Pennsylvania 18: First step or more of the same?

March 18, 2018

According to those who go through life with their noses cocked at a permanent 45 degrees upward to avoid having to look upon us “deplorables”he’s the quintessential Republican candidate.

Young white male, lean and handsome. Law and order former prosecutor, marine corps veteran, religious man personally against abortion, agrees with President Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, and a supporter of the 2nd amendment who not only ran a campaign showing him shooting one of those scary looking guns that Democrats want to ban, he dared to state “new gun laws aren’t the answer to preventing more mass shootings like the one at a Florida high school.”

The only thing lacking is a wife. A wife that is preferably one of those that according to recent Hillary Clinton observations bows to the “ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”

For the condescending class he is the candidate every empathetic, government adoring, Sweeden idolizing American should hate with all their being. Another white male politician standing in the way of the Democrat National Committee’s platform of an always bright, everyone has everything, socialist utopian future.

Only problem is, he isn’t a Republican. He’s a Democrat by the name of Connor Lamb. And he just knocked off Republican Rick Saccone in the special election to fill out the term in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district. A district that candidate Donald Trump won by double digits.

While the hard left and never Trumpers are touting his victory as a rebuke of President Trump’s twitter tirades and equal opportunity vulgarities the margin of only a few hundred votes out of the over a quarter of a million total votes cast tells another story.

A story of an extramarital affair between 64 year old representative Tim Murphy and 32 year old Shannon Edwards. A story that exposed the height of hypocrisy when the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a text exchange between the two wherein publicly pro-life Murphy privately espoused the abortion option for Edwards when he thought she might be pregnant.

No matter how popular Mr. Trump was, or is, in the district, such rank hypocrisy had to leave a mark.

Mr. Lamb also presented the perfect dynamic: A young, fresh 33 year old Democrat in the mold of John F. Kennedy running against a 60 year old rather disheveled Rick Saccone who was anything but dynamic. Toss in that Mr. Lamb comes from a popular Pennsylvania political family and you’ve got the secret sauce needed for victory.

But the issue today is no longer how Connor Lamb won, the issue is how will he vote? Will he really stand up to the hard left that has taken control of the Democrat party?

For the sake of all I hope so.

The last thing this country needs right now is another Democrat campaigning as a Republican to get elected only to get to Washington and side with party leadership over voters when the critical time comes.

Will he vote as promised or will he give to Pennsylvania what the likes of Sen. Claire McCaskill and others have given their voters? A lot of “independent” talk when election year rolls around but deaf ears when the vote gets tallied. An initiative here and there to keep up appearances but when the time comes to actually represent the constituents, it’s the party, not the people that matter.

Not only has McCaskill stubbornly refused to aide in repealing Obamacare to allow a fresh start towards real reform that might actually work, she twice voted with party leadership to deny full Senate debate on President Obama’s Iran giveaway. It’s one thing to be for or against an issue, but to deny debate on one of the most important foreign policy issues of this century was a disgrace.

And just recently she joined every other Democrat in Congress in voting against the tax reform bill that though not perfect, is none the less injecting long needed optimism and capital into an economy that has suffered far too long under the heavy hand of centralized bureaucrats in D.C.

If Connor Lamb is the real deal, it’s the first step in a long road of taking this country back from the hard left. But if he’s just another McCaskill, “say this, do that”politician, then we’re in for an upcoming election cycle that we certainly don’t need and definitely don’t want.

I want to be optimistic but at my age, I’ve unfortunately seen a lot more Claire’s than I have Connor’s.

PUBLISHER NOTE:  A version of this column first appeared in the Sunday print edition of the Joplin Globe

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