Friday, September 07, 2007

West Virginia Tilting Toward Thompson?

It's been painful for a kindly old right-winger like Wonker to read the newspapers day after day about what a painful thrashing the Republicans are in for in 2008. But I'm increasingly beginning to wonder if my Democrat friends aren't taking on an excess of hubris in their already leaky campaign vessel.

I'm thinking this because I just read an entry from a new West Virginia website that's supporting Fred Thompson's recently-announced presidential candidacy. Here's a sample:
Aside from the Birkenstock wearing northeastern liberals who trek to the hills of Boone County to protest mining, the real threat to West Virginia jobs is posed by the Global Warming crowd. The Democrat party has surrendered to the same "science by consensus" that once deemed Galileo a heretic for opposing the conventional wisdom of a geocentric universe.

Recently, top Senate Democrat Harry Reid declared that there should be a global moratorium on the construction of new power plants. I can think of no other time at which the leadership of a political party has been a greater threat to West Virginia jobs.
Bad stuff indeed. Pump the bilges! So what's a patriotic West Virginia voter to do?
Fred Thompson is the candidate most likely to draw a connection to the American people between drilling in ANWAR, drilling off the Continental Shelf, and allowing more refineries to be built as the way to lower gas prices.

Fred Thompson is the candidate most likely to push for tax reform and deregulation that could allow the steel industry to come back from the dead, increasing the demand for top dollar WV metallurgical grade coal which fetches far more revenue than steam coal for power.
Pretty strong stuff, and quite interesting too, the reference to metallurgical coal, something the average soft-handed Democrat Party elitist is not likely to understand.

Lest we forget, perpetually blue West Virginia went Republican in the last two presidential elections. Why? This is a state where hunting is very, very important. Many families in the most impoverished areas of the state literally need their own quota of venison each year in order to put meat on the table.

Both Al Gore and John Kerry—particularly Gore—tirelessly preached the Democrat's idiotic anti-gun legislation. And they paid for it in West Virginia, with voters there rightly perceiving that the Dems fully intended, if left to their own devices, to take away their guns, leaving them and their families without venison for the coming harsh mountain winner.

Likewise, for better or worse, West Virginia is a major coal mining state. Coal mining is one rough job. But it also supports countless West Virginia families. And also provides, among other things, a cheap and abundant heating fuel that, if more fully utilized by power plants, could significantly reduce America's independence from foreign oil.

But this doesn't matter to a leftie Democrat. We should ban coal, too. If it throws half of West Virginia out of work, who cares? They can do something else. Coal pollutes. So we shouldn't use it. So what if we mine it here, keeping more dollars out of the hands of Islamofascists and Hugo Chavez. Who cares. We're green. (And now, can you pass the chardonnay?)

Both of West Virginia's senators, Byrd and Rockefeller are Democrats, but they're not dumb enough to get behind the coal and gun haters who currently control their party. Their seats are safe. But West Virginia's 5 electoral votes will be headed toward the Republican column next fall. That may not be a lot. But in a closely contested election, that may be enough.

Our conclusion? Oh, let our friends in wild, wonderful West Virginia have the last word:
As the second richest state in terms of natural resources (only Alaska has more), it only makes sense to support the candidate that would install the fewest impediments to getting those resources to market.

West Virginia NEEDS Fred Thompson.
(Full disclosure: Wonker owns a weekend home in West Virginia. It's a wonderful state.)

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