So we are now a week beyond the election of 2013 in Virginia. The emotions and feelings in the Commonwealth are still raw, but the initial shock has subsided and those bitter over the Republican loss have simmered down to just under the boiling point.
I have personally taken a lot of flack from my friends, well, the die hard Republican ones, for my decision to support and endorse Robert Sarvis in this election. How could I, Tom White, a long time Republican activist and one of a small core of the dedicated few that worked tirelessly for the Party over the years endorse a non-Republican?
In 2009 I began a nearly non stop campaign to purge the state of Democrats who I saw as the embodiment of all that is wrong with the state as well as the nation. Democrats have become the party of moochers and freeloaders. They don’t give a damn about what their unsustainable and insatiable quest for others to pay their way has done to the nation. All they care about is which party will promise to give them the most free stuff. And if the wealthy are the source of the loot, so much the better.
Bob McDonnell came in with the message that Fiscal Conservatism and a moral compass would guide the Commonwealth to prosperity and the best way to ensure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was by getting the government out of the way.
I thought, “finally somebody gets it!” So the time, travel and personal expense of promoting the Republican ticket as one we could believe in was never a chore. It was a labor of love. And it would make for a better life for my children and grandchildren if we could elect someone who was a true limited government conservative.
And after the inauguration, the work started.
Tim Kaine’s final budget raised taxes and in the aftermath of the strong Republican victory based on a fiscally conservative platform, not a single legislator was willing to vote for a tax increase – not even a Democrat. Tim Kaine’s tax and spend liberalism was rejected 0 – 100 in the House and 0 – 40 in the Senate. And the Democrats whined and cried foul when the Republicans forced them to a Roll Call vote to go on the record as for or against higher taxes.
The entire state legislature got the message. No more tax and spend big government liberals allowed.
And Bob McDonnell managed to balance the budget without the tax increase Tim Kaine wanted. Proof positive that there was enough waste and unnecessary spending and that the government already had enough of our money.
And while Transportation has been a festering problem, McDonnell’s plan to privatize the ABC franchise controlled by the state would, he assured voters, be more than enough to pay for our Transportation needs.
And he audited the Department of Transportation and found a whopping $1.45 Billion that was sitting in various VDOT accounts and nooks and crannies – a sizable chunk to serve as a head start on the funds needed to widen the roads in the ever growing Washington DC bedroom communities in Norther Virginia – a direct effect of Barack Obama’s massive government expansion.
And almost every day it was announced that Virginia had lured another and another private business into the Commonwealth to provide much needed jobs – which would serve to move people off of government assistance and back into the productive sector again.
The message was clear and undeniable. Fiscal Conservativism beats Liberalism every day of the week. There was no need to raise taxes, which was the only answer Tim Kaine could find. But Bob McDonnell proved there was a better way!
And so in 2011, the election gave Virginians the opportunity to move more towards the successes brought by McDonnell and his fiscally Conservative policies.
Of course the Democrats held the majority in the Senate at the time and were in charge of redistricting following the 2010 Census. And they made the best of it drawing lines to protect their majority for at least a decade to come.
But the success of McDonnell in balancing the budget and turning a deficit into a surplus every year inspired Conservatives to work tirelessly to give Bob McDonnell the final piece of the pie – the Senate. And despite the long odds, Republicans ended the day with a 20 – 20 tie in the Senate. The impossible had been achieved.
And most of us anticipated the full force of the free market Conservative policies to come would accelerate the success already achieved and Virginia would rise as the shining example of conservatism and serve as an inspiration to the nation and lead to a rejection of Obama’s far left freeloading policies.
But 2012 was not to be the year we would rid ourselves of the Marxist in the White House. The Republicans nominated the one candidate that negated the strongest point they had against Obama – the failed Obamacare law. Mitt Romney had created Romneycare in Massachusetts and was neutered on the right’s strongest weapon.
And after the 2012 election, at least here in Virginia we were still living the conservative dream. Budget surplus after budget surplus, strong jobs growth and for the citizens here, at least some measure of protection from the irresponsible left wing Democrat moochers hell bent on looting America and mortgaging our children’s children’s future.
And in early 2013 Bob McDonnell lost his freaking mind and proposed the largest tax increase in the history of Virginia. And he used Obama-like deception and lies to sell his tax hike to Virginians. He moved the taxes from the gas pump where we see them every time we fill up to the wholesale level where it is now hidden. And instead of a set “cents per gallon” tax it is now a percentage based on the price of fuel. The net result was higher taxes and higher prices on gas. And all the while, our 3 card Monte dealing governor smiled and pretended there was no tax hike.
