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Hopeless in Rhode Island

Hopeless in Rhode Island

John Robitaille is the type of moderate Republican we constantly are told is needed to win over centrist Democrats and independents.

But it’s not true in Rhode Island and many other blue states.

There are not enough centrist Democrats or independents willing to  consider moderate Republicans in states like Rhode Island.  In my home district, RI-01, we just reelected David Cicilline, someone even the liberal Providence Journal rejected as being untruthful, over the solid moderate Republican Brendan Doherty.

This state is run by the unions who have the Democratic policiticans in their pockets, and a populace which loves big government despite the state’s horrible fiscal position, including cities which have or are on the brink of bankruptcy.

It wasn’t always this way.  Rhode Island had a history of electing moderate Republicans to statewide office, even if the legislature was controlled by Democrats.  It was a balancing of power.

No more.  Rhode Island is a death spiral state, and we’re loving it.

Robitaille, who ran a strong race for Governor in 2010, is bowing out of running in 2014, finding that Rhode Islanders are too in love with big government for a Republican to win.  Via (emphasis mine):

The man who came within two percentage points of Gov. Lincoln Chafee in the 2010 gubernatorial race won’t be running for the office in 2014.

John Robitaille made the announcement on his Facebook page Wednesday morning, citing the outcome of the 2012 election as one of his reasons…

Robitaille ran on the GOP gubernatorial ticket in 2010. He garnered 34-percent of the vote, just two points shy of the 36 percent Chafee received.

Full Statement:

After careful consideration and a thoughtful analysis of the outcome of this past election, I’ve decided not to run again for Governor of RI in 2014. Among other things, the fact that the voters of this state chose not elect some very good and well-funded Republicans who could have made a difference by restoring sound fiscal policies and changing the status quo. The voters also approved every bond issue and added more debt to our state.

While the pundits, the media and political consultants say that Republicans must change in order to win, I will not change who I am nor what I believe in to win an election.

For example, during the 2010 campaign I said repeatedly that RI does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. We must look seriously at every program and every dollar spent to ensure the precious tax dollars we have are being spent wisely and effectively. Evidently this message does not resonate here in RI.

RI is one of the most Democratic states in the country. 90% of the General Assembly, all of the Congressional Deligation and all of the General Officers are Democrats (including our Governor who for all intents and purposes is a Democrat.) It is clear that the voters of this state prefer a large and costly government and will continue to re-elect the same career politicians who have created this problem.

I will stay engaged and use my energies to encourage young people to become more self-reliant and innovative in an attempt to rekindle the spirit of self-reliance and entrepreneurship upon which this great country was built.

My most sincere thanks to all of my friends and supporters. I appreciate everything you have done “for the cause.”


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Maybe the GOP can elist Olivia Culpo. Nah She’s probably a “julia”.

I am torn by Robitaille’s comments. As a fellow District 1 Rhode Islander, I understand his dismay and hopelessness. That said, if every Republican rolls over, holy cow, what hope is there ever of turning this country around, one state at a time?

As I see it, that leaves you, professor, to run.

I don’t think he’s ‘rolling over’: he just recognizes that a person like him can’t win in Rhode Island today (or in 2014). The choice is simple: either he converts to something that is electable or he walks away from running. He chose the latter.

Would that more politicians have such a spine.

Instead, he’s working to change conditions on the ground. I think he identifies correctly what must happen if we’re going to roll back the creeping liberalism of the past 20 years. We need more self-reliance and entrepreneurship. We need more people to take charge of their lives instead of waiting for government to give them free stuff. We need fewer Julia’s and more Emily’s.

You don’t get there talking about it, and you don’t get there (we now realize) with ‘compassionate conservatism’. You get there by getting in on the ground.

So he won’t be governor. That’s too bad for Rhode Island. But he’ll be doing something worthwhile, and I’ll bet he’ll be a lot happier for it.

1. Every time I give up on the future of this country I try to remember that:

a. I am not smart enough to be qualified to despair, and
b. things looked hopeless in the 1970s, but we got Reagan, Clinton and Gingrich, and almost three decades of prosperity.

2. This chap from across the pond expresses it well:

In the past the U.S. has shown its capacity to reinvent its gifts for leadership. During the 1970s, in the aftermath of the Nixon abdication and the Ford and Carter presidencies, the whole nation peered into the abyss, was horrified by what it saw and elected Ronald Reagan as President, which began a national resurgence.

We must pray this happens again. The alternatives are too dreadful to contemplate.

Unfortunately it turned out that Sarah Palin, the obvious possibility to fill Reagan’s role, was done no favors when John McCain thrust her on the national stage prematurely. After she resigned as governor, I no longer take her seriously as a contender for national office.

3. That said, the Republican brand is hardly a compelling alternative to Democrat statism. The people with backbone and guts, i.e. the sperm-is-sacred religious crowd, are crazy, and the people with up to date brains (kinds sorta), i.e. the corporate welfare, crony capital crew, are corrupt. (Let’s not forget the Paulites and Palinistas.)

4. Afaic Robitaille’s decision is reasonable under the circumstances, and it brings no discredit on him. When the perceived alternative is the party of Mitt 47% Romney and Todd Rape Akin, I can’t entirely blame RI voters for sticking with the devils they know.

    SmokeVanThorn in reply to gs. | December 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Do you have a macro for your comments about Sarah Palin? Copy and paste?

    SmokeVanThorn in reply to gs. | December 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Your invocation of Reagan and Gingrich fools no one. By your specious definition, they are both “crazy.”

    After you invoked Clintion, I no longer take you seriously as a commenter on national issues.

    Never did, actually.

Yep. And as far as “death spirals” are concerned, so is the nation.

It appears that the majority of Rhode Islanders are addicted to free stuff etc and will have to hit bottom before any meaningful change can be affected.

Some remain defiant and some of us cut and run.

I did so in a complete way while the prof appears to be a commuter to Ithaca. Either way, the end will be the same..

Hopeful in Rhode Island: Cello cheesecake (Miss Universe)

It’s not all doom and gloom.

The man is right. The people have spoken, and so they deserve what they voted for.

And they should get it good and hard.

[…] As William Jacobson points out, Rhode Island is now in a death spiral… […]