Saturday, November 6, 2010

As Rhode Island Goes, So the Nation Does Not Go

Or should I say it the other way around?  As the nation went, at least, RI did not give an iota. 

We end up with the most liberal option of Governor choices.  We keep our General Assembly – mostly liberal Democrats – intact.  RI – Dist 1, which was formerly Patrick' Kennedy’s seat goes to liberal Democrat David Cicilline instead of worthy Republican John Loughlin.  RI – Dist 2, as I expected remained with James Langevin over Mark Zacaria, though Zacaria made the cogent arguments being offered around the country of the run away US House in every debate, but he ended up doing it to no avail – because he was making his points in RI to Rhode Islanders.

My first reaction was “it' truly is time to leave the state.” Former Cranston Mayor Steven Laffey presciently predicted a Lincoln Chafee victory due several factors: the split votes for “Moderate, Democrat and Republican candidates, and that the unions would get their machine out in full force to make certain their liberal Democratic votes made it to the polls.  And they won the day completely in RI. 

The rest of the nation moved very deliberately in the right direction, while RI remains stuck where it has been, and with some of the highest taxes and highest unemployment in the nation.  Even Michigan moved seats to Republicans to get out of their mess, but no, not RI.

But there were signs of a silver lining out there:

(1) There is a remnant of Tea Party oriented activists still intact, and ready to prepare for 2012 – which is good.

(2) The fact that Congress has moved very deliberately to the right while the President is not yielding or triangulating to the middle will mean that the RI delegation will be somewhat thwarted from their liberal agenda, and may not be all that popular in 2 years.  Remember Reagan took the state in 1984, and a solid Republican presidential candidate could yield something similar.

(3) There were some good lessons learned in running in the 4 way Governor race, and the dropping of the Republican nominated Lt. Governor. I thought to myself the other day, soon after his “shove it” comment, what if Frank Caprio said he was going to drop out of the race, and ask his supporters to vote for Republican John Robitaille? Imagine not only what that would have looked like in the national media spotlight, but what that would have done to the outcome.  Chafee would be toast instead of Governor Elect. 

(4) The excellent idea that was“CleanSlateRI.  Though it seemed to end up having little impact on the outcome, the concept is a good one that should be developed further and more robustly supported long before 2012.

While other states are looking forward to a roll back of tax burden, and a movement to prioritize spending so that taxes go down instead of increase, RI has a new governor who diabolically conjures new ways to spend taxpayers money – what few remaining taxpayers are still left in the state – and new ways to tax them.

RI Conservatives: we either have to leave (which will leave even fewer to carry the burgeoning tax load) or we need to build off what momentum we really achieved and strategize starting from now to make a major correction in 2012 – and also plan to get Chafee out in 2014 – too bad it couldn’t be sooner, though there is always the recall.

Activists unite! You have nothing to lose but higher taxes. and poor leadership.

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