Thursday, April 01, 2010

Taps For Republican Moderates in New England

In an article in the indispensable American Spectator, Matt Purple tells us all we wanted to know but were afraid to ask about New England Republicans:
“If New England Republicans were really fiscal conservatives, then one would be desperately needed in Connecticut, which has a projected budget deficit of $3 billion by 2012. As the state's fiscal chickens come home to roost, there's a rare anti-government sentiment in the Nutmeg State that the candidates are trying to tap into. Schiff, an articulate economist, constantly rages against all forms of government. McMahon, a former president of popular wrestling franchise WWE, touts her experience as a businesswoman and promises to "lay the smackdown" on Washington.”

The day of the moderate New England Republican may have cone to an end:

“The reality is that New England Republicans like Simmons are usually politicians who want to enact the Democratic agenda at a slightly slower pace than Democrats. They aren't driven by a Lockean philosophy, a Hayekian philosophy, or really any philosophy at all. They view themselves as reasonable because they work with Democrats and loudly reject conservative excesses. Hailing from the bluest region of the country, they're constantly looking over their shoulders to make sure they're not about to face political extinction for voting the wrong way. The quintessential New England Republican is former Congressman Chris Shays of Connecticut. Shays played the game perfectly for 22 years, voting for both conservative and liberal causes, making a public display of anguish during the Clinton impeachment, before the Democrat steamroller finally caught up with him in 2008.”

His view of Rib Simmons is not a pretty one:

“Like most savvy GOP candidates right now, Rob Simmons is posturing as a fiscal conservative in his Senate campaign, hoping to play off Brown's success. But searching for fiscal conservatism in Simmons' record is like trying to find a cowboy rodeo in Hartford. Simmons was a co-sponsor of cap-and-trade and card check legislation in Congress, both of which would cripple businesses. He proudly introduced himself to constituents as a "Big Labor Republican" and was endorsed repeatedly by the AFL-CIO. He voted against drilling in ANWR. The League of Conservation Voters endorsed him, as did Friends of the Earth which called him "an up-and-coming environmental champion." Simmons calls himself a proud member of the Sierra Club.

“If anything, Simmons is fiscally liberal and socially deplorable. He voted against a ban on barbaric partial-birth abortions and against a law that would make it a crime to harm a fetus while committing another crime. That's some strong medicine even in Connecticut.”
Purple sees Attorney General Richard Blumenthal as beatable, assuming Republicans are able to field a candidate hat can attacks Blumenthal plausibly from the right:

“Richard Blumenthal is beatable, long shot though it may be. Blumenthal is a tedious and unattractive candidate -- he performed disastrously during a grilling on Glenn Beck's show. He also has a history of wasting state money on crusading lawsuits that boost his own public image, which led the Competitive Enterprise Institute to name him the worst attorney general in America. His profligacy could be an Achilles' heel in the current political climate.

“So it'll be a race to replace a white-haired liberal lion from a deep-blue New England state in which the Democrat is an uncharismatic but wildly popular attorney general. Last time that happened, [with Sen. Brown of Massachusetts] it worked out pretty well.

“Conservatives can win in Connecticut and for the first time in decades they can do it without plugging their nose before they support a candidate. It's time to abandon the New England Republicans of the past like Rob Simmons and embrace real Yankee conservatism.”
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