus and calls for a “third way.”

Nearly everything afterwards is akin to this sort of hedge, supposedly supporting the President’s aims while call on him to reduce the number of troops that were making those aims achievable, until the end, when he offers the coup de grace.

American interests come down to protection of our national security, protection of Israel‘s right to exist, and averting, if possible, a general war in the Middle East, nuclear or otherwise. Our present conduct in Iraq distracts from or is detrimental to those goals. I urge you to refocus American policy toward Iraq to further these strategic goals. (emphasis added)

Remember that sentence; you’re likely to hear it from every Democrat in Virginia – demanding to know if Gilmore still believes this – between now and November.

Bob Marshall may not have led a task force, but he didn’t go wobbly on the war either.

Cross-posted to Bloggers 4 Bob Marshall

The most creative conspiracy theory I’ve ever seen

May 28, 2008

I’ll say this for Chris Green (Spank That Donkey), he has quite the imagination!

Apparently, because Bob Marshall prefers nuclear power to fossil fuels, and because he his record against “sprawl” won him the endorsement of the Sierra Club in his House of Delegate races, STD sees the entire Marshall for Senate campaign as a sinister Eco-Nazi conspiracy.

Never mind that Marshall has proven he is the far better candidate on protecting unborn children.

Never mind that Marshall has proven he is the better candidate on tackling illegal immigration, as shown by the endorsement he won from Tom Tancredo.

Never mind that Marshall has won the overwhelming support of Northern Virginia delegates grateful for his heroic stance against the unconstitutional regional governments on HB3202.

Never mind that the Gun Owners of America have endorsed Marshall.

Never mind that he is the only candidate in the race from either party with any legislative experience (now going on seventeen years).

No, it’s all a clever scheme hatched up by the Sierra Club.

Like I said, some imagination!

Seriously, this is about as bad as the Spurs fans screaming for a foul call at the end of Game 5 – and here I thought the Gilmore bloggers were desperate last night!


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