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Blueprint for conservative success in 2010

Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey has a post about today's elections. Public Policy Polling is reporting that it will be the independent vote that carries the Republicans (and Hoffman) to victory today. From all the data, two stats are most telling:

Hoffman leads Owens 52-30 with independents.

Christie leads [Corzine] 52-29 with independents.

If you are itching for more data about the elections of interest today, follow the link for details.

What I found most compelling about Morrissey's post, however, was his analysis of how lessons learned today could be used to create a plan of action for the Republican party in 2010.

This points the way to success in 2010 for the GOP. Republicans can win big not by becoming Democratic Lite or by conducting ideological purges across a wide spectrum of issues. Instead, the GOP needs to focus on core principles to build a governing coalition with a broad reach -- on limited federal government and fiscal responsibility. Those represent the best principles of conservative governance, and after watching Democrats run amuck with taxpayer money this year, will have enormous appeal to independents.

There really is only one caveat: Republican candidates running on this platform have to mean what they say. No more K Street projects, no more porkfests, no more Big Government Conservatism that grows the federal government and impoverishes the taxpayers. If given a chance to govern, Republicans have to follow through on these core principles. If they do not, they will break the back of the party -- and perhaps make all the handwringing over third-party mirages a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This analysis is spot on in my opinion and I scarcely have anything to add.

It may seem redundant to say so but many independent voters are indeed...independent. Extreme party platforms do not represent a convincing argument to such voters. But basic values such as fiscal conservatism are not extreme and will find the most resonance among independents.


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Comments (12)

But basic values s... (Below threshold)
James H:
But basic values such as fiscal conservatism are not extreme and will find the most resonance among independents.

Dingdingdingdingding!! But, as Morissey notes,
the key is that Republicans have to mean it.

I'd add: Holding power must not be an end unto itself.

On a related note:... (Below threshold)
James H:

On a related note:

A semi-hypothetical question: If a popular, high-cost proposal is before a legislature and its passage in some form is virtually assured, should Republicans and/or conservatives oppose it on principle and lose, or should they attempt to amend it so it is as revenue-neutral as possible?

I would argue the latter.

So, basically...follow Pali... (Below threshold)

So, basically...follow Palin's lead.

(note that this does not (necessarily) mean vote for her, elect her, worship her, etc...it just means go where she's been trying to lead the party for about 14 months now)

Conservative success... I t... (Below threshold)

Conservative success... I think Jay your use of the word Conservative, to replace Republican is spot on!

I'm one of those much sought- after "independent" voters, I changed party affiliation from the R's last year after the party put up John McCain.

Daniel Webster once said, "God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it." I know the Democratic leadership is bound and determined to limit the freedoms of Americans, the problem is the Republican leadership is not willing to defend it!

Most Independents are conservative, believe me I've talked to quite a few, BUT we don't see the difference between the 2 parties. Both are full of pandering, career politicians whos sole purpose is re-election and have the principals of a young billy goat.

I know pundints like Limbaugh and Hannity de-cry a new party, stating that it will mean Democrat/Liberal control of congress for decades. At the same time they preach about how smart Americans are and how the left looks down their nose at us. Yet I ask, "Why then do you not trust the American people to throw off the shackles of the ineffectual Republican party?" If the Republicans take over in 2010, what do we get? John "Tanning Booth" Boehner as speaker? Olympia "I'm really a Democrat" Snowe as chairman of several committees?

Why was the Republican party formed? In the 1840's-50's an inefectual Whig party, who did nothing but compromise on principal and take care of their Northeastern big donor interests, REFUSED to see the change occuring in the new territories and states. The coalition of Free-Soilers and the Abolitionist movement demanded change and protection but the Whigs were to busy compromising, especially after the death of the above mentioned Webster. When the Whigs refused to listen to their base, the base left them and formed their own party and chose a man by the name of Lincoln to lead them.

In my opinion were at that cross-roads again. The choice is a fundamental change in America. Will we become a Euro style Fascist/Socialist state or remain that "Shining Beacon on the Mountain?" Will the Republican party represent and defend America and it's core values or will they go the way of the Whig party and sacrifice principal for compromise and political power?

