Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The referendum contiues

On November 3, 2009, Republicans Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell were elected as governors of New Jersey and Virginia, respectively. A couple of months later, Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown shocked the world by winning a special election for the US Senate seat occupied by a Kennedy or Kennedy family flunky since the 1950s.

And of course who could forget this past November when the GOP gained 63 seats in the US House (thus reassuming the majority) and six seats in the Senate?

Last evening, yet another resounding message was sent.

With the outcome of his own reelection effort 14 difficult months away, President Obama suffered a sharp rebuke Tuesday when voters in New York elected a conservative Republican to represent a Democratic district that has not been in GOP hands since the 1920s.

Bob Turner, the winner, cast the election as a referendum on Obama’s stewardship of the economy and, in the state’s Ninth Congressional District, which has a large population of Orthodox Jewish voters, the president’s position on Israel.

With 75 percent of the precincts reporting at press time, Turner had a commanding lead, with 53 percent of the vote, compared with 47 percent for Weprin.

Turner, 70, a retired cable TV executive who has never served in elective office, defeated Democratic State Assemblyman David Weprin, 55, who has two decades of experience in public service, to fill the seat left vacant when Anthony Weiner (D) resigned in disgrace in June after more than 12 years in the House.

The defeat came as Republicans trounced Democrats in another special House election Tuesday, in northern Nevada, where Republican Mark Amodei led Democrat Kate Marshall, 56 percent to 39 percent almost from the start.

In both contests, the GOP pulled ahead by linking the Democratic candidate to Obama and his handling of the economy. Both Republican contenders urged voters to “send a message” to the president.

The race in New York was especially stunning when you consider a Republican had not occupied that particular Congressional seat since March of 1923.

To put that in historical perspective, I have compiled a list entitled "The last time NY-09 was represented by a Republican......"

  • Warren G. Harding was President.
  • The Green Bay Packers had yet to win a world championship.
  • The New York Yankees had yet to win a World Series.
  • Legendary Yankees catcher Yogi Berra was not yet born.
  • The original Yankee Stadium was in the process of being built.
  • There were a mere 18 NFL teams.
  • There had yet to be a transatlantic flight.
  • There was no such thing as a transatlantic phone call.
  • "The New Yorker" did not exist.
  • Hitler's "Mein Kampf" had not been published yet.
  • The F. Scott Fitzgerald classic "The Great Gatsby" had not been published yet.
  • The Chrysler Corp. had not been founded yet.
  • President Barack Obama's maternal grandmother was less than a year old.
  • Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush weren't even born yet.
  • Ronald Reagan was a sixth grader.


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