Why do Virginia Republicans insist on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory? Here in the 11th Congressional District primary they had a chance to choose that nice Pat Herrity — who got along so well with the Democrats on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors — as the candidate to challenge Democrat Gerry Connolly this fall.
Instead those pesky conservatives voted for Keith Fimian and now the media is worried about the viability of the GOP. Again.
The headline on the “analysis” in the Washington Post was: “Virginia Republicans reassess after Pat Herrity’s 11th District primary loss.” From the media’s point of view, Fimian’s solid, 12–point victory over Herrity is ominous and cause for genuine concern.
Fimian’s a guy who calls himself a “tea–party conservative,” owns a business and has never shown pornography to college girls, yet unenlightened GOP voters think he’s qualified to serve in Congress.
What could they be thinking?
As the Post lamented, Herrity is a moderate, had the “full backing of the region’s Republican establishment,” possessed name recognition and therefore, was the obvious choice of the smart set.
A “moderate” Republican, according to the media’s definition, has “an unusual brand of fiscal conservatism and an independent streak on social issues, such as immigration.” What this means in plain language is a “moderate” Republican votes for tax increases; does zero to reduce the size of government; supports amnesty for illegal aliens; and believes Adam and Steve have just as much right to be married as Adam and Eve.
When GOP voters don’t follow the sound advice of their betters and choose a “moderate,” it causes consternation in mainstream media newsrooms and usually results in helpful suggestions as to how Republicans can be more successful winning votes among members of the media and qualify for invitations to the really cool cocktail parties.
Unfortunately the prescription from these volunteer doctors of politics is always the same: a nice social–engineering colonic followed by a lethal injection of Big Government. Adhering to this advice would serve to make elections a no–lose proposition for America’s elites. Voters could choose the genuine Democrat or they could exercise their independence and vote for the imitation Democrat on the Republican Party line.
Either way, leftist politics continue.
But that is definitely not the outcome Republican primary voters want. Survey after survey proves Republicans support the candidates who most closely adhere to conservative principles.
A Rasmussen survey of Republicans in South Carolina proves my point. When asked to evaluate GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham — a spineless collaborator always eager to please Democrats and gain favorable media coverage — in comparison to GOP Sen. Jim DeMint — a Tea party conservative and bane of leftists everywhere — 51 percent preferred Sen. DeMint’s performance. Only 32 percent thought the GOP should be more like Mr. Graham and try harder to be booked for more appearances on MSNBC.
Furthermore, among swing voters or independents 44 percent were “very favorable” towards DeMint and another 17 percent were “somewhat favorable.” Proving voters favor a politician who follows his principles over one who follows the TV cameras.
And a June 1st nationwide robo–survey by ccAdvertising of almost 14,000 people found that 42 percent considered themselves supporters of the Tea party, which is my kind of “fringe” movement.
Much of the media analysis of Fimian’s victory displays a myopia impervious to even the most powerful Lasik treatment. To begin with, Fairfax County — although undeniably wealthy — does not own the 11th District, our votes here in Prince William count, too. Furthermore, Herrity did not have the endorsement of the Republican “establishment.”
Fimian was endorsed by US Rep. Eric Cantor (Republican Whip from VA), Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, PWC Board of Supervisor’s Chairman Corey Stewart and Delegates Scott Lingamfelter and Bob Marshall to name but a few established members of the Virginia GOP.
In short, Fimian is a credible candidate solidly in the mainstream of GOP conservative politics and fully qualified to defeat Connolly in November.
On primary day, I knew Herrity was in trouble when I went to the polls to vote. At my polling place there was not a single Herrity yard sign to be found among the many Fimian signs.
As voters walked toward the school there were also no Herrity poll workers. Usually on Election Day the area just outside 100 feet from the polling place resembles an Arab bazaar with tents, tables and urgent pleas. But instead of being accosted by merchants demanding you “buy my rug,” voters are urged to “vote for my guy.”
Only Fimian supporters were excited enough about their candidate to actually show up to work the polls. It appears “moderation” in pursuit of an election is not a powerful motivator after all.
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He’s a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker and can be reached at michael–firstname.lastname@example.org.