Sorry to multi-comment, but... (Below threshold)
James H:

Sorry to multi-comment, but one more thing:

On Oct. 25, the Washington Post reported that McDonnell followed some of this formula. While Deeds spent a lot of time in "Deeds country," the rural and traditionally conservative western areas of the Commonwealth, McDonnell spent a lot of time fraternizing with traditionally liberal Northern Virginians.

According to the Post, the McDonnell campaign did not plan to gain a majority in Northern Virginia, but wanted to take home enough of the vote to deny Deeds the traditional Democratic advantage here.

Interestingly, McDonnell runs as a conservative lite. Not in the sense that he's any less conservative than other Republicans, but lite in that he doesn't come across as stridently as, say, a Sarah Palin or Dick Armey.

I encourage you all to read the article. Among other things, McDonnell pointed to some classic conservative rhetoric that appeals to middle-class Virginians, including our rather large population of immigrants who own small businesses.

I actually agree. (Gasp!)</... (Below threshold)
jim x:

I actually agree. (Gasp!)

Independents are, as rule, far less interested in socially conservative OR socially liberal policies and ideas. They are interested in financial and fiscal policies that work.

This is of course pretty much the opposite direction than Palin et al are driving from. So IMHO, take it with a grain of salt if you like - but the more extreme the GOP gets, the less likely it will be to attract Independent voters.

In fact you already have a significant number of ex-Republican voters who are self-identifying as Independent, because they consider the current direction of the GOP to be more extreme than they are comfortable with.

James H., the republicans h... (Below threshold)

James H., the republicans have offered amendments with most not even making it to the bill for vote. ww

I agree with Dan's original... (Below threshold)

I agree with Dan's original post. The big problem is of course governing that way. It is very difficult for politicians since their job is to pass laws which usually cost money. They need to learn to campaign on what they have not done ,how they limited government roles and how even though they didn't solve every problem including protecting people from themselves but did however protect their freedoms. Do so is not an easy thing to do.

Wayne I could not disagree ... (Below threshold)

Wayne I could not disagree more. The problem with Congress is they pass bills that cost money or require states to get the money. It is to a point that it is ridiculous.

I live in Texas. Texas does not trust government. Dem or repub alike. Our constitution requires our state rep's and senators to meet every other year and for just a few month at that. The thought being the less amount of time politicians gather the better it is for all. If Texas government wants to get it's greedy paws in our pocket, they have to put an amendment to our constitution to get it. Texas' constitution is a lot younger then the US constitution but Texas has 280+amendments. In summary: Texas is actually run by and for the people.

Congress on both sides of the aisle is so corrupt and out of touch with mainstreet that it is laughable. For Pelosi to state from the capital steps that the american people have spoken and they demand a public option.

My recommendation is for candidates to run on conservative positions and values. This party does not need another McCain. That was a joke. The party apparatus fixed that pick.

Ideally, we would be better off having more then two parties and limiting campaigns to 60 days before an election. That will make it easier for "unknown" candidates to have a chance to serve. ww

WildWillieI not sure... (Below threshold)

I not sure what we are disagreeing on. I like the way Texas limit amount of time their Government has to act. Like a said I think the problem on the Federal level is they think that because they are there and to have something to campaign on that they most spend and pass bills to limit our freedoms. That is the nature of the beast. I totally disagree with it I think they need to change their nature. Term limits and with exception of emergencies limit their time in D.C. would go a long way in that direction.

I see little Stevie Green h... (Below threshold)

I see little Stevie Green his hiding under his rock.

Wildwillie, your 7:41 post,... (Below threshold)
JC Hammer:

Wildwillie, your 7:41 post, I agree with your last paragraph, and if that would happen, just maybe we the people could elect people to represent the American people. Not all people are to the left, nor to the right. Most people probably think that both parties (as it is now) have some good ideas, and a whole bunch of wrong ideas.

And both parties have their die hard idiots that won't change their thinking.






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