Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Social Issues Do Matter

Brooklyn and Queens residents, unhappy with Democrat President Obama’s stewardship of the economy and , state assemblyman David Weprin, the Democrat running for disgraced Congressman Weiner’s vacant seat, an orthodox Jew who voted for gay marriage and supported the Ground Zero mosque, sent a message to legislators:  don’t ignore us.

Republicans scored an upset victory in the special election on Tuesday when the district voted for retired media executive and political novice, Bob Turner.  At reporting time, with over 80 percent of precincts reporting, Turner won 54 percent of the vote to Weprin’s 46 percent.

According to Fox News, “The heavily Democratic district, which spans parts of Queens and Brooklyn, had never sent a Republican to the House. The race was supposed to be an easy win for Democrats, who have a 3-1 ratio registration advantage in the district.  But frustration with the continued weak national economy gave Republicans the edge. 

“We've been asked by the people of this district to send a message to Washington,” Turner told supporters after the landmark victory. “I hope they hear it loud and clear. We've been told this is a referendum. Mr. President, we are on the wrong track. We have had it with an irresponsible fiscal policy which endangers the entire economy.”

Turner promised to push back on Obama's policies if elected.  Prominent Republicans including former Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Ed Koch supported him.  Orthodox Jews, who tend to be conservative on social issues, expressed anger over Weprin's vote in the Assembly to legalize gay marriage. In July, New York became one of six states to recognize same-sex nuptials.
Weprin was also challenged on his support of a proposed Islamic center and mosque near the World Trade Center site, in lower Manhattan. 

Turner’s victory serves as a repudiation of moderate pundits’ contention that a candidate can’t win on the “social issues” (unless the candidate is a Liberal).  As always, the economy is the first issue in any campaign.  But obviously, social issues – gay marriage, the Ground Zero mosque – were a factor, and in heavily-Democrat Queens and Brooklyn, no less.

If Conservative values can weather the storm in such a Democrat stronghold, imagine what Conservative voters in New Jersey could do?  Or out in the Bay Area of San Francisco, even?  Out there, east of the Bay Bridge, in the Shire-like suburbs of San Francisco, are some very brave Tea Partiers, probably the bravest in the country.

The residents of Brooklyn and Queens wouldn’t claim membership to the Tea Party.  But they still let go of the old party-line mentality and voted with their individual consciences, not their collective consciences.  Now it’s up to newly-minted Congressman Turner to keep his promises to those who have entrusted him with their votes.

There’s hope yet for Queens.  Maybe they’ll even give the Triboro Bridge back its original name.

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