“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Defending Fiscal & Social Conservatism in 2012

Kim Strassel wrote another of her typically excellent pieces on Friday discussing the challenges facing Republicans in the special election for New York's US 26th district seat.

Once more, as in the last such New York special election, the state's rules prohibited a primary, so discontented Tea Partiers felt snubbed by the party's officials who were responsible for choosing a candidate. There's more chicanery than that going on, as well.

But the interesting element which Strassel highlighted was the GOP's candidate, Jane Corwin's lack of sensible defense of the Ryan budget.

Strassel warns,

"This is the lesson of NY 26 for Republicans. Having boldly jumped into the entitlement defbate, the party had better be willing and able to define its reform- or the other side will do it for them. The risk was never Mr. Ryan or other veteran Republicans, who capably explained the plan at recent town halls and came away with largely positive experiences. The risk was always the hundreds of less-seasoned Republican members and candidates, who may be eager but who remain unequipped to have a rousing Medicare debate.

The GOP should thank Democrats for spotlighting this problem, so Republicans can think through the political challenges."

Well put. Given how sobering the truth of the Ryan budget is, it will take more than your average local political hack/wannabe Congressman to convincingly defend it. That's because, as I've written before, the existing so-called options are not sustainable, nor real options at all. But that has to be driven home with conviction, or the average Republican candidate will appear to be simply mean-spirited and cheap, rather than refreshingly candid and prudent.

As with so many social situations, including politics, better people/candidates make a difference. Ideas count, but the more articulate and passionate candidate is likely to win over one supporting better ideas with less passion and knowledge.

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