And to make matters worse, 42 Republicans – many of whom we worked long and hard to get elected to protect us from the irresponsible tax and spend Democrats - gladly went along with McDonnell’s tax hike. To be sure, McDonnell had to bully, threaten and bribe to be able to call this a bipartisan “Transportation” bill. But the truth is, only 60% actually went to Transportation. The other 40% was just a general tax hike that will grow the government even more.
It was at that point that I realized that I can’t Republicans any more than I can Democrats. If I was OK with a tax hike I would have sat at home and spent time with my family and just let Democrats be elected.
Republicans lost the high ground with McDonnell’s tax hike. But more than that, the Republican Party lost the trust of Conservatives. The truth is, had we all just stayed at home and let Democrat Creigh Deeds win the election in 2009, we would have more than likely seen the Republicans fight a Democrat tax hike tooth and nail. And we wouldn’t have $6 Billion going from the private sector where it does the most good, to the pork infested pockets of McDonnell’s Big Government monstrosity.
And I will admit. There was a time when I believed, as many of my friends still do, that any Republican is better than any Democrat any day of the week. But in reality, both will stab you in the back. And I find it impossible to empower Republicans in the wake of McDonnell’s betrayal. Now the truth is that there are a lot of really good, Conservative Republicans. And I will continue to support and promote them. But as a party, Republicans are on thin ice with me.
Now there are no good Democrats. Let me just state that for the record. Democrats are freeloaders and moochers who will lie, steal and cheat to get and hold power. And while there are some Republicans that fit that bill, Democrats have cornered the divisive and dishonest market.
A friend of mine, Bob Shannon, sent the following to me as a Letter to the Editor. It is hard to find anything I disagree with in his letter. And as we look to 2014 and defeating Democrat Mark Warner in the US Senate, Shannon sums up the lay of the land perfectly. Most of us are willing to get behind a good, honest Conservative and we would like nothing better than to demote Harry Reid to Minority Leader, but Republicans have a lot of ground to make up with Conservatives. After the backstabbing by McDonnell, most of us don’t trust Republicans to be honest with us anymore. And McDonnell is the poster boy for causing Conservatives to say “why bother” if the results are the same no matter the party.
Republicans can win with Conservatives. 2009 proved that. And so far, Conservatives have not won with Republicans. McDonnell proved that. And 2013 proves that Conservatives cannot win without Republicans.
So the formula is simple. If we want to defeat Mark Warner, the only way to do that is to work together.
Bob Shannon’s thoughts:
I ran into a republican party official Tuesday night as I was out collecting campaign signs and the analysis was already underway as to “what went wrong”. Now mind you the results were not yet in, and at the late hour of 7 pm Cuccinelli had a narrow lead. This official noted as I listened that “ had Bolling been the party nominee he would have cleaned the floor with McAuliffe” . His assertion that Cuccinelli was too conservative to win statewide office was interesting since Cuccinelli had done just that 4 years ago ? Didn’t we run “moderates” in the 2008 & 2012 Presidential elections ? 12 million fewer turned out last year to vote and it wasn’t because they were enamored with the job Obama is doing or the moderates in the race.
The republican party of Virginia would like nothing more than to use this loss as an excuse to distance itself, and disarm the TEA Party movement. They have resisted as Rush Limbaugh pointed out the push by the TEA Party to cut government spending and return to Constitutional principles. As Mr. Limbaugh noted “ republicans don’t really want smaller government, they just want to take turns running it”
This loss was predictable months ago when the 6 billion tax increase passed, followed by McDonnell getting his hand caught in the Johnnie Williams cookie jar, then Cuccinelli himself caught “tasting the treats of higher office”.
Perhaps as what occurred in 1992 when Ross Perot received 18-19% of the popular vote the question might be asked again. Why did 18-19% of voters abandon George H.W Bush in that election and go to Perot ? Why did 7% of voters, many who had been Cuccinelli supporters themselves , cross over and support Sarvis Tuesday ?
Keep raising taxes & expanding government, keep your ties to the crony capitalist masters, and this will be your reward. More conservatives are waking up to what must be done, that the badly needed reform of the republican party will indeed come, painfully, with more elections losses, until they recognize we won’t stay obedient any longer to party labels.
4 years of republicans running State government. School choice, Illegal Immigration, Tax reform and Medicaid Reform—we got nothing. We did get a gargantuan tax increase and new spending. Broken promises must carry a steep price .
Many still stubbornly cling to the notion that winning is a solution, when winning as Mr. Limbaugh pointed out is defined as “taking their turn running it ” . Blame the TEA Party revolt if you will, but don’t overlook this simple truth. We are the last voice of real reform left on the political landscape. We are no longer interested in hollow victories. We distinguish between winning and actually accomplishing something . We are not going anywhere, and rest assured we intend to fight.