The Roanoke Times editorialists this morning are concerned that Tuesday's election results may bring about a loss for the Republican Party of its majorities in Richmond in November.
Their concerns are touching.
Step right and out of power?It's true. A Democratic takeover is a possibility. If those Republicans who were propelled to victory earlier this week don't "go wobbly" * on us.
Two key primary losses by moderate Republicans could push Virginia toward the Democrats, or put the no-tax crowd firmly in control.
Low voter turnout and an angry, hard core of anti-tax ideologues combined in Tuesday's primaries to shove Virginia's Republican Party farther right. A couple of key GOP moderates -- including, alas, Roanoke County's Brandon Bell -- lost their party's nomination and, thus, their state Senate seats.
Voters will decide in the November general election whether the push right will carry the Republicans' General Assembly majority right out the door.
In the state Senate, at least, where the partisan divide is narrow and where moderate Republicans have joined with Democrats the past few years to raise taxes, a turnover to Democratic control is possible. (link)
It's a strange phenomenon. Republicans sometimes run in their respective primaries as conservatives but, upon gaining a position on the general election ballot, feel the inexplicable need to appeal to some mythical block of "voters" out there - commonly referred to as moderates, that group of citizens who don't have enough interest to get off their dead asses on election day to vote - by fuzzying up their stances on matters most important to the overwhelming majority of Virginians - gun control, taxes, gay marriage, the death penalty, illegal immigration, government spending, on and on.
Call it the Jerry Kilgore Roadmap To Success.
What's the winning strategy for conservative Republicans in November? Don't sell your souls to the devil. Be conservative Republicans. Stick to your principles and the people will rally 'round you.
Rather than pick on failed gubernatorial nominee Jerry Kilgore, let me cite a positive example of that which works. Constitutional Amendment 1 on the November, 2006 ballot. It was clear, concise, straightforward and conservative to the core:
“That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions."Remember the dire warnings? Remember the tales of woe? Remember how we were reviled for having put forward such a mean-spirited proposal (that marriage should be what it has always been, how heartless ...)? How we were putting a bullet into the brainpan of the conservative movement?
The people of the commonwealth were undaunted. They remained steadfast. They knew all along, and maintain to this day, the clear and necessary distinction between right and wrong, good and bad.
The amendment - unambiguous and fundamentally conservative - was approved with overwhelming support of the voters.
So be who you are and we'll do just fine. Or listen to those really smart professional political strategists and change your message; work to gain the support of those who will never vote.
And go down in flames.
Now's not the time to go wobbly, fellas. There is so much that must be done.
* "Remember, George, this is no time to go wobbly." British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to then-President George H.W. Bush, just before he went wobbly on taxes, and was bounced from office.