Rep. Cynthia Lummis (WY) published an op/ed in Politico today. Please read an excerpt:
The race to replace Rep. John McHugh in New York’s 23rd Congressional District has been billed as an arm-wrestling match between two divergent sects of the Republican Party — Doug Hoffman representing the conservatives on one side and Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava representing the moderates on the other. Pundits who bill this race as some intra-GOP battle are dead wrong.
The race in New York is not an arm-wrestling contest at all. It is, quite simply, a referendum on this government’s spending addiction. The uproar and dissent of the people of New York’s northernmost congressional district send a clear message to Washington: it’s the spending, stupid. I am fearful that through all the spin, whether intended to claim victory or soften the blow of defeat, we in Washington will fail to hear, or to correctly interpret, the message. We must stop the reckless spending, and we must stop it now.
I know that spending is not a sexy topic, nor does it easily lend itself to endless hours of dissection by political analysts. It is apparently too simple, too straightforward and too obvious to be recognizable to many on the left and even to some on the right.
Scozzafava was unfavorable as a candidate not because she was a social moderate but because she did not have a track record of practicing fiscal discipline. The takeaway for Republicans should be that limited government and strict fiscal discipline — core principles of our party — are essential now more than ever.
There is plenty of room for moderates in the Republican Party. In fact, our caucus needs a more diverse set of voices to thrive. That is not to say that the Republican Party is without core principles. Limited government and fiscal restraint are values that conservative and moderate Republicans share regardless of past failures to put those principles into practice.