EDITORIAL: 2014 Abounds with Opportunity for WV GOP and the Two-Party System

HNN Staff
EDITORIAL:  2014 Abounds with Opportunity for WV GOP and the Two-Party System

A West Virginia newspaper publisher used to note that "all the stars have to line up" for a Republican to win in West Virginia.  For the past three generations since FDR's presidency, that certainly was true.  

A statewide or Congressional Republican candidate could win only if a Democratic incumbent was particularly damaged goods, whether from a scandal or gross incompetence.

My, how times have changed.  The voters here have twice voted overwhelmingly against the Democratic Party's leader, President Barack Obama, for a combination of his anti-coal environmental policies and his now-botched health care reform plan.

The West Virginia Republican Party consistently advocated a less stringent regulartory policy from Obama's Environmental Protection Agency, one that even Rep. Joseph Kennedy III from Massachusetts has found it necessary to protest for similar reasons.  When a Democratic President's EPA is deemed out of control even by a Kennedy from Massachusetts, you know we're reaching a national consensus.

Those conservative voices who see their prophecies coming true regarding the President's radical policies towards energy producing states and the nation's healthcare system would be wise to take the lead of the state's Republican Party Chairman, Conrad Lucas.  A Lincoln Countian, Lucas knows better than most that West Virginia still brims with Democrats.  So he knows instinctively not to tread on their corns unnecessarily.

Rather, Lucas doesn't gloat that his party has been right all along on Obama's War on Coal or his disastrous Obamacare rollout.  Lucas doesn't change his positions, but he respects people from the other side of the aisle, along with Independents, enough to let them come to their own conclusions.  

And he always welcomes them aboard if they want to vote with the Republicans on a given issue, an interesting dynamic that we've even seen in the U.S. House of Representatives this past week as 39 House Democrats voted with the Republicans on an Obamacare issue.

Lucas's welcome wagon approach is all to the good for the two-party system in West Virginia.  Real competition is good for everyone.  The State Democratic Party has taken voters here for granted for far too long, resulting in problems like we see now in Mingo County, where Democratic officials are embarassing their county and their state again by pleading guilty to federal crimes.

Voters don't like being hoodwinked by corruption or simply wrongheaded policies at the federal or state level.  Next year provides a unique opportunity for West Virginia voters to hand over the West Virginia House of Delegates to the Republicans for the first time in 80 years.

No better message could be sent to tune both parties up than that.  For the Democrats, the message is that they need to step up their game and quit taking West Virginians' votes for granted.  For Republicans, the message is to show us that they have good ideas and can handle power.

Such a message is a long time coming to the people of the Mountain State.  Now is the time. 

 

 

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