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Friday, January 12, 2018
Red Notes From a Blue State - A Wrinkle In The Democratic Playing Field
Political prospects do not look bright for Democrats in
They will be carrying a heavy load. When Governor Dannel
Malloy does step aside in January 2019, he will have left behind him a
near collapse. The use of the word “collapse” here is not intended
metaphorically. By almost any measure, Connecticut is a state with its
firmly planted on the road to ruination. It is the only state the nation
that has not yet recovered from a national recession that officially
ended in June
There are many reasons for this, but the principal one is:
the state cannot rely on tax increases to discharge future indebtedness. The
tax well has dried up. Both companies and people have for some time past been
voting with their feet against a tsunami of tax increases. The Weicker income
tax in 1991 has been followed by Malloy’s two tax increases, the
largest and the second largest in state history.
The present condition of the state is a heavy ball and chain
for any Democrat – but most especially a progressive Democrat – to drag though
what promises to be a hotly contested election. All the important indicators
point to an effective Republican Party insurgency. Republicans are now even
with Democrats in the State Senate, and they are drawing near to even in the State
It may seem odd to think of Malloy as a ball and chain. He
steamed into office as a fire belching progressive -- as did President Barack
Obama. It takes a while for the evil chief executives to show up on the
political radar screen. Obama was a progressive, Malloy was a progressive. The
state of Connecticut has been a progressive Democratic Party hegemon for far
longer than Malloy’s two terms in office. Much of New England is a progressive
political bastion, which is why Barry Goldwater, a 24K conservative, once said,
“If you lop off California and the east coast, you’ve got a pretty good
The question foremost on people’s mind is: can Republicans
in Connecticut rely on the bitter winter of our discontent to blow them into
No, they can’t. Can Republicans
rely on the failed policies of Democrats to win the governorship and one or two
houses of the General Assembly? The answer is no. The question reduces to this: Can Republicans win elections on the
cheap? The answer is no. That was tried unsuccessfully with two Tom Foley
gubernatorial campaigns. In his first campaign, Foley lost to Malloy by 6,400
votes, a squeaker. In his second campaign, Foley lost by 25,000 votes.
This time around, Republicans will have to commit to radical
changes in tax collection, spending and government operations. Nor is it any
longer possible to avoid speaking of the thousand pound union pink-elephant in
the room. Republicans, outnumbered by registered Democrats two to one, cannot
hope to win the governorship and at least one House of the General Assembly by
conceding to Democrats, without a principled struggle, half the battleground on
social issues. There are no economic issues that are not also social issues.
There are no social issues that are not also economic issues, as Malcolm X
observed before he wasassassinated by the Islamic terrorists of his day.
Author Don Pesci
The possible entrée into the gubernatorial field of former
Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz introduces a principle of uncertainty.
To read the rest of Don's commentary, visit his web site.