The Spectacle Blog

New York 26: Shades of Richard Vander Veen

By on 5.25.11 | 1:16PM

So.

Liberals and the media are trumpeting the "victory" of Democrat Kathy Hochul over Republican Jane Corwin.

Big mistake. There was a third candidate masquerading as a Tea Party candidate -- which he was not. But he scooped up 9% of the vote anyway. So the media glosses over this… ahhhh… small fact to proclaim the End of Days for the GOP.

Ahem. Not so fast.

Anyone remember Richard Vander Veen?

In February of 1974 there was a special election in the Michigan congressional district that until the previous fall had been represented since 1948 by then House Republican Leader Gerald R. Ford. This was Grand Rapids, of course, and Ford was now the appointed Vice President of the United States. Selected by President Nixon to replace the resigned Vice President Spiro Agnew.

The liberal media of the day -- unchallenged in those days -- set the election story as a verdict on GOP rule and Nixon. And lo and behold, one Richard Vander Veen -- a perennial losing candidate and Democrat suddenly upset the GOP candidate to win.

Big story? Are you kidding? The media trumpeted this as the beginning of the end for the GOP etc., etc., etc.

Two years later, ironically as now-President Ford was losing to Jimmy Carter, Congressman Vander Veen lost his seat to Republican Harold Sawyer. And -- yes -- from that moment until this moment the seat has been held by Republicans.

Six years after that election the Reagan landslide swept the nation and has, in one form or another, been the dominant or near-dominant player in national politics ever since.

The point?

This election in New York, as our colleague Jim Antle has noted here, is going to be touted by the same liberal media and Democrats for the same reason they celebrated Richard Vander Veen's victory in the Michigan special election of February, 1974. It's over for conservatives, they will say. The end is in sight. Yada yada yada.

Richard Vander Veen died a few years back.

After having served a little over one full term in Congress.

And the Reagan Revolution and conservative movement rolled on.

Don't believe a word of the New York 26 hype.  The Democrats have set themselves and Medicare on a collision course -- and the day will come when this New York election will be seen as the moment Democrats flatly refused to save America's seniors, and thus themselves.

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