On the bright side

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

Elec­tion Day wasn’t a to­tal dis­as­ter for the right. The same coun­try that re-elected the most lib­eral pres­i­dent since Franklin D. Roo­sevelt also re­newed the speak­er­ship of Ohio Repub­li­can Rep. John Boehner. Se­nate Democrats main­tained their slim ma­jor­ity, but the GOP pulled off a more im­por­tant coup in the up­per cham­ber: The cau­cus is grow­ing more con­ser­va­tive.

With Ted Cruz of Texas and Jeff Flake of Ari­zona earn­ing the ti­tle of sen­a­tor­elect, the Tea Party proved its on­go­ing rel­e­vance. These fis­cal hawks will join Sen. Rand Paul of Ken­tucky, Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Sen. Marco Ru­bio of Florida, Sen. Ron John­son of Wis­con­sin and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah in hold­ing the line against Pres­i­dent Obama’s re­lent­less push to ex­pand Un­cle Sam. The world’s most ex­clu­sive coun­try club hasn’t seen this many devo­tees of lim­ited gov­ern­ment since the Found­ing Fathers were mem­bers.

At the state level, vot­ers did the right thing on a num­ber of im­por­tant is­sues — even in lib­eral out­posts. The same Cal­i­for­ni­ans who ap­proved Demo­cratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s suite of tax-the-rich ini­tia­tives also shot down an at­tempt to elim­i­nate the death penalty and op­posed a Nanny State propo­si­tion that would have re­quired la­bel­ing of “ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied” food. Michi­gan may have given the nod to Barack over na­tive son Mitt Rom­ney, but 63 per­cent of vot­ers pulled the plug on a pro­posal to man­date 25 per­cent of the state’s elec­tric­ity be gen­er­ated by the wind­mills, so­lar pan­els and al­gae the pres­i­dent so ad­mires.

We’re stuck with Oba­macare in the wake of the Nov. 6 vote, which makes state ef­forts to block its im­ple­men­ta­tion crit­i­cal. Mea­sures as­sert­ing state author­ity over health care passed with 77 per­cent sup­port in Wy­oming, 62 per­cent in Mis­souri and 59 per­cent in Alabama. Sim­i­larly, Mr. Obama has said he’d push for new gun-con­trol laws, in­creas­ing the rel­e­vance of amend­ments pro­tect­ing firearms own­er­ship and hunt­ing that passed in Ken­tucky, Louisiana, Ne­braska and Wy­oming.

Fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity may have gone out of style at 1600 Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue, but else­where in the coun­try the is­sue re­mains a hot topic. In Wash­ing­ton State, vot­ers once again gave over­whelm­ing ap­proval to a ref­er­en­dum re­quir­ing a two-thirds vote of the leg­is­la­ture to en­act a tax in­crease. A sneaky pro­vi­sion of a prior ini­tia­tive forces any hikes that do ob­tain leg­isla­tive ap­proval to go on the bal­lot as “ad­vi­sory” mea­sures. Tues­day saw the first such votes, and the lib­eral West Coast state vot­ers op­posed taxes on banks and oil com­pa­nies by 58 and 56 per­cent. The ini­tia­tive’s spon­sor be­lieves these pro­vi­sions will en­cour­age re­straint among law­mak­ers.

“The next time they’re think­ing of vot­ing for a tax in­crease, they’re go­ing to think twice, three times or four times about it,” anti-tax ac­tivist Tim Ey­man told The Wash­ing­ton Times.

Progress was also seen at the lo­cal level. Cit­i­zens of Mon­roe, Wash.; League City, Texas; Mur­ri­eta, Calif., and New­port Beach, Calif., voted to ban cash-grab­bing red light cam­eras with op­po­si­tion run­ning be­tween 57 and 77 per­cent.

The next four years will be dif­fi­cult for con­ser­va­tives. The suc­cess of a num­ber of con­ser­va­tive can­di­dates and ini­tia­tives proves that stay­ing true to prin­ci­ples can still pay off — even in deep-blue states.

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