Monday, August 30, 2010

Walberg v. Schauer in MI7 - a microcosm of the 2010 election

“A tragedy of history,” to use the phrase of Whittaker Chambers, aptly describes freshman Whittaker Chambers aptly describes Republican Rep. Tim Walberg’s defeat two years ago.

In ’06, Walberg caught national attention when he forged a coalition of economic and cultural conservatives to win the Republican nomination for Congress in Michigan’s 7th District (Jackson-Battle Creek) over moderate incumbent Joe Schwarz (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 59%).

During his brief stint in Congress, Walberg (lifetime ACU rating: 100%) established himself as a leader on energy issues. The Michiganian was a key player in crafting and securing signatures for the “No More Excuses” legislation, which provided a plethora of fresh energy proposals ranging from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to greater use of nuclear power.

And then ’08 came along. As Walberg recalled, “the financial bailout deal passed by Congress September 25 changed everything. John McCain went along with it and our base was exhaling.”

Then supporters of Walberg’s opponent, state Senate Minority Leader Mark Schauer, poured it on. The embattled Republican estimated that $6 million from well-heeled left-wing sources (“George Soros, Michael Moore, the Service Employees International Union—the usual suspects”) was deployed against him. Walberg’s old GOP nemesis Joe Schwarz made headlines by crossing party lines to endorse Schauer, who won a close race.

Now it is 2010 and “Walberg-Schauer, II.” Tim Walberg is back, nominated over three primary opponents with a resounding 59% of the vote. And this time Mark Schauer has a record (lifetime ACU rating: 8%).

“Where do we start?” says Walberg. “He was for the stimulus package, which is in no way reviving the economy. He favors cap and trade, which will devastate manufacturing jobs in Michigan and he backed Obama and Pelosi on healthcare. And he was a co-sponsor of the card-check bill, which would have devastated the secret ballot in union elections, and he has a record of backing taxpayer-funded abortions. Do I have to say anymore?”

No, he doesn’t. Walberg’s record speaks for itself—from his across-the-board opposition to abortion to his vow to replace the present healthcare legislation with one that includes medical malpractice coverage and greater use of Health Savings Accounts.

Clearly, the political landscape and mood nationwide has changed from ’08. But it is undeniable that the left will still pump out big dollars to try to stop a comeback by Tim Walberg. That’s why conservatives need to rally behind the man from Michigan—once more, with feeling

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