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2010 Election &Conservatives Richard Falknor on 04 Oct 2010 08:13 pm

Rush: “GOP wins not enough” — even in MD and VA?

Last Friday, pre-eminent conservative voice Rush Limbaugh warned (subscription only) —

“I guess what I assumed people would understand was that the only way to defeat this guy is not with Republican Party wins and Republican Party triumphs, but with conservatism.  The man’s ideas must be stopped.  Now, I can understand if you get panicked when I say Obama’s going to relish his ideas being brought to a screeching halt because he’ll blame us for them.  My point here was he’s gotta be stopped politically.  The victory in November’s gotta stand for something, it has gotta mean something issue-wise.  After we win this, the people who do win are going to have to stand against this guy and buck up against the criticism that’s coming.  I was just warning of the kind of criticism that’s coming.  You know,our people tend to cave in at the first sign of criticism, the notion of bipartisanship, walking across the aisle, get along with everybody.  Obama is counting on the Republicans caving to the criticism against them, mounted by himself and the media.(Underscoring Forum’s.)

From our conservative perspective, Limbaugh is right on target.

Maryland and Virginia

Do Rush’s insights also apply to Maryland and Virginia? Is the Republican establishment in each state eager just for GOP wins but indifferent to defeating the ideas and programs behind the Obama Administration? The Administration’s schemes are, after all, inextricably tied into the well-disciplined Democratic Party at all levels from local to national.

In Maryland, of course, we must first get to “win.”

How many of the conservative voters who supported losing Republican primary candidate Brian Murphy now feel orphaned?  Stripped of enthusiasm for the governor’s race and uncertain whether to vote in that contest at all?

Former governor Bob Ehrlich can still shape a favorable answer to that question in the next few weeks by finding common ground with Maryland GOP conservatives – – and publicly getting behind some conservative priorities.

Mr. Ehrlich could start tomorrow by emphasizing a few planks in the House of Delegates  Republican “Prosperity Pledge” like e-verify for state contractors, photo-identification for voting, and spelling out how a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (presumably on the Colorado model) would benefit ordinary citizens and bring more employers to Maryland — or keep the ones already here from leaving.

He might then get behind the abolition of the entire Maryland corporate tax (scroll down on the foregoing link to “Maryland‘s Corporate Income Tax System”) with a one-to-two-year waiting period (as one expert suggested for Virginia) between enactment and implementation.

As things stand today, however, conservatives might find the former governor’s “issues” panel of his website a little anemic when it comes to shrinking state and local government, taking on the public-employee-pension gorilla, and putting forth some specific proposals to lighten the state and local regulatory burden, too much of which is simply an anti-competitive “stealth tax.”

Mr. Ehrlich needs to overcome a lingering image of being just another big-government Republican.  That perception, unfortunately, began to take root early in his administration. After Ehrlich had proposed an increase in the state property tax in 2003, Vaishali Honawar wrote in the Washington Times of March 23, 2003 —

“The governor, who met with editors and reporters at The Washington Times on Thursday, said he was confident fellow Republicans in the legislature would support him in the end on the property-tax increase. ‘One point I have made to Republicans from Day One is being in the minority is the easiest thing. … Now Republicans are part of the government and you have to deal with reality,’ Mr. Ehrlich said.

The former governor would do well to repudiate this kind of cynical apologia for “going along” with big government, and thereby build confidence among conservatives that he has come to a better mind. 

He might  follow the tone of House Republican leader John Boehner’s talk “Congressional Reform and ‘The People’s House'” to the American Enterprise Institute last Thursday, where the likely Republican speaker in the next Congress acknowledges that the GOP, too, has strayed from sound principles–

“The mission of the United States Congress is to serve the American people — and today, due in part to institutional barriers that have been in place for decades, that mission goes unfulfilled. These wounds have been self-inflicted by both parties, and if we do not fix them, it’s possible no one will.” * * * * “The dysfunction in Congress is not new; both parties bear the blame for it.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

In Virginia, the fight to advance conservative (as opposed to big-government) principles has fallen largely to attorney general Ken Cuccinelli and delegate Bob Marshall

As Norman Leahy, in the respected Virgina blog Tertium Quids, last Thursday explained in his post, “Marshall disrupts the ‘no tax hike’ narrative”–

“Delegate Bob Marshall pokes holes in the long-running narrative that the state managed to balance its books, and even roll back spending levels, without soaking taxpayers in the process:

‘On the next to last day of our 2010 session, some of our Republican and Democratic colleagues slipped into the budget bill $100 million in new fees and gutted $30 million in tax credits to Virginia manufacturers. Members were faced with a threat to shut the government down or accept the increases. This extortion tactic succeeded. I voted no to the budget.

The Virginia Manufacturers Association asked how Virginia can keep our No. 1 ranking as a business friendly state if the General Assembly ‘imbeds an income tax increase in a budget bill where little debate or sunshine will ever reach the issue.’ “

Read the entire post on this taxing Virginia matter.

Marshall has long been a preeminent values and a fiscal conservative, a too rare combination in itself. 

Over two years ago, we wrote about his successful anti-tax work in our post Marshall v. NVTA — a growing estrangement between Virginia Republicans and Virginia Conservatives?

Here is Marshall’s statement on abortion-clinic regulations, and an extract from his letter to Virginia governor Bob McDonnell–

“I would like to request that you implement the abortion clinic regulations available to the Commonwealth under the Attorney General’s [Ken Cuccinelli] opinion issued August 20, 2010 which I requested which states in part, ‘the Commonwealth has the authority to promulgate regulations for facilities in which first trimester abortions are performed, as well as for providers of first trimester abortions, so long as the regulations adhere to constitutional limitations.'”

Conservatives may not agree with “Delegate Bob” on every one of his legislative initiatives or policy statements, but they likely agree with his fundamental principles.

Robert Marshall stands as a national conservative model for what one smart, disciplined state legislator, who does not “cave in at the first sign of criticism,” can accomplish. And, in Marshall’s case, he stands up to his own Republican leadership when the occasion demands it.

Yes, Rush is right that more than GOP wins are necessary — and, we would emphasize, even on the state and local level!

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