Yesterday, guest contributor Steve Haner wrote a rather interesting piece, talking about his time in the legislature, and in doing so, he explained about why we are having problems in the majority in Richmond. Mr. Haner talks repeatedly about how “In 2018 I was present when a local party unit chairman came in to give Riley hell for his expected vote in favor of expanding Medicaid. It was a very ugly conversation. At the end I concluded, yep, this really is Riley’s last term. The Republican activists who saw that as “Obamacare” were going to be unforgiving.”
Haner then quotes Delegate Peace: “Libertarians have overthrown the will of the people……”
Mr. Haner then goes on to say: “Peace joins a long list of legislators from both parties who ticked off the base with a principled vote or some other action and whose service was no longer required.”
Mr. Haner has been on the inside of how our government works in Richmond. But he does not understand the mindset of the average Republican voter, or even who we are. Nor does Chris Peace. Which is the reason why Peace ultimately lost. The average Republican voter is not a libertarian. We are conservatives. Libertarianism and conservatism share some similarities but are not the same. A libertarian is more likely to oppose a border wall. A libertarian is more likely to be a supporter of abortion rights and gay marriage. A conservative would likely support some form of border wall, be 100% against abortion, and support traditional marriage. The list goes on and on. But what is more frightening is how Mr. Haner talks about how “Republican activists who saw Medicaid expansion (aka Obamacare) as Obamacare were going to be unforgiving”. Sorry Mr. Haner, but Medicaid expansion is a large part of Obamacare. To suggest otherwise is laughable on its face. And to suggest that supporting Medicaid expansion aka Obamacare is a principled vote is ridiculous. The party has 2 wings, and at times these 2 wings are more akin to a 2 headed monster. Any Unit Chair, or party official, or elected official under the GOP bandwagon is sitting on a powder keg. But 80% or more of the Republican base agrees that Medicaid expansion is a horrible idea. So to suggest this is a “principled vote” is laughable. This vote was done to pay off donors. Medicaid expansion takes its place in many ways inside government. For example, private transportation companies (such as the one I manage/own) profit off of Medicaid expansion. (FOR THE RECORD – our company no longer provides Medicaid based trips for a variety of reasons – one of them being an opposition to Medicaid expansion aka Obama Care). The list of who profits in Medicaid Expansion aka Obamacare is too long to mention, but you can rest assured that pretty much every major lobbyist in Richmond supports Medicaid expansion because it brings them money – your hard earned tax dollars.
Delegate Peace, and the other sniveling cowards who supported Medicaid expansion did so to pay off their donors. Not because they have any scruples. The politicians with scruples were the ones who followed the lead of Majority Leader Todd Gilbert, and said no to the special interests and big donors.
So please don’t think that Delegate Chris Peace or any supporter of Medicaid expansion took a principled vote. They instead took a vote to dump money into the pockets of the Richmond special interests. And Delegate Chris Peace paid for his sins with his job. As did several other traitors to the cause of Republicanism.
Why are we in danger of losing our majority? Reagan said that we need to create distinct lines and differences between ourselves and the party of big government. When given the choice between a real Democrat and a Republican trying to be a Democrat, voters will choose the real Democrat most of the time. We need to stand for conservatism, like we did in the days when Vance Wilkins was Speaker. Say what you want about Vance Wilkins, but that GOP caucus was a conservative caucus. The party needs to follow the lead of Todd Gilbert and draw a bright line in the sand and say that The Republican Majority stands as the last line of defense between The Taxpayers and the leftists who want to take over Richmond.
So don’t blame conservatives for the chaos in Richmond. Put the blame where it belongs, with the GOP Establishment and the big government spending liberals who infiltrate our party.