August 7, 2005

2nd District (OH) POST-Congressional Election Collection

Filed under: OH-02 US House — Tom @ 3:49 pm

- Audio Interview with Lifelike Pundits: Trey Jackson
and Tom Blumer on 2nd District Results
- Mark Steyn in Top Form on the 2nd District Results
- Open Letter to The Whistleblower and COAST
- Local Center-Right Blogs Have Earned a Victory Lap
- Final Post-Election Questions
- The Rush Limbaugh “Staff Puke” Controversy
- Post-Election Reaction Roundup
- It’s Over (for about 6 months)
- 20 Reasons Why Jean Schmidt Should Have Lost
(But STILL Didn’t)
- Live Blogpost on Election Night
- Odds and Ends from the Recently Discovered
Center of the Political Universe
- Warren County Precinct Report 1, and Report 2
- 2nd District Results Links

- Link to PRE-August 2 Election Collection
- Link to Primary Election Day and Aftermath Collection
- Link to All Pre-Primary Election Posts

Mark Steyn in Top Form Writing on the 2nd District (OH) Congressional Race Results

Filed under: OH-02 US House — Tom @ 1:57 pm

What did I find today in my weekly journey over to the incomparable Mark Steyn’s column at the Chicago Sun-Times? His normally outstanding commentary of course, but this time he weighs in on this past week’s Political Center of the Universe, Ohio’s own 2nd District Congressional race, administering the necessary doses of reality, and as usual taking no prisoners:

The other day an official with a British teachers’ union proposed that the concept of “failing” exams should be abolished. Instead of being given a “failing” grade, she said, the pupil would instead be given a “deferred success.”

Oh, sure, you can scoff. But evidently the system’s already being test-piloted in Howard Dean’s Democratic Party. That’s why the Dems’ Congressional Campaign Committee hailed their electoral failure in last week’s Ohio special election as a triumphant “deferred success.” As their press release put it:

“In nearly the biggest political upset in recent history, Democrat Paul Hackett came within just a few thousand votes of defeating Republican Jean Schmidt in Ohio’s Second Congressional District.”

Yes, indeed. It was “nearly the biggest political upset in recent history,” which is another way of saying it was actually the smallest political non-upset in recent history. Hackett was like a fast-forward rerun of the Kerry campaign. He was a veteran of the Iraq war, but he was anti-war, but he made solemn dignified patriotic commercials featuring respectful footage of President Bush and artfully neglecting to mention the candidate was a Democrat, but in livelier campaign venues he dismissed Bush as a “sonofabitch” and a “chicken hawk” who was “un-American” for questioning his patriotism.

And as usual this nearly winning strategy lost yet again — this time to a weak Republican candidate with a lot of problematic baggage. Insofar as I understand it, the official Democratic narrative is that Bush is a moron who’s nevertheless managed to steal two elections. Big deal. Up against this crowd, that’s looking like petty larceny. After the Ohio vote, Dem pollster Stan Greenberg declared that “one of the biggest doubts about Democrats is that they don’t stand for anything.” That might have passed muster two years ago. Alas, the party’s real problem is that increasingly there’s no doubt whatsoever about it.

That will leave a Steyn mark. But he has an important caution for the ever-more-complacent GOP:

Republicans may see the increasingly arthritic, corpulent, wheezing, flatulent Democratic Party as a boon for them, but I don’t. Two-party systems need two parties, not just for the health of the loser but for that of the winner, too. Intellectually, philosophically, legislatively, it’s hard to maintain the discipline to keep yourself in shape when the other guy just lies around the house all day.

This is exactly what has happened in Ohio.

Also, see comments by Powerline and Nix Guy.

Open Letter to The Whistleblower and COAST

Filed under: Economy,OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:15 pm

To The Great Whistleblower, and the trying-to-be-great Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST):

BizzyBlog and the rest of the world are waiting breathlessly in anticipation of The Whistleblower commentary, or the press release from COAST, that bashes Ohio Congressmen Steve Chabot, Kentucky’s Geoff Davis, and perhaps nearby Indiana reps Sodrel and Pence, for voting in favor of the hilariously named “Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users” bill, otherwise known as the Transportation Pork bill (link is to roll call vote), and that threatens to run a primary opponent against each and every one of them for doing so.

For that matter, if either The Whistleblower or COAST are capable of positive feedback, they might consider applauding Rep. John Boehner for being only one of only eight representatives to vote against the measure, hopefully, if such is possible, avoiding the use of words and phrases designed to alienate instead of congratulate. For example, “your stiff stuffed suitness,” though perhaps accurate, would be not be an appropriate appellation.

