While the border in question is just about five miles north of me, thanks to my friend Elbert (who “stumbled” onto the post I’ll refer to) I’ve found out that our First District race is attracting commentary in Delaware as well; specifically at the Delaware Liberal website. However, writer “delawaredem” couches his (or her) argument around the fact that the Club For Growth supported Andy Harris when he toppled longtime incumbent Congressman Wayne Gilchrest back in February, so the wish was for the Club to “train their self destructive lasers on (Delaware at-large Congressman) Mike Castle.” It’s a supposition that anyone the Club For Growth deems worthy of the seat would be too conservative for Delaware voters to elect. Of course, delawaredem forgot to throw in the Eagle Forum, which has become a favorite whipping boy of Harris’s Democrat opponent Frank Kratovil. Both organizations stand firmly on the conservative side of the spectrum; naturally, they’d want more in Congress who are in tune with their views. Certainly delawaredem would prefer someone who has the favor of George Soros, moveon.org, Emily’s List, and like groups.
Being on the periphery of the state, I know only enough about Delaware politics to be dangerous to myself. However, one complaint levied by commentors on the Delaware Liberal post was that Mike Castle, like Wayne Gilchrest here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, hadn’t done a tremendous amount for the Delaware GOP. Given the fact that the field for the 2008 Governor’s race on the Republican side in Delaware originally featured the same players who slugged out the 2004 bid to unseat Governor Ruth Ann Minner, the criticism may be a valid one. Similarly to Maryland, the electoral politics in the First State is dominated by one small geographic area of the state and the rest suffers because of this oppressive tyranny of the majority.
Further restraining the growth of the Delaware GOP are instances where their caucus cannot remain united to accomplish the goals they can attain. The most recent example is failing to override Governor Minner’s veto of eminent domain reform, a move that greatly disappointed the property rights advocacy group Castle Coalition. With property rights being a pet issue for me as well, that little news item piqued my interest and apparently Delaware government retains its free rein to take property as needed for the purely fiscal purpose of increasing the local taxation base.
Returning to my original point, I have to wonder why the Club For Growth instills so much fear in liberal circles. To be sure, those of the progressive stripe have the own club for growth but as I alluded to in the last paragraph, that growth involves the amount of power and influence government at all levels exerts over one’s life. Furthermore, the ideological “purity” that the Club is being tagged for definitely extends across the aisle to the Democrat side – remember, this is the party that dropped its support of Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman just six years removed from being their Vice-Presidential nominee because he didn’t follow the liberal orthodoxy on the Long War (e.g. “Bush lied, people died.”) Nor can you get too far on a national level in that party if you’re pro-life or in favor of school choice, for example.
I think what bothers the left most about those candidates who have gained the support of the Club For Growth is that they’re not really Washington insiders. While it remains to be seen how things will bear out with candidates the Club supports if they’re elected, these hopefuls seem like the type who aren’t going inside the Beltway to amass a power base and probably loathe the place and process enough that they wouldn’t want to be there unless they had to be. Quite simply, they’re not angling to be part of the DC culture, and fortunately for State Senator Harris he lives close enough that, while maybe not commuting daily, he would have ample opportunities to get out into the district on a regular basis and stay grounded with real people conducting real lives.
It truly is unfortunate that those who live just a few miles north of me in Delaware apparently won’t have a real conservative choice for Congress as we do here across the Mason-Dixon Line. As in Maryland, the GOP needs to work back to the grassroots level and begin holding the Democrats accountable for the taxes they raise, the private-sector jobs they fail to retain, the schools where academics start to slip because kids are being taught improper environmentalism rather than proper English, and how all of this comes at the expense of those counties who see through the slick packaging liberals try to sell them and vote for limited government.
All this can be done, as evidenced by a governor of some repute you folks in Delaware had a couple decades ago named Pete DuPont. Something tells me that had the organization been around in that era, the Club For Growth may have supported him too.
Crossposted at That’s Elbert With An E.