Doug Hoffman’s loss in New York-23 is a bitter pill for conservatives to swallow; worse, that narrow defeat reveals the political challenges that remain for conservatives. But the victories of Chris Christie in New Jersey and Bob McDonnell in Virginia are much more troublesome for the left. The Democrats have to be very worried about the overwhelming support for pro-life, small-government principles at the 2009 ballot boxes. Doug Hoffman faced what proved to be insurmountable odds, and he nearly pulled off a victory — losing only because of last-minute, all-out White House intervention. Liberal Maine supported traditional marriage. McDonnell carried Virginia by 20 points, an unequivocal message for those 80 congressmen and 20 senators who represent states that went for John McCain in 2008. In addition, there are 83 Democrats in Congress who won in traditionally-GOP districts on Obama’s coattails in 2008. All those Members have to be worried after Election 2009.
It was not a good night for Democrats, and it could be a deadly blow for ObamaCare. The president AND the vice president campaigned — hard — for the Democratic candidates; they put their prestige on the line. President Obama spoke at five Corzine events in New Jersey, stressing Corzine’s support for the president’s stimulus package and health care reform legislation. The only place that it worked, and it barely there, was in New York-23. Many Democratic congressmen are bound to be thinking about their political future when it comes to ramming through very unpopular legislation (Rasmussen reports that 55 percent of Americans are against ObamaCare), running up the national deficit (Congressional Budget Office estimates that the cost of ObamaCare is now over $1.2 trillion), and supporting an Administration that is on shaky ground with the voting public (Rasmussen currently indicates the president’s job approval rating is a low 46 percent). Pelosi and Reid’s minions must be quaking in their boots at the prospect of voting for higher taxes, health care rationing, cuts in Medicare, and pro-abortion measures that the public overwhelmingly rejects.
The message of Election 2009 is clear: the public is not happy with what is happening in Washington. Exit polls show that voters are very concerned about the economy and the prospect of higher taxes. They are also very concerned about the future of our nation. It is important to note the role that conservative issues played in the important elections for 2009. In all the states where “same-sex marriage” has come to a vote, it has lost. That sends a message that the majority of Americans want marriage to remain a covenant between a man and a woman; they want marriage to remain the bulwark for civil society and the place where children are welcomed, and unconditionally loved and nurtured to become well-adjusted, contributing members of society. Marriage not only won in Maine, it won in New Jersey and Virginia as well because the two candidates for governor, Christie and McConnell are strong pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-family conservatives.
The overwhelming support for conservative candidates means that all attempts to portray those with traditional values as bigots or extremists is not just erroneous, it is demeaning to most Americans who identify with the values and principles that have made this nation the mecca for those who love freedom and liberty around the world. Pro-marriage values unite Americans across economic, racial, political party, and regional differences.
Conservatives not only support the values and principles that this nation was founded on, they are passionate about those issues, and they get out and vote. Any party that thinks it can snub conservatives will lose elections. Those media elites who want to label conservatives as extremists need to realize that conservative values are mainstream American values. The so-called “intellectual elites” are the ones who are out of step; they are the extremists.
The mainstream media have downplayed the TEA parties and the grassroots rebellion of local conservatives, but Election 2009 reveals profound dissatisfaction with the president’s socialist leanings and an intense determination to keep American on track.
If President Obama is listening, he can hear middle-class America sending a message. In 2008, the public fell for the high-sounding rhetoric; in 2009, they rejected the reality of nascent socialism. In many respects, the voting public is angry. They didn’t get what they voted for in 2008; they feel duped. Obama promised middle-class tax cuts and a new, more open governing process; what he delivered was unprecedented behind-doors maneuvering and off-the-charts spending. Voters got White House corruption that rivals the worst of the past and political appointees who can’t pass high-level security clearance, much less the “smell” test for authentic American values.
While polls indicate that they still like Obama’s personality and charm, they have soured on the discrepancy between his talk about helping the poor when he so clearly panders to the rich. They don’t like the bailouts, all the czars, the big government initiatives, and, according to RealClearPolitics, more than half the country (55.5 percent) is convinced that the country is headed in the wrong direction.
That is the central message of Election 2009: voters care about issues and ideology. It is clearly not all about personality and charm. The mainstream media are trying to depict the GOP as a hostage to right-wing extremists, but the evidence of Election 2009 refutes that argument. Small government and American values trump celebrity image. The Republican victors won because their values appeal to voters — especially independent voters, who now determine election outcomes. In Virginia, McDonnell won 68 percent of the independent vote, and in New Jersey, Christie won 58 percent of independent votes. The outcome of Election 2009 represents an ideological victory for conservative values and principles.
In 2008, the president promised “Hope and Change,” but Election 2009 made it obvious that the public has lost hope in rhetorical promises, and they are not pleased with the reality of the president’s changes.