July 2008

From the Comments: Modern Conservatism

By VA Blogger

“Promoted” from the AG thread below, for attention and discussion.

Modern political Conservatism is based on a deep awareness of human history and human nature, both alone and in groups. It rests on strong belief in individual liberty and dignity and is skeptical that governments get better as they get larger or more powerful. In the American context, I can just give you some earmarks as examples. It is possible to adhere to conservative principles and be either (or neither) a Democrat or Republican. Both parties legitimately see themselves as having a lot of other fish to fry beyond purity to Locke-ian ideals. But within each Party, the figures that conservatives tend to gravitate toward are free market, free trade, internationalist outlook, pro-civil rights and individual liberties, fiscal restraint hawks (it’s not just a question of low taxes, but that’s part of it), defenders of the U.S. Constitution (hard to find a single Republican in Virginia who even knows what’s in the document – the Dems are no better, but it gets really confusing when so many R pols disguise themselves as “conservatives”), particularly its protections of individual liberties. On the latter point, while conservatives are often individually religious, they are strong supporters of keeping government away from religion as a matter of protecting religion against being degraded by getting dragged through the Public Square. Conservatives are well-informed and realistic, they are inherently non-ideological (ideologies tend to obscure reality, conservatives feel a need and responsibility to understand reality).

—NoVa Scout

What does Gerry Connolly think is important?

By VA Blogger

I wrote earlier this week a response to the Examiner’s story that “outs” Keith Fimian as a Catholic business owner and wondered if Gerry Connolly really wants to run a cultural campaign. It’s clear Keith Fimian does not, and would rather focus on the issues that matter to VA-11 voters: transportation, the economy, and national security.

In the days since, Fimian’s religion has been brought up by the DCCC (which is helping bankroll Connolly’s campaign), Raising Kaine, and national blogs. Does Connolly agree with his backers that social issues are the most important things to focus on? Or will he step up and demand that this race be about the issues that matter most, as Fimian has?

This is a question of leadership, Chairman. It’s never too early to start.

Brownlee coming out swinging means Cuccinelli in the lead

By VA Blogger

The conventional wisdom is quickly forming that the Republican Primary for Attorney General is “Cuccinelli’s to lose”. This is due to several factors: his head-start in announcing, his experience winning campaigns, his connections in Richmond and throughout the party, and a populous home base.

Now we have another indicator: John Brownlee. It’s a well-established axiom that whatever candidate is behind is the one that takes unnecessary pot-shots at his opponent. Usually this plays out closer to the election, but not always. In the last two weeks, Brownlee has dug into Cuccinelli on his half-year finance report, and on Friday hit Ken again based off a Bearing Drift podcast.

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495 – 2

By VA Blogger

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Russell County Supervisor Jon Bowerbank have both been actively running for Lt. Governor for months now. Over the course of their respective campaigns, Bolling has raised $720K from 495 donors, including over 300 small donors. Bowerbank has raised exactly $150.00, from two donors. Bowerbank may find he can use his vast resources to buy a favorable cash on hand figure, to buy an online consulting team to promote him on the blogs, and to buy hundreds of thousands of yard signs, but it won’t buy him support.

Most likely VP selections?

By VA Blogger

Here’s my take. What’s yours?

1. Gov. Kathy Sebelius (KS)
2. Sen. Joe Biden (DE)
3. Former Sen. Sam Nunn (GA)
4. Former Sen. Tom Daschle (SD)
5. Gov. Tim Kaine (VA)

1. Former Gov. Mitt Romney (MA)
2. Gov. Tim Pawlenty (MN)
3. Gov. Charlie Crist (FL)
4. Rep. Eric Cantor (VA)
5. Former Gov. Tom Ridge (PA)

My top GOP pick is Rep. Mike Pence (IN), but I don’t see that happening.