I live in the 26th Congressional district in New York, a rare solidly Republican political district in a sea of New York Democrats. Unfortunately our last pick, Chris Lee, left in shame when it was revealed the married Congressman was trolling the Internet for sex and leaving behind shirtless pictures. His downfall left me disillusioned, as Lee was one of the few politicians in New York and in Congress I actually liked. His politics were wonderful and consistently he fell on the right side of issues. Unfortunately his personal conduct was shameful and a sign that everything else about him was wrong.
This week we have a special election. His potential Republican replacement, Jane Corwin, wasn’t selected by the people but by Party bosses and now is facing a real challenge in getting elected. As far as anyone can tell she was selected for one reason, she has money and seemed like she could raise more. This is what Party people do, they select not by commitment to ideology but by what they see as “electability”. That usually blows up in their face. It was essentially how Lee got to where he did and now why we have Corwin. Youngish, attactive people with money. Why worry?
Corwin faces a committed liberal Democrat Kathy Hochul and a third party challenge from millionaire Jack Davis. This brings us to what makes this race so interesting for the nation and why I am left voting for Corwin. A vote for Huckul is a vote to go back to the Pelosi-Obama agenda. It will be used by Democrats to claim new momentum even though it will be nothing of the sort. So there is no way I can vote for her. Meanwhile Davis is running as a self-proclaimed Tea Party candidate. The problem? He is also a Democrat and has nothing to do with the Tea Party.
In the last election cycle Davis ran for the Democrat nomination. He lost. Yet in the process his campaign for Congress attached itself to the far left. I watched him speak in person as he did everything possible to align himself with the left. Now he is attempting to be a hybrid candidate and to jump on the Tea Party bandwagon. He is the same old Jack Davis though, a guy who comes across as an old coot promising jobs and economic revival with no actual plan for either and no understanding the government can’t create jobs, it can just get out of the way. A vote for him is either a vote for the Pelosi-Obama agenda or a vote to drive off a cliff. Either way, I cannot lend my support.
That leaves Corwin. My big beef with her is that she is being attacked by both of these Democrats for her previous support of the Paul Ryan Medicare proposal. This has lead to an odd rebuttal. Corwin has reversed position on supporting a Medicare overhaul and has begun running on saving entitlements as they are, seemingly all of them. She is actually attacking Hockul because the Democrat has said in the past that all spending needs to be on the table when it comes to cuts. You know, the Republican position. Listening to Corwin ads you would think you are listening to DNC ads or an MSNBC commentator.
I understand that local voters are older voters. That means any suggestion of changing entitlements, even in a sound long-term fashion, is used as a scare tactic. Still Corwin has abandoned conservative principals and sanity itself, leaping to the far-left realm and declaring her undying love of entitlement spending. Still, I have few choices left. I could sit home and not vote at all. I am not that kind of American though.
Though I am not at all happy with Corwin, my hope lies in the idea that when she gets to Washington she will be like Lee only with clothes and dignity left on and sound policy flowing. My hope is that hers will be a true Republican vote that is maybe even conservative every now and again. She is imploding as a campaigner, let’s hope as a politician she can do better. It is a long shot, I know, but it is the only shot I have.
I have heard some conservative commentators say they are actually supporting Davis. I have no understanding of why they would and frankly feel like they are doing a disservice to voters. Corwin is not perfect and frankly her campaign for Congress has hurt her. Still Davis has proven himself to be near insane and willing to say almost anything to get elected. How can anyone honestly support that?
I will vote for Corwin and hope for the best. This leaves me thinking about where I expect to be in 2012. I dislike Romney, Pawlenty, Gingrich and the rest of the crowd who have run, at times, away from conservatism and voted or supported lefty policies. I don’t want to vote for them. Yet I fear, just as in this election, I will have little choice. I cannot vote for the Obama’s and Pelosi’s of the world. Though it pains me to say it, people like Corwin are what we have in my political district and in the country right now. Sometimes, begrudgingly, we have to settle because the alternative is just that bad. This election I will do just that.