Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Moderate vs Conservative

Much has been said in the past few weeks about "moderates" and "conservatives" within the Republican Party. Last night's election could be one more piece of this ongoing puzzle. Many have claimed that the "moderate " Kilgore lost while the "conservatives" Bolling and McDonnell won. The "moderates" can show losses of Dick Black, Chris Craddock, and Brad Marrs along with 5 of 6 VCAP challengers failing miserably in their primary contests as reasons for their strength (I would argue Black, Craddock and Marrs has a lot to do with weak Kilgore numbers as well, but thats all matter of opinion).
Mike Harrington was apparently considered a moderate by many in the party. He lost badly in a moderately GOP area last night. The 33rd Senate race will be a very important race in the future of the VAGOP. As it looks right now, Staton has all but sown up the nomination. If he wins, it will give the "conservatives" a strong base to work from to tout their wins and the losses of the moderates, but if he loses it will give the moderates ammunition for their endeavors.
Election 2007 will largely be dictated by the 33rd Senate race. I will have a further anaylsis on the 23rd and future later.

Also, make sure to visit WinchesterStar.com and vote yes on removing Potts from his committee chairmanship. We can all agree that Potts is neither conservative nor moderate, but a lost soul who doesn't know what he is.

UPDATE: Potts was not removed from his committe chairmanship. NLS tells us that the vote was 20-19 (Sen. Ruff had a family emergency and could not come vote against Potts). The 20 in favor were all 16 dems, Potts himself, Chinchester, Quayle, and Hawkins. The other 19 GOPs voted against Potts being put back in as chairman.


  • At 1/11/2006 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here's an analysis on the 23rd for you:

    Harrington, an attractive, well financed GOP moderate with a good local name in a "GOP leaning district", got soundly defeated by an attractive, well financed moderate Democratic candidate with a good local name.

    What's the difference? Well, for one thing the good people of the 23rd District in Lynchburg and Amherst County were probably more than a little ticked off by the heavy-handed manner in which the Republican leadership tried to "discipline" Preston Bryant after he refused to knuckle under to ideological dictates and lead an effort to end the budget impasse at the 2004 session.

    When Speaker Howell removed him from the Appropriations Committee, Lynchburgers and Amherstians percieved that as an attack not only on Bryant but on their interests, as well. When Bryant defeated his conservative opponent in the Republican Primary this past June, the handwriting was on the wall and it did not spell victory for the Republicans. People see all the legislative manuvering and ideological posturing as "inside baseball" and have little patience with it. When they think it adversely affects them, well--to coin a phrae-- they get mad as hell and won't take it anymore.

    They're not too keen on Jerry Falwell over there, either, believe it or not.

  • At 1/11/2006 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That's right. Kick Russ Potts out. Send a message that no one had better disagree or go their own way. Diminish them, attack them, drive them off! They might go To the Democrats but we'll have our own little....very little clique to rule our own teeny tiny corner. Today we may lose a Senator and tomorrow the state but we'll gain purity of thought and that counts for something....doesn't it?...doesn't it....Hey is anybody out there?

  • At 1/11/2006 4:20 PM, Anonymous NoVA Scout said…

    Can we identify the moment when Kilgore became a "moderate" candidate? As far as I could discern it happened after he lost. How was he more "moderate" than Bolling or McDonnell in the context of this past campaign? Throwing a coat of "moderate" paint on Kilgore is pure revisionism. The entire ticket was "conservative" and ran as "conservative." Kilgore lost at the polls by a good margin. Bolling durn near lost to the most liberal (no quotation marks necessary here), out-of step candidate ever fielded statewide in Virginia. McDonnell durn near lost to a credible "moderate" Democrat.

    Did Harrington lose because of his alleged "moderate-ness"? If so, how did Bryant manage to win in that district? Bryant seemed rather popular among his constituents. Do we have any reason to believe a more "conservative" GOP candidate would have fared better? How do we know at this point that Staton has the 33rd GOP nomination "all but sewn up"? I don't see how anyone can tell what the status of that situation is with a short-fuse firehouse primary and two or three GOP candidates. Is Minchew or Staton more likely to defeat the Dem in the 33rd? Or is it likely that both of their close identifications with pro-growth forces will bite them in the general election?

    These are just a few questions on my mind at the moment.

  • At 1/11/2006 5:09 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Potts has received his chairmanship back.
    Scout, those are not my opinions necessarily, they are the opinions that will be (and have been) leveled by the "conservative" and "moderate" wings of the party.

  • At 1/11/2006 7:10 PM, Anonymous NoVA Scout said…

    Understood, GH. I'm just curious. Many of the points you cite are becoming commonly held perceptions, many of which I fear become the "urban legends" of Virginia politics if we don't ask questions. My questions are genuine pleas for info. For example, I really don't have any feel for what's going on in the 33rd. I find it hard to look inside that box. Is Staton really a lock? What do we know about either of these guys in terms of accomplishments in non-political fields? Who's the third Republican candidate I read about today? What's a reasonable turnout expectation? Maybe the best thing to do is just wait until after the quick-bell firehouse primary. No sense even talking about it too much until we know who the GOP is running.

  • At 1/11/2006 9:13 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Well to keep in the theme of the post, if Minchew gets the nomination the opposite will occur. If he wins, the moderates will claim victory; but if he loses the conservatives will once again say that you need to run a conservative to win.
    I think its a bad line of thinking people have today, but it unfortunately will dictate the type of people who gets nominations in '07.

  • At 1/12/2006 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    the reason Howell kicked Bryant off the committee was because Bryant lied to the Speaker about the tax vote, not because he simply voted for it.

  • At 1/13/2006 12:14 AM, Blogger James Young said…

    Jerry Kilgore lost mainly because he: (1) ran a lousy campaign; (2) made quite a few missteps; and (3) went upon against a candidate tying himself to an inexplicably popular incumbent so completely that he would have had to move mere inches to perform an appendectomy on him. Unabashedly Conservative candidates (Bolling; McDonnell) won statewide notwithstanding Kilgore's drag. Far-Left slanders and campaign missteps (Dick Black's rather sophomoric reference to "Poison" comes to mind) lost locally. It is only if self-styled "moderates" within the GOP are permitted to attack Conservatives without consequence that the GOP will be relegated back to minority status.

    What amazes me is that these fools have learned nothing from the Republican ascendancy, either in Virginia, or nationally. When the GOP started standing for something other than slower socialism, it regained majorities. If it goes back to advocating slower socialism, voters will be smart enough to vote for Democrats, who will at least pursue that agenda honestly and with some gusto.

    I'm reminded of the occasion when Newt Gingrich took over the Speaker's chair. Apparently, Bob Michel, retiring GOP Minority Leader, was reputed to have commented that he could have been Speaker, if only he'd stayed on. Of course, had he stayed on, the GOP would never have obtained their majority.

  • At 1/13/2006 11:09 AM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    I agree. We need more issue stances and problem solving if we are going to protect our majority.

  • At 11/06/2007 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i disagree

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