(David Bozeman) – With the mid-terms looming, here’s hoping that voters don’t fall for the crock that they are motivated by ‘anti-incumbent’ sentiment. Much to the chagrin of the mainstream media, it is liberalism, and the prospect of its resounding defeat, that will likely bring voters to the polls in massive numbers.
Despite expectations for the first successful national elections since 2004, conservative Republicans cannot afford to play out the clock and must redouble their efforts in key races.
Marching to the chant of ‘Throw Da Bums Out!’ would cost incumbent Richard Burr of North Carolina his seat, and the Senate one of its most consistent foes of the Obama agenda—including Elena Kagan, illegal immigration policy and national security lapses. Granted, faulting the Obama Administration is the national rage, and we’re talking Democrats, too, but Richard Burr (latest American Conservative Union ranking, 92%) does not waffle and he does not waver — or if so, only seldom. Elected to the House in ’94, as part of the Gingrich Revolution, and to the Senate in ’04, he was touted early on as a possible McCain running mate in ’08. Low-key, soft-spoken but humorous and principled, Burr is an attractive public figure who, at only 55, holds potential for even greater influence and position. And the Democrats know it.
Cal Cunningham, a wholesome-looking military lawyer was picked by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to run for the nomination to challenge Burr. Long-time secretary of state Elaine Marshall won in a run-off, and recent polling data suggests a tighter than expected race, with Burr up by only seven points in one survey and five in another.
NC’s Elizabeth Dole, of course, was considered unbeatable in 2008, only to lose handily to state senator Kay Hagan, who consistently, if not solidly, tows the Democratic line. Some would argue that Burr is safe, this not being an anti-Republican year. Just one troubling factor. . .
As a North Carolinian, it pains me to admit the Tar Heel state’s curious affection for Democrats. South Carolina, with a disgraced Republican governor, may well elect Nikki Healy and boasts two prominent Republican senators. Virginia frequently elects Republican governors–while North Carolina has not done so since the 1980s. Cumberland County, home of Fort Bragg, has elected but a tiny handful of Republicans to local offices in the past 100-plus years. On a lighter note, consider that Andy Griffith and Ron Howard — Andy Taylor and Opie of Mayberry fame — both campaigned for Obama and are committed leftists!
Also unlike South Carolina, North Carolina went for Obama last time. Some cite the Libertarian difference in tight races, and that factor could lead to a nail-biter this time. Furthermore, northern transplants to Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte have moved NC (which more often than not goes Republican for president — go figure) from the red column to the purple, a phenomenon not unique to the Tarheel state. A Burr loss in November would surely tip momentum to the Dems.
No one knows where Burr ranks on their hit list, but an advocacy group in July ran an ad, highlighting the disaster in the Gulf, linking him to Big Oil. And you thought there was nothing new in the liberal playbook. Cunningham targeted Burr for trying to stall Obama-care, so, conservatives, what more do you need? It’s a choice between a committed obstructionist stuck in the No-zone and a progressive Obama rubber-stamp pursuing the left’s tired, dreary agenda of stretching the limits of federal scope and power. Depending on context, ‘no’ denotes principle and passion, and no one says it more gracefully than Senator Richard Burr.
(David Bozeman, former Libertarian Party Chairman, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer)