As a Democrat, I’ve got to say I’m very much enjoying the aftermath of tea party favorite Keith Fimian’s victory Tuesday evening over establishment Republican (formerly “moderate” Republican) Pat Herrity. For instance, check this out in today’s Washington Post.
Meanwhile, Northern Virginia’s moderate Republicans, once defined by an unusual brand of fiscal conservatism and an independent streak on social issues, such as immigration, are scratching their heads and wondering about their futures.
“It certainly is concerning,” said Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully), a five-term moderate who might face his own intra-party challenger in 2011. “The frustrating thing is if you do anything, you are no longer considered a conservative. It seems like tea partiers are against everything. What are they for?”
Herrity was roundly endorsed by all of Fairfax County’s Republican leadership, prompting questions Wednesday about the party’s political relevancy.
In short, it appears that moderate Republicans are an endangered species in Northern Virginia, and around the country for that matter. These days, anything to the left of Attila the Hun earns Republican politicians the dreaded “RINO” (“Republican in Name Only”) label and a one-way ticket to Pat Herrity-style defeat. Thus, Michael R. Frey’s angst over the loss by his pal Pat Herrity to right-wingnut Keith Fimian.
The problem for Frey is the problem for all Republicans these days is simple: they have to move (far) right — and be “against everything”, as Frey laments — in order to win the party’s nomination, but doing that makes them far less electable in moderate, suburban, “swing” districts like the 11th CD. Again, as a Democrat, I’ve got to say I enjoy this very much. However, as a former Teddy Roosevelt-style Republican and also as an American first and foremost, I find it sad to see this once-great party continue its descent into extremism, intolerance, know-nothingism, and a rigid “party of no” attitude. As far as Virginia’s 11th CD is concerned, the bottom line is this: Keith Fimian has morphed into a Tea Party Republican, he is unelectable in this district, and congratulations will soon be in order to Gerry Connolly on his re-election to a second term in Congress!
P.S. With regard to his comment that the tea partiers “are against everything,” I’ve just gotta ask Michael Frey, “when did you figure THAT out?!?”