Beginning in 2009 with Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II leading the Republican Recovery tour here in Virginia, the 2010 elections continued the Virginia GOP’s resurgence by defeating three Democratic House incumbents and pushing the GOP margin to at least 8-2 in the Virginia delegation. (At the time of this writing, it is still not known if Keith Fimian has upset Gerald E. Connolly in the 11th District.)
Republicans have accomplished this feat, despite Time magazine running the GOP logo with the headline “Endangered Species” early in 2009, by restoring a faith in common-sense conservatism and repudiating failed policies that rely heavily on increased taxation and irresponsible spending.
Mr. McDonnell’s administration has led by example in fighting eight years of cavalier and reckless behavior by Democrats in the General Assembly and governor’s mansion. Mr. McDonnell found $1.4 billion for transportation through an audit of the Virginia Department of Transportation, although former Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, called it “a waste of time.” By digging in on the budget and refusing to raise taxes as Mr. Kaine recommended, Mr. McDonnell not only balanced the budget, but created a small surplus. By meeting with chief executive officers and business leaders across the world, Mr. Bolling, the state’s chief job-creations officer, has invited businesses, jobs and millions of dollars to the commonwealth that would have otherwise gone elsewhere.
By standing tall for the Constitution, Mr. Cuccinelli has led the national charge of the states reclaiming their role in our nation as being the true leaders in our Republic by fighting the federal government in the courts over Obamacare.
In other words, our state’s leaders talked the talk during the campaign, and now are walking the walk.
Confidence in the GOP was restored by these leaders, and in many respects, gave a proven example to voters as to what grounded, jobs-minded Republicans can do in Congress in a country facing a $14 trillion debt and an unemployment rate nearing 10 percent.
But the work is not done there. In fact, now is not a time for celebrating, but for rolling up our sleeves. Perhaps Mr. Bolling put it best: “The American people have given our party an opportunity to provide leadership to get our nation back on the right track. This is a trust not to be taken lightly. We must remain committed to our conservative principles and results-oriented leadership; to restoring the appropriate scope and size of government; and to expanding liberty, freedom and economic opportunity for all Americans. This is the same message we heard and lesson we learned after our election a year ago, and I hope our new leaders in Washington will accept this responsibility and opportunity, as we have here in Virginia.”
I suspect that they will, but already Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is saying that Tuesday’s election was about the American people telling the national government that they want to see more bipartisanship and cooperation. Hogwash.
Tuesday was about reining in an out-of-control federal government and systematically eliminating an oppressive national debt that could result in the end of our country as we know it.
It is clear that there are those in the federal government who still don’t get it. And, it is clear that we didn’t get here overnight. Part of that reason is that states have been complicit in allowing the federal government to usurp the role of states - and to reverse that, state governments must return to office elected officials who understand their relationship to the federal government.
In Virginia, we are about to embark on our quadrennial ritual of electing all 140 members of the General Assembly - House and Senate. The biggest obstruction to common-sense solutions by the McDonnell administration and House of Delegates has been the Democrat-controlled state Senate.
The gauntlet has been thrown, and the tired policies of state Sen. Richard Saslaw, Fairfax Democrat, et al., must be swept away so that we can truly get this commonwealth moving again.
And, nationally, with Mr. Reid still setting the agenda in the Senate, it is clear that the GOP must regain a majority in 2012 - and that begins here in Virginia with Sen. James Webb - the same Mr. Webb who cast the deciding vote for Obamacare and has gone along with the economic policies of the administration - not to mention his outlandish support for the devastating value-added tax.
There’s also “hope” that Virginia will “change” who it supports for president in 2012 as well.
One in 10 Americans are out of work - so there is no cause for rejoicing over the GOP victories. What must happen now is continued fiscal discipline, standing against any further expansion in government, and continuing to work hard in the coming elections to restore true sanity to our government - a government founded and created not only by the consent of the governed, but also by the consent of the collective states.