Various Google keyword searches and other memory recall attempts have yielded no indications of interest in the bill or area representatives’ July 29 votes by The Whistleblower or COAST, though attempts at determining COAST’s public positions, if any, have been hampered by its dormant web site.

Surely it can’t be that The Whistleblower and COAST are apathetic about targeting the local RATS (so aptly named Republicans Addicted to Taxes and Spending by The Whistleblower) who supported this $295 billion monstrosity, which dwarfs in size and scope any attempts at fiscal restraint any of them may claim credit for in the past, or any tax increases Jean Schmidt voted for in Columbus?

The Transportation Pork bill shattered all previous records for so-called “earmarks,” based on this interview with Arizona’s Jeff Flake, who was another one of the eight lonely naysayers (more commentary on the interview is at Porkopolis):

Flake voted against it because, in addition to the usual money wasted on expensive highways to nowhere and light-rail lines relatively few people ride, it contained an estimated $23 billion in so-called “earmarks.”

Earmark is a congressional euphemism for setting money aside for one congressman’s special project, i.e., boondoggle, into a large spending bill without having to put the specific project up to a vote by itself.

The 1,752-page transportation bill’s all-time record 6,376 earmarks included $231 million for a bridge in Alaska that would serve an island of 50 residents….

Our nation’s congressional representatives (Boehner, Flake, and a precious few excepted) are blowing money at a faster rate than Jean Schmidt could ever hope to, even if she’s a fast learner. Jean is used to increasing taxes and spending by the tens and hundreds of millions; it takes time to get comfortable with tens and hundreds of billions.

On the other hand, Paul Hackett, as a trial lawyer with experience in coming up with creative and litigious ways to empty the public trough, would certainly have hit the pork-producing ground running, as not one Democrat voted against the bill. I can see Hackett’s pet projects as being on the order of doubling the miles of horse-riding trails in Indian Hill (one of the wealthiest suburbs in the nation); rebuilding the 20-years-gone Camargo Road Bridge over the Little Miami River for vehicle traffic (naming it the “Paul Hackett Fought in Iraq Bridge,” of course); or extending the east end of the Cross County Highway through Indian Hill and Loveland to Interstate 275, while routing it in a way designed to maximize noise levels in the homes of country-club Republican residents. A more vindictive than usual Hackett, if elected, might even have arranged for the highway to continue through to Route 28 so it could take out the Schmidt home (excuse me, “farm”) through eminent domain.

Maybe the ongoing fiscal disaster in Washington will help The Whisteblower and COAST take their focus away from this past Tuesday’s election result and COAST’s ultimately non-winner-affecting please-stay-home effort, and put it into removing from office those who are mortgaging our future hundreds of billions and trillions of dollars at a time. Who knows, Jean Schmidt may shock everyone and not join the RATS (but truth be told, if that indeed happens, I will be as surprised as you).

The point is that she starts with a clean slate. Whatever her fiscal sins while in Columbus, she is at best the 218th priority on the national anti-pork hit list (3rd locally, after Chabot and Davis, ignoring the Indiana reps), behind the 217 currently sitting Republicans Addicted to Taxes and Spending who have just betrayed us all by voting for this bill (8 Democrats and 6 Republicans did not vote).

All 217, from the Speaker and the Majority Leader on down, deserve to be defeated and replaced by true fiscal conservatives during the 2006 primary season. As if that’s not enough of a challenge, 195 more true fiscal conservatives need to be found to run against the Democrats and the single Socialist (or is it the other way around?) who voted for the bill.


Tom Blumer

PS. I also look forward to the $100,000-plus media campaigns from The Club for Growth targeting the 217 RATS in next year’s primaries, and the 195 other wastrels in November. A similar housecleaning effort is gaining steam at the statehouse level in tax and spend-addicted Pennsylvania.

PPS. Washington RATS cannot think they can recklessly increase spending forever without eventually jeorpardizing the tax cuts they have managed to pass, the other cuts that are on the drawing board, and without ruining one of the few remaining opportunities available to reform the Ponzi scheme known as Social Security before its future liabilities make private accounts impossible.

UPDATE: The Whistleblower has informed me that he, or they, intend to address this matter during the early part of this week. Stay tuned.

UPDATE 2, August 9: The Whistleblower’s response in the first paragraph of his daily e-mail, which will be at this address when posted, is less than satisfying, with cursory condemnation of Chabot and Davis and an apparent expectation that Schmidt will provide the RATS votes to justify 2006 primary opposition (as if Chabot and Davis haven’t done so already).

But since COAST and The Blower aren’t on earth to please BizzyBlog (a frightening thought indeed), and all parties agree on the need for unflinching fiscal discipline (though not always on tactics), I’ll worry about the 2006 primary when the campaigning starts (if then).