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A tale of three states

By Lisa Fabrizio
web posted May 31, 2010

Folks outside of the Northeast have long been perplexed by an apparent electoral anomaly; for years, these states that consistently send liberals to congress have chosen Republicans as their governors. The GOP has held the title in Connecticut since 1995 while New York's George Pataki reigned for twelve years until the disastrous election of Eliot Spitzer. New Jersey has suffered through nearly a decade of financial degradation before electing Chris Christie.

Those of us who live in the area are pretty well convinced that the explanation for this is that our fellow    northeasterners want a daddy in charge of our particular nanny states. Thus do they continue to elect what are euphemistically called fiscal conservatives, Rockefeller Republicans or most commonly, RINOs. That enables these folks to vote for candidates who are socially liberal--supporters of abortion, gay marriage, etc--but keep an eye on finances; a combination which satisfies both their consciences and their pocketbooks.

Now these Rockefeller Republicans have always bowed to pressure from local liberals to grow government programs and fund their partisan groups, particularly teachers unions. But the times may be a-changin' as they say. Republicans of the RINO genus are still on the prowl here, but they are developing quite a considerable set of horns. Take the newly elected governor of New Jersey. The deeds of the redoubtable Chris Christie are indeed incredible, beyond a doubt. In a few short months he has managed to enrage just about every liberal in the Garden State by slashing budgets, freezing teacher pay, cutting non-essential programs and swiftly vetoing a so-called millionaire's tax.

And although he may be moderate on a few issues, his words are like sweet music to the ears of conservatives. As a candidate he promised, “I will remake the court and I will remake it on this one simple principle: If you (want to) legislate, (then) run for the Legislature, don’t put on a black robe and go to the Supreme Court.” And when confronted by a reporter asking about his “confrontational” tone in support of school vouchers, he explained an essential difference between liberals and conservatives: “They believe in certain things. They believe in bigger government, higher taxes and more spending. I believe in less government, less taxes and in empowering local officials who were elected by their citizens. Now, I can see where there could be a disagreement or two.”

Over in New York, the big news was the hat tossed in the gubernatorial ring by Andrew Cuomo, son of  the man Rush Limbaugh tagged, “Mario the Pious.” It seems that Merry Andrew has inherited none of his father's purported oratorical skills. He burst into the campaign with this succinct and detailed summary of his plan for governance: “My mission is to develop an agenda for this state and develop support among the people. I believe if you do that successfully, the Legislature will pass an intelligent agenda supported by the people. Otherwise, you would have to believe that legislators would act adverse to the interests of the people of their district.” But the real surprise is that young Cuomo is said to be in favor of adopting some conservative stances like support for charter schools and caps on state spending and property taxes.

In nearby Connecticut, home of yours truly, the buzz is not about our gubernatorial contest, but surrounds the replacement for our ultra liberal senator, Christopher Dodd. Short weeks ago, Republicans held moderate hopes of seeing Dodd's seat go the way of his longtime pal Ted Kennedy’s. The fact that Dodd decided against defending his incumbency was evidence enough that Democrats were worried about affairs in the Nutmeg State, but they were confident that voters would flock to the side of Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Of course, recent revelations from his past have severely wounded his chances.

Now in fairness, I must disclose that I have heard Blumenthal speak at more than a few veterans functions where it was common knowledge that he never saw active duty during the Vietnam Era. That said, I  wholeheartedly agree with many who characterize him as the worst AG in the nation and one of the most dangerous men in America. It is only fitting that WWE magnate Linda McMahon is prepared to go to the mat against him. And although she is also a RINO, she would be the first Republican senator--no, Lowell Weicker doesn't count--from our state since Prescott Bush, father of George H.W. and granddaddy of George W.

So in New York and Connecticut, things are looking up for those of us tired of big government, high taxes and other countless manifestations of the tender mercies of the Nanny State. And if by some chance, our November dreams don't come true, we can always move to New Jersey. ESR

Lisa Fabrizio is a columnist who hails from Connecticut. You may write her at mailbox@lisafab.com